Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, educational and religious
Its principles are proclaimed as widely as men will hear.
Its only secrets are in its methods of recognition and of symbolic
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.
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 them 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 charges each of its members to be true and loyal to the government
of the country to which he owes allegiance and to be obedient to the
law of any state in which he may be.
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 unite rather than by setting up a restricted
platform upon which only those of certain races, creeds and opinions
-- A portion of the "Declaration of Masonic Principles (Adopted
1939)" extracted from the Ahiman Rezon.