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.