The Masons who were selected to build the temple of Solomon were declared free. These Free Masons were allowed to gather with their families and were exempt from paying taxes. They also had the privilege to bear arms. Thus, they were accepted as free men.
At the destruction of the Temple by Ne-buch-a-nezzar, these Free Masons were taken to Babylon and put into captivity with the Jews. Cyrus, after taking control of Babylon, gave these Masons permission to return to Jerusalem to erect a second Temple, freeing them to do so.
To be free they had to be accepted as free, hence the term Free and Accepted. Not all men in all cases are accepted as free, they are held by the restraints of doctrine and power. To be free in mind and body one must work at it. So if your are asked:
Are you a Free Man?
How do you know you are a free man?
Because I am free to follow my dreams.
What makes you a free man?
The people around me, for I am accepted as a free man.
If you can answer these questions in this manor you are truly a Freemason.
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