One of Freemasonry's customs is not to solicit members. However, anyone should feel free to approach any Mason to seek further information about the Craft. Membership is for men, 18 years of age or older, who meet the qualifications and standards of character and reputation, who are of good moral character, and who believe in the existence of a a supreme being.
A man who wants to join a lodge must be recommended for membership by three members of that lodge. He must understand that his character will be investigated. After approval by the members of that lodge, he will be accepted as an applicant for membership in Freemasonry.
Alternately, an Illinois Mason can inform a good man that he knows that should he wish to join, he is welcome to do so under a program called Invitation to Petition. So, if a Mason who knows you believes you have the requisite character traits, he may propose you for membership in a Lodge and have your name balloted upon, and then inform you of this action.
The doors of Freemasonry are open to men who seek harmony with their fellow man, feel the need for self-improvement and wish to participate in making this world a better place to live. Any man who becomes a Mason is taught a pattern for living - reverence, morality, kindness, honesty, dependability and compassion. He must be prepared to honour his country, uphold its laws and respect those in authority. He must be prepared to maintain honourable relations with others and be willing to share in Masonic activities.
Freemasonry is the oldest and largest Fraternity in the world. Its members included Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Statesmen, Generals, Admirals, Supreme Court Chief Justices, corporate CEO's, opera stars, movie stars, and probably, your next door neighbor.
Masonry is always ready to welcome good men into the Fraternity. It's ready to welcome YOU, if in your heart you can answer "yes" to a few questions.
Do you believe that there is such a thing as honor and that a man has a responsibility to act with honor in everything he does?
Masons teach that principle. We believe that a life not founded on honor is hollow and empty-that a man who acts without honor is less than a man.
Do you believe in God?
No atheist can be a Mason. Masons do not care what your individual faith is, that is a question between you and your God, but we do require that a man believe in a Supreme Being.
Are you willing to allow others the same right to their beliefs that you insist on yourself?
Masonry insists on toleration - on the right of each person to think for himself in religious, social and political matters.
Do you believe that you have a responsibility to leave the world a better place that you found it?
Masonry teaches that each man has a duty not only to himself but to others. We must do what we can to make the world a better place. Whether that means cleaning up the environment, working on civic projects, or helping children to walk or read or see - the world should be a better place because we passed through it.
Do you believe that it is not only more blessed to give than to receive?
Masons are involved with the problems and needs of others because we know it gives each of us a good feeling - unlike any other - to help. Much of our help is given anonymously. We're not after gratitude, we're more than rewarded by that feeling which comes from knowing we have helped another person overcome some adversity, so that their life can go on.
Are you willing to give help to your Brothers when they need it, and to accept their help when you need it?
Masonry is mutual help. Not just financial help (although that's there too) but help in the sense of being there when needed, giving support, lending a sympathetic ear.
Do you believe there is more to life than just financial success?
Masons know that self-development is more precious than money in the bank or social position or political power. Those things often accompany self-development. But they are no-substitute for it. Masons work at building their lives and character, just as a carpenter works at building a house.
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?
Masons believe that a country is strong as long as freedom, equality, and the opportunity for human development are afforded to all. A Mason is true to his government and its ideals. He supports its laws and authority when both are just and equitably applied. We uphold and maintain the principals of good government, and oppose every influence that would divide it in a degrading manner.
Do you agree that man should show compassion to others, that goodness of heart is among the most important of human values?
Masons do. We believe in a certain reverence for living things, a tenderness toward people who suffer. A loving kindness for our fellow man, and a desire to do right because it is right. Masonry teaches that although all men are fallible and capable of much wrong, when they discover the goodness of heart, they have found the true essence of virtue. Masonry helps men see their potential for deep goodness and virtue.
Do you believe that men should strive to live a brotherly life?
Masons see brotherhood as a form of wisdom, a sort of bond that holds men together - a private friendship that tells us, that we owe it to each other to be just in our dealing and to refuse to speak evil of each other. Masons believe a man should maintain an attitude of good will, and promote unity and harmony in his relations with one another, his family, and his community. Masons call this way of live believing in the Brotherhood of Man. It really means that every Mason makes it his duty to follow the golden rule. This is why Masonry has been called one of the greatest forces for good on the world.
Freemasonry offers much to its members - the opportunity to grow, the chance to make a difference, to build a better world for our children. It offers a chance to be with and work with men who have the same values and ideals - men who have answered "YES" to these questions.
It's easy to find out more. Just find a Mason and ask him about Masonry. You probably know several Masons. Perhaps you've seen the Square and Compasses like the one on this page or on a pin, tie tack, or bumper sticker. If you know where the lodge is in your community, stop by or look up the number of your local Masonic lodge in the phone book and ask for the secretary of the lodge. He'll be happy to help you.
Have you ever considered becoming a Mason? We'd like a chance to talk with you.