There is no one set of written Freemason beliefs and no central authority over Freemasons. Each region has its own Grand Lodge and smaller localities have their own local lodges. Although lodges are part of a larger organization, the members of each lodge ultimately decide what to believe in and what to emphasize. As a result, some lodges prioritize education and may be closely linked with a local university. Other lodges may put more focus on charitable works and may linked to a local organization or children’s hospital, where members devote a lot of energy.Although there are differences in terms of what each lodge believes, all Masons are taught to believe in three main tenets:
Known as the Golden Rule in Christianity, this basic tenet is the foundation of many world religions. At its simplest, it states “treat others well” or “treat others as you would like to be treated.” This principle is seen in Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, and other religions. Although Freemasonry is not a religion, it outlines the same tenet for its members to follow. Masons show their brotherhood by meeting together and by helping one another as needed.
Charity or Relief
While many religions teach that charity on earth brings rewards in the afterworld, Freemasonry teaches that charity improves the lives of people now. Masons are encouraged to help those who
need it through good works and monetary contributions. Statistics
suggest that Masons worldwide give $3 million every day to charity. US Masons alone provide $2 million daily. Freemasons support a range of charities – those providing relief for natural disasters, help for schools and relief to needy families. They also create scholarships for students. In addition, Masons provide help for members of their lodges. This help include building retirement homes for Masons, paying for some member funerals and building schools and homes for Masons’ children.
Truth is emphasized in every lodge, but it is a somewhat term that can mean many things. Many Masonic rituals and ceremonies involve the symbol of light, which in Masonic tradition represents spiritual truth and knowledge. Every Mason is expected to seek and find that light or knowledge individually. Each Mason is encouraged to seek knowledge and to educate themselves as well, since no Mason should be “in the dark” or ignorant. Therefore, truth can be understood to mean a quest for education. In addition, every Mason is expected to be honest with themselves, their country, their family, fellow Masons, and with mankind. Dishonesty or underhanded or illegal acts are not tolerated. Perhaps the easiest way to understand truth is to understand that Freemasonry believes in building a Mason’s character and the cornerstone of good character is honesty and truth in all its forms.