I was given a petition when I had NO intention of joining.
Bro Kelly Allred, PM, Story Lodge № 4 Utah.
I'm sitting as Secretary at the moment, been Master twice.
Thirteen years ago, I was given a petition to Freemasonry when I had absolutely no intention of joining. I wouldn't understand why until later.
Back in 2006, I had seven friends who were Freemasons of various religious faith, four of which were very close friends and all of which I highly respected and admired. One friend in particular was part of a very small and struggling lodge and boy did he have a lot of love for the Craft. He regularly spoke fondly of Freemasonry, but he never invited me to join, never coerced or pressured me to join. If anything, I pressured him, I asked a lot of questions about it, but I wasn't asking because I planned on joining. I already had religion, I already had a way to be good, get to heaven, be a good Samaritan to my neighbors, etc. etc. I felt Freemasonry wasn't for me.
You see, for me, I knew I already had the best friends possible. I knew I could call them at any time with an emergency and they would rush to my side to help me. I didn't believe that me joining their fraternity would have them treat me any better than they already were. I thought I already had what Masonry could offer me and that my religion would provide me the process to improving myself as a man.
As time went on, my friend would make references to the Fraternity, some I caught, but most likely went completely over my head. One day, out of curiosity I asked something that Masons consider "the question" but yet I wasn't asking what he thought. The conversation we had went something like this;
Friend makes some reference to Freemasonry and how awesome it was, blah blah blah.
"So, what is the process like to join Freemasonry?" I asked out of pure curiosity. I had no plans to actually join.
"You have to ask." My friend replied.
I paused. Duh! I just did, I thought sarcastically to myself. So I repeated myself word for word; "So, what is the process like to join Freemasonry?"
"I will give you a petition tomorrow." My friends grin was huge, like he just received something he had been waiting for a long time.
You didn't answer my question, I thought, maybe that part is a secret. I stopped pushing. A petition? I was so confused about what just happened.
The next day, when he handed me a petition it became clear. I folded the paper and stuffed it into my pocket without telling my friend I had no intention of joining. I didn't ask 'The Question' that he thought I asked, he will see in time.
Months went on, but I didn't throw the petition away, I would look at it every once in a while and contemplate. My friend didn't mention it again. The paper became crinkled and partly ripped in places. Every time I looked at it, I put in a little more thought about Masonry. I would read a little more about the Fraternity and periodically watch a video on YouTube. Not all of it was positive, but still my interest went up. I knew that my friends would never partake in some of these stupid conspiracies. I began to look more into the history and the men in history that donned the apron and I was amazed.
More time passed and my thought process gradually transitioned away from what Freemasonry could offer me, but to what I can offer others through Freemasonry. No longer about having friends I could call at anytime, but about being that friend that anyone can call.
I eventually decided to fill out the petition and give it to my friend, one of the best decisions I ever made in my life.
It took several months for anyone to contact me and the lodge was so small that the investigation committee was the WM and JW. Sure enough I was accepted. For my EA and FC degrees, they didn't have enough members present, so they had to open on the MM and step-down. They had Grand Lodge come assist with the MM degree.
I was raised 7/7/07.
Now, 12 years later, this lodge is stronger than I have ever seen it. There are more dedicated masons to fill ritual positions than there are spots available. We help other lodges with degrees. We have a very active membership with a lot of new interest, around 1-2 petitions per business meeting.
Masonry was my destiny, it's now in my blood. I have 5 sons with the 3 oldest in DeMolay. I hope someday, they'll ask 'The Question' and I'll most certainly have the same cheesy grin my friend did.