Common Questions about freemasonry
What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is the oldest fraternity in the world. Its members have included Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Statesmen, Generals, Admirals, Supreme Court Chief Justices, corporate CEOs, opera stars, movie stars, ministers, and probably your next door neighbor. Click here for a list of famous Freemasons compiled by the Grand Lodge of British Columbia. Or click here for a list of 10,000 Freemasons compiled by the Missouri Lodge of Research.
Is Freemasonry a religion?
No. Freemasonry does not profess to be a religion. It offers no road to salvation. In fact, the discussion of religion is prohibited in open lodge. Freemasonry does not evangelize for one religion over another. The only thing required of a prospective Mason is the belief in the one true God, however you may define it. Masons are bound to respect each others view of God and religion and believe it is up to the individual Mason to determine their relationship with God, heaven, etc. As a Mason, you must allow other people the freedom of their religion and beliefs just as you demand your freedom to believe as you do. Masons do however believe that the Holy Bible contains important lessons in living a moral and just life, so a prospective Mason should not be offended by references to the Holy Scripture.
Finally, a couple points, Masons believe prayer is important, so a prospective Mason should have some understanding and reverence for the offering of prayers to God. We also believe in the immortality and resurrection of the soul.
When did Freemasonry start?
Stone masons have been around for thousands of years and were called Operative Masons. Our organization is based on ancient guilds or unions which taught the art of stone masonry to men. Modern masons are called Speculative Masons, as we do not work with actual stone to build. Speculative Masons use the symbolism of the building of a building with stones to represent our lives. It is generally agreed that modern speculative masonry originated in England in the early 1700's. If you would like to read more on Freemasonry, we encourage you to go the the Oklahoma Grand Lodge website for a list of reading materials.
When I search the Internet, I get all sorts of Anti-Masonic articles. Is any of this stuff true?
In a word, it is all "hogwash". We don't have enough space here to dispel and repudiate all of the libelous and slanderous misinformation on the internet about Freemasonry, but be assured the junk you read on the Internet is not accurate. A great website that has been around for many years that addresses all of this misinformation can be found at MasonicInfo.com.
How to know you shouldn't be a mason?
Is Freemasonry in decline?
Depends on the definition of decline. After World War II, there was a significant increase in men joining the fraternity. The men of the Greatest Generation that spurred a rapid growth in the Freemasonry are now passing on the that Grand Lodge above, thus it appears our numbers are decreasing. And there are some lodges, especially in small towns that are having difficulty, but mainly due to the fact that small towns across America are shrinking. But smaller numbers does not mean we are less relevant.
In our Lodge, we are finding a renewed interest in the Fraternity. Some believe it is due to the impersonal nature of our current society, through the use of the Internet for communication, that men are seeking a personal connection with other men in a Fraternal environment, and to make deep friendships that just are possible in a virtual world.
Do I have to believe in God to be a Mason?
Yes. No atheist can be a Mason.
Questions to ask yourself about becoming a Mason:
Have you lived a life that would bring credit to Freemasonry?
Are you an honest and upright man?
Are you a good man that wants to become better?
Do you believe in such a thing as honor, and that a man has a responsibility to act with honor in everything he does?
Are you willing to allow others the same right to their beliefs as you insist for yourself?
Do you believe that you have a responsibility to leave the world a better place than you found it?
Do you believe that it is not only more blessed to give than to receive, it's also more fun?
Are you willing to give help to your Brothers when they need it, and to accept their help when you need it?
Do you feel that there's something more to life than financial success?
Do you believe that a person should strive to be a good citizen and that we have a moral duty to be true to the country in which we live?
Do you agree that man should show compassion for others, that goodness of heart is among the most important human values?
Do you believe that men should strive to live a brotherly life?
Do you want to make a difference in the community in which you live?
Do you desire to build a lasting brotherly and fraternal bond with other men in your community and around the world?
If you answered yes to these questions, you should consider becoming a Mason.
So you may be asking "How do I become a Mason?" The answer.... ASK ONE. Masons are all around you.
If you do not know a Mason, we encourage you to visit a local Masonic Lodge, like Broken Arrow Lodge #243 at 117 W. Commercial in Broken Arrow, OK 74012. There you will find men who will be glad to answer your questions about Freemasonry and tell you what you need to know. However, there are several basic requirements that you will need to meet before asking to join:
1. You must be 18 years of age to join a lodge in Oklahoma. (Other states may have different age requirements.)
2. You must have a belief in a Supreme Being (all religions are welcome) and believe in the immortality and resurrection of the soul.
3. You should be someone who does, or wants to learn to enjoy the company of other men from all different social classes, faiths, backgrounds, races, countries, etc. Masonry is universal in its ideals.
4. If you are a family man, Masonry considers your family obligations to come FIRST, so you must be sure that you have the time to participate (usually 2 or 3 nights a month). You must be able to afford the fees and annual dues without hardship to yourself or your family.
5. You must come to Masonry of your own free will and accord.
6. You must want to learn to improve yourself and enjoy the company of other good people, not because you think it will help you get ahead in business.
You must also undergo a background check as part of the process. Here are the instructions.
If you meet these qualification, and you wish to explore becoming a Mason, you should come by the Lodge any Tuesday night and/or contact us at 918.251.9282. Alternatively, you can contact the Secretary of the Lodge by completing the form below.
Broken Arrow Lodge #243 AF&AM
117 W. Commercial St, Broken Arrow, OK 74012
918.251.9282 secretary "@" ba-mason.org
Here is an interesting video on Freemasonry.
The Men Who Wear Those Mason Rings
Those men who help my Dad each day,
They wear those Mason rings -
A Square and Compass set in gold,
The praise of which I sing.
My Dad, he hurt his back you know,
One cold and wintry day.
He slipped and fell upon the ice,
The insurance would not pay.
And since that time, those rings I see
On hands that help us much,
With mowing lawns and hauling trash,
Each day my heart they touch.
They even built a house for me
Amid our backyard tree,
Where all the neighbor kids
Would play with laughter full of glee.
My Mom, she cried from happiness,
The time the Masons came
To aid our family in distress
Without a thought of gain.
And when I'm big, just like my Dad,
Of this it must be told:
I want to wear a ring like his,
A Square and Compass gold.
Long years have passed since when
My Dad was in that plaster cast,
And since I swore that Solemn Oath
Which unites us to the last.
But more than that, I'm proud to say
I wear his Mason ring -
The one Dad wore for many years,
Until his death this Spriing.
And one last time his comrades came
To aid my weeping mother.
They praised and bid a fond farewell
To our fallen Brother.