Brenda a Former Jehovah's Witness

At the request of the writer of this testimony names have been changed – the original is held at head office.

The first question most people ask me is, “how did I become involved with the Jehovah Witnesses”? My answer is that I became involved with the Jehovah Witnesses because I was very vulnerable, which I think is how most people become involved with them. I’d had a nervous breakdown and was at a very low ebb in my life.

One day there was a knock at the door and when I opened it, there stood before me friendly open faces. The two ladies introduced themselves to me and then went on to talk abut Jehovah and the promise of an everlasting paradise. I’d been brought up a Catholic, and so at their first visit I was not really interested in the message they were preaching. However, they promised to return the following Tuesday to talk to me a little more. This quickly became a pattern for the next few months.

Every week they would talk about Paradise and would talk a little more about how wonderful it was to do door to door work, and how uplifting the meetings were. Gradually, curiosity got the better of me and I asked if I could attend one of their meetings. Also, by this time, Edna and Kath had become a huge part of my life. They helped me to take my children to school, and also gave me lifts to the supermarket to do my shopping. I remember thinking, “These are the first real Christians I’ve met”!

I attended a service meeting at the Kingdom Hall and was very impressed by the talks and how friendly everyone was towards each other. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly towards me. I felt ‘at home’, and decided to do a Home Bible Study, and when this was finished, I became a full member.

I was with them for ten years. At first everything was fine and I was very happy and fulfilled. Gradually, however, I began to have a few niggling doubts. One of the Witnesses favourite quotations from scripture is “Let your tolerance be known to all men.” However in reality it was the exact opposite. I regularly had to sit in my seat and listen to various Elders say nasty, defamatory things about the Catholics, Church of England, and the Salvation Army. I found this upsetting because I knew some of my friends attending these churches and they were good living, clean, generous people. I also had to watch several women Witnesses break down under the stress of having to give a demonstration on the platform.

No Witness can ever work hard enough. We were also urged constantly from the platform to give up more and more of our personal time to spend it in study and knocking on doors. I knew one lady who used to get up at 6 am every morning to do her housework and then was on the doors from 9 am to 4 pm each day.

The Watchtower and Awake! magazines often had articles in them requesting members to take extra care of the elderly among them. However, once again, this had a hollow ring about it. Members who could no longer attend meetings or participate in the door-to-door work were consistently ignored and neglected. One elderly couple used to have the weekly Book Study at their home. They both had cancer and sometimes were quite poorly, but they looked forward to the weekly meeting and meeting their friends. One Sunday however, this all rapidly changed; an Elder announced from the platform that the weekly Book Study would no longer be held at “Sam and Nancy’s”, but would be at a new address. After the Meeting, Sam came over to Edna and myself. He was devastated; none of the Elders had consulted with him or asked him how he felt about having the meetings stopped at his home. It was just read out cold at the Watchtower Meeting.

At one Book Study Meeting I attended, I was sitting down listening to the Elder speaking, when all of a sudden a great wave of oppression and fear swept over me. I remember wondering to myself, “what am I doing here, and why have I become involved with these people?” I could not understand it. One moment I was happy and contented, and the next moment a great wave of sadness had engulfed me. Looking back on it now, I realise that the Holy Spirit was beginning to start working on me.

At this time my husband was attending the Pentecostal Church near our home. He told me that they were going to hold an Alpha Course, and would I like to attend. I decided to go to it. At the course I met a lovely Christian lady named Jen. She was very sympathetic towards me and gave me some literature she had received from the Reachout Trust regarding the false teachings of the Watchtower Society.

The course lasted for about ten weeks. During this time I had a foot in both camps. I would attend the Watchtower Meeting on a Sunday and Thursday, and then attend the Alpha Course on a Tuesday. As I read the pamphlets Jen gave me I was horrified at the way the Watchtower had added to and falsely translated scripture. I did not want to believe what I was reading. I also, during this difficult time, began reading books written by former Jehovah Witnesses. These opened my eyes even more.

The Alpha talks were very interesting and informative, through them I came to realise that Jesus really is God. And that it’s not by works alone that we can earn salvation, but by God’s grace. At the end of the course I gave my life to Jesus and decided to become a committed Christian. It was not easy; sometimes when I had a bad day the Devil would try to tempt me to go back to the Witnesses, with God’s help and grace I managed to resist. One of the hardest things to me when I became a Christian was to lose all my friends at the Kingdom Hall, however, thanks be to God, I’ve made many more at the little Pentecostal Church I now attend.

This year we held another Alpha Course at our little Church and I decided at the end of it to ask to be baptised. I have never been happier, Jesus is now the centre of my life.

I can remember one Elder saying to me, “the trouble with Christendom was that its all Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, nobody worships God”. What a sad comment and how wrong he was! We worship Jesus because He is God, and what a mighty God He is! The God the Witnesses love is a God of terror and fear, not the God of love and mercy that we worship, I hope that my story will help someone else break free from the Watchtower chains.

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