What Is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is the leading fraternal organization in the world. Its origins are lost in the unrecorded history of medieval times, but it formally organized in London, England, in 1717. Current worldwide membership totals over 3 million members, 1.1 million of whom are in North America. With 75,000 Masons and 450 local Lodges, Ohio has one of the largest Masonic memberships of any state in the country.
As a fraternal organization, Freemasonry unites men of good character who, though of different religious, ethnic or social backgrounds, share a belief in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of mankind.
e for our Relief work, because we believe that offering Relief is not a rare circumstance to be celebrated but the way that we are supposed to behave and conduct ourselves.
A Blueprint for Living to Your Potential
Freemasonry is an individual journey towards becoming a better father, husband, friend, citizen and man, supported by other men at different points on the same journey. For centuries, the Lodge itself has been the launchpad for Masonic Education, and a common ground for Brethren of different backgrounds to meet and exchange ideas, provide support and offer friendship.
Masons live by the principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
Brotherly Love: Caring for Each Other and Our Communities
Masons regard the human species as one family, and as members of that family, we should act with respect and understanding toward others and seek to aid and support those who are in need. As Masons, we understand that everyone has their own path and their own obstacles. We aid and whisper wise counsel where we can, and we offer support and protection when necessary. In other words, Masons take responsibility for their communities and care for the people in them. Communities are not limited by geography, and a Mason is a member of many communities through his career, faith and interests.
Relief: Humbly Assist Those in Distress
As Masons, we should help others to negotiate the obstacles in their path, if not remove them altogether. Sometimes, Relief takes the form of a well-needed kindness at the right time. Most Masonic Relief is of this nature and is rarely, if ever, talked about. A mother who has to transport her child to a hospital three times a week for cancer treatments will find an envelope in her mailbox containing gas cards, a veteran finds that his meal has been paid for, or someone stops to assist a family with a flat tire on the side of the road. As Masons, we do not seek applause for our Relief work, because we believe that offering Relief is not a rare circumstance to be celebrated but the way that we are supposed to behave and conduct ourselves.
Truth: Using Knowledge and Understanding to Improve Ourselves, Our Families and Our Communities
As Masons, we recognize that knowledge gained should be knowledge shared; that investing your time, knowledge and experience through the act of mentoring and coaching is one of the better ways to live your Masonic principles.
In our modern society, it is more important than ever that Masons endeavor to seek and share these basic truths and put them into action through a life that informs, influences and inspires others.
Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth
The traditions of Freemasonry are founded upon the building of King Solomon’s Temple, and its fraternal ceremonies use the working tools of the stonemasons to symbolize moral lessons of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
For example, Masons are reminded at Lodge to “meet upon the level of equality, act by the plumb of uprightness, and part upon the square of virtue.”
Freemasonry is not meant in any way to interfere with an individual’s commitment to his faith, family or occupation. Freemasonry is not and never can be a replacement for these important institutions; rather, it is a positive environment that reminds every Mason of himself, his family, community and the Supreme Architect (an individual’s own definition of a Supreme Being.)
This information comes from the Grand Lodge of Ohio, www.freemason.com