Laura's Story

I'm 32 years old, have 4 wonderful kids, and a loving husband. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness.

When I was 19, I was deeply in love with a man and ended up losing my virginity . I broke up with him immediately because of the guilt. I called the Elders right away and begged for forgiveness, but to no avail, they disfellowshipped me. I was devastated, to say the least.

My mom at the time left my non-jw step-dad and we moved to another town. I lived with my mom for a few months until she said there was no more room for me and asked me to leave. Here I was, in a town where I knew no one, could not associate with my congregation, and could not associate with anyone else. I was totally alone. For an insecure 19 year old, that is scary. Regardless, I went to every meeting faithfully for 6 months.

I eventually married a man who was not a Jehovah's Witness, and so for the next 5 years I was a dead, horrible, condemned person. I didn't feel worthy of forgiveness. Once I started having my children I decided they needed the "Truth" so I got reinstated for them. Soon, I decided to leave my worldly husband and moved to another town.

I finally met the man of my dreams at a Circuit Assembly, and we were married. This was almost 6 years ago. As time went on, I became really disappointed in him for not being the spiritual head I thought he should have been. I was really a fanatic about the Organization, I regular pioneered and never missing a meeting. Although, I still never felt I was good enough.

I started noticing the JW's competitiveness, gossiping and cliques. I kept saying to myself, "Where is the love of Jesus recorded in the Bible? If these are truly his followers, shouldn't there be more love and acceptance of one another?" That is one of the main reasons I decided to do some investigating. There were many times we would leave the meetings where I would be in tears and my husband was upset. There were many times I would say, "I'm not going back ever again." Of course, I did because where else was I supposed to go, right?

Eventually, we bought a computer and got on the Internet. I was curious and typed in JW's. I couldn't believe all the web sites on the Internet. At first I wouldn't look at them because I was afraid of the apostate literature. Soon, though so many things didn't click with me, so I decided to do only research into the history of Jehovah's Witnesses and with the purpose of making my faith stronger. As the days and weeks went by, I learned more and more that made me so upset. I felt so duped, and taken.

I was anxious to share the things I was learning with my mom and sisters. Surely they would want to know this. My mom has always been one for the truth and nothing but the truth. She would never intentionally deceive someone. So I thought she would want to see that we had been lied to. Oh my goodness, I opened the flood gates. How dare I show her this. She blamed my questions on my husband, even though it was me that had the doubts more than he. I was the pursuer of answers, I just got his interest peaked and he did the research too.

We spent 3 months reading the Bible, we got the New Testament in the NWT, 4 other Bibles, the Interlinear, and Concordances. We dug and dug, until we came to the conclusion that these were men's interpretations and we needn't be afraid of them any longer.

My husband was a Ministerial Servant and he had a public talk coming up. He read over the outline and found many scriptures taken out of context. At that moment, he decided to disassociate himself. So he sat down and wrote out a letter of disassociation and took it right away to one of the Elders in town. He was announced at the next Thursday night meeting and I decided to go. At this point I wasn't sure I wanted to leave the Organization, and I certainly didn't want God's disapproval of me. So I was wishy washy on it all. At the meeting where they announced his disassociation, the speaker gave a talk that was the most unkind talk I had ever heard. I started bawling my eyes out (the kind of cry you do in gasps) but I wasn't crying about my husband leaving the organization, I was crying because I couldn't believe the speaker was talking about my husband with so much hate. The speaker didn't name names, but my husband was the only one who had "turned against Jehovah" that night according to them.

For the next 2 weeks my family and friends were on the phone with me trying to get me to leave my husband. My mom (who lives in California) called every witness she knew around here to get them to try to convince me to leave him. He was causing my spiritual endangerment. I couldn't believe what they were saying. I was so confused and befuddled. I was just dead sure this was all wrong, and they were not being the way Jesus intended for his followers to be.

Eventually, the Elders showed up at my door, unannounced, and started questioning me. They said, "We have reports that you believe in the cross." I said, "I don't know what to believe anymore and I'm confused and I'm studying the Bible, and other Bibles. I really don't believe the Governing Body are God's chosen channel of communication for all mankind. Also, I feel that the body of Christ is ALL people who confess Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and that Jesus is the mediator for ALL mankind, as the Bible says." Well, that did it, they said, "Based on what you have told us, we need to have a judicial committee meeting." I said, "So... what you are saying is that I will probably be disfellowshipped?" The elder said, "Probably." So I said, "I will save you time away from your families and I will be right back." I went into the house and wrote this on a note, "To the Elders of the XXXXXX Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses: I, Laura XXXXXX, no longer wish to be known as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Sincerely, Laura XXXXXX." I know that seems rash and simple, but there was nothing to say. I knew I wasn't going to convince anyone otherwise and it would have been a waste of time to go into detail of why I was leaving.

It was quite exhilarating. I have not for one second, regretted it. I have been surprised how at peace and free I feel. I have never known such freedom, and joy in my entire life. I'm so glad I didn't let them talk me into leaving my sweet husband. We have so much a richer life now.

Jesus is the Dictator of our lives, not men. We are now baptized Christians. I am just sad that my family feels I am an enemy to the "Truth". I only wanted what the Christ had to offer, the free gift of eternal life through faith, not works. I explained it to my son the other day like this. "If I gave you a gift and wrapped it nice and sacrificed a lot to be able to give you this gift, wouldn't you appreciate it? Well, what if I asked you to pay for the gift? I want you to do a bunch of chores around the house and work for your gift. How would that make you feel? WE DO NOT HAVE TO WORK FOR A GIFT, IT IS FREE TO US, IF WE ACCEPT IT!!!!" I am so thankful to God for revealing this to me.

Well, thank you for spending the time to read my story, I hope it is helpful. Anyone may e-mail me if they would like.