.: AARON – Raised Jehovah’s Witness with family members who were Circuit Overseers and Presiding Overseers, it was difficult to leave.
From the week he was born, he attended meetings at the Kingdom Hall, and gave his first “talk” at 5 years old. Aaron’s family is deeply involved in the Watchtower organization. His grandfather is a Circuit Overseer and his uncles are Presiding Overseers. When his religious faith in the Watchtower crumbled, Aaron turned to Jesus and found the loving God he had searched for all of his life.
My name is Aaron. I grew up going to the Kingdom Hall from the week I was born. In my mother’s scrapbook where it asks for first church service, my mother wrote “Theocratic Ministry School”. I gave my first scripture reading at 4 years old, my first talk from Deuteronomy in 1983, at 5 years old. I say all this to show how deeply rooted my family is in the Watchtower Organization. My grandfather is a Circuit Overseer. My uncles are Presiding Overseers. My cousin is an Elder, as was my father for many, many years. I can remember being baptized at age 15 and being scared. Before my baptism, I had been going through the study book with an elder who barely went through the questions. Because of who my parents were, I scored very well on the tests, if you know what I mean. With all that Watchtower hierarchy in my DNA, you would think I would be the exemplary Witness until I died—and I tried. I wanted to please my family and I did what I could to gain their approval. I assisted with certain “privileges” but at the ripe old age of 16 I realized…something wasn’t right.
A family member pointed out to me that there is another way. And, you know what? He was right. I started pondering at night… “Why can’t I play sports? I’m good enough. Why do people make fun at me at school? What is so wrong about liking girls? Why can’t I go to college? Why does everyone get married so quickly? Why do they believe that the ‘end’ will come before ‘this generation’ (of 1914) passes away, when that generation should have all been dead by now?”
Those questions lingered and I was disfellowshipped shortly thereafter, in 1995, for doing things that most children do in a normal adolescent environment: liking girls and trying out tobacco. I developed a dislike for the people on my panel of judges. I thought to myself, “You are only men! I do not answer to you!” And from that point on, I knew God was calling me to Him. I haven’t always listened, but His voice is never unheard by the meek and softhearted who put Him first in their lives.
I now attend a small nondenominational fellowship called Hopeworks. They have been very good to me and they provide a hospital for the hopeless, the hurt and the lost. I was saved in 1997. My girlfriend and future wife was in Canada on a missionary trip. Had it not been for her faithful example and her strength in Jesus, I would not have been as ready to hear the truth. I hated “god” as I knew him. I believed he had disowned me and I was guilty for reasons I could not even understand. But late one night I sat in the courtyard of a nearby church and prayed and begged God for his mercy and His forgiveness for all the things that I had done.
I was saved then, but it was not until this year that I realized that God is larger than our sin. The earth spins around at 900 miles per hour, the universe is bigger than our tiny minds can fathom and He is in control of it all. And through His specific design of nature, earth, and our surrounding planets, moons, and stars (most importantly the sun), He has set this beautiful thing called life in a loving and perfect rotation. But given the opportunity, humans will ruin it all, which is why our sins (mistakes and the things we have done to break God’s laws) have to be forgiven through repentance and sacrifice. Jesus did that when He gave his own life for us to pay the price for our sins and to show us how much He loves us. He has giving us forgiveness and hope.
If you are afraid, it’s ok. You are not alone. Re-read what you have been taught in light of Scripture and pray. Not sure what to pray for? Ask God to give you that. If you have little children or nieces around, wouldn’t you give them whatever it is that they wanted if you could afford it and it would not harm them? Well, we have a heavenly Father that has real love for us and everything belongs to Him. Repent of your sins. Accept Jesus’ death in your place and His gift of forgiveness. Then, ask for what it is you need or want and He will give it to you according to His will.