Freemasonry: The Next Generation

by Midnight Freemasons Regular Contributor
 Bro.Robert H. Johnson 32°

As a father of three boys, it is of course my deepest wish that they too become Freemasons. And even more important to me is that they go into the York Rite together and then become companions. If you are well versed in the York Rite you will remember that there is a heavy significance with the number three, which is why it's so important to me.

The question is, when the time comes, what do I say? Do I wait until they are all 18 or of legal age? Or do I approach them individually? What do I say? Can I "solicit" for lack of a better term?

As a Freemason who really adheres to the "old school" tradition, I would rather not solicit. An interesting paper I once read said that "A father may say to his son, 'If you ever decide to become a Mason, I’ll be proud to sign your petition.'" Another quote from that paper was "A darker shade of gray may be the classic story of a grandfather’s discussion with the grandson on his 21st birthday. He said, 'Son, now that you’re 21, whose lodge are you going to join - your father’s or mine?'" And finally this take on the situation from the same article "The final kind of solicitation may be by the indirect method. Mothers may be responsible for encouraging sons to petition lodges for membership."

My view is of course a man with sons, however if I had had daughters, I believe I would have the same yearning for her to join a Masonic group such as the Rainbow Girls or Jobs Daughters. And as I dive deeper that eventually I would ask she be married to a Freemason. Freemasonry is just that important to me, and so many others. My son regularly compliments me on my Masonic ring. He asks if he can put it on. I tell him that he can't--not yet anyway.

No matter what happens, it goes without saying I'll always be proud to be a father to my children. Perhaps the right decision is the easiest. This is to just be a positive influence, attend meetings and when your kids ask where you’re going and what you do there is to just say hopefully one day you’ll find out.


Bro. Robert Johnson 32° is a Freemason out of the First North-East District of Illinois. He belongs to Waukegan Lodge No. 78. He is also a member of the York Rite bodies Royal Arch, Cryptic Council and Knights Templar. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts a weekly Podcast (internet radio program) Whence Came You? which focuses on topics relating to Freemasonry. In addition, he produces video shorts focusing on driving interest in the Fraternity and writes original Masonic papers from time to time. He is a husband and father of three. He works full time in the safety industry and is also a photographer on the side as well as an avid home brewer. He is also working on two books, one is of a Masonic nature.


  1. my dad told me when he turned 21 his dad gave him a petition for his birthday. I too was given a petition for Job's Daughters at age 12...never looked back...jag

  2. When I was researching this topic for my book (yet to be published) I had no trouble creating a few suggestions along this line.

    Unfortunately Masonry for years has suffered for the "secrecy" which a generation ago was placed on the Craft. It should not have been.

    I suffered from it. I had no idea that my father and most of the males of my family on BOTH sides were MM's!

    That is a real shame. I found out when I went to a great uncles funeral and saw his ring. My father said he belonged, so did his father and so on. I had no idea what it was or what Masons did.

    I was 30 years old. I ended up petitioning for membership and becoming a MM within 6 months, all while keeping a very full load as a US Navy Recruiter! My great uncle on my mothers side attended my raising, reciting the apron portion. I was so proud. Neither my father or Grandfather could attend. I now have my Grandfathers 50 year cert. I hope I earn one too.

    Later on I found out that tons of other kids I knew and liked had Masonic fathers and associated ladies in appending groups. But many of these kids were not fond of Masonry, and they not only would not join or let their husbands join, they were seriously unhappy with the Craft.

    It seems that there were too many Masonic Orphans. I had no idea I knew so many children of masons who were so against their fathers group because they felt the Craft took too much time away from their activities(in one case I had to agree when her dad did not attend her HS Graduation).

    I tell you all, this was not an isolated theme. I heard it everywhere I traveled over the last 21 years, in the Navy and outside in many of the towns.
    The WWII generation relished the "secrete" part of things, too much so that it left a large wound on our future participants! This is something we all must make sure we are not doing to our own families. I have two daughters and I am working hard to ensure they know the Craft for what it is and not for the so called "Secretes" which were all placed in a book in 1723, never again to be real secretes.

    I have lived in several states as I completed my Navy career and I tried my best to attend lodge in all of them. I love the Craft and I am at every opportunity ready to explain what we are about and what we really do. There is NOTHING secrete about it. How we present to our kids this message will go a long way towards securing our continued prosperity and membership strength.


    Paul Swanson

  3. Sir,
    As a young woman that is the daughter of a Freemason, and now raising children of my own, I have this to offer you. SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FAMILY!!! I find it humorous that the face book status I just posted before finding this link says "The best thing my father ever did for himself(whatever the reason) was to become a Freemason, the best thing he ever did for his family was to share it with us. I am forever grateful for the people I have met, and the lessons I have learned, from being a part of this incredible organization".
    I was raised with Freemasonry in my life, I have never feared, or hated, or felt deprived because of the order, I feel blessed to be a part of it, as a Rainbow Girl, Jobs Daughter, and now as an Eastern Star.
    I have 3 children myself, and my daughter is a member of Rainbow Girls, and would be a Job's Daughter if the nearest bethel was closer than an hour away. My son joined DEMOLAY just this past year. Believe me this is the best ice breaker when it comes to bringing up the subject of Freemasonry with boys. When I got married, I handed my new husband a petition, saying "this would be a good time to fill this out and give it to my dad". Some of my best DeMolay friends were already members and attended his 3rd degree.

    Get your boys involved as soon as they are able, find a local DeMolay chapter and be active, the future of our organizations depends on it.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. Masonry is misunderstood my many--as you and I obviously know, it's truly a unique and beautiful thing.

  5. Freemasonry was something I knew nothing of for the better part of my younger years, what prompted me to start researching the subject is beyond my recollection. None the less I choose to continue on my path and in doing so found more and more people coming out of the wood works, though I do not have first hand knowledge, I am under the impression that many of my family members on both sides are Freemasons of some sort or another. When I announced to my father my intention of becoming a Freemason he encouraged me, though he himself said "I am the frees't Mason of them all, because nobody owns my ass" I also found out that Albert Pike was a closely related relative in my Stepmothers bloodline, yet never hearing a peep of Freemasonry until I discovered it on my own. Though I do not have children, as of yet, if and when I do, they will certainly know that I am a Freemason, though I know I would want them to follow the same path by my accord. I believe I would be certain not to suggest or impose upon them that they do so, I would only encourage them to research the subject themselves if the so choose or not, so that they would receive the same courtesy that I was afforded, so as to seek, find and choose for myself, of my own free will and accord. I feel that one of the great mysteries and beauties of Freemasonry is that it calls out to the true initiates when the time is right, in one way or another, it calls. Be it a stranger showing you a ring after discerning your true character, or by happen stance, reading something on the subject and wanting to know more about it, or hearing about it somewhere, or that of the like. To me that is the real beauty behind the Craft. A saying I think I have just come up with on my own "Let not your outer words, rather your inner Light be the guide." I have come across a handful of Freemasons who's inner light I could see. One I knew to be a Mason, the other I studied and thought to myself he too is a Freemason, he later confirmed this with a handshake it was at that moment that I knew the Light was inherent in Freemasons, a light that I was attracted to. I guess my long winded point is this; I become a Mason of my own free will and accord, not by my fathers, or his fathers, or somebody else's, but of my own. Who knows if I were able to choose Roman Catholic School and the church of my own free will and accord I might still be a devout member.

  6. So, Brother RJ, now that you ARE having a daughter, how have your thoughts changed? Are you still looking for her to be active in lodge (once she's old enough)?
    As the proud owner of a 3-month old girl, it is my hope that she sees the good we do in the world, so that when she dates and eventually marries, she will know what qualities to look for. Of course, if she were to gently (or not so gently) nudge him toward my lodge, that would be ok too... :D

  7. I don't think my mind is changed. Although I think what you say is probably what I hope she would do as well. Look for a mason ( if she's inclined that way ), and if not than hopefully we can just be a great example as to the qualities in who she looks for to have.


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