I have joined the group to ask a few questions of the Masons on the forum. Lately, I have been trying to better myself in all areas of my life, most notably taking an interest in becoming more of an old fashioned gentleman and a up standing member of society. Through the years I have know a few masons and have already reached out to them to ask a few questions as well, but since the forum is here I figured I would ask here as well.
I consider myself an upstanding citizen and an all around good guy. I've have been involved with a few volunteer/public service organizations in my life and have always liked helping people without personal gain. As a boy I was a boy scout, in my teens (and still now as an adult) I joined the Civil Air Patrol to learn leadership and build character, after high school I joined the local volunteer fire department, and I have taken public servants career path and now work as a Paramedic full time with aspirations to become a nurse practitioner in the near future.
I enjoy being part of something that is bigger then me, helping others, being around like minded men who.
In my personal life, I would consider myself even keeled and level headed and more often then not take the motto of "Do the right thing, regardless of what others are doing". I feel that the masons may help my to strengthen my faith and continue to become a better man. Also recently, while doing preparing with our pastor for our wedding, I have found a renewed interest in my Lutheran Faith and living a virtuous life. I feel that the masons may help my to strengthen my faith and continue to become a better man.
Also, I would like to start a tradition which my sons (if, God willing, I have one) can follow. My father was not a mason, and to my knowledge there were no other masons in my family. From my readings, there are some 5th and 6th (or more) generation masons around and I would love to have such a strong tradition for my sons, grandsons and beyond. I wish I had something larger then myself to pass on to my sons. Although my father was in the fire department, i feel that often the public service takes a back seat to the infighting, back stabing and general malevolanet politics that I wanted to avoid in my life.
Following this site, I have taken Teddy Roosevelt and Ben Franklin (among others) as role models and in researching the Masons i have come to know that they too were masons. In fact many of the men whom, through history, I would have considered upstanding men were in fact masons.
Before petitioning a local lodge, I had a few questions for those who have been involved with them. First being of the time requirements. My schedule is hecktic with work 6 or so days week. I am worried that I will not have the time necessary to attend the monthly meetings every month, or to attend the various other activities associated (fundraisers ETC). In general, how much time is required of a new mason to gain admission, and then make it through the three degrees to master mason. Also, with other then monthly meeings, what are the requirements.
Lastly, if you have made it this far and are a mason, do you feel that I would make a good mason, based on what I have written about my background. I can elaborate if needed.
Thank you again, men, for your support and answers.
You sound like a great canidate for petetion to a lodge. I also have a very hectic schedule, but have found it rewarding and look forward to the monthly meeting. Most lodges do not have a requirement of attendance, but during your degree work I would attend as many functions as you could and be prepared to put in some time studying the degree work. Like anything you get out of it as much as you put in. If you do not know anyone in your local lodge, what I did was got on the your States Grand Lodge website; find the lodge and a contact, such as the Secretary, write him a letter with a brief introduction and he should contact you shortly to you can arrange a meeting to discuss all your concerns. Hope this helped.
Yes, it does help. I've actually found two local lodges. I am tossed up with which one to contact. The two-three masons I know (a father and two sons) live 40-45 mins away from me but I would like to join with them if possible. I am still waiting for an answer from them for an email I sent last night.
Also, While I may not have an over abundant amount of time now, after my wedding in october I know I will have more time to help out and was trying to plan a head. But as this will be a life long commitment, I suppose 6 months isnt too long to wait if needed
Dave, from everything you've said, I think you would be an outstanding addition to the Craft. I will suggest that you join a Lodge that is closer to you than 45 minutes away. You will eventually find that drive to be more than you want to handle on a regular basis, especially with work and family. Besides, once you've had your Third Degree, you can visit any Lodge anywhere, so you can make that 45 min. trek when it's convenient, rather than every stated meeting. I think you should consider joining a Lodge that is very close to you, preferably one that meets twice a month rather than once. I say this, because should you miss one meeting night due to family or whatever, you don't have to wait so long for the next stated meeting. I belong to two Lodges, one that meets once a month and the other meets twice a month, and I think it's easier to keep in touch and keep track of what's going on if a Lodge meets twice a month.
As to how often to attend, I will say this: Once you get your three degrees and are made a Master Mason, nobody is going to tell you how much time to put in. I know guys who attend Lodges that meet once a month and never show up for anything else, including degrees. I tell them that if they're only Masons 12 nights out of 365 they're not going to get a lot out of it. However, family and work come first. If you join a Lodge close to you, first of all, it won't be a strain to attend on regular meeting nights (it will be a strain if you're driving 45 min.; trust me, that'll get real old real fast). Second, if there are other Lodges in your area, and there probably are, then you can attend other Lodges as well. If something comes up on your Lodge's meeting night, then you skip it and go to a different Lodge next week, or whenever they meet. Check up and see how many Lodges are in your area and what nights they meet and you'll have a better idea how to plan logistically around your work and family life. And above all, don't be shy about asking questions. You sound like an excellent candidate for Masonry. The only regret I have about joining the Masons is that I didn't do it 15 years sooner.
I've made a few phone calls and had a good deal of my questions answered by a brother whom I've know for years. I am still deciding which lodge to petition. I know I want to do it though. On further investigation the lodge with my friends is only a 20 minute drive away.
The thing that is holding my back right now is trying to figure out how to broach the subject with my fiancee. I am reaonably sure that she will be on board when I explain, what i know, about the brotherhood to her. I am sure that during the investigation with the home visit they can answer her questions better then I can though.
Do any of the brothers here have suggestions on how I should approach my fiancee and bring up the subject of my entering mason hood?
Approaching your fiancee with this decision can be a bigger deal to you then it is to her. I know that when I brought it up to my wife she was very receptive and supportive in spite of the possibilities I had made up in my noggin. I recommend you be forthright and honest about Masonry and why you would like to belong to The Craft. You can cite many of our charitable works as well as the rich history and great men who have called their lodge home. Not sure if they interview fiancee's or spouses in your state, but if they do she might be happy to speak with them about any of her concerns.
If you decide to join I feel you would be a quality Brother. It's not an easy decision, but it's worth it.
Here is the question you need to ask yourself, big guy.
Do you believe in God. ONE God. who created all things. And consequentially, in an inherent brotherhood of Man because of that Fatherhood of God?
If you can truly in your heart say that you absolutely believe that there is a God, that there is only ONE God, and that every Man is inherently your brother because God is the Father of all, then forward you go and your path is already well lit.
If not, Freemasonry is not for you.
Freemasonry "...regards no Man for his worldly wealth or honors.....". So while it is great that you have done some of the things that you allude too, they're irrelevant when it comes to joining the Lodge.
You join the Lodge because God is in your heart, because you believe in the brotherhood of Man and love for your fellow traveler.
Like everyone else here, I think you would be a perfect candidate. Heck, if Kentucky is not too far, I'll take your petition for my lodge!
You are joining for many of the same reasons that I joined. Something larger than myself, giving to the community, integrity, ethics... yes. All good things.
Regarding which lodge to join, time commitments, etc..
1. Joining. Personally, if you have friends in another lodge, it would be nice to do your degree work there as they likely could partake in your journey to some degree. It would be something you would remember and be even more special to you.
However, when doing the degree work, you will have a lot of studying to do. Every lodge is different. Some I've visited insist on 3 face to face visits, each week, for 3 months to ensure you are a Master Mason as quickly as possible. Other lodges meet twice a month with candidates.
If you have the time available, I would knock it out as quickly as possible and get it complete.
2. Meetings and time constraints. You can be as active or as inactive as your family/work life allows. We have "members" who live out of state and only show up once a year. We have others who are at the lodge 4 times a week for something or other. Its really a matter of how active you want to become.
3. Finding the right lodge for you. Personally, I am an officer in the lodge I was made a master mason in. I drive past 3 other lodges on my way there, one of which is 2 miles from my front door.
Again, I would try to do your degree work with your friends, then over the next year visit other local lodges and see how you like each one. You can be a member of as many as you like.
Another option is to join the York or Scottish Rite instead of multiple blue lodges.
Hope that helps!