Occasionally a member is asked by a non-Mason “What benefits do you receive from your Masonic membership?” Most members when asked this question for the first time have difficulty knowing what to say. This is especially true if the member has not given the matter any thought or he has had no experience explaining things to others. The situation can be further complicated for the member who erroneously believes that Freemasonry is a “secret” society and that the answer he may give might be disclosing a Masonic “secret.” We also must recognize that Freemasonry has so many facets and attractions that each member has sought membership in the Craft for a reason personal to himself. Each has entered the lodge in search of something that is prob-ably different than another member.
It is hoped that he has found in Freemasonry that which he was seeking. This facet or attraction is intimately connected with the specific benefit which the member logically would ex-plain in his answer to the question if he is not prepared to answer the question as a result of careful thought and consideration of all the possible benefits that have come to him as a result of his becoming a Mason. Every member should be aware of the possibility that such a question might be asked of him and he should be prepared to answer it fairly, truthfully, and completely. Here are some observations on the matter that will help you answer the question under consideration.
A benefit may be considered as anything which is helpful, profitable, favorable, and advantageous to a person. A benefit may take many forms such as improving a person in some way, promoting his happiness, raising his status socially, increasing his personal contacts with others, or assisting him in any number of other ways. In a general way the benefits of Masonic membership are both tangible and intangible.
Visitor, here are a few of the tangible benefits that come to mind at once. Many Grand Lodges maintain a Home for the needy members in their Golden Years. Some maintain a Home for the children of deceased members. It is a comfortable feeling to know that if you have minor children, and with an untimely death that your children will be taken care of by the Craft; and if you are unable to take care of yourself in your declining years, it is a calming feeling to know that there will be help available for you and your wife.
In some areas the Craft maintains a hospital for the public and takes care of the needy members of the Craft as well when they require medical attention.
Most lodges have sick visitation committees. When a report is received of a sick member, steps are taken to have someone visit him. These visits are good for the person who is sick as well as for the one who is doing the visiting. If you are sick in bed or home bound, it is a great feeling to know that out there is someone who cares enough to take time to visit you. All members are taught to be charitable in word and deed.
The word “charity” is used in the Craft in its broadest sense. Visitor, when visiting a sick Brother you are urged to listen to his troubles, sympathize with him, and to help him unburden himself. Often the faithful breast and the listening ear can do more good than all the medicine in the world to improve one’s spirits.
Many lodges have Low Twelve Clubs in which members make a nominal payment each time a member passes away. The money is deposited in a bank account and when word is received that a member has died, the treasurer immediately presents the family with a check for the prescribed amount so that it may be used to meet expenses at once.
Some lodges and some Grand Lodges con-duct a blood bank program. Members of the lodges volunteer to give blood to the bank. When a member or someone in his family are in need of blood to regain their health, the blood in the bank is made available to them without cost.
Visitor, if a Mason finds himself stranded in a strange place and is in need of help, there is always available help not too far away. In some areas there are Masonic Boards of Relief to help in such cases. In other places the needy Mason can contact the local lodge which will render whatever assistance is necessary.
So Visitor, many illustrations can be given of how Masonic charity has been dispensed to members and their families. Have a charitable week.