Table of Contents

  1. What Is Freemasonry?
  2. I Am Freemasonry by Ray V. Denslow
  3. When Is A Man A Mason? by Joseph Fort Newton
  4. The Ideal Freemason by Otto Klotz
  5. The Masonic Teaching
  6. The Character Of A Freemason
  7. A Collection of Quotations on Masonry
  8. Quotations from George Washington
  9. Quotations from Benjamin Franklin
  10. Quotations from Joseph Fort Newton
  11. Quotations from H.W. Coil
  12. Quotations from Louis L. Williams
  13. Quotations from Carl H. Claudy
  14. Quotations by other U.S. Presidents

If you are here, you've discovered one of the Easter Eggs on this site. In this case, a link to a page that has not been deemed ready for public disclosure.

We have recieved many prose answers to the questions "What is Freemasonry?" and "What is a Freemason?". These are often expressed in the flowery and imaginative language associated with poetry, but their lack of rhyme or meter or any other linguistic structure classify them as prose, albeit often beautiful prose. Since they are usually so easy to group into this single narrow subject, we've prepared this page of "poetic prose" for what is otherwise a site devoted to poetry.
okl, 2007.

David Wilford, the Worshipful Master of Pangbourne Lodge No. 4381 in the Province of Berkshire, England writes: "The following was in a Masonic News Letter in the Autumn of 1988 and whilst it is not strictly poetry, it sums up Freemasonry in a very poetic way - at least for me."

What Is Freemasonry?

I am the past, present and future — I belong to all ages.
I am steeped in tradition and I tread the pages of history.
I circle the globe and I stand at the crossroads of the world.
I have rites and words that have beauty, sympathy and rhythm.
I place upon my pedestal holy writ and I turn to God in prayer.
I have knowledge, wisdom and secrets locked in my bosom,
which I give to men who come desiring me in their hearts.
I speculate with all the tools of operative masonry
and I translate their use into moral and spiritual building.
I await free men of mature age,
sound judgment
and strict morals,
and of good report
— but I solicit none.
I admit them of their own free will and accord
and teach them brotherhood and charity.
I travel the roads of peace and harmony
and I walk in the ways of charity.
I answer the cry of the orphan and sustain the widow and the aged.
I render aid to the poor, the sick and the distressed.
I am a way of life which teaches immortality.
I lead men from darkness to light.
I Am Freemasonry.

I Am Freemasonry

by Ray Vaughn Denslow

I was born in antiquity,
in the ancient days
when men first dreamed of God.
I have been tried through the ages,
and found true.
The crossroads of the world bear the imprint of my feet,
and the cathederals of all nations mark the skill of my hands.
I strive for beauty
and for symmetry.
In my heart is wisdom
and strength
and courage
for those who ask.
Upon my alters is the Book of Holy Writ,
and my prayers are to the One Omnipotent God.
My sons work and pray together,
without rank or discord,
in the public mart and in the inner chamber.
By signs and symbols I teach the lessons of life and of death
and the relationship of man with God
and of man with man.
My arms are widespread to receive those
of lawful age and good report
who seek me of their own free will.
I accept them and teach them to use my tools in the building of men,
and thereafter, find direction in their own quest for perfection,
so much desired and so difficult to attain.
I lift up the fallen
and shelter the sick.
I hark to the orphans' cry,
the widows tears,
the pain of the old and destitute.
I am not church, nor party, nor school,
yet my sons bear a full share of responsibility
to God, to country, to neighbor and themselves.
They are freemen,
tenacious of their liberties
and alert to lurking danger.
At the end I commit them as each one
undertakes the journey beyond the vale
into the glory of everlasting life.
I ponder the sand within the glass
and think how small is a single life
in the eternal universe.
Always have I taught immortaility,
and even as I raise men from darkness into light,
I am a way of life.
I Am Freemasonry.

When Is A Man A Mason?

by Joseph Fort Newton

When is a man a Mason?
When he can look out over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon
with a profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things,
and yet have faith, hope, and courage.
When he knows that down in his heart every man is
as noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself,
and seeks to know, to forgive, and to love his fellow man.
When he knows how to sympathize with men in their sorrows, yea, even in their sins —
knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds.
When he has learned how to make friends and to keep them,
and above all how to keep friends with himself.
When he loves flowers, can hunt the birds without a gun,
and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laugh of a little child.
When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life.
When star-crowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters
subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead.
When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain,
and no hand seeks his aid without response.
When he finds good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of higher things,
and to see majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of that faith may be.
When he can look into a wayside puddle and see something besides mud,
and into the face of the most forlorn mortal and see something beyond sin.
When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope.
When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellow man, with his God;
in his hand a sword to battle evil, in his heart a bit of a song —
glad to live, but not afraid to die!
In such a man, whether he be rich or poor, scholarly or unlearned, famous or obscure,
Masonry has wrought her sweet message!
Such a man has found the only real secret of Masonry,
and the one which it is trying to give to all the world.

The Ideal Freemason

by Otto Klotz (1817-1892)

If you see a man who quietly and modestly moves in the sphere of his life;
Who, without blemish, fulfills his duty as a man,
a subject,
a husband
and a father;
Who is pious without hypocrisy,
Benevolent without ostentation,
And aids his fellowman without self-interest;

Whose heart beats warm for friendship,
Whose serene mind is open for licensed pleasures,
Who in vicissitudes does not despair,
Nor in fortune will be presumptuous,
And who will be resolute in the hour of danger;

The man who is free from superstition
And free from infidelity;
Who in nature sees the finger of the Eternal Master;
Who feels and adores the higher destination of man;
To whom faith,
and charity are not mere words without any meaning;
to whom property, nay even life, is not too dear
for the protection of innocence and virtue,
and for the defense of truth;

The man who towards himself is a severe judge,
but who is tolerant with the debilities of his neighbour;
who endeavours to oppose errors without arrogance,
and to promote intelligence without impatience;
who properly understands how to estimate and employ his means;
who honours virtue though it may be in the most humble garment,
and who does not favour vice though it be clad in purple;
and who administers justice to merit whether dwelling in palaces or cottages.

The man who, without courting applause,
is loved by all noble-minded men,
respected by his superiors
and revered by his subordinates;
the man who never proclaims what he has done,
can do,
or will do,
but where need is will lay hold with dispassionate courage,
circumspect resolution,
indefatigable exertion
and a rare power of mind,
and who will not cease until he has accomplished his work,
and then, without pretension,
will retire into the multitude
because he did the good act,
not for himself,
but for the cause of good!

If you, my Brethren, meet such a man,
you will see the personification
of brotherly love,
and truth;
and you will have found the ideal of a Freemason.

This excerpt from "The History of Freemasonry" was written in 1876 by M.·.W.·.Bro.·. Otto Klotz, honourary Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario. Thanks to Brother Ken Dennis, whose blog On The Level alerted us to a biography of Otto Klotz at the City of Cambridge website

The Masonic Teaching

Masonry teaches a man
to practice charity and benevolence,
to protect chastity,
to respect the ties of blood and friendship,
to adopt the principles and revere the ordinances of religion,
to assist the feeble,
guide the blind,
raise up the downtrodden,
shelter the orphan,
guard the altar,
support the Government,
inculcate morality,
promote learning,
love man,
fear God,
implore His mercy,
and hope for happiness.

from Grand Lodge Constitutions

The Character Of A Freemason

From the Farmer's Almanac, 1823
Andover, Massachusetts

The real Freemason is distinguished from the rest of Mankind
by the uniform unrestrained rectitude of his conduct.
Other men are honest in fear of punishment which the law might inflect;
they are religious in expectation of being rewarded,
or in dread of the devil, in the next world.
A Freemason would be just if there were no laws,
human or divine
except those written in his heart
by the finger of his Creator.
In every climate,
under every system of religion,
he is the same.
He kneels before the Universal Throne of God
in gratitude for the blessings he has received
and humble solicitation for his future protection.
He venerates the good men of all religions.
He disturbs not the religion of others.
He restrains his passions,
because they cannot be indulged
without injuring his neighbor or himself.
He gives no offense,
because he does not choose to be offended.
He contracts no debts which he is certain he cannot discharge,
because he is honest upon principle."

The collection of quotes below are from The Masonic Trowel. They are arranged here in order of length. Many of the older ones seem to be from "Masonic Gems or Jewels of Thoughts," by Dr. Benn Philips Reynolds, 1876.


William N. Ponton:
"The Brotherhood of Man begins with the Manhood of the Brother."
Johan Gottlieb Fichte:
"Love of country is the Mason's deed; world citizenship is his thought."
Rev.Dr. Russell:
"The precepts of the Gospel were universally the obligations of Masonry."
Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy's):
"There is no doubt in my mind that Masonry is the cornerstone of America."
The Duke of Wellington:
"During the time I have been in the army, I never knew a bad soldier who was a Freemason."
B.·. C. Pylate Price:
"There is no institution more moral than the Masonic Lodge, or a stronger brotherhood anywhere. "
Rev. Erastus Burr:
"From its origin to the present hour, in all its vicissitudes, Masonry has been the steady unwearying friend of man."
Jerome LaLande:
"Everything which tends to combine men by stronger ties is useful to humanity; in this point of view Masonry is entitled to respect."
Conrad Hahn:
"Freemasonry has become the preserver of certain traditions and ideas, but it rarely questions the values and quality of some of these ideas."
Gen. Douglas McArthur:
"Freemasonry embraces the highest moral laws and will bear the test of any system of ethics or philosophy ever promulgated for the uplift of man."
"Freemasonry is an order whose leading star is philanthropy and whose principles inculcate an unceasing devotion to the cause of virtue and morality."
DeWitt Clinton:
"Masonry superadds to our other obligations the strongest ties of connection between it and the cultivation of virtue, and furnishes the most powerful incentives to goodness."
Rev. T.M. Harris:
"Its laws are reason and equity; its principles benevolence and love; and its religion purity and truth; its intention is peace on earth; and its disposition good-will toward men."
Wellins Calcott:
"Freemasonry is an establishment founded on the benevolent intention of extending and conferring mutual happiness upon the best and truest principles of moral life and social virtue."
Albert Pike:
"It is most true, that Truth is a Divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue. To be true, and to seek to find and learn the Truth, are the great objects of every good Mason."
Stephen Jones:
"The Masonic system represents a stupendous and beautiful fabric, founded on universal purity, to rule and direct our passions, to have faith and love in God, and charity toward man."
Rev.Dr. Milne:
"I think we are warranted in contending that a society thus constituted, and which may be rendered so admirable an engine of improvement, far from meriting reproach, deserves highly of the community."
Dr. A.G. Mackey:
"Freemasonry is a science of symbols, in which, by their proper study, a search is instituted after truth, that truth consisting in the knowledge of the divine and human nature of God and the human Soul."
Rev. J.O. Skinner:
"The aims of Freemasonry are not limited to one form of operation, or one mode of benevolence, its object is at once moral and social. It proposes both to cultivate the mind and enlarge and purify the heart."
Dr. John Dove (Virginia):
"Freemasonry is an institution founded on eternal reason and truth; whose deep basis is the civilization of mankind, and whose everlasting glory it is to have the immovable support of those two mighty pillars, science and morality."
King Christian of Denmark:
"The prosperity of Masonry as a means of strengthening our religion and propagating true brotherly love, is one of the dearest wishes of my heart, which, I trust, will be gratified by the help of the Grand Architect of the Universe."
Rev. George W. Turett:
"The Masonic Fraternity is one of the most helpful mediating and conserving organizations among men, and I have never wavered from that childhood impression, but it has stood steadfastly with me through the busy, vast hurrying years."
William Preston:
"Masonry is an art, useful and extensive, which comprehends within its circle every branch of useful knowledge and learning, and stamps an indellible mark of preeminence on its genuine professors, which neither chance, power, nor fortune can bestow."
Aug. C.L. Arnold:
"Freemasonry is a moral order, instituted by virtuous men, with the praiseworthy design of recalling to our remembrance the most sublime truths, in the midst of the most innocent and social pleasures, founded on liberality, brotherly love and charity."
"The secrecy of Masonry is an honorable secrecy; any good man may ask for her secrets; those who are worthy will receive them. To give them to those who do not seek, or who are not worthy, would but impoverish the Fraternity and enrich not those who received them."
Aug. C.L. Arnold:
"Masonry is Friendship, Love, and Integrity - Friendship which rises superior to the fictitious distinctions of society, the prejudices of religion, and the pecuniary conditions of life. Love which knows no limit, nor inequality, nor decay. Integrity which binds man to the eternal law of duty."
Constitution of the Grand Orient of France:
"Freemasonry is an institution essentially philanthropic and progressive, which has for its basis the existence of God and the immortality of the soul. It has for its object the exercise of benevolence, the study of universal morality, and the practice of all the virtues."
Albert Macoy:
"The definitions of Freemasonry have been numerous, and they all unite in declaring it to be “a system of morality, by the practice of which its members may advance their spiritual interest, and mount by the theological ladder from the Lodge on earth to the Lodge in Heaven."
Rev. Fred Dalcho:
"I highly venerate the Masonic Institution, under the fullest persuasion that, when its principles are acknowledged and its laws and precepts obeyed, it comes nearest to the Christian religion, in its moral effects and influence, of any institution with which I am acquainted."
Conrad Hahn:
"Masonic ideas are the precious jewels of Speculative Masons; the should be kept bright and sparkling for all the brethren to see and to admire. As such, they should be the special care of Masonic leaders particularly those who teach and interpret the philosophy of Freemasonry. "
Lorenzo Dow:
"It is noble in its administration: to think and let think, beyond the narrow contracted prejudices of bitter sectarians in these modern times. It is general or universal language, fitted to benefit the poor stranger, which no other institution is calculated to reach, by extending the beneficent hand."
Edward Bulwer-Lytton:
"For centuries had Freemasonry existed ere modern political controversies were ever heard of, and when the topics which now agitate society were not known, but were all united in brotherhood and affection. I know the institution to be founded on the great principles of charity, philanthropy and brotherly love."
John W. Simons:
"I regard the Masonic institution as one of the means ordained by the Supreme Architect to enable mankind to work out the problem of destiny; to fight against, and overcome, the weaknesses and imperfections of his nature, and at last to attain to that true life of which death is the herald and the grave the portal."
Albert Pike:
"There are great truths at the foundation of Freemasonry, truths which it is its mission to teach and which is constituting the very essence of, that sublime system which gives the venerable institution its peculiar identity as a science of morality, and it behooves every disciple diligently to ponder and inwardly digest."
William Alexander Laurie (Scotland):
"Freemasonry is an ancient and respectable institution, embracing individuals of every nation, of every religion, and of every condition in life. Wealth, power and talents are not necessary to the person of a Freemason. An unblemished character and a virtuous conduct are the only qualifications for admission into the Order."
"Not all Masons are obligated on the Christian Bible. Masonry is universal and men of every creed are eligible for membership so long as they accept the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. Therefore, the candidate should be obligated on the Book of the Sacred Law which he accepts as such since his obligation is a solemn and binding one."
South Dakota Masonic Messenger (Feb.1975):
"The real secrets of Masonry are never told, not even from mouth to ear. For the real secret of Masonry is spoken to your heart and from it to the heart of your brother. Never the language made for tongue may speak it, it is uttered only in the eye in those manifestations of that love which a man has for his friend, which passeth all other loves."
W.L. Wilmshurst:
"Masonry is a sacramental system, possessing, like all sacraments, an outward and visible side consisting of its ceremonial, its doctrine and its symbols, which we can see and hear, and an inward, intellectual and spiritual side, which is concealed behind the ceremonial, the doctrine and the symbols, and which is available only to the Mason who has learned to use his spiritual imagination and who can appreciate the reality that lies behind the veil of outward symbol."
The Earl of Durham:
"I have ever felt it my duty to support and encourage the principles and practice of Freemasonry, because it powerfully develops all social and benevolent affections, because it mitigates without, and annihilates within, the violence of political and theological controversy; because it affords the only neutral ground on which all ranks and classes can meet in perfect equality, and associate without degradation or mortification, whether for purposes of moral instruction or social intercourse."
G. Wilbur Best:
"Freemasonry has endured not because of its antiquity, its influence, or its social standing, but because there have been so many who have lived it. The effectiveness of Masonic teachings will always be the measure by which the outside world judges Freemasonry; the proof of Freemasonry is in our deeds and it is in our deeds that Freemasonry is made known to non-Masons. The only way that the Craft can be judged is by its product. The prestige of Freemasonry lies squarely on the shoulders of each of us."
"Masonry, according to the general acceptation of the term, is an art founded on the principles of geometry, and devoted to the service and convenience of mankind. But Freemasonry, embracing a wider range and having a nobler object in view, namely, the cultivation and improvement of the human mind, may with more propriety be called a science, inasmuch as, availing itself of the terms of the former, it inculcates the principles of the purest morality, though its lessons are for the most part veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols."
George Oliver:
"The study of Freemasonry is the study of man as a candidate for a blessed eternity. It furnishes examples of holy living, and displays the conduct which is pleasing and acceptable to God. The doctrines and examples which distinguish the Order are obvious, and suited to every capacity. It is impossible for the most fastidious Mason to misunderstand, however he might slight or neglect them. It is impossible for the most superficial brother to say that he is unable to comprehend the plain precepts and the unanswerable arguments which are furnished by Freemasonry."
The Duke of Sussex:
"Masonry is one of the most sublime and perfect institutions that ever was formed for the advancement of happiness and general good of mankind; creating, in all its varieties, universal benevolence and brotherly love. It holds out allurements so captivating as to inspire the Brotherhood with emulation to deeds of glory, such as must command, throughout the world, veneration and applause, and such as must entitle those who perform them to dignity and respect. It teaches us those useful, wise and instructive doctrines upon which alone true happiness is founded; and at the same time affords those easy paths by which we attain the rewards of virtue; it teaches us the duties which we owe to our neighbor, never to injure him in any one situation, but to conduct ourselves with justice and impartiality; it bids us not to divulge the mystery to the public, and it orders us to be true to our trust, and above all meanness and dissimulation, and in all our vocations to perform religiously that which we ought to do."
Henry G. Meacham (NY):
"There is a certain grave beauty in the practice of Masonic etiquette. The Masonic life as it is lived out in our assemblies is a conscious work of art, with each and every part coordinated to every other, and in sync with the feeling of the whole; if a man enters into that system without preparation or forethought, and trusting only his instincts, his manner will strike an awkward note, like a discord jangling across a strain of music; but if he has trained himself in his part and caught the spirit of the whole, the genius of Freemasonry will shine through his actions, will express itself through ritual, symbol, law, philosophy, fellowship and daily deed. To have one's self thus become a part of a great and living whole is a kind of satisfying pleasure nothing else can give, a participation in the very life of beauty, appreciated as much by the beholders as by the actor. This ability to confer pleasure upon one's fellows when gathered in communication or in ceremony is not the least of etiquette's rewards."

The list of quotations above held so many by Brother Washington that it seemed worthwhile to separate them out.

Quotations from George Washington (1732-1799)

"Freemasonry is founded on
the immutable laws
of Truth and Justice
and its grand object is
to promote the happiness
of the human race."
"Associate yourself with men of good quality
if you esteem your own reputation;
for 'tis better to be alone
than in bad company."
"So far as I am acquainted with
the principles and doctrines of Freemasonry,
I conceive it to be founded in benevolence
and to be exercised only for the good of mankind."
"It is most reverently to be wished,
that the conduct of every member of the fraternity,
as well as those publications
that discover the principles which actuate them,
may tend to convince mankind
that the grand object of Masonry is
to promote the happiness of the human race."
"Being persuaded that a just application of the principles,
on which the Masonic Fraternity is founded,
must be promotive of private virtue and public prosperity,
I shall always be happy
to advance the interests of the Society,
and to be considered by them
as a deserving brother."
"Flattering as it may be to the human mind,
and truly honorable as it is
to receive from our fellow citizens testimonies of approbation
for exertions to promote the public welfare,
it is not less pleasing to know that the milder virtues of the heart
are highly respected by a Society
whose liberal principles must be founded
in the immutable laws of truth and justice.
To enlarge the sphere of social happiness
is worthy of the benevolent design of a Masonic institution;
and it is most fervently to be wished
that the conduct of every member of the Fraternity,
as well as those publications that discover the principles which actuate them,
may tend to convince mankind that the great object of Masonry
is to promote the happiness of the human race."

Brother Franklin was quoted more than once, and one of those was by far the longest in the collection above, so his are also extracted here.

Quotations by Benjamin Franklin

"Masonic labor is purely a labor of love.
He who seeks to draw Masonic wages
in gold and silver
will be disappointed.
The wages of a Mason
are in the dealings with one another;
sympathy begets sympathy,
kindness begets kindness,
helpfulness begets helpfulness,
and these are the wages of a Mason."
"Freemasonry has tenets peculair to itself.
They serve as testmonials of character and qualifications,
which are only conferred after due course of instruction and examination.
These are of no small value;
they speak a universal language,
and act as a passport to the attentions and support of the initiated
in all parts of the world.
They cannot be lost as long as memory retains its power.
Let the possessor of them be expatriated, shipwrecked or imprisoned,
let him be stripped of everything he has got in the world,
still those credentials remain,
and are available for use as circumstances require.
The good effects they have produced are established
by the most incontestable facts of history.
They have stayed the uplifted hand of the destroyer;
they have softened the asperities of the tyrant;
they have mitigated the horrors of captivity;
they have subdued the rancour of malevolence;
and broken down the barriers of political animosity
and sectarian alienation.
On the field of battle,
in the solitudes of the uncultivated forest,
or in the busy haunts of the crowded city,
they have made men of the most hostile feelings,
the most distant regions,
and diversified conditions,
rush to the aid of each other,
and feel a special joy and satisfaction
that they have been able to afford relief
to a Brother Mason."

Quotations by Joseph Fort Newton

"More than an institution, more than a tradition, more than a society, Masonry is one of the forms of Divine life upon earth."
"Masonry was not made to divide men, but to unite them, leaving each man free to think his own thoughts and fashion his own system of ultimate truth. All its emphasis rests upon two extremely simple and profound principles, love of God and love of man. "
"The secret of Masonry, like the secret of life, can be known only by those who seek it, serve it, live it. It cannot be uttered; it can only be felt and acted. It is, in fact, an open secret, and each man knows it according to his quest and capacity. Like all things worth knowing, no one can know it for another and no man can know it alone."
"Masonry is too great an institution to have been made in a day, much less by a few men, but was a slow evolution through long time, unfolding its beauty as it grew. Indeed, it was like one of its own cathedrals which one generation of builders wrought and vanished, and another followed, until, amidst vicissitudes of time and change, of decline and revival, the order itself became a temple of Freedom and Fraternity. "

Quotations by H.W. Coil

"Freemasonry teaches not merely temperance, fortitude, prudence, justice, brotherly love, relief, and truth, but liberty, equality, and fraternity, and it denounces ignorance, superstition, bigotry, lust tyranny and despotism."
~~H. W. COIL
"The Society or Fraternity of Freemasons is more in the nature of a system of Philosophy or of moral and social virtues taught by symbols, allegories, and lectures based upon fundamental truths, the observance of which tends to promote stability of character, conservatism, morality and good citizenship. "
~~H. W. COIL
"Nowhere does one become more convinced of the strong hold which Freemasonry takes upon the minds and lives of those aging workers in the Craft who have attained its highest honors and of their firm belief in the power of its teachings to purify the soul of men and raise them to a new dignity and to greater heights of spirituality and practical morality."
~~H. W. COIL
"Freemasonry must stand upon the Rock of Truth, religion, political, social, and economic. Nothing is so worthy of its care as freedom in all its aspects. "Free" is the most vital part of Freemasonry. It means freedom of thought and expression, freedom of spiritual and religious ideals, freedom from oppression, freedom from ignorance, superstition, vice and bigotry, freedom to acquire and possess property, to go and come at pleasure, and to rise or fall according to will of ability."
~~ H. W. COIL

Quotations by Louis L. Williams

"What is the purpose for which Masonry exists? Its ultimate purpose is the perfection of humanity. Mankind itself is still in a period of youth. We are only now beginning to acquire a consciousness of the social aim of civilization, which is man's perfection. Such perfection can never end with physical perfection, which is only the means to the end or spiritual perfection."
"Freemasonry has promoted fellowship, it has nurtured brotherhood, it has practiced charity. It has education, it has been founded on truth and the cardinal virtues. But what is Masonry's greatest mission in life today? What should be the thrust of modern Masonry? Those are the answers we are presently seeking, and on our success in finding the answer depends the future of our Fraternity."
"Many writers and thinkers have tried to define Freemasonry but it really defeats definition. It is too complex, too profound in conception, to easily expressed in words. Perhaps the simplest and best definition of all is the phrase 'the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God;' Our Masonic forefathers had an understanding of human needs and human aspirations. They may never have dreamed of the mindless computer which governs our lives, or the fission of matter which threatens our lives, but they understood human nature and what motivates the spirit of man. Thus from a simple process of using stone and mortar for building they progressed to the most important of life's functions, the building of character."

Quotations by Carl H. Claudy

"One thing and only one thing a Masonic Lodge can give its members which they can get nowhere else in the world. That one thing is Masonry."
"Freemasonry is 'veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols' because these are the surest way by which moral and ethical truths may be taught. It is not only with the brain and with the mind that the initiate must take Freemasonry but also with the heart."

Quotations by U.S. Presidents

Andrew Jackson:
"Freemasonry is an institution calculated to benefit mankind."
William Howard Taft:
"The underlying principle of Masonry is the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. In this war we are engaging in upholding these principles and our enemies are attacking them."
Theodore Roosevelt:
"I violate no secret when I say that one of the greatest values in Masonry is that it affords an opportunity for men of all walks of life to meet on common ground where all men are equal and have one common interest."
William Howard Taft:
"Masonry aims at the promotion of morality and higher living by the cultivation of the social side of man, the rousing in him of the instincts of charity and love of his kind. It rests surely on the foundation of the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God."
Harry Truman:
"It is organized as a fellowship of men, a system of morals, a philosophy taught by degrees through the use of symbol, story, legend, pictures, and drama. It has served as a center of union among differing backgrounds, cultures, and countries. It serves as the means of conciliating true friendship among persons, who, because of differences, must have otherwise remained at a perpetual distance."
Calvin Coolidge:
"It has not been my fortune to know very much of Freemasonry, but I have had the great fortune to know many Freemasons and have been able in that way to judge the tree by its fruit. I know of your high ideals. I have seen that you hold your meetings in the presence of the open Bible, and I know that men who observe that formality have high sentiments of citizenship, of worth, and character. That is the strength of our Commonwealth and nation."