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What is Freemasonry?

​​Freemasonry is the world’s largest and oldest fraternity, and has been an integral part of community life in the United States for over 250 years. Commonly referred to as Masonry, Freemasonry is an initiatic society which seeks to unite men of differing races, beliefs, and backgrounds into a harmonious and productive community through the application of moral values and the practice of benevolence, intellectual development and mutual respect. Masonry encompasses a series of moral teachings based on allegory and the symbolism of ancient stonemasonry. But we’re so much more than our history. We’re a way to find friendship, purpose, and connection.

At its core, Freemasonry is about:

Our secret isn’t ancient rituals or secret ceremonies. It’s our members. Our members come from all backgrounds and all walks of life. The average age of new members is about 35.

A Masonic lodge is essentially a local chapter. The term “lodge” refers to both the members of that chapter and the building in which they meet. Use our Lodge Locator tool to find a lodge near you.

Keep in mind that Freemasonry exists in nearly every country in the world. Lodges in a given region are overseen by a grand lodge, or larger administrative organization. The Grand Lodge of Alaska is made up of 20 local lodges. Other Masonic organizations, like the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Alaska have local lodges, as well.

Every lodge has at least one recurring event on the calendar: A stated meeting. That’s where members share announcements, vote on new members, and do the ongoing work of running the lodge, which is a nonprofit organization. It’s also a regular chance for members to catch up and support one another.

The lodge is also where new members advance through the degrees of Masonry, and where members hold parties, community events, and communal dinners.

While lodges almost always have a regular meeting place, they can actually meet anywhere as long as they follow a few rules. Historically, that’s included some unusual places, like Thompson Pass.

Freemasons get together for lots of different reasons, from sharing a cup of coffee to taking in a ballgame to hosting large events where the whole town’s invited. 

For example, we get together to

Through the improvement and strengthening of the character of the individual man. Freemasonry seeks to improve the community. Thus it impresses upon its members the principles of personal righteousness and personal responsibility, enlightens them as to those things which make for human welfare, and inspires them with that feeling of charity, or good will, toward all mankind which will move to translate principle and conviction into action.

To that end, it teaches and stands for the worship of God; truth and justice; fraternity and philanthropy; and enlightenment and orderly liberty, civil, religious and intellectual. It believes that the attainment of these objectives is best accomplished by laying a broad basis of principle upon which men of every race, country, sect and opinion may agree rather than by setting up a restricted platform upon which only those of certain races, creeds and opinions can assemble.

Brotherly Love: A true Freemason ought to show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and be kind to and understanding of his fellow human beings.

Relief: Freemasons are taught to practice charity, not only for their own, but also for the community at large.

Truth: Freemasons are taught to search for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives.

The Tenets ​of Freemasonry
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