ADVICE TO THOSE WHO SEEK MEMBERSHIP
Having expressed a desire to become a Freemason, we presume you have thoroughly considered the step you propose to take. The exact nature of our Institution being unknown to you, we consider it advisable that you should be informed on certain points, the knowledge of which might affect your decision to apply for membership.
Not all men can become Masons, however. Masonry does not purport to make “bad men good,” only “good men better.” This distinction is critical in that from its early days the Fraternity took itself out of the “rehabilitation” game – which is the purview of religion and the criminal justice system. Only men of good character are accepted into the Fraternity. Masonic Lodges review every applicant’s character – and the centuries-old “blackball” system is still in place; candidates for the degrees must be voted by a 100% vote of the Lodge members present.
Freemasonry strives to teach a man the duties he owes to God, his neighbor and himself. It has for its foundation the great basic principles of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, and requires a belief in the immortality of the Soul. It interferes neither with religion nor politics. Admission to the Institution must not be sought from mercenary or other unworthy motives, nor from hope of personal gain or advancement. Anyone so actuated will be disappointed, and in all friendship we warn you.
Freemasonry is not a benefit society. We do not subscribe so much a year to entitle us to draw financial relief or to make provision for those we leave behind. Its charity is intended for those Masons who, through no fault of their own, have met with misfortune.
Freemasonry has in all ages insisted that men shall come to it’s door entirely of their own free-will; not as a result of solicitation; not from feelings of curiosity; but from a favorable opinion of the Institution and a desire to be ranked among it’s members.
We think it is advisable to inform you that should you be admitted, it will entail certain financial obligations, which you should be able to afford without detriment to yourself or those dependent on you. In addition to the fees payable with your petition, there will be an annual subscription for the support of your Lodge, as provided by the By-Laws of that Lodge.
We trust you will consider these statements in the same spirit of honesty and friendship in which they have been presented. It is of the utmost importance to you as well as to Freemasonry that the motives and ideals governing your daily life be in substantial accord therewith.
There are more than 240 Masonic Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Washington in the State of Washington. You must be a resident in the state for 6 months to be considered for membership in one or more of these Lodges. (Exceptions to this requirement are possible for seafaring men, military, and college students.)
Use our Lodges page to find a lodge or lodges nearest you. When you select one, you will find information on where and when they meet. We suggest you contact them and arrange to visit them 1/2 to 1 hour prior to one of their meetings. Or you can use our Contact Us form on this website. The Grand Lodge office will pass your inquiry to your nearest lodge.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What are the requirements to join?
A man, of good repute, and well recommended, 18 or older, living in Washington state 6 months or more (exceptions for military), recommended by three Masons, no criminal record, and a belief in a supreme being. Specifics are listed on the petition for the degrees.
2. What is the application process?
Masons cannot invite you to join, it must be of your own freewill. You should visit some Lodges and get to know some of the men who are Masons in your area. You must fill out a petition for the degrees and get three Mason’s endorsement.
3. How long is the application process?
Once you have submitted a petition to a Lodge, your petition is read at Lodge, a team is assigned to meet with you and your family, the investigation results are read at the next Lodge meeting and then a ballot is taken. If approved by the members you will be assigned a coach and you will be asked to schedule a date for your initiation. This takes about three months, if the Lodge meets only once per month. After initiation, you will be required to pass a test on what you have learned before proceeding to the next Degree. Including initiation, there are three degrees. Memorization of the rituals will be required to advance through the degrees. Normally, it takes three or more months for you to pass all three degrees and get a good understanding of your obligations necessary to becoming a better man.
4. What would change in one’s life after becoming a Mason?
One reason to become a Mason is to become a better man. You become a better man by becoming more confident, by living by the rules of your God, by treating all on the level with justice and compassion, and by helping others become wiser and better. This takes effort on your part. The symbols of Masonry: the Plumb, Square, and Level continually remind a Brother to live an upright life, be square with your fellow man, and treat all equally.
5. How much time is required, in an average week, to be devoted to Masonic duties/responsibilities?
becoming a better man takes effort. Nothing realized without effort is truly cherished. It is a life-long task to become better than you were each day. How much effort that it takes is up to you.
6. What if any financial commitment is to be expected?
Joining costs about $200 depending on the Lodge. Yearly dues range in the $50-$100 range, depending on the Lodge. You should be financially secure and be able to support your family.
7. How long do meetings last and what is the purpose?
These meetings typically take about two hours and include business and educational content. Typically there is a social hour before or after the meeting that may include dinner.
8. How do I know what Lodge is right for me?
Your job is to visit Lodges in our area and get a feel from the Masons you meet. Ask questions. You will not be able to attend meetings until you become a Mason, but we have many social events that you and your family may be invited to attend. You may already know some Masons, if so, talk to them. In the mean time, contact a Mason or a Masonic Lodge near you.