Freemasonry always welcomes new members. Having said that, it does not actively solicit new members. Freemasons do not approach potential candidates and invite them to became Masons or to join a Masonic Lodge. Potential candidates have to take that initial step for themselves.
The reason for this is fundamental to Masonic philosophy, thought and teachings. Freemasonry stresses freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and the exercise of individual free will. Thus, potential Freemasons have to make the decision to become a Freemason of their own free will, without fear of compulsion. A candidate who is approached and invited to join Freemasonry, or any other particular organization, may feel compelled or obliged to do so; candidates who decide to apply for membership in an organization, such as Freemasonry, through the exercise of their own free will are perceived to be free of any such compulsion or obligation. It’s that simple.
Here are three short videos from Victoria-Columbia Lodge, No. 1 in Victoria, the Grand Lodge of Maryland and the Grand Lodge of Texas about the meaning of Freemasonry.
You may have seen Freemasons’ publications with the phrase “2B1ASK1.” This just means that if you are interested in Freemasonry, ask a Freemason. As stated above, Freemasons do not actively solicit new members; we won’t ask you to join us but if you’d like to ask us about membership we will definitely answer your questions.
The basic qualifications for becoming a Freemason are fairly straighforward. In the language of our ritual, which likely originated from a 17th or 18th century revision of a much older oral ritual, a candidate must be “a man, freeborn, of lawful age and coming under the tongue of good report.”
This may require some explanation. Yes, a candidate must be male. Freemasonry is an all male organization; it always has been. This is one of the Ancient Landmarks which form the foundation of Freemasonry and that is not going to change. The reference to “freeborn” does not currently mean being born outside slavery or serfdom, although this may be a remnant of feudal origin and it may have meant this several centuries ago; it is now interpreted as having the freedom of choice to make one’s own decisions. Similarly, being “of lawful age” means the candidate has the maturity and legal ability to freely make his own informed decisions; the Grand Lodge of B.C. & Yukon currently sets that age as 21. “Coming under the tongue of good report” simply means being of demonstrated good character and reputation.
A candidate must also believe in a Supreme Being as Creator and Ruler of the Universe and in the resurrection to a future life after death. Freemasonry emphasizes freedom of religion and religious tolerance. So Freemasonry doesn’t care what a candidate’s conception of the Supreme Being is, or what religion a candidate professes, but a candidate must profess a belief in a Supreme Being as Creator and Ruler of the Universe and a belief in resurrection to life after death. If you are an atheist or an agnostic, then Freemasonry is not for you.
The Grand Lodge of B.C. and Yukon also imposes some other qualifications.
It requires that:
- potential candidates be able to read and write in English;
- that each candidate be able to declare in the affirmative “that uninfluenced by mercenary or other unworthy motives, and unbiased by the improper solicitations of friends, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for the mysteries of Freemasonry”; and asks
- “Do you seriously and upon your honour declare that you are prompted to solicit the privileges of Freemasonry by a favorable opinion conceived of the Institution and a desire for knowledge?”
If you meet these qualifications and if, of your own free will, you decide you would like more information on joining Temple Lodge, No.33 , or about Freemasonry in general, feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.
Freemasonry also teaches and encourages the life long pursuit of knowledge. For that reason, Temple Lodge, No.33 encourages potential candidates to do their own research on Freemasonry before making an application to join us. There are some suggested web pages for this research on our Joining Temple Lodge page.
The Grand Lodge of B.C. & Yukon website offers this page on “Becoming A Freemason” and this page on “The Ideal of A Freemason.” Both should be informative to anyone curious about Freemasonry.
The Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon website also offers an excellent resource for researching Freemasonry, Masonic history, the qualifications for joining and a variety of other topics related to the Craft. Temple Lodge, No. 33 has also compiled a list of suggested reading material for those interested in Freemasonry. We also have a Masonic Education page on this site which may be useful to prospective candidates as well as Initiated Brethren.
Freemasonry has had, and still has, many critics and detractors. If you are researching Freemasonry you will undoubtedly come across many of these critiques, allegations and accusations that are regularly made against us. The Grand Lodge of B.C. & Yukon website has pages answering, responding to and refuting many of the common criticisms and accusations made against Freemasonry and Freemasons. Here are links to some of these pages: What They Say About Us; Freemasonry and Religion; Responding to the Critics of Freemasonry; Refuting Allegations That Freemasonry Is Paganism; Anti-Masonic Claims Refuted; Public Retraction of Published Statements Claiming Freemasonry Is Satanic;
We are not going to respond further to our detractors here, but here is an amusing video from John Oliver about Internet video conspiracy theories:
On a more positive note, here are links to pages on the Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon website which may help you toward an understanding of what Freemasonry actually is: The Attraction of Freemasonry; The Ideal of A Freemason; Prominent Freemasons; Appendant and Concordant Bodies;
Here are some other websites you might find interesting: Famous Freemasons (1)(2)(3)(4);
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