What is Freemasonry?
There is no “official” definition of Freemasonry, and many masonic writers have given it different definitions. Similarly, there is no single “leader” of Freemasonry, now or in the past. Each state of the United States has its own Grand Lodge, and each Grand Lodge, headed by a Grand Master, is sovereign in its jurisdiction.
Most would agree that Freemasonry is an organization whose members are concerned with moral and spiritual values, self-improvement, and helping their communities with charitable endeavors. Masons (synonymous with Freemasons) take oaths to be good to their Brothers in Masonry, their families, and all people. They are taught that we are part of the brotherhood of man, under the fatherhood of God.
Some of the often-used definitions are that, “Freemasonry is an organization that takes good men and makes them better,” or that it is, “A system of morality, veiled in secrecy, and illustrated by symbols.” Its principal tenets are brotherly love, relief, and truth. Its goal is the universality of mankind, with all will act towards others as we want them to act towards us, and with faith in the social, eternal, and intellectual progress of mankind.
Masonry is also sometimes called a “great quest for light and knowledge” that deals with the “intellectual, moral, and spiritual values of life.” To achieve these goals, “freedom of thought, speech, and action belongs to every man.”
Freemasonry is open to men of any race or religion who believe in a Supreme Being and who are judged to be of good reputation and character. It is the inner qualities of men — their characters — that are important, not external characteristics or indications of wealth or poverty.
The Purpose of Freemasonry
Freemasonry is a society of men bound by Brotherhood, united through the practice of sound moral and spiritual values and a love of family. Masons serve all humankind through fraternal and charitable opportunities found within the Masonic Family.
What is the purpose of Freemasonry? One of its most basic purposes is to make good men even better. We place an emphasis on the individual man by helping him strengthen his character, improving his moral and spiritual outlook, and broadening his mental horizons.
We believe in the principles of personal responsibility and morality, encouraging each member to practice in his daily life the lessons taught through symbolic ceremonies within the lodge. One of the universal doctrines of Freemasonry is a belief in the “Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God”.
Each Freemason practices the three principle tenets of this gentle craft: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, while promoting a way of life that binds like-minded men in a worldwide brotherhood transcending all religious, ethnic, cultural, social and educational differences. He venerates the good men of all religions. He disturbs not the religion of others. He restrains his passions, because they cannot be indulged without injuring his neighbor or himself. He gives no offense, because he does not choose to be offended. He contracts only debts that he can discharge.
Wisconsin Masons practice Family Friendly Freemasonry. We do this out of love and practice it in how we live and through programs we support. Included in these programs are help for families of our deployed military, scholarships, support for youth, medical research, children’s hospitals, and our Honored Ladies. Masons champion the heroes of our society such as veterans, teachers, police and first responders.
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