What do you value about your Watchtower experience?



That was the question posed for discussion for our Colo Spgs and Worldwide Ex-Jehovah’s Witness Internet Meetup conversation on February 7th, 2011.  The invitation was extended with this explanation:

“Many of us come out of the Watchtower with hurts and regrets. While it is good to air out those grievances, I believe it is of equal importance to our healing to remember what was beneficial in our experience. I realize this may be a difficult topic for some who struggle to find anything good about it, so even if you can not add to the conversation, you are encouraged to read what others may post under this topic. This is an opportunity to focus on the positive aspects of having been part of the Watchtower Society. Did the morals taught there protect you? Did the theocratic ministry school help you become a better speaker? Did the demanding schedule aid you in becoming a more organized person? Do you have fond memories of friendships made there? Are there stories to tell of positive, maybe even funny, encounters in the door-to-door ministry?” 

Here are a few excerpts from the twelve of us who responded to this topic:

“I could say as a JW I was introduced to God and His word and after 24 years I came to have a relationship with Him, to be positioned to know Him and understand Him. In the process it is truly limitless and glorious.”

“I value the fact that I was brought up to be honest in all things. I was also taught to respect people and to have good morals. I learnt to respect my Parents, siblings and those that I came in contact with. I also learnt to have good work ethics and am able to communicate well.”

“I think the best way to sum up the experiences I had as a JW is found in Genesis 50:20 when Joseph told his brothers: ‘But as for you, ye thought evil against me but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive’! Whatever evil JW’s did to me, God is using for good as I share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and minister to exJW’s and others. I pray for JW’s once a week as I have a list of many names of people who want nothing to do with me. Yet, there is nothing more that I would want than for them to put faith in Jesus Christ and not in works. Faith alone in Christ alone! This is what saves anyone.”

“My life-long experience in the Watchtower organization taught me many things. It taught me how to speak publicly, how to dress presentably, how to be respectful and disagree respectfully with others. It also taught me the importance of evangelizing and how we should share the life-giving message of the bible with others and help bring them to Christ. I also learned the Bible and how to apply it’s principles in my life. However, now that I am outside of the organization I have learned many more things. I learned that you should never have the ‘we’re better than you’ mentality that’s so prevalent in the organization. Because that’s the opposite of how Jesus was. I also learned that man-made laws are harmful and all we truly have to follow are God’s laws. We don’t need any literature to understand the Bible because that’s what God’s Holy Spirit is for. Also, that there are many ‘worldly’ people who believe in the Bible and treat each other much better than witnesses do. But all in all, I’m grateful for my experience as a JW because it taught me always to look to God and Jesus Christ for direction and not to man. Men will always let you down but if you are born again in spirit and have allowed Christ to dwell inside you and lead and guide you, you can NEVER go wrong. His blood is powerful enough to erase all your sins and help you live in perfect peace. It’s so liberating to worship Jehovah and Jesus the way they really want us to!”

“I think had I not gone through the Watchtower’s way, I would not have understood the value of GRACE. Having been a JW challenged a lot of us to dig deeper into the meaning of what Christ accomplished on the cross. Aren’t we all a little more sensitive to legalism because of it?”

“I am sitting here thinking what I value of the watch tower society. To be honest I do not value anything from this org….since all it brought me is fear, anger, loneliness, depression, guilt. Now I will give thanks Jehovah for being able to have knowledge of the bible. From this knowledge I have always tried to live a good life with strong values but I am not perfect and cannot even think that I can achieve this perfection. I am sure that you can relate to the terrible fears that I felt as a child. when there was a thunderstorm and my mom would scream its the end….its Armageddon……and I would hide in the closet. All I know is it was not mentality healthy and would never would have thought of imposing such terrible fears to my children. It took me a long long time to be able to feel safe…….but honestly sometimes I still go back to this dark place . I wonder if I will ever feel safe and good enough.”

“I was not spiritual for many yrs. I stayed far away from anything or thinking about God and Jesus. With knowing that emptiness for craving a spiritual relationship that was programmed into us at birth, I finally gave in, and started to think about God and what He is truly about, and how I can get back into His world. I searched for a ‘regular’ Bible and it opened up new verses I had never seen before, or my eyes were not ready for. Aside from beginning my search, I came from the man made org of untruths to seeing Jesus transform –not literally–into my personal savior.”

“I believe God kept us in the WT for a lot of reasons that made us who we are. I learned to do research in the WT. When we left, we knew everything about the teachings and attitude of JWs. I think that God wanted us to feel the control so that we would know and appreciate our freedom. We are able to help those who are leaving and many who left a long time ago to understand and get over their bitterness. Only those who have been there understand the pain.”

“I guess for me the good things included the closeness and support of the congregation. I did admire their dedication both in regular bible study, and in going out and sharing this with others. It’s not easy to go door to door and talk to complete strangers about difficult and sensitive subjects. Some people take great offense if you try to discuss God with them, and may be downright rude. I appreciated the sense of family that I experienced there. And yes, I also appreciated the higher standard of behaviour. It was nice to be in company with people who had a higher moral standard than the world.”

“I learned how to ask questions, to really study the bible and do research. I learned to appreciate Gods word more then I ever did before meeting the witnesses. In a way you could say that this experience although painful in the end, helped me to really come to Jesus again and know Him better. And as it has already been said in this discussion, it made me more appreciative of grace too and more sensitive to legalism. It helped me to learn how to distinguish between true works of God and following men or the lies of the devil. I think that it won´t be as easy to deceive me as it used to be. Now I rely more on Gods word and prayer and listen to where the Holy Spirit is leading me. It is so wonderful to know, how much God loves His children and that I am one of these beloved children. Nothing compares to the security we have in Christ, knowing that we belong to Him and that we can follow Him and be with Him always. Praise and thanks to our Saviour!”

“I think our experiences as JWs can be somewhat related to what Paul said here in Philippians 1:12-14:

12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.

13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.

14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.”


Keep yourself in God’s love,

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Author: Julie

As a convert to Jehovah’s Witnesses, Julie believed she had found “the Truth,” but when she was “disfellowshipped” for “apostasy” when she questioned the organization's policies and refused to trust the organization over Jesus as her ONLY mediator, Julie left to find true freedom serving the REAL Jehovah God in joy and truth! Call Julie at 719-355-7164 ext 113