JUST ANOTHER TRIP AROUND THE SUN
Week 04 of 52 - Jehovah's Witnesses
So far have traveled about 43,500,000 miles.
Thoughts during week before visit:
Last week's visit was the most disconcerting so far. There was such a dual feeling there. I remember having such feelings at The Church of God of Prophecy many years ago during my mission. The people were so simple and nice - and yet you could cut the Satanic atmosphere with a knife. I've wondered what that atmosphere is all about. It's not that any evil is going on. I don't see anyone doing anything wrong. I just see them not thinking - following blindly - not valuing their agency. That's as Satanic as it gets - because that was exactly his plan. I think we get too caught up in his tempting of us to do wrong. We're good at that by ourselves. What he wants is for us to be blind followers. He can then spend his tempting time only with our leaders.
I think the leaders of even the worst of these denominations are often good men - as good as Satan would have them be. But this is true in our church too - when we follow without question. When we do cruel things because the "Church" wants us to - we?re his. The truth is, the "Church" can't want. The Church can't do anything at all - it is not a living being with a mind to make decisions and be good or evil - only we are these things. David O. McKay said that "Separate and distinct from the members of the Church, there is no church." We are the church - there is no "The Church" that can act without our acting. We are it.
The plan to visit:
I'm going to visit the Jehovah's Witnesses. I had some experience with them long ago. Almost 50 years ago. My first little girlfriend - She in the eighth grade - I in the ninth grade - was a Witness. I attended Kingdom Hall perhaps a dozen times. We were a thing all through high school. She also attended some of our Mormon functions with me. I was free to visit with her - but she had to sneak around to visit with me - Her mother was afraid. My parents would never have feared my choices - so long as they were made responsibly. It was perfectly ok for me to visit with her. So which attitude was Satanic? Her mother's or my parents'? This is so obvious to me. If any Mormon parent would not allow their teen to visit other churches freely and without fear, then these parents have bought Satan's plan. Surely we must be thankful that Joseph Smith did not have such parents. We must not try to protect our kids from religious thought. We must immerse them in the plan of the Savior - the plan of free agency - wherein they make all their own choices in these matters. If they go another way - well, didn't a third of Father in Heaven's do just so. Did He stop them? Should we be like He is as a father - or like Satan is?
Jehovah's Witnesses have some weird (to me) beliefs. I am very aware of them. 50 years ago, the WatchTower declared that the world, as we know it, would probably be over within ten years - and definitely within 15 years, and the thousand-year "millennium" would begin - ending with "Paradise Earth." I'm curious about how they have changed that to conform to the new truth they must know now. It didn't happen in 10 years - not in 15 either - and not in 50. They knew also that God would never allow us to go to the moon. So now what do they say?
There are many serious Mormon writing too, that would indicate we have gone along quite a few years past what they were sure would be the case. We've been in "The Latter Days" for about 180 years now. That's not what they expected. Now we've passed the "Joseph Fielding Smith" mark of year 2000 - though he didn't put it at exact - but nearly so. A few more years, and that theory will be shot down.
But most serious of all - Jehovah's Witnesses have a very significant belief exactly like ours - and not many others have this powerful belief to such a degree. More about that later - after the visit.
These people are always ready for an argument. Actually, I like that about them.
It was a little more formal than I expected from my experience 50 years ago. All the men were in suits and ties. Hardly even a sports suit to be found - one or two. Did not see one in shirt and tie without coat - and certainly I was the only one in a short sleeve shirt and no tie. I didn't notice any children - some teens.
I mentioned to two nice men about my own age that, "I guess I under-dressed." One of them answered, "Oh no - this is just showing off."
Now I have it from their own mouthpiece - The Jay Dubs dress up to show off.
Hey - I wonder if that's why the Mormons do it?
The talk: There was so much boring stuff I could hardly stand it. But there were a few interesting things. They speak of "Jehovah God" over and over and over and over - and their version of the Bible has changed every reference to God the father to "Jehovah God." They, of course, do not believe that Jesus is Jehovah, as we do.
The talk was on sovereignty. Essentially that seeking it is not good, except for the sovereignty of Jehovah.
"The spirit of independence comes from Satan. Many countries declare it and then suffer - sometimes with millions dying for the cause."
I'm afraid this belief would not allow them to consider my "Trip Around The Sun," a good thing. For me, independence is so very important. Not just for country, but for self also. We taught our kids from kindergarten up - that we were not their boss - that the teacher was not their boss - that the policeman was not their boss - that all these were advisors with differing levels of respectability. They were their own boss - and no one else. Thus, they were not much subject to bullies - or to "knowledgeable" kids at school, whether about sex - or drugs - or anything else. They were in charge - responsible for their own choices - from a very young age. The "Witnesses" would not like this.
They do believe, as we, that Jesus and God the father are not the same - two individuals. But they think the Father's name is Jehovah, and Jesus does not carry that name.
They have other beliefs similar to our own - but one belief - a grandly important one to them and to us, we have in common. That is, The Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons have this common belief.
It is that, "The ordinances of all other churches or organizations are null and void, not to be recognized by God. We are the only one's He respects as His people - with authority to act in His name." They believe that other churches can be good organizations to a degree - much like a club (The Rotary, for example), but as God's organization - all the others are a lie through and through. (Actually, Jay Dubs don't like to be called a church - they are the Witnesses.)
I think it is very unfortunate that among all the stupid beliefs of the Jehovah's Witnesses, we share the stupidest of all. That God would not make and keep His promises when one of his children make and keep theirs - because a third party did not have "authority." One cannot accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior by his own choice - but must have that choice ok'd by a third party who has authority to let the person make the promises of baptism. We teach it; they teach it; I don't believe it.
I don't know yet where 05 of 52 will be - but it will be more fun than this.
Oh - I almost forgot. The talk was formal - the dress was formal - but they do applaud at the end of the talk. I know - because it woke me up. That applause was about the only thing I enjoyed. (Wish we did it.)
04 of 52 Trip Around The Sun. - Jehovah's Witnesses