Modern Freemasonry, as mentioned before, is many things to many people. Many years ago in England it was defined as a system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols. It is a course of moral instruction using both allegories and symbols to teach its lessons. The legends and myths of the old stone cutters and masons, many of them involved in building the great cathedrals of Europe, have been woven into an interesting and effective way to portray moral truths.
In Masonry, the old tools and ways of the craftsmen are used to help dramatically portray those moral truths. For example, the 24 inch gauge and the common gavel. J ust as the ruler is used to measure distance, the modern Mason uses it as a reminder to manage one of his most precious resources: time. And, as the gavel is used to shape stones, so it is also the symbol for the necessity of all of us to work to perfect ourselves.
One modern definition is: Freemasonry is an organized society of men, symbolically applying the principle of Operative Masonry and architecture to the science and art of character building. In other words, Masonry uses ageless methods and lessons to make each of us a better person.
Has a basic philosophy of life that places the individual worth of each man high on its pedestal, and incorporates the great teachings of many ages to provide a way for individual study and thought.
Has great respect for religion and promotes toleration and equal esteem for the religious opinions and beliefs of others.
Provides a real working plan for making good men even better.
Is a social organization.
Has many important charitable projects.
Has a rich worldwide history.
Is a proven way to develop both public speaking and dramatic abilities. and provides an effective avenue for developing leadership.