While the multitude of volumes published on Freemasonry all serve a purpose, the bulk of what has been written over the last few hundred years has been extraneous glorification at best… and esoteric hogwash at worst. It… Freemasonry, is really very simple! It is a Fraternal Order, based on Tenets and Underpinnings which Endeavor to make Freemasons BETTER Men.
That’s it, in the proverbial nutshell.
For such reasons, we were pleasantly surprised to see a story come out of the Jamaica Observer today which simplifies the structure and purpose of the Fraternity in just about the best way we’ve seen. Now, please don’t take this as a reprimand against Masonic Authors who, by and large, attempt to discuss some of the finer points of the Order- that is not our purpose.
However, for most purposes… and especially for the newly Initiated… Perhaps we should read the following article and then follow the old adage of “Keep It Simple Stupid”.
Enjoy your day Brethren!
“Glad that Masonic fraternity has over 300 years of instilling ethics in good men
BY James A Marples
Thursday, November 30, 2017
I was pleased to read the article in the Jamaican Observer article ‘Freemasons 300th anniversary celebration ends on high note’ in the Friday, November 24, 2017 issue. The occasion marking the tercentenary (300 years) since four individual Masonic lodges came together in England to form the United Grand Lodge of England in the year 1717 was marked by a grand gala at London’s Royal Albert Hall, attended by 3,900 Freemasons from around the world.
Total Masonic membership around the globe numbers in the millions of men — although membership was once much larger around the year I was born, 1963.
Many misconceptions exist about Freemasonry. I am a fifth-generation Freemason. Succinctly put, it is a fraternal order that instils ethics in good men. It enables men from all walks of life, who have diverse interests, to meet in a common bond of friendship.
Too many writers of fake novels or fictional movies have tarnished the otherwise good image of Masonry by connecting it to something spy-like or sinister. In reality, all Masons must believe in Almighty God; meaning the deity that is the creator of mankind and the universe. We don’t worship rocks, bushes or paper towels. We make honourable sacred promises on the Holy Bible, similar to what we in America see when our elected leaders pledge honourable performance while touching that same holy book.
I joined at age 18, but I have sat in lodge meetings with a man as old as age 104. It is truly a special organisation, wherein men of that wide a demographic can meet in friendship and unity. Masons are patriotic and charitable, even extending charity to non-Masons. The order uplifts a man’s character by three basic steps or ‘degrees’. Much of it is based on ethics surrounding the construction of King Solomon’s Temple in the Holy Bible. In short, it isn’t a buddy-buddy system, but rather what I call a friendship society which elevates one’s character.
I know men who are better husbands, friends, co-workers, employers, or whatever station in life they hold due to Masonry’s honourable teachings that span the generations and centuries. Masonry isn’t a religion nor a substitute for it. Masonry is a time-honoured organisation that focuses on “doing good” in the communities and “doing good” in men’s hearts. It is educational as well as enlightening. I’m still glad I joined some 36 years ago.
There are very few ‘secrets’ beyond a few signs and a password to assure that only legitimate or rightful people gain access. Nowadays, ordinary people better understand since they have to deal with passwords to their ordinary personal computers, etc. However, back in early days, the fraternity was derived from stonemasons who were illiterate and so could neither read nor write. They therefore needed to use signs and phrases that only one well versed in their craft would know in order to deem them authentic. In today’s world, for the most part, Freemasons are “the real deal” in exemplifying long-lasting honourable friendships among men whose promises are solid and trustworthy.”