What will Freemasonry Offer My Son?

father, son, freemasonry, joining freemasonry, 2b1ask1

Fatherhood can change your perspective in a hurry.

I realize that’s probably the biggest understatement in history, but our six-year-old son has got me thinking about a lot of things.

Mainly, I wonder what Freemasonry will look like as he grows up, and if it will offer anything to him and his truly 21st century generation.

Will our local lodges finally be permitted to undertake the actions that other organizations do to recruit and retain members, or will our leaders continue to restrict and stifle us with their antiquated philosophies of membership?

Will our few young members and officers continue to think outside the suffocating boundaries of tradition and develop new outlets of community involvement? Or, when they see so few brothers of an already sparse roster of members support them, will they succumb to an overwhelming sense of frustration and discouragement?

Will we at last choose forward, progressive-thinking Grand Lodge officers, or will this line of dedicated and selfless Masonic devotees continue adhering to cobwebbed philosophies of the past that would crack and fracture into dust if shown the light of modern day?

Will we ever welcome men of color into our lodge rooms, or will we hold true to ancient prejudices, bigotries and intolerance that have no room in the Masonic conscience whatsoever?

My son is now in school. When he’s old enough, will he be able to join a DeMolay chapter – as his father did – and be exposed to the Biblical principles of brotherhood, honesty, charity and courtesy, or are those Rockwellian notions merely romantic shadows of a vanished society? Of all the organizations that Freemasonry sponsors, the young men of DeMolay face the changing world more than any, and yet we still frown upon the admission of other cultures.

Will the many organizations of which I’m involved, with their declining rosters and seemingly apathetic constituencies, survive long enough for him to enjoy their benefits? Finally, will he even have a desire to do so, or merely regard them as musty relics of a long-past civic existence in which his father once found satisfaction and fulfillment?

I am different from many members of my generation. Unlike many others, I joined my lodge as soon as I became of age, following in my family’s Masonic footsteps. My father, both my grandfathers, and two uncles were Masons (one uncle was Worshipful Master of Chamblee Lodge, and presided over my Entered Apprentice degree). My mother and grandmother were standard fixtures at lodge events. At 29, I was the youngest Master in my lodge’s then-100-plus-year history.

And yet, the issues facing our fraternity do not center themselves around age or generation gaps. During my year in the East, the brother with whom I shared more common beliefs and observations was 40 years older than me.

I look at Freemasonry’s dwindling attendance and interest, and I wonder. In a fraternity so obsessed with antiquated rituals of the past and so intolerant of the future, who will ensure that our lodges survive for our sons?

Or will anyone even care to do so?

This work was contributed by Tim Darnell in 2009.
Past Master, Chamblee Lodge #444, Atlanta GA
32nd Scottish Rite, Valley of Atlanta
DeMolay Legion of Honor

Posted in Featured, Sojourners and tagged , , .

A devoted student of the Western Mystery Traditions, Greg is a firm believer in the Masonic connections to the Hermetic traditions of antiquity, its evolution through the ages and into its present configuration as the antecedent to all contemporary esoteric and occult traditions. He is a self-called searcher for that which was lost, a Hermetic Hermit and a believer in “that which is above is so too below.” Read more about Greg Stewart.


  1. I haved a 5 month old and I hope that Masonry can help him in the same ways it has helped me. We need to do whatever we can to help the organazation grow in order preserve our rich history.I am a member of a blue lodge that had 2000 members in the 1950’s! Now we have far less and even less active members who show up to our stated meetings. I get emails all the time on my website from people all around the world who want to join but simply don’t know how or are intimidated to ask. It hurts to know that we have thousands around the world who would joing if just spent more time explaining the process of joining and combating anti- Masonic information more effectively.
    Go to my website to what I am doing to solve the problem


  2. I am ready to concede that I do not possess the wisdom nor the knowledge to address the many questions raised in this article but ther is one area that I would like to comment on. What the future holds for our sons depends on what they perceive Masonry to be. I became interested in Masonry after observing my daddy as he went about his life, doing the things that men must do and living the life that a mason must live if he indeed has become a Mason in his heart. I didn’t have to know what Masonry was all about. All I needed to know was that my daddy was a Mason. That caused me to want to be a Mason too. My daddy had a reputation of being fair, honest and generous towards his fellow man. He applied the lessons learned in Masonry to his life on a daily basis. I learned early on that those he socialized with, went fishing, hunting and played “set back” with were also Masons. I knew that my daddy was a regular attendee at those “meetings” at the “Lodge” because after supper on the appointed night he would make that announcement : “I am going to Lodge meeting. In my little home town, Masons were respected and looked up to as model citizens whose thoughts went beyond the daily struggle of acquiring those worldly baubles. the pursuit of which so often consume folks but dealt with the more lofty ideals of how to make the world around him a better place. I had the great honor and distinction of being WM of my lodge and presenting my daddy with his 50 year pin. So, what I am saying is this. Are we living the kind of life that would cause our sons to desire becoming a Mason? That one thing may be the most important factor relating to the future of Masonry.

  3. Thanks for printing this article, the author has mentioned it a few times and I couldn’t find a copy anywhere!

  4. “Will we ever welcome men of color into our lodge rooms”

    As a man of color, I wonder what it will offer my son.

    He is still extremely young, but I’m wondering how old I want him to be and be able to recognize I’m in a fraternity where, it seems, my membership is ignored in some states or lodges because I’m Black and the rest of the fraternity is tolerant while knowing this.

    I’m patient, but it will wane as my son becomes more observant over the years. I can tolerate myself being discriminated against, but I won’t tolerate it being sustained for my son to experience it as well. I also won’t stand as a model for my son to be a member of something that sustains it.

  5. What will it offer your daughter? What kind of an institution will encourage one sex and deny another? Radical Islam?

  6. My Grand Father, and my Father were both Freemasons. My Grand Father made me promise that I would become a Freemason too. That was 23 years ago, and he died that same year. My Father skipped town when I was 3 years old.

    I am a devout Christian that is interested in finding out more about this organization. My Grand Father would never tell me why he loved it so. Now, as I enter my 47th year in life, I am seeking more depth in life like my Grand Father had and would love to talk to someone about this. How do I do this?

  7. Uh, he will be grown up so it will no longer be your decision. I know the younger generational types are overprotected, but there will be a time when it is no longer your choice and he will decided on his own. Else, there maybe a rebellion..

  8. Im talking to my son and want him to start thinking of joining the masons. Hes thirteen. Can u tell me anything other than just going to the lodge and letting him talk to the worshipful master?

  9. Amen, brother. I’m not currently a Mason myself, but I’ve petitioned this month (on the glorious 7th of February). As a 25 year old man, I also expect to be much younger than the average age of my local lodge (which I know little/nothing about, except the remarkable foundation this fraternity is built upon). My hope, though, is that this coming generation that includes myself will be able to build the brotherhood back up to its former glory after WWII. I do believe that this generation may very well end up being the next “Greatest Generation”, if given time and patience. I think we can all agree that greatly multiplying the numbers of Freemasons would do wonders for our society and our world. Now is the time to get it done, and nothing else should be more important, for how can we provide Relief when there are so few who understand the strength of character necessary to truly build mankind.

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