Joining the fraternity of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons requires that a man, of his own free will, petition a Masonic Lodge for the Degrees in Masonry. No Texas Mason should ever ask you to join our fraternity.
Below are the general steps that a man seeking membership in Freemasonry may consider. Lodges will likely have their own procedures, but this will help you get started and give you a better understanding of the process.
Ask for Information
If you know a Mason, ask him about the fraternity. Don’t be shy, we love talking to those interested in Masonry. If you don’t know a Mason, you can use the Lodge Locator to find a lodge near you and contact them. You can also use the “Ask a Mason” feature on our website.
Visit the Lodge
Try to find out if there is a good time for you to visit the lodge. Take this as an opportunity to meet some of the members and ask questions. Don’t be intimidated, they’ll be happy to see you. Most lodges have dinner before their regular stated meetings (meetings usually occur monthly) and guests are almost always welcome. In many areas more than one lodge may exist. Visit as many as you can, get a feeling for the lodges you visit and pick the one that best meets your needs.
Request a Petition
Request a petition from a Mason or from the lodge you would like to join. You can also find a PDF version of the petition here. Your petition will require the signature of several Masons. If you don’t know any Masons, ask the lodge you’re petitioning for advice.
Submit Your Petition
Turn in your completed petition to the lodge you would like to join. Ask if there are any fees that need to accompany the petition. Your petition will be received by the lodge and will be read during a stated meeting.
Now that the lodge has your petition, these are the actions you can expect the lodge to take:
The Master of the lodge you submitted your petition to will assign three members of the lodge to interview you and investigate your background. The investigators may want to meet with you at home. There is a standard set of questions that all investigators must ask, but many will ask additional questions. Be honest with the investigators. No Mason is perfect…we don’t expect petitioners to be perfect, either.
Your investigators will be given a deadline by which to return their completed investigation reports to the lodge. Their reports along with their recommendation will be read to the lodge at a stated meeting. At this time, the Master of the lodge will usually call for a ballot to be taken on your petition. Eligible Masons will then vote on your petition and the outcome of the ballot will be announced to the lodge.
After the Ballot
Soon after the stated meeting, a member from the lodge should contact you with the outcome of the ballot and provide you with additional instructions.
In the 40th Annual Conference of Grand Masters, GM Hinsley remembered the words of the Prophet Joel, “Your old men shall dream dreams; your young men shall see visions,” and went on to discuss “What is Masonry?” He noted that “Masonry is an association of good men bound together by a philosophy of life, which requires a belief in the Supreme Being, in eternal life, and in the Brotherhood of Man, which has gathered together those eternal principles and fundamental truths that have been proven necessary for right thinking and moral living; and presents them to its members, in a system of symbolic and allegorical teaching, for use in establishing their own philosophies of life and personal codes of moral living for the enrichment of their lives and the improvement of society.”
I urge the Brethren of Texas to search deep within their souls and determine their belief in Freemasonry in 2012. Take advantage of the Lodge educational programs, and attend the Grand Master’s Conferences, Workshops, Warden’s Retreats, and Historical Celebrations. Above all, study the many volumes of Masonic writings and develop your Masonic philosophy. Review “The Charges of a Freemason” in the front of our Grand Lodge Laws. Discuss your thoughts with learned Masons in your Lodge. By doing so, I am convinced that you will become a better person and a better Mason. I suspect that you may find that your private thoughts fall in line with the definition outlined by PGM Hinsley. Best of all, you will be better prepared for the direction that the 2012 Grand Lodge Line Officers lead us. Help them with their dreams and help yourself with your visions.