Becoming A Mason
What are the requirements in New Mexico?
A Candidate must be:
- at least 18 Years of Age
- able to Profess a Belief in God
- of Good Character
- a resident of New Mexico for the six months immediately preceeding his petition
Can an atheist be a Mason?
The only religious requirement is that candidates believe in a Supreme Being. If you can in good faith profess such a belief, you are eligible to become a Mason. No atheists will ever knowingly be made a Mason. There are Christian — Catholic, Protestant, Mormon — Jewish, Buddhist, and Muslim Masons. It would be tedious and pointless to go into a religion-by-religion, and then denomination-by-denomination discussion. The key points to remember are the requirement of belief in a Supreme Being and the fact that Masonry is a fraternity, not a religion.
Do I have to be invited?
Don't wait to be invited — you'll wait a long time! Masons do not actively recruit or ask non-Masons to join the fraternity. The requirement is that candidates come of their own free will. Some Grand Lodges allow solicitation to some degree, provided it is subtle and with the strict provision that no pressure is applied.
You don't need to be invited in any jurisdiction, and if you're interested, act!
OK, I'm interested — how do I proceed?
If you know a Mason, ask him about membership. He'll be glad to tell you all about the Craft and the Lodge. He'll also give you a petition if you wish to join.
If you don't know a Mason, visit the lodge, write a letter, or send an and one of the lodge officers will contact you. If you would like information on another lodge, contact the New Mexico Grand Lodge. Someone there will put you in contact with an appropriate local member.
Typically, the process is as follows:
- The applicant fills out a petition. The petition asks for two sponsors, though if you meet and talk with the officers of a Lodge, they can usually find sponsors or act as sponsors themselves if you do not know anyone in the lodge.
- The petition is read at the Lodge during the next business meeting, which for many lodges is during the first week of the month. A committee is formed to investigate the candidate. (Your sponsors will explain the schedule to you based on their knowledge of the Lodge's meetings/events.)
- The committee meets with the candidate to answer questions, ascertain that he meets the criteria for membership, and find out a little about him. The committee also contacts the character references listed on the petition (typically asking if they know any reason why the candidate should not be accepted, etc.)
- The committee reports back to the lodge during the next business meeting. After 30 days has passed, the candidate is voted on. If accepted, someone from the lodge (often the Secretary) contacts the candidate and informs him that he has been accepted and schedules a date for the Entered Apprentice degree.