What is Freemasonry? The Declaration of Principles
Freemasonry is a way of life!
For more than 4 million Masons worldwide, It is fraternal in organization, ethical in character and based on the belief in a Supreme Being. It was founded on ancient philosophical traditions of ethics and moral behavior and promotes the noble principles of the Golden Rule as well as prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice. Freemasonry, in its every effort and purpose, strives to do charitable work within its membership, the community and the nation through its teachings and practices. It strives to make good men better, happier and more effective in society. Freemasonry is a worldwide band of men bound together in the bonds of brotherly love and the common pursuit of self-improvement. Freemasonry is NOT a secret society. Many of our Lodge buildings and our members proudly wear one of the most noticeable emblems of Freemasonry, that being the 'Square and Compasses' on their buildings, their rings, jackets and even bumper stickers. Virtually everything that makes up the various degrees of Freemasonry can be found in a local library, on the Internet or may have been produced as documentaries for TV programming. So these are not secret. What is secret, can only be described as the changes that happen to a man, intellectually or personally as he progresses through his Masonic Journey. Freemasonry is NOT a religion. As a fraternal organization, dedicated to making good men better, Freemasonry respects the religious beliefs of all its members. Freemasonry has no theology and does not teach any method of Salvation. Religion does however play a very important part in Masonry, for at each meeting there are open, Volumes of the Sacred Law (representing many faiths) on an altar. A Mason must believe in a Supreme Being, as no atheist can become a Mason. One of the first lessons taught in Masonry is that one should pray for divine guidance before undertaking any great or important undertaking.
- Kindness in the home - Honesty in business - Courtesy in society - Fairness in work - Support for companions - Rejection of cruelty - Compassion for the less fortunate - Acceptance and understanding - Love for one another - Reverence for a Supreme Being
Freemasonry as a Society is:
Charitable - it is devoted to goodwill towards mankind.
Benevolent - teaching that consideration of others is of a primary concern
Personal - Participation in lodge activities provides understanding opportunities for personal growth and development. A Mason can learn and practice skills of leadership, diplomacy, organization and communication which improve his effectiveness and satisfaction at home, at work and in the community.
Communal - recognizing that society is comprised of diverse individuals and promotes community responsibility among its member. It enlightens them in those things which inspire actions of goodwill and improve humanity.
Educational - its authorized ceremonials teach a system of universal ethics and brotherhood.
Social- it encourages the meeting together of men and family for the purpose of fellowship, education and charity.
Ethical - It recognizes a Supreme Being, neither secular nor theological. The holy books representing the faiths of those present are open in the lodge during ceremonials.
To these several ends:
It Teaches - respect for a Supreme Being, truth, justice, fraternity, philanthropy, enlightenment and liberty.
It Charges - each of its members to be true and loyal to his family, to the government of the country to which he owes allegiance, and to obey the laws of any state in which he resides.
It Believes - that these objectives are best attained through a broad basis of sound moral and ethical principles upon which men of every race, religion and opinion may unite.
It Welcomes - good men who wish to become better men by working together in harmony within the fraternity.
This Grand Lodge Affirms:
Its Continued Adherence - to that ancient and approved rule of Freemasonry which forbids the discussion in Masonic meetings of creeds, politics or other topics likely to excite personal animosities.
Its Dedication - to those basic Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth; and by their consistent practice, the lessening of the aggregate of human suffering and the promotion of the true and lasting happiness of Mankind.
Its Conviction - that it is not only contrary to the fundamental principles of Freemasonry, but dangerous to its unit strength, usefulness and welfare, for Masonic bodies to take action of attempt to exercise pressure of influence for or against any legislation, or in any way attempt to procure the election or appointment of government officials, or to influence them, whether or not members of the Fraternity, in the performance of their official duties.
(Adapted from GLA Form 101 and printed material provided by the Master, Wardens and Deacons Association of Calgary and Area) www.freemasons.ab.cawww.mwdcalgary.org Issued by: The Grand Lodge of Alberta - Form 101 330 - 12 Avenue, S.W. Calgary, Alberta T2R 0H2 Phone: (403) 262-1149