[Square & Compasses]

Why did you become a Freemason?

Subject: Why I Joined Freemasonry
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 12:08:24 -0500
From: "Shawn Gullberg" <SGullberg@gleasonllc.com>
To: <masonry-ask@mit.edu>

Since I was a young boy I knew my life was meant for a divine purpose. The reasoning and explanations behind this are a different story completely. While attending a prestigious Connecticut University I became extremely intrigued by the mysteries of Freemasonry. My Uncle was a Freemason, and eventually became a 32 degree mason and past master. I spoke with him often about joining, and if he felt like it was worth the undertaking, all of which was answered in the affirmative. I still did not have a clear understanding of exactly what the fraternity was about, but I had the voice of God telling me that this was part of his plan; and who am I to go against the path that God has laid out for me. Even though others who were "anti-mason", tried to fill my head with horrible propaganda, I could not directly disobey what God had ordered of me. I knew that it was something I wanted to do since I had been made aware of it, and I felt that the only reason I was not dead or in jail was because of God's purpose for me, which was for me to improve myself through masonry.

When I was approximately 19 years old, my Uncle passed me an application to join, because I kept bothering him about it, and he told me that although I was not old enough at the time, that I should keep the application safe, and when I was ready and of lawful age (21) that I should then complete the application and return it to him. I kept the application for 4 years believe it or not, and that application went through a lot in those 4 years. Eventually at age 23, when I was ready, I decided to complete the application and give it to my Uncle. I saw my Uncle on Christmas and gave him my completed application. I think he was surprised that I still had it. He asked if I was sure this was something I wanted to do, and if it was my own free will. I confirmed that it was and he told me that he would turn it in to the fraternity. Now, even though I could have joined at 21, I did not want to rush right into something, because at that time, I was not ready. Mind you, this was God's plan, not mine, and when he put it upon my heart that it was time for me to join, I thought about it, prayed about it, and went through with it.

I remember praying for a few hours straight for a sign from God to reassure myself that this was what he wanted from my life; that this was his purpose for me. The next day I did get a clear sign and I knew what I had to do. I had to become a Freemason. Like I said before, some people close to me, friends and family, were strongly against my decision to join. And they almost talked me out of it too. But when I told them I wasn't going to join, I felt so horrible inside. I felt like I was directly disobeying God, and in a way betraying him. In church the guilt was unbearable, and it would almost bring me to tears to know that I was not going to follow the path he had laid before me. The sermons seemed directly aimed at my situation. Eventually I realized that this was not their life or their decision to make, and they did not truly know what Freemasonry was all about. For pete's sake, I had studied the organization a lot over the years and I was not even sure what it was about. All I knew was that I had an order from God, and that God would not ever give me more than I could handle.

After being initiated as an Entered Apprentice on February 28, 2006 my whole world changed. I saw the world so differently, it was truly sublime. I was passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on March 13, 2006, which was not a lot of time to study for the degree, but I did it day and night because I was determined to be the best Freemason I could be. I am currently a Fellowcraft, and I am going for my Master Mason Degree in the middle of April of this year. I feel like it was a quick process, in my case, but I know that it only went this smoothly because God made it so. Since I have become a Freemason I feel like a new person; reborn. I treat my fellow man differently, and view the world through new eyes. I truly have been brought from "darkness to light", and will continue my search for "more light" in masonry. I AM SO GLAD I DID NOT LISTEN TO ANYONE'S BASHING and I decided to experience it for myself. It made me a better man, and that's a big motto of the masons. It sounds cliché, but it's true, they do "MAKE GOOD MEN BETTER!"

BLESS YOU ALL AND IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT JOINING, LOOK INSIDE YOUR SOUL AND DECIDE. Don't let others who are unaware and fearful of the unknown make your decision for you. You'll be glad you didn't listen to them.

Shawn M. Gullberg, Fellowcraft
Washington Lodge #19
Monroe, Connecticut

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