can someone under 18 years old become a freemason ?

Discussion in 'Becoming a Freemason' started by Youssef Talaat, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. acjohnson53

    acjohnson53 Registered User

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    Where are you from???
     
  2. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    One of the lessons we learn is to find common ground with men we would never have met otherwise. So it's not about what you have in common.

    Masonry has rules about age. Masonry teaches obedience to the rules. That's it. It really is that simple. It's in our obligations and explained in our lectures.

    Masonry also teaches that if you don't like the rules, work through the system until you have the ability to vote on that change. This lesson is taught over time rather than in the lectures. We learn it by sending delegates to Grand Lodge to vote on changes to the rules. So you learn how to become one of those delegates and what work you need to do to earn that right.

    This aspect of Masonry that we serve to earn the right to vote comes from at least the Roman Republic and the Athens of Pericles in history. it appears in the science fiction novel Starship Troopers among others. Heinlein was never a Mason but he was a big fan of both Masonry and history. If only the folks who made the movie with the same title had bothered to read the actual book.

    The reason that our age limit used to be 21 and is now 18 in most American jurisdiction has to do with the societal view of the trade off between service and maturity. That is no good answer to this trade off. I suspect many or most jurisdictions outside of the US require petitioners to be at least 21.

    To the young man - Patience is a lesson we start teaching even before a candidate gets a petition. For me that was appropriate because it's among the hardest lessons for me to learn.
     
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  3. acjohnson53

    acjohnson53 Registered User

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    Wisdom, very well said...
     
  4. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Speaking of change, what's anyone's thoughts on allowing 16 and 17 year old guys to petition and even receive the EA degree and then receive FC and MM after the age of 18 or 21? Also, hold stated meetings on that degree? Idk, just thought of it as a way to keep good, young men on the right track and instill some lessons in them for manhood.
     
  5. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    No. Let them join DeMolay.
     
  6. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    18 in my jurisdiction
    And we don’t have the demolay
     
  7. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Demolay doesn't exist in many areas....or its hanging by a thread.
     
  8. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051
     
  9. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Good article from a great hospital nearby actually. I understand the human brain isn't fully "set" until around the age of 25 (which would by default put into question allowing 18 or 21 year olds into Masonry as well) but the EA degree is the most basic degree in regards to its obligation and how it relates to that age group pretty well.

    I think most any well rounded young man could handle it pretty well. If proper implementations of guarding the West were present. There are some future leaders in Masonry that may never join due to being involved in other things by the time they are old enough to join under current ages.

    It is only an idea that would probably never "fly" but I know some 40 year old masons that their brains have still yet to set haha.
     
  10. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Noted, and I expected those answers when I posted. So... how to go about it?

    Getting this accomplished at Grand Lodge level could take years, decades. The first thing to see is do you have a target audience? Are there 16-year olds in your area who are interested in Freemasonry? Yes? Then start a club at your local lodge; Balderdash #101 Young Apprentice Club or some such. There are many lessons within the Degrees that can be studied without going through the Degrees. Basic lessons in Citizenship, social consciousness, working within the community, etc. There is much that can be done with youth that will instill a sense of pride in the Craft without them needing to join, and they will feel they are a part of the membership. Go to refreshment during the Stated, bring them in, honour them. Create a small ceremony for them.

    Or wait till they're 25 and hope for the best.
     
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  11. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Drinking age laws have already been rolled back up to 21 in most of the US. Lowering the age to petition to 18 was enough. To me that topic is over. I am not willing to compromise matters of age without hard data from jurisdictions that did that and that it actually works to admit boys who are not yet mature. The closest I know to such data is DeMolay and their data says to not do it.

    The world wide standard is and has always been business meetings in the first degree. Holding degrees in the third degree was a mutant reaction to the panic of the anti-Masonic movement in the US in the 1840s. It's a mutation that should have been culled out of our ways by the 1880s. It is not correlated to age of petitioners.

    That's why DeMolay was chartered.
     
  12. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Good idea actually.
     
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  13. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Our area has Demolay but only one member from what I heard. It is alive in some places but unfortunately dying a slow death.

    Also, it doesn't translate straight into Freemasonry. Once they hit a certain age they are done and can choose to go into masonry or not. Involving them directly with masonry may allow them to fill invested in something that will be apart of their lives until they are old.
     
  14. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I agree - but in my lodge, the largest cohort is 34-45. It was not like that ten years ago but we should not forget to survive for more than a generation, Lodges need to always have an eye and take action on renewal. Our youngest member is 21 and joined when 18. It is not the age that matters, it is the maturity, good character and good heart.

    Here, you can petition at 17 but cannot join until 18. This means we could initiate someone on their 18th Birthday.
     
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  15. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Exactly right, just the idea of waiting until your 40-50+ seems pointless.
     
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  16. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I always remember my proposers words;

    Early next year, I will have been a Freemason for 25 years but, 15 years earlier than the year of my initiation, I asked someone that I knew, if I could join the Craft. He said words to the effect, "Wait until next year, when I am Master....." He forgot. He denied me of 15 years of Masonic service!

    So I ask myself, "Have I ever deprived anyone the honour, pleasure and responsibility of becoming a Freemason, through lack of vigilance and caring about the concerns and interests of others?"
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018 at 5:35 PM
  17. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    I actually got told by a rabbi that I shouldn’t look into the Kabbalah until I’m 40 at least.
    Frankly being a numpty knows no age.
     
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  18. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    There's more to that than just waiting to study it until 40.

    In Judaism, the ages that you are supposed to engage in the study of various topics is codified in Pirkei Avot, "Ethics of our Fathers." It is a tract of the Mishna that details ethical and moral principals of Jewish law. In Pirkei Avot, Yehuda ben Tama says we should begin studying the Torah at 5 years old, begin studying the Mishna at 10 years old, and then, when we are 40 years old should be sufficiently prepared to begin studying binah, a deeper understanding. It is because of that stance in Pirkei Avot that it was codified by the Shakh in his commentary on the Shulchan Aruch in the 17th century that one could not begin studying Kabbalah until they were 40.

    The 40 year rule wasn't ever followed as a black and white rule. What it actually comes down to is, that you can't just jump into the deep, deep water of the Kabbalah without learning to swim first. A lifetime of study must precede it in order to develop the foundation. And the study of Kabbalah cannot be divorced from Judaism. I'm not saying you have to be Jewish to study it. But if you want to study Kabbalah and know nothing about the Judaism is based on, you may be wasting your time. Regardless of what Rabbi Berg in Hollywood tells you. lol Maybe you'll be ready at 25 (doubtful) or maybe at 65. But the bottom line is, a degree of Jewish literacy is fundamental to the study of Kabbalah. And even then, the market is so flooded with nonsense written by charlatans that sifting through the nonsense is almost impossible.
     
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