Membership in a Masonic Lodge is on a volunteer basis only. Membership should never be solicited for it is our belief that true service and dedication must first come from the heart. A person seeking membership must first contact one whom he knows to be in good standing. Good standing refers to a Mason that pays his membership dues regularly. That member will allow the candidate to fill out an application. The application must have the signatures of two Master Masons and be accompanied by the necessary fees. The application will be taken to a lodge meeting where a committee will review the character of the applicant. That committee will often visit the applicant in his home, talk with his family and verify his personal history. Only men of good report are accepted in this fraternity. Based upon the committee findings the application is then balloted upon by all members present as to whether the candidate should be accepted. If the applicant is accepted, he will be notified as to the date, time and location on which he will receive the first of three separate degrees. The first degree is: The Entered Apprentice Mason, the second degree is: The Fellow Craft Mason, and the third degree is: The Master Mason degree. Each degree entails certain inalienable rights and privileges. Suitable proficiency must be attained in each degree prior to advancement. These first three degrees are the most important for they are the foundation upon which this institution rests. Much should be committed to memory, such as the working tools of each degree, oaths, modes of recognition, etc. The tools of the early builders have remained as symbols to allegorically help masons understand and remember the teachings of the fraternity. Through the strengthening of the individual's character, Masonry seeks to improve the community and to make good men become better through belief in the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man and the immortality of the soul.