[Square & Compasses]

Why did you become a Freemason?

From: Greg Jacobs <gjacobs@fdic.gov>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 13:40:58 -0800
Organization: FDIC
To: dryfoo@MIT.EDU
Subject: Why I Became a Freemason

It is, indeed, an interesting question; Why did I become a Freemason?

In the first instance, it is hard to answer. I knew little or nothing about the fraternity in 1980, which is when I petitioned to join, and even after my petition was submitted I had little inkling of what was ahead of me. Perhaps, however, if I add in the "sub-topic" of "What attracted me to Freemasonry?" I can present a reasonable answer.

As a youngster, I had an uncle who was a Freemason. After an incident in my presence wherein a complete stranger assisted him in a small, but at that moment significant matter, my uncle told me that I could always trust a man wearing the square and compasses. That unequivocal statement made a deep and long lasting impression on me.

Years later I discovered that I had other relatives who had also been members of the Masonic fraternity. In light of my respect for these men, I concluded that there must be some good in such an oganization. But I proceeded to forget about it.

Many years later I met another, wonderful man, more than 50 years older than me, who was one of the noblest, most sincere, devout, dependable, and thoroughly enjoyable men I ever met, before or since. He wore an unusual lapel pin and when I asked about it he said he'd tell me some day. I asked more than once. So, not only did he tell me, he brought me a petition, he introduced me to Pentagon Lodge #1080, AF & AM, in Dallas, Texas, and he introduced me to a number of other men in our social circle who were members of the Masonic order.

I was very impressed, by the behavior, attitude, and demeanor of the men I met, as well as the many things each could be observed to be doing to improve the community in which we lived. I remembered my uncle's description of Masons as being men I could trust. And I asked and discovered that these trustworthy men were the foundation of the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, the Shrine, and other organizations, all of which supported a multitude of hospitals and other "assistance" causes of the highest nature.

How could I not complete the petition and join? I wanted to be a part of an organization that made so many efforts to help people, and did it where everyone could see, not in secret as some suggest.

Just as importantly, I was thoroughly fascinated by my discovery of the fact that Masonry uses certain religiously oriented beliefs as a fundamental basis but it in no way depends on religion in general, or any religion in particular, for its ideas and doctrines.

I cannot really answer the question "what does Freemasonry offer that you did not find in other societies?" except to say that the moral imperatives contained in the lessons of Freemasonry are so ancient that there is no question in my mind that all other societies, no matter which or where, must be based in some way on the same principles If Freemasonry is the ancient root of all fraternities, as I believe that it is, why go anywhere else?

So I did not go anywhere else, and I have found Freemasonry to be a joy to be a member of, it makes me proud to tell people that I am a Mason, and it makes me proud to point to the many good works that Freemasonry accomplishes and say "We do that...."

Gregory R. Jacobs
Past Master - Pentagon Lodge #1080, AF & AM
1998 District Deputy Grand Master -
Masonic District 14E of the Most Worshipful
Grand Lodge of Texas

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