The Entered Apprentice is a bearer of burdens, the Fellowcraft a skilled workman and the Master Mason a director of the work.
The Entered Apprentice Degree, the first degree in Freemasonry, admonishes the candidate to obey the rules and regulations and learn to practice secrecy. The background of this degree, like many others, is the building of King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. The Entered Apprentice is taught symbolically to labor upon the building of the Temple, to subdue his passions, and improve himself in Masonry. He receives here the beginning of the instructions which are to guide him in the search of the secret of Freemasonry.
The Fellowcraft is instructed in the principles of Geometry. The different Orders of Architecture are explained to him and he is enjoined to study the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences, and to proceed on his journey toward the attainment of Masonic knowledge.
The Master Mason is taught numerous very important moral lessons governing his conduct in the world towards others; that he must answer and obey the rules of the order; must not cheat, wrong or defraud a brother or a Lodge of Masons, but on the contrary must help, aid and assist a distressed brother, his widow and orphans. Preparation for the life to come is inculcated by beautiful ceremonies. The Temple is not yet completed, and those faithful craftsmen who have labored so long upon it are deprived, by the wickedness of others of that for which they have wrought. The candidate receives light as fully as it may come to him in the Symbolic Lodge, and the substitute for that which by further search he may hope to receive later, the real secret of the Master Mason. The building of the Temple symbolizes the perfection of our moral life and the continuous effort to erect within ourselves a spiritual building, a house not mad with hands, eternal in the heavens.