Earl of Zetland

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At its core, Freemasonry revolves around a number of timeless principles such as moral truth, honour, decency, kindness and charity. Over the centuries, most cultures have changed enormously as knowledge has grown, as new technologies and educational methods have advanced and with them a society that is ever changing. Yet, the principles by which Freemasons live have not changed. The importance of learning how to live and lead a life that is an example to be respected by others is not only important in the modern world but more urgent than ever before.

The tenets of Freemasonry form a moral code of conduct and the principles by which Freemasons strive to live by, adopt and offer for others to emulate throughout life is our goal. Material wealth and appearances are not paramount to Freemasons, but they are taught to realise that true wealth and happiness come by living a more a positive and effective life which has relevance and direction. Living a life with clear priorities for family, work and helping others through continually improvement enables this worthy message to promulgate in society.

Freemasonry, also known as "The Craft", had its beginnings when stonemasons formed lodges and guilds centuries ago. Members honed their stonecraft skills, smoothed and shaped rough stones into blocks to be placed during construction of grand edifices and other large structures. These structures are still recognised as being greater than the sum of their individual parts. Similarly, Freemasons figuratively hone themselves by chipping away at deficiencies in their own characters to become better human beings as they adopt better principles and values. As Freemasons better themselves internally, they necessarily improve their relationships with family, friends and in the workplace. Some may even become examples in public life. In a larger sense, Freemasons improve society as a whole by living as and being Freemasons.

The lessons of Freemasonry are taught through ancient rituals and stories, which have changed little over time, because the principles and universal truths behind each lesson taught are eternal. Ritual is a vehicle for these lessons, but it is open to individual interpretation. Although broad meanings are fixed, individual Freemasons come to understand and adopt each principle in an individual and personal way, relevant to need and in a manner that is timely to each individual. A lack of a fixed dogma makes Freemasonry unique and ensures its ongoing relevancy in a changing world and a good reason Freemasonry is universally adopted in so many countries across the world. 

Above all, Freemasonry is not a religion, but a system of learning on how to live a better and useful life among all men. A Lodge is a place where personal prejudice, class distinction, perceived rank in society and personal fortune are forgotten or suspended so that men can meet as equals.

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