Freemasonry is the oldest and largest world wide fraternity dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of a Supreme Being. Although of a religious nature, Freemasonry is not a religion. It urges its members, however, to be faithful and devoted to their own religious beliefs.
The organization of Freemasonry is based on a system of Grand Lodges, each sovereign within its own territory. There is no central authority governing all Grand Lodges. However to be acknowledged by others, acceptable traditions, standards and practices must be maintained. In the state of Texas, the governing body is called the Grand Lodge of Texas, AF & AM.
As a fraternity, Freemasonry provides an opportunity for men to meet and enjoy friendly companionship. In the spirit of helpfulness and brotherly love and guided by strict moral principles it encourages goodwill toward all mankind. Freemasonry is of a personal nature and private in its ceremonies. The tools of the operative masons are used to symbolize and teach the basic principles of brotherly love, charity, and truth which Masons are encouraged to practice in their daily lives.
Freemasonry is not a secret society. Its aims, principles, constitutions and rules are available to the public and its members are a perfect liberty to acknowledge their membership. The only secrets in Freemasonry are the traditional modes of recognition.
A Freemason is taught that his prime duties are to his God, to the laws of the country in which he lives and works, and to his family. Any attempt to use his membership to promote his own or anyone else's business, profession or personal interests, and any attempt to shield a Freemason who as acted dishonorable or unlawfully , is contrary to the conditions on which he seeks admission.
By following the three Great principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth a Freemason hopes to show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others; to practice charity within the community as a whole both by charitable giving and voluntary efforts; and to strive to attain truth and high moral standards in his own life.