Frequently Asked Questions...

and our answers.


What is Masonry?

     Our Grand Lodge for the State of Nevada has prepared what we feel is a very interesting explanation of what Freemasonry is. You are invited to go directly to this link and read it for yourself. (bookmark this page for easy to return)  If you would like to read it at your leisure simply down-load it to your computer or print it off.


Who are Masons?

     Masonic Lodge members in the United States may be highly visible Shriners in Costume, Knights Templar in uniform, apron-wearers in public processions and at funeral services, or in Lodge regalia at special Masonic ceremonies such as the placing of cornerstones as they did at the United States Capitol Building in 1793 and the Statue of Liberty in 1884. They may be individually identifiable by a distinctive ring or lapel pin. They are however, for the most part, not outwardly distinguishable in any way at all. They are simply a cross section of the solid citizen majority of the population of this great nation. They are mostly worthy, ordinary people, self-respecting, considerate, patriotic, law-abiding, church-going, and often leaders of their communities. Some are even world famous.

     You may find it interesting to look at a partial list of notable, famous, heroic and celibrated men who have been Masons. If so simply detour to Famous Masons for a look.


How is Masonry Organized?

     The unit of the Masonic organization is the Lodge. Associations of these Lodges is known as a Grand Lodge. From this body they recognize each other and regard those not recognized as irregular or clandestine. The recognized Masonic Fraternity in the United States consists of over three and a half million members in 14,000 Lodges and 50 Grand Lodges. There are about six million Masons and 100 Grand Lodges worldwide. The Grand Lodge of Nevada has over 5,500 members in 40 Lodges.


How Secret is it?

     Here in the United States the word "Freemasonry" has often been mistakenly associated with secrecy and yet the fraternity is not a secret society. Ours is a well-known organization whose members proudly wear emblems and meet in buildings that are well identified. We publicize our meetings and events in the newspapers, on TV, and radio. As long ago as 1630 there was printed reference to a "Secret Masons Word" and there have always been special signs and handgrips by which the initiated might make themselves known to one another, as well as private rituals which are not shared with non-members. Only in this respect, does it live up to its centuries-old reputation for secrecy, but the secrecy is largely cerimonial. The fraternity does not hide its existence, it's beliefs or its membership. Its purposes, aims, and principles are not secret, and it meets in Masonic buildings and Masonic halls which are familiar sights in thousands of towns and cities throughout the world.


What is it all About?

     Masonry ritual and symbolism teach principles and ideas in human relations of kindness, honesty, charity, decency, courtesy, fairness, understanding and concern, as well as love of country, reverence toward God and a resistance of evil.


How Charitable?

     A basic teaching of Freemasonry is Charity. The traditions of its members helping one another is as old as its reputation for secrecy, and is still maintained in practice. In the United States alone, more than sixty million dollars per year is devoted to maintaining Masonic Homes for aged members, widows, and orphaned children who are in need, and additional amounts to help those not desiring to enter such institutions. Individual Lodge charities, in the aggregate, amount to even more.

     Concern for non-members is also real. Lodges contribute to local charities, the Red Cross, and many character-building organizations. Related Masonic organizations support schizophrenic research, eye care and research, multiple sclerosis treatment, respiratory research, leukemia research, childhood learning disabilities, as well as maintaining national educational foundations, giving university scholarships and other humanitarian projects.

     The half-million Masons in the United States who are Scotthish Rite, York Rite, and Shriners and are famous for their hospitals for crippled children, and institutes dedicated to the treatment of burn patients, Speech and Vision Theropy Clinics. The Shrine Circus and the Shriners East-West Football game are just two fund raisers that they use to support these causes.


What about Politics and Religion?

    Lodges, Grand Lodges, and related Masonic organizations are non-political and non-denominational. In fact, partisan discussions is forbidden within Lodges. This is the rule in all regular Grand Lodges and when not observed is an important reason for non-recognition of some groups claiming to be Masonic. Since our Lodge membership consists of men of good character, who have diverse political views and various religious beliefs, they recognize one another only as fraternal brothers, without regard to political party or religious allegiance.


What do Masons do?

   We learn about ourselves by studying history, We work to support deserving charities, We take care of our families and those of distressed fellow Masons, We network, We develop our friendships, We try to leave this life with mankind better off for our being on this earth. In Short, We make Good Men ... Better.


What can I tell my non-Masonic Friends?

     Masons, by tradition and practice, are circumspect when it comes to discussing the Craft with non-Masons. Members are often so over-guarded that they are not open about mentioning the things that everyone knows about the Craft. Since Freemasonry is not a "secret society" they are not forbidden to talk about its principles with a non-member. For starters they may explain all that is written here and much more. If your non-Masonic friend is the type of person who belongs in Masonry and indicates interest, do not hesitate to lead him to the point where he will seek membership. He will find that to be called a Man and Mason is an accolade worthy of being sought out.


What qualifications do I need?


What does Masonry Cost?

     While Masonic membership need not be overly expensive, there are initial fees and annual dues. These vary widely, depending entirely on the local Lodge where their own rates are set. Beyond fees and dues, Lodges expect members to be reasonably generous with charitable contributions.

     If a mason extends his membership beyond the Blue Lodge to York Rite bodies, Scottish Rite bodies, a Shrine Temple, or any of the other Masonic organizations, his costs increase accordingly. So does his knowledge and the satisfaction in fraternal participation and humanitarian actions.

     However, the member Lodges within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Nevada are quite reasonable. Presently, St John #18 asks for $150.00 for the three degrees and a combined dues and Grand Lodge levy of only $70.00 per year.


How do I become a Mason?

     I had no problem with this question... My Father and Grandfather were both Masons and so it was reasonably expected that I would join the Lodge just as soon as I was of age. (What I did not know was that I would have to ASK one of them if I could join them.) For many others, it is not so obvious... in that Masons do not recruit their members. They must wait for YOU TO ASK one of them.

     This becomes one of the very reasons for our success. We do not solicit men. Each of our members come to us of their own free will and accord. They have sought out one of our members and have asked for a petition for membership because they saw in that member character traits that they would like to emulate or pattern their lives after.

     A famous passage comes to mind and could not be more appropriate: "Ask, and you shall receive. Knock and the door will be opened unto you. Seek and you shall find". It is no doubt the very basis from which this concept was adopted by masonry long ago.

     Again our Grand Lodge has prepared what we feel is a good explanation of the process. Take a look:  and see for yourself that it is really not difficult and well worth the effort.


For More Info... or a petition:

     If this material has not answered your questions please feel free to contact one of our Lodge Officers. Any one of them will be most happy to help you understand our organization better. They will also be pleased to hand you a petition to receive the misteries of the appropriate Masonic organization of interestest.


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