Freemasonry is one of the most influential social organizations in the world. It is known for its philosophical lessons, charity work, and ceremonies. However, there are many myths around this organization. In this blog, we will look at the different aspects of Freemasonry. We will look at the different stages a freemason goes through and the pros and cons of becoming a freemason.
The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Freemason
I had a friend who asked me that, and all I could offer him were positives. The only disadvantage I can think of is that if time is a constraint for a candidate, this could be a minor issue. It would be fantastic if you could create a movie outlining the benefits and drawbacks of freemasonry so that I could show it to a buddy who is considering joining. That is a really large subject, and I understand how easy it is to list the advantages because, as a freemason, you go man, I have all these nice buddies. We agree on a lot of things, but when we disagree, we can discuss it without yelling or fighting.
There is no backstabbing or backbiting; I can trust people and know that when they speak to me, they are speaking the truth and telling me all these amazing things that make you go, “Man, that’s terrific, that’s excellent stuff.” However, there must be something that would cause someone to respond, “Well, I’m not sure whether it’s for me; thus, what could the possible cons be?” To be honest, I believe you’ve identified the simplest one, which is the possible time element. You can use time in a couple of different ways, depending on where you are in the world and your specific lodge. Perhaps time is a barrier simply because of when you are required to be at work versus when the lodge meets on a regular basis. Thus, my lodge does not meet until 7:00 p.m., which works out really well for practically all of our members. They can leave work and return home to change into clean clothing, or if they don’t have time for that, they can come to the lodge immediately after work ends and still arrive before the lodge begins.
Numerous jurisdictions have strict dress standards, so you must either go home and dress or get to the lodge with enough time to put on a suit jacket or something similar and clean up before entering the lodge. And I know this because it’s been said in the comments section of previous films that certain lodges do not open until 10, 11, or 12 a.m. That would not be acceptable to me. That I could not do. As such, that would be a significant khan in my opinion. If I were interested in joining Freemasonry, the only issue would be the time of the meeting. That being said, if you hear about a lodge with a set of meeting times that does not correspond to your schedule, it may be useful to investigate whether there are other lodges nearby that do. We can travel anywhere in the state of Mississippi to get to our home lodge.
So, if you have a time constraint, you may have more than one option for finding a lodge that meets at a different hour. The other issue may merely be the length of the meetings. A meeting may last 30 minutes, but it may last several hours, especially if a degree is being conferred. This may be a problem depending on how much time you can commit per meeting. Many individuals now just accept it as a part of their daily life. For example, if your lodge meets on a Tuesday evening, you simply know that you don’t book anything on Tuesday evenings. Now, if something more essential comes along than freemasonry, you have a duty to your faith, a duty to your work, and a duty to your family. Then, instead of freemasonry, you go do those other things.
However, if you can work around your usual meeting, that is simply a part of your regularly planned routine. So the length of the meeting can be a problem for certain folks. Another factor to consider is the amount of time it will take to get to your Mississippi lodging. Some lodges are extremely near together, and you can simply travel to them. Other times, you must go long distances. The nearest lodging is around 10 to 12 minutes away. I go to a lodge about 35 minutes away. It was all because there were men I knew personally who were already members of that lodge when I initially joined freemasonry. So my comfort level was that of joining that lodge, putting myself in a time commitment of a half hour to travel there and a half hour to drive back, just prolonging the length of how long the meeting lasts in the first place, when I leave my family too, when I get back home.
That is another time constraint. Another one here that relates to time is learning. A lot of people do extremely well when told something and then being able to repeat it verbatim back. Not dissimilar to how most professions are taught in school, you are taught something and you repeat it until it becomes second nature to you and you can perform the work well. The same thing occurs in freemasonry; you must take the time to learn these things, but not everyone learns in the same way. As a result, learning may be tough for you. Now, the rule of thumb that I have always heard is that the sooner you can learn something, the better; therefore, if you have the time or can create the time to learn as much as possible in a shorter period of time, it will come to you more quickly than if you take maybe 30 minutes once a week or something to that effect, or even less, as I have heard.
Now, in certain jurisdictions, it makes no difference whether you learn or not; you do all of your work in a single day. While you will still have to wait a certain length of time before receiving your next degree, having the learning done early appears to benefit the majority of people. However, some people encounter an issue when it comes to word-of-mouth learning. This requires that someone speak to you, that you hear it, and that you be able to recite it back. So if you’re the type of person who struggles to remember a lot at once, or if your short-term memory isn’t the best, and you meet with someone for a half hour every day, say you work with him, and you can use your lunch break to study with him, or something really convenient like that, every day you struggle because by the time you get home in the afternoon, you can’t even remember what you learned during the day. That could be a problem for you in terms of freemasonry, because it will be hard for you to learn the skills you need to get your next level in freemasonry, but it is possible.
I have witnessed it. Allow yourself some leeway. It’s truly a matter of how much effort you’re willing to put in, because there will always be a brother willing to assist you in teaching, even if you have to enlist the assistance of four different people due to the amount of time required. The money is the next thing that could be a fraud. It’s a fraternity year, so there are not just annual dues for membership, but also fees involved with earning your degrees. Therefore, depending on where you live in the United States of America’s state of Mississippi, you may discover a lodge that charges only $25 a year, or $2 per month, to become a freemason. It’s difficult to grumble about something like that, but there are other lodges that charge $150 or more every year.
And truly, this is all that is required to become a freemason. You’re sitting in meetings and debating the finer points of the lodge’s finances. How much does it cost to own or rent the building, the rent, the location, or how much does it cost to keep the lights on? You know, those are the kinds of things that are used to establish what the actual dues are going to be. As a result, it varies by location. Therefore, if money is an issue and you lack the ability to plan ahead, you will be unable to say, “Hey, next month dues are due, and I need to have, say, $100 ready to pay my dues.” If you’re not keen on funding and budgeting for such things, then money may be a deterrent to entering freemasonry.
Additionally, you should be aware that Freemasonry is predominantly a charitable organization. There will always be opportunities to contribute to various fundraising programs. Therefore, if you do not wish to be forced to dig out your wallet in order to donate a dollar, five dollars, or twenty-two dollars to a charity, then joining Freemasonry in that manner may be a con. Alright. The following step would be to make a commitment. Everything we’ve discussed thus far falls under this umbrella, but it does require some commitment. If you truly desire to benefit from Freemasonry, obtaining your first degree is simple. All you have to do is complete our petition, be considered favorably by an investigating committee, who will inform the lodge to vote you in, and then you will obtain your pay, money, and degree.
That is all. Thus, the only time you invested was to complete a petition. You probably met with an investigative committee in less than five minutes. You know, depending on who and where you are, that might have taken anything from 15 minutes to an hour. Therefore, if your father is a master mason and you’ve been to the lodge 1000 times and everyone knows you, your investigative committee will probably move fairly quickly. However, if very few people know you or if they’re in a lodge where they like to take you out to dinner as part of the investigation, it may take an hour. As a result, it varies, but there is a commitment associated with it. And then you have to appear and obtain your degree, which may take an hour or two depending on your jurisdiction, plus perhaps a meal before or after.
That concludes your commitment. However, if you wish to advance to the next level, if you wish to become a partner craft, you must commit to it. You must allow time for that learning and so forth in order to proceed to the next step. That is where commitment comes into play. It’s also a commitment because you’re joining a brotherhood of guys who rely on one another. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left the state and had a brother come by and take care of things on my property while I was gone, because I can trust him totally. I’m certain he’s going to treat all of my possessions as if they were his and all that type of thing.
As a result, there is an element of commitment involved. Are you prepared to go beyond simply being able to say, “Hey, I trust you?” And, if I needed your assistance, I would contact you; however, if they needed your assistance, are you willing to commit to going and assisting them?, so there is that commitment as well. Alright, so the final thing I’m going to mention is that, as far as a con is concerned, I’ve seen it out in the world in person as well. However, it is amplified here on the YouTube channel and on Facebook. and that is just the hatred that can surround freemasonry, you know; it has existed for at least 300 years, and nobody can dispute the existence of grand lodges for 300 years. And you can sit down with whomever you want and argue about how much further back it goes, in which direction, and how.
However, it has a lengthy and diversified history spanning 300 years. And as a result, some people decided that freemasonry had to be evil and invented all sorts of crazy things, which people have grabbed onto and even held onto for hundreds of years, regardless of whether they have been proven or admitted to be false. And regardless of how honorable a husband, father, community leader, or business person you are, or how strong your work ethic is, they will remark, “Oh, you’re a freemason.” As a result, they immediately associate what you must do with a bad meaning. And it still astounds me that individuals feel that way about their fellow humans, that someone might be 199.9 percent above board.
However, this one item must imply that they are, you know, a completely awful person behind closed doors. Thus, this is arguably the most severe disadvantage of becoming a free mason. Do you believe that you can join an organization that, you know, good men are a part of and be comfortable with it, and be willing to tell people who say, “Oh, you’re a freemason,” and be able to say, “Yes, I am, and I’m really proud of it,” and let them walk away wondering, “Well gee, I recognize this guy.” I know his work ethic, how happy his family is, and how well he works. Perhaps if he is a freemason, something I believe about freemasonry is incorrect. If you’re willing to be the person who puts their best foot forward for freemasonry, then don’t be concerned.
however, be aware that it exists. I’m aware that people, in any situation, like to point fingers and make accusations, whether or not they have any basis in fact. And it is entirely up to you to sit and ignore them. Speak with people who are willing to speak with you and who are capable of continuing to act in an upright and moral manner. Thus, you are. My lengthy list of advantages and disadvantages, with a focus on the disadvantages, for the inquirer contemplating joining freemasonry. As a result, even though I’ve only been a freemason for roughly six years, I’d prefer the advantages above the disadvantages each day, every day of my life. Through freemasonry, I am able to communicate with a man I may call a brother. And those kinds of things lift me up, keep me focused on the kind of person I want to be, and when someone says, “Oh, you’re one of those freemasons, huh?”
It doesn’t bother me if they’re not interested in something, so fine by me. What do you know? I’m also a solitaire player. I’m also the type of person who rolls about on the floor and plays with their children. I’m also one of those people who, despite 15 years of marriage, is capable of cooking dinner and washing dishes. You know, I mean, a person is much more than the organization to which they choose to belong. Therefore, if you can let it be water off your back like a duck, I believe you will be alright. If you have any more encouragement, caution, or advice for someone considering joining Freemasonry, please write it in the comments section below.
We appreciate your time in reading. We’ll catch up with you next time. Bye!
By Brother Jared, a master mason of Grand Lodge Mississippi.
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