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  1. #1
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    Default Sending a letter to friends and family

    Some backstory:

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...us-crisis.html

    Update:

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...sses-move.html

    Just an update on how I am doing. I have a great job my wife still loves me and have a new baby on the way! I am feeling wonderful and have been able to finally fight against the depression that gripped my life for so long.

    But I still have the crisis of my family. I have only told in person a few people of my decision to leave the Jehovah's Witness faith. They have been avoiding me and I have heard some wild claims about the reasons for my leaving. So I have decided that I am going to write a letter and send it to most of the people in my family and some of my close friends that don't hang out with me anymore.

    My purpose is to give them the back story of how I came to this conclusion so that they can hear it from me and not have to rely on hearsay. Would love feedback because I have not sent it yet. Here it is:

    To all my family members and close friends,

    I’m sure a lot of ideas have been circulated after the news of my decision to stop being a witness. I want to write this letter so that the speculation can be based on something I have said personally to everyone instead of unreliable hearsay.

    A lot of generalizations and misconceptions can come from knowledge of an occurrence without the specifics to back it up. The only purpose of this letter is to inform you all of the back story of my decision to leave the truth. So my hope is with this knowledge you may be able to come to a conclusion based on accurate information.

    First and foremost, I am not an apostate. My views have been and always will be my own. I have absolutely no intention of relaying my spiritual opinion to anyone who doesn’t ask for it.

    I would like to paint a picture of why I feel I can still be a good friend to all of you, and not a threat.

    We can all remember back to our own pasts at the specific time in our lives that we made a choice. A choice to take the path that would be our road for the rest of our lives. For some it was baptism and others it was long after their baptism when they truly made a dedication to live in accordance to what they held to be truth. It happens differently to everyone.

    Reasons of the act of baptism very dramatically from person to person; some genuine and some not so much. I, very regrettably so, am in the latter.

    Anna and I got together when we were 17 and were both undedicated witnesses. And about halfway through our dating relationship Anna got baptized. This put a strain on our relationship because I was not baptized and she was, making us unevenly yoked. I had several pseudo-judicial meetings with the elders about it. They urged that Anna and I break off the relationship until I we could provide a spiritually clean relationship. We did try it for a few months, but we both ended up getting back together because we missed each other so much. Eventually, as we all know, we got married at the end of 2003 and I was still not baptized, despite strong counsel from elders inside and out of the family.

    I felt a strong amount of guilt because of getting married before we could make the relationship evenly yoked. But we had been dating for 2 years and the sexual part of our relationship was at a breaking point. So instead of committing fornication I opted to get married unbaptized.

    I had been in a bible study with an elder for a while and it lasted for some time after I was married. Eventually I was baptized.

    When I was dedicated in Yuba City, I knew deep down it was not because I loved Jehovah, but because of my guilt of disgracing myself, Anna and my family. A lot of people get baptized for the wrong reasons and dedicate themselves later after they fully mature, it’s fairly commonplace. That did not happen for me.

    Ever since I was around 14 years old I have had doubts about the validity of the Bible, but I pushed them to the back of my mind because I wanted to save face around the people I cared so much for.

    Stories in the Old Testament and other tragedies in the Bible always stood out as inconsistent with what the Society taught about a loving father in the heavens. As much as I wanted to, I never believed the Bible as an inspired word of God.

    Like I said before, we all go through a time of maturing and once we obtain that state we then start to make life decisions and ultimately chose the path of our future. Any “life” decisions that are made before this transformation from child to adult need to be taken with a grain of salt. My baptism would most definitely fit in that category of decisions. It was a mature decision made from an immature person for immature reasons.

    I fear that many of you believe that I pose a major threat to your life. I plead of you all to reconsider that notion if you hold it. You mean a great deal to me, and I don’t want us to “grow apart.” Especially if the reasons for it can be cleared up.

    There are a lot of people out there that have made similar decisions as myself yet have reacted very negatively against the witnesses. I am not one of those people. I hold your beliefs in high regard. I know it doesn’t sound like much being read in a letter, but I urge you believe the sincerity of my plea.

    The God of the Bible has made it clear in what he has written that each person must take their own path. He gives us a choice, and the punishment is the denial of his Kingdom. Why further an already severe punishment by denying me the association of my family? Whether or not the Bible is true I have still had to give up everlasting life, I don’t want to give up my family and friends as well.

    Again, I have no intention of pushing my opinions on others. It goes against my core value system. I believe every human has to choose their own path based on what they hold sacred to them. I am not in a position to tell anyone what is right and what is wrong, and I refuse to take such a gaudy liberty.

    My final request is for you to contact me and see for yourself that I am no threat to you or your families. The fact that we have different views in life as adults only adds to the diversity of life. Life only becomes richer as we respect each others differing views and learn to coexist.

    Sincerely,

    _____________

  2. #2
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabastious View Post
    Some backstory:

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...us-crisis.html

    Update:

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...sses-move.html

    Just an update on how I am doing. I have a great job my wife still loves me and have a new baby on the way! I am feeling wonderful and have been able to finally fight against the depression that gripped my life for so long.

    But I still have the crisis of my family. I have only told in person a few people of my decision to leave the Jehovah's Witness faith. They have been avoiding me and I have heard some wild claims about the reasons for my leaving. So I have decided that I am going to write a letter and send it to most of the people in my family and some of my close friends that don't hang out with me anymore.

    My purpose is to give them the back story of how I came to this conclusion so that they can hear it from me and not have to rely on hearsay. Would love feedback because I have not sent it yet. Here it is:
    I'm glad to hear you are doing well. What kind of work do you do? How do you feeling about expecting a baby? That's definitely a big life change! [Or so I hear, I wouldn't know personally.]

    I don't have any input on your letter. I read only some of it. For me, and this is just for me, I think pots like that are better left unstirred. I think sometimes things just make the hole deeper. No matter how much we want that not to be, lots of things aren't in our hands. Also, as INFP's we have very personal takes on more or less everything. I think many people don't care, nor do they particularly care about us and whatever we may think or why. However, I'm not in your situation, nor can I directly relate, so perhaps that is not the case here.

    Anyways, I'm glad to hear you are doing well.

  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    ... For me, and this is just for me, I think pots like that are better left unstirred. I think sometimes things just make the hole deeper. No matter how much we want that not to be, lots of things aren't in our hands. Also, as INFP's we have very personal takes on more or less everything. I think many people don't care, nor do they particularly care about us and whatever we may think or why.
    That's a lot of it here.

    The sort of people you want to listen to you and be accepted by either will come after you on their own (if they care) or will pick apart anything you give them. I'm not sure any sort of justification letter will help.

    But I've been there before, and know how hard it is when I felt like people didn't understand my decisions and were critical, and I wanted to explain it to them and be understood and not lose people if I didn't have to.

    The best I can say is don't over justify and don't overexplain. I would just focus on how this is an act of integrity for you, and that you still care about them and will always be willing to engage them if they engage you... you want them in your life. I would say to focus on that, and how hard your decision was, and that you don't want to lose them.

    But really, it's up to them if they decide they want to come along with you.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    That's a lot of it here.

    The sort of people you want to listen to you and be accepted by either will come after you on their own (if they care) or will pick apart anything you give them. I'm not sure any sort of justification letter will help.

    But I've been there before, and know how hard it is when I felt like people didn't understand my decisions and were critical, and I wanted to explain it to them and be understood and not lose people if I didn't have to.

    The best I can say is don't over justify and don't overexplain. I would just focus on how this is an act of integrity for you, and that you still care about them and will always be willing to engage them if they engage you... you want them in your life. I would say to focus on that, and how hard your decision was, and that you don't want to lose them.

    But really, it's up to them if they decide they want to come along with you.
    I hope that they can use this as a source of information, my intention is not to justify but just to present them with information that might open the possibility of clearing up any misconceptions.

    There are some wild rumors circulating about me. And it's just too much energy to try to talk to people one by one. This is kind of a last ditch effort to give them the real story. I know it could very well be a shot in the dark and I am ok with complete rejection

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