Declaration of Principles
Approved May 18, 1948
Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, educational and religious society adhering to its own Landmarks. Its principles are proclaimed as widely as men will hear. Its only secrets are in its methods of recognition and symbolic instruction.
It is charitable in that it is not organized for profit and none of its income inures to the benefit of any individual, but all is devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind.
It is benevolent in that it teaches and exemplifies altruism as a duty.
It is educational in that it teaches by prescribed ceremonials a system of morality and brotherhood based upon the Sacred Law.
It is religious in that it teaches monotheism, the Volume of the Sacred Law is open upon its Altars whenever a Lodge is in session, reverence for God is ever present in its ceremonial and to its brethren are constantly addressed lessons of morality; yet it is not sectarian or theological.
It is a social organization only so far as it furnishes additional inducement that men may foregather in numbers, thereby providing more material for its primary work of education, of worship, and of charity.
It regards and values men not for their worldly wealth or honors but on the basis of their belief in the Supreme Being and strength of character. Thus men may seek to join us based on their age (at least 18 years of age), their belief in Deity, and their character as a man. Their specific religious affiliation or their race or ethnicity is not a consideration for membership. We believe in making all good men, who seek us out and meet our qualifications, into better men.
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 that make for human welfare, and inspires them with the feeling of charity, or good will toward all mankind that will move them to translate principle and conviction into action.
Masonry abhors Communism as being repugnant to its conception of the dignity of the individual personality, destructive of the basis rights which are the Devine heritage of all men and inimical to the fundamental Masonic tenet of faith in God.