I was a third generation Jehovah’s Witness (JW).When I recall the days of my youth it seems that what I heard most often was,”How wrong the “religionist” were, and how right the JWs were. I realize now the vast difference between religion and Christianity. As a JW, I was concerned with works – not only doing such things as preaching from house to house, but with the things I must not do such as celebrating the holidays and birthdays. Every word written by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS)was considered “truth” that must be followed to the letter, whether it’s taking a blood transfusion, voting, or participating in a war. To do otherwise was sinning against Jehovah, resulting in the possibility of losing the hope of eternal life.
I was married and had three children before Ibegan having serious doubts about the WBTS being God’s only channel ofcommunication. These doubts began to emerge when I had to make some veryimportant decisions that simply went against the grain of my personality. Youwould think that making decisions such as refusing a blood transfusion couldbring about doubts. Like signing papers to let a baby die rather than takeblood. I had an RH factor blood condition and in those days they transfused thebaby at birth should a problem occur. Fortunately, I was spared – but I wasready and willing to let my children die! Why? Because I was convinced that theWBTS had the “Truth” and should I do differently, I would lose thehope of eternal life and so would my child, should death occur.
I began doubtingwhen the WBTS got “new light” (additions to what had been previouslytaught).
“New light” said, “If you seeJWs sinning and do not report them, you are guilty of that sin yourself. Asister in our congregation took blood when she hemorrhaged at childbirth. Myoptions were – report her – and if I didn’t, the sin fell on me. Both optionsbothered me! You see, when you are ignorant of having a relationship withChrist, you follow people blindly, trusting them to be in God’s will. Like agood JW, I reported her and she had to appear before a committee of elders..
This, along with other “new light”caused me to start thinking about “where and how” they get their newlight! I inherited a WBTS library from one of my relatives, and began readingthe older publications. I learned they had changed their interpretation manytimes. I took note that the modern literature quoted often from the olderpublications. Now I was able to pick up the very book they quoted from – andguess what? They often misquoted – took out of context – and misapplied theirown writings! After two years of research I realized I was following anorganization – led by man’s interpretation of the Bible.
I stopped attending meetings, and all JWactivities, but I entered a state of spiritual loneliness. Where could I go? Allreligions were false, so I had been taught! Where is “Truth” found?After a great deal of searching, I decided to try out a Christian Church. Weattended for awhile, but had not come to know the true person of Christ. I wasnot yet convinced the churches were not of the devil. After all – all churchesbelieve in the concept of the Trinity, hellfire, and a soul leaving the body atdeath. I didn’t believe any of these doctrines! While I was trying desperatelyto sort out doctrines, the WBTS got “new light” saying if any JWattended church, they would be disfellowshipped. Not knowing whether I wasfollowing Satan or Jesus – I submitted to the elders, when called to a committeemeeting – and stopped attending church – I was not ready to be disfellowshippedfor something I was not yet sure of.
Fifteen years later, my Catholic sister-in-lawshared that she was born-again. I’d never heard of a born-again Catholic! I sawa change in her life – she was giving up bad habits such as smoking – she wasaglow with something. I didn’t know what (but of course it was the HolySpirit!). She spoke of prayer meetings in the Catholic Church. (I’d never heardof that either). She challenged me to a meeting. I went out of curiosity. Rightaway, I realized this was not a typical “Catholic” meeting. Thespeaker shared the love of Jesus in such a way that I’d never heard before. Hespoke in various denominations, and it was obvious that his focus was on thepersonage of Jesus Christ. Oh, how I needed this message! When he finished, heasked that we stand, join hands, and sing the Lord’s Prayer. Something veryunexpected happened. Suddenly, I felt God’s liquid love pour over me from thetop of my head to the tip of my toes! Without knowing what had happened, Iinstantly realized I had been searching for “the truth” in all thewrong places and the Truth was there all the time! John 14:6 says, “I amthe way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except by me.”Yes, Jesus is the Truth and “He was there all the Time!” No wonder asong was written by that title. The song, “He Touched Me,” came tomind – now I understood that, also. I felt such a joy in my heart -I just wantedto rejoice – but restrained myself thinking people would notice a strange lookon my face!
When we left, my friend said, “How didyou like it?” I just started laughing – I couldn’t hold it in any longer!She said, “Something happened to you, didn’t it?” I replied,”Yes, – I can’t explain it – but I feel as though I’ve been cleansed fromhead to toe!” I realize now that I was touched by the power of the HolySpirit. God knew I could never find the “Truth” by searching throughdefinitions of words – I had my Watchtower blinders on – I couldn’t believe thesimple gospel, I had to experience it!
Now I understood why Paul had to be knockedfrom the horse to become a believer -some of us are just like that! I thoughtsure my new-found joy would be gone the next morning, but it wasn’t! I woke upanxious to read the Bible and pray! As I read through the book of John, Iwondered when the word, “Jesus” was added to so many pages -seems likeI had never realized that before! On my knees in the privacy of my living room,I asked Jesus to come into my life – that I would do anything He asked ofme. Well, don’t pray this prayer if you’re not willing – for I had no idea whatHe had in store!
My husband liked the change in me – then hewas willing to visit prayer meetings, and finally, church. (Yes, we werereported by a JW when seen going into a church – we were visited by two JWelders telling us we were being disfellowshipped – yes – after being out forfifteen years)! Since then, this practice has stopped, but the end results arethe same – they are ostracized. My husband accepted Jesus as his Lord andSavior. The next year was spent in deprogramming ourselves – we had to learn everythingover! Then the Lord put it on my heart to write a book of my testimony. Ikept all my research that went into this book, nowin the third printing. I was invited to appear on national TValong with three other former JWs. Soon, all of us began receiving a ton ofmail! I had not expected to go into ministry any more than I expected to write abook – but here I was – living out my promise, “I’ll do anything!”Before I knew it, I was sharing my research and my newly learned orthodox viewswith hundreds of JWs and Christians who needed to help loved ones in the JWs. Ibecame a Christian discipler overnight! My JW discipline skills came in handy! Ifeel so very privileged to lead many JWs to Christ – it was such a joy toexplain to them who the true person of Jesus of Christ really is! (JWsbelieve Jesus is also Michael the archangel – that he was Jehovah’s firstcreation). The concept of the Trinity is very offensive to them.
We continue ministering to those ensnared by the cults, as well as have support groups when needed. We are very happy in a spiritually strong church, Hill ‘N Dale Christian Church. I’m especially thrilled to see our Youth Minister educating the young people in becoming servants of Christ – verses being entertained! He is teaching them to witness to others! I encourage all Education Ministers to teach their members the concept of the Trinity and include a teaching on the cults. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!