What has Freemasonry to Offer the New Member?
We have an influx of new members today, and often hear the question,
“What has Freemasonry to offer the new member, and will it be able to hold him?”
The thought arises that some must feel that Freemasonry is lacking. The more I have worked in Freemasonry, and studied it, and observed its effect on the life and conduct of its members, the more I think that it has everything in it to give guidance to a proper way life. Today’s changing conditions strengthen this thought.
I liken Freemasonry to some fine mechanical or electrical machine, for as the machine is the product of human hands and minds, so is Freemasonry the spiritual product of the best that is in the human mind. The machine, no matter how perfect, must have the touch of the human hand to start it, the human hand must be applied to keep it doing its task, and it must be supplied with some form of energy to keep it operating.
Freemasonry with all its spiritual and practical principles is only something beautiful to look at until human minds and human energy are put to the task of making it work. The oft repeated phrase, “There is nothing wrong with Freemasonry,” is only true in part unless the principles and teachings of the Craft are put to work by its members.
It only has those ideals that can appeal to the right-thinking man, and it is to be trusted that this is the only type joining our order. If those who worry about the influx of new members will do their duty to the new member they will have nothing to worry about. We had a wave of applications to Freemasonry following World War 1, and a great many of the backbone of our present day membership came in that wave. That so many are applying for membership today speaks well of Freemasonry. It shows that our order has something that attracts, and it proves that the great majority of Freemasons are carrying the ideals and principles of the Craft into their daily lives.
To the older and senior members of the Craft falls the duty of passing on to the new members whatever of richness and benefit they have gained from their membership.
They have learned that the way of life as taught in Freemasonry is right, and that by living up to it they have gained happiness, and made their immediate world around them a little happier. They must give time and ability to the new member to assist him to gain these same benefits.
To the new members who are now entering our Craft will fall the duty of living and teaching the high ideals of Freemasonry, those high ideals which we trust have attracted them to our Order. We speak of our unchanging Landmarks. The great unchangeable thing about Freemasonry is the principles and ideals we stand for.
To you, the new members, will fall the responsibility of caring for these unchanging principles and high ideals. I say to you, study and learn them and put the practice of them into your every day life, and Freemasonry will be an Order which will continue to attract new members as it has attracted you.
R.W. Bro. G.H. Ellis, Senior Grand Warden Published in Masonic Bulletin-BCY Nov. 1946
Brethren, 60 years have passed since that last major influx, we now know what happens when we process new initiates, and try to do too much in too short a time. Please let’s not fall into that same trap, instead let’s make a sincere & definite plan to assimilate our new Brethren into our Lodges and ensure that they do not regret having taken that major step of faith in signing their petition..
Brotherly Love ; Relief & Truth. LIVE IT.