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A few words about Blue Lodge Masonry:
The Blue Lodge (as it is called) exists to make new candidates into Freemasons. The Blue Lodge consists of members of the first three degrees of Freemasonry. The "Blue" stands for friendship and fraternity. Since Freemasonry is a fraternity, it is open to men only, although there are other affiliated Freemason organizations that welcome women and\or couples. There are other groups for young adults.
The first three degrees of Freemasonry are:
The Entered Apprentice
The Fellow craft
The Master Mason
The normal candidate will apply to and join a Lodge, then, through mastering the three degrees of the Blue Lodge, become a Master Mason. There is no higher honor in Freemasonry than becoming a Master Mason. There are, however, other appendant bodies that have further degrees that can be taken. (I think at last count there were over 192 different organizations springing from the root of Freemasonry. There are over 1.5 million registered Freemasons in the US alone.) It should never be construed that any of these further degrees are higher than the Master Mason degree - only further opportunities to learn more about yourself and the world you live in.
The Entered Apprentice Degree:
The Entered Apprentice Degree looks at man in his "beauty" and Youth. It teaches lessons about dealing with the everyday physical world that we live in and how to begin to better yourself. It teaches concepts concerning service to others in society.
The Fellow craft Degree:
The Fellow craft Degree addresses man in his "strength" and Middle Age. It teaches lessons about dealing with growth of the spirit and the internal man (his growth through knowledge and learning to care for others). It emphasizes the mental preparation of man's transition from the physical world to the spiritual world and the mastery of the emotional aspects of man.
The Master Mason Degree:
The Master Mason Degree addresses man in his "wisdom" and his older years. It teaches lessons about the soul, the spirit, and man's mortality. It helps prepare man for his transition to the next plane of existence.
Note: There is some memory work involved in becoming a Master Mason that you will be expected to accomplish. And, there are some fees involved to offset the cost to the Fraternity. If you think the fit is right for you, you will go through an interview process to make a final determination, and the Lodge will vote on your membership.
He is a man who is earnestly striving to become a better man.
He recognizes the good that resides in the heart of every brother. He knows that the faults he sees in others reflect his own imperfection, and he does not set himself up as a judge of his brothers.
The Mason is one who has learned of life’s struggles, of its difficult paths, its disappointments, the price of holding fast to one’s integrity, and yet maintains faith in the ultimate triumph of Good over Evil.
The Mason is a man of generous heart, mind and hand. He looks upon the opportunity to serve humanity as a joyous privilege.
The Mason is a man who demonstrates his love of country by being a good citizen, by obeying the law of the land, by being true to his country’s ideals, and by his undying devotion and loyalty, both in time of peace and of war.
The Mason is a man who, by his acts and deeds, reveals his unswerving trust in the Infinite, Wisdom, Justice and Mercy of his Creator.
The Mason is one who maintains a stubborn attachment to duty, and is unyielding in his unceasing efforts to make a better society by making himself a better individual.
AUTHOR: Dewey H. Wollstein
THE YOUNG MAN MEDITATES
Masonry promised me nothing except opportunity for mental and spiritual growth and the opportunity to be serviceable to God and man.
I came of my own free will and accord as all men in all ages have done. I was received as all others have been received in the ages past.
I learned that Masonry is interested in the character of man in man as a thinking, feeling being.
I learned that Masonry is not religion in the sense that we think of the church but that it is a form of worship and the true ally of all religions. I found that one grows stronger in his own religion, whatever it may be, as the result of Masonry.
I learned the real meaning of moral and spiritual teachings of charity, and that one’s integrity of mind and soul is his most precious possession. All that I learned before was enhanced by the manner in which Masonry teaches sublime lessons.
About me I see brothers, some young in Masonry, others who have been Masons for many years. Toward all I feel a bond of friendship and fellowship which is indescribable. To have the confidence of such a group of brothers, and to know that you are joined to them by immutable bonds, as you are to every Mason in the world is indeed a priceless privilege.
All of this I learned; and I learned as well, that to maintain and to perpetuate all that I have received, I must give back my best to Masonry and to society.