There is a rule in Masonry that a person must seek admission himself. We aren't allowed to go out and twist arms. There is a reason for that. A person needs to come to Masonry because he really wants to, not because he's been talked into it. Masonry is a real commitment. If you are a Mason and you need help, every Mason in the world MUST help you, if he possibly can. By the same token, you must be willing to help any Mason who needs it. And then there is another reason - a person has to be ready for Masonry. Masonry isn't a civic club, although we do a lot of civic projects. It is a Fraternity. We're dedicated to the growth and development of our members as human beings. A person has to be ready to grow, has to suspect that there is something more to life, and wants to know what that is, before he is really ready to become a Mason.
As we said earlier, no one will ever twist your arm. If you decide you want more information, we'll be happy to provide it through the Grand Lodge. If you want to join our Fraternity it works this way: "Ask any Mason for a petition (to join). Fill it out and return it to him. He'll take it to his Lodge and turn it in. A committee (of about three) will be appointed to talk with you and with people you may list. Its purpose is to ascertain that you are a man of good character and that you believe in God. Atheism and Freemasonry are not compatible. The committee will report its recommendation back to the Lodge. The Lodge will vote. If your petition is accepted, the Secretary will contact you about a date for the first of three degrees. There is some study and a bit of memory work required with which your Lodge Brothers will always help you. After the Third Degree you will be a full-fledged Master Mason and will have joined the oldest global brotherhood in the world!
When a man decides he wants to become a Mason, he asks a Mason for a petition, or application, to join the Fraternity. After filling out the petition, the man returns it to the Mason who then submits it to the local Lodge. The Master of the Lodge will appoint a committee to visit the petitioner and his family to find out a little about him and to answer any questions he might have. The committee reports to the Lodge, and the Lodge votes on the petition. If the vote is to accept--and it usually is--the Lodge will contact the man to arrange for the degrees to be conferred.
If a man is not aware of anyone who is a Mason, he can find out the name of a Mason in his community by contacting the Grand Lodge of South Dakota. The Grand Lodge office is in Sioux Falls and the phone number is 605-332-2051. The Grand Lodge office will contact a Mason in the man's community and ask him to contact the interested person. The Mason is more than willing to help another man become a Mason.
by William Coffield, PGM