Freemasonry is a fraternal organization made up of men of a locale that have the same basic interest. It is based upon the idea that, as the stonemasons of old built not only King Solomons Temple, but the Temples and Castles of Europe, that man must build within himself a Temple based on a true and Godly way of life.
First and foremost, each member must have a belief in a Supreme Being, or God; as in, among others, the Christian Faith. The Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Koran, Torah, Book of Confucius, and many others are the various books of Law (depending upon ones faith) which masons hold very dear. The steps, or degrees as we call them, are taken from passages in the holy books, and are embellished upon, yet we do not twist them into any secret teachings, as some non-masons may mistakenly believe. Although the religious books and teachings are an important part of Freemasonry, Freemasonry is not a religion within itself. The Fraternity strongly encourages its members to be true and faithful to whatever religions teachings and beliefs they have.
Our most principle thing is fellowship. This is the great reason for our existence; fellowship and brotherly love (not just among Masons, but among all of mankind).
All members are equal, no matter if they be the richest or poorest man in town. Should both be Masons, they are brothers and equal in status and stature. No man is considered superior to any other man. Even the officers of the various Lodges are not superior to any of the members. They just happen to be the officers, elected by the members, who are generally replaced each year.