Freemasonry teaches its members that their first duty is to their families and its connections, that they should be honest, friendly, and proper in their conduct to everyone. They are urged to be good citizens, obey the law, and maintain the good order of society. Members who fail to live up to those high standards may in appropriate cases be asked to resign or be expelled.
Freemasonry is a multicultural organisation. Members of all races are welcome to join. Members of all faiths are welcome. It requires of its members that they should believe in a deity and no man can become a Mason unless he does so. He will be required to take certain obligations with his hand upon his religion's sacred book. Freemasonry does not concern itself which religion a member follows, but urges a member to follow its teachings. It is a requirement that topics of religion should not be discussed in Lodge nor should politics. English Freemasons do not associate with some foreign Masonic organisations which permit such discussions in a Lodge.
Freemasonry is not a benefit society. It offers no pecuniary advantage or reward, nor does it require its members to support one another in business or employment. The organisation does have charities for those Freemasons and their families who were once self supporting, but now through misfortune are unable to do so. It also has a Charity which supports other charitable causes unconnected with its membership. Money paid to these charities are from private donations from its members. Freemasonry does not solicit donations from members of the public.
No one should join Freemasonry unless he can afford to pay the expenses involved without affecting his ability to support his family and those who have a claim upon his resources. These expenses include the joining fee, the annual subscription and a regular donation to charity. In addition, most Lodge meetings are followed by a dinner or supper. The actual amounts differ from Lodge to Lodge. He should have discussed the prospect of his becoming a Freemason with his partner and be satisfied that she is supportive of his wish to become a Freemason. He should not put at risk his employment by becoming a Freemason.
Anyone contemplating becoming a Freemason should be satisfied in his own mind that he desires the intellectual and moral improvement of himself and his fellow citizens; that he is willing to devote part of his time and money to promoting fellowship, charity and integrity and be able to afford it without adversely affecting himself or his family's responsibilities and that he seeks no commercial, social, or pecuniary advantage by wishing to become a member.