They are a part of a men's fraternity that dates back to the beginning of time.
In fact, you can read about the operative masons in1st and 2nd Kings of the Bible.
There it talks about the building of King Solomon's Temple by the stone masons of the time.
It mentions Hiram, the master builder who coordinated this mammoth task.
As a Past Master of the Lodge times 2, I have discovered that I can be a better person with the help of my lodge brothers.
In Biblical times if a man wanted to become a stone mason, he would start out under the guidance of a Master Mason.
The student of the craft would be known as an Entered Apprentice and for 7 years he would labor and learn the basics of being a stone mason.
After his 7 year apprentiship, he would become a Fellow of the Craft or as we call them today, a Fellow craft.
Once a man mastered his craft, he would then become a Master Mason.
In order for the Master Mason of the time to know who was who, he had to devise a way of differentiating the Entered Apprentice from the Fellow craft and they from the Master Mason.
So a special word, grip and sign were created for each class of worker.
This allowed the Master Mason to know who was who with the job skills and could better thereby pay them the appropriate wage of the day.
To be a Mason you must ask one.
You would then be visited in your home by some of the Masonic members so that they could talk with you and your wife about Freemasonry and answer any questions you might have.
Masonry is a family oriented fraternity.
There is Rainbows for the younger girls, Jobs Daughters for the older girls and Order of the Eastern Star for wives.
For the boys there is the Demolay group.
And of course, there is the Masonic Lodge for the Men.
A man must be 18 to join the Masonic Lodge.
Today, we of course are not Operative masons but are considered speculative masons.
That is to say, we don't work in the quarries hewing stone, but we recognize the process by which each class of laborer is recognized and initiated and continue with those initiation processes.
Masonry today is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.
That is to say, every man who is considered for the Masonic Lodge must have moral rectitude or be of good moral character.
He must believe in a god.
Many of the things taught in the Masonic Lodge are veiled in Allagory and illustrated by symbols to teach lessons of life and moral rectitude.
The Masonic lodge takes good men and teaches them to be better husbands, fathers and leaders of our communities.
The purpose of the Masonic Lodge is to help support the Orthopedic and Burn Centers for Children.
That's right, all the care a child to the age of 21 receives is at no cost to the parents, Insurance or anyone else.
Its all provided by Masons who pay annual dues and have fundraisers like the Shrine Circus etc.
Any information an individual might have on Freemosonry can be found in the public library in your city.
Or you can choose to go online and browse the many articles on freemasonry.
It has often been said that the masons meet in secret and therefore must be doing something bad.
In fact, any business, church or group that meets in closed session then would be considered secret and not on the up and up.
Of course this is simply not true.
There is nothing that a mason knows and uses in lodge that you cannot find out at the public library.
I encourage you to research this great fraternity and discover as I have done for the past 20 plust years, that this fraternity can and will help you be a better person in all of your dealings in life.
It offers you a variety of learning experiences with othe Masonic bodies such as the Knights Templers, Scottish Rite, York Rite, and Shrine Masons.