I have been on the road the past few days so no new posts lately, but here is what has been going on.
My wife and her family went to the Southwest Jehovah’s Witness convention this past week. Normally they go to Arizona, but this year they went to New Mexico. Since my company has offices there that I needed to go to anyway, I travelled with them this year, although obviously I didn’t go to the convention itself.
From talking to my wife about this one and previous conventions, it reminds me of my previous work where I was in sales where I was a rep, trainer, manager, and owner over a period of 15 years. From what I understand they do their baptisms at the conventions but also discuss the members commitment to the Society. Mostly by adhering to the JW rules and continuing to get new members. Sounds like a lot of motivational speaking to me.
The hotel we stayed at probably consisted of 80% Jehovah’s Witnesses for the days we were there. One thing I noticed: A large percentage of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not like my wife’s family. I am sure they are similar in their basic beliefs about their religion, but my wife’s family, especially her mother and older sister and her husband, are, for a lack of a better word, die hard Witnesses. They frown upon anything ”worldly.” They home school their kids and have no intention of sending them to college. They do not participate in any holidays. Their kids are fully indoctrined and often criticize my kids (their cousins) about them doing bad things (i.e. birthdays, 4th of July). In talking with some of the other Witnesses, while a few are fully immersed like my in-laws, I get the impression many are very similar to the majority of members of the other Christian religions: Get through life during the week and worship on Sunday.
My main point is what many people already know. Had my mother in law been visited by a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, she would have been as devout with them as she is with The Truth and I would have a blog about being married to a Mormon right now. Had she come across a proselytizing Pentacostal I would be discussing the idiocy of speaking in tongues rather than the issues of blood transfusions. I think people want to believe and will become part of any belief system that is around them. I have seen some argue that the desire for such beliefs is the reason there must be a supreme being, but that is another topic for another day.
To once again give my wife credit. She has raised our children with her spiritual beliefs, yet she allows me to expose them to the real world–and this is very much against what her family and congregation would recommend. She not only encourages them to get good grades, she is actually indoctrinating them that they WILL go to college and get degrees. My kids have friends that come over regularly that are not Witnesses. While at times I want to be more aggressive in not allowing my children to get as involved with the Witnesses as they are, they are being fully exposed to both sides and will be able to make educated decisions, rather than just follow along because everyone they know has the same beliefs.
So, while the situation isn’t what I would consider ideal, at least my kids will see both sides and get evidence from me about what the real Truth is.