Help ! Two of my boys (13 and 10) want to become publisher

by Ancientofdays 23 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Ancientofdays

    I know this day would have arrived , sooner or later.

    I'm inactive from 1 year now, and I go to the meeting just sometime on the Sunday.
    But my wife is in a very well standing , and the kids are following her at meeting and service field.

    Yesteray evening my wife told me that my 2 boys asked the elder to become publisher.
    They are 13 and 10 age.

    The elder was very polite , and ask my wife to have my opinion regarding this.

    I'm going to talk the oldest boy (not taking in consideration the 10 yrs old one).

    I would like not to be so drastic and not offend him, but I have to start some point to tell him some truth regarding this organization .

    Any suggestion ?
    Someone already experienced ?


  • Gill

    Welcome, Ancientofdays!

    Perhaps you need to start by asking your son / sons why they want to become publishers. Then you need to ask them what they think will happen if they don't become publishers. Ask them why they believe it is important for them to take this step.

    Then, depending on what there answer is, and supposing that sooner or later they will mention something they fear such as Armageddon, you then need to explain that 'Fear' is a tool that certain people choose to use to control other people. These 'other ' people want them to be afraid of something that will happen to them that is 'bad' if they don't behave in a certain way.

    That same controling person or 'agency' might also at some time ask for money as well as time from them.

    Then, let them think on what you have said for a while.

    Tell them that you will talk about this again tomorrow, for example and see what they then say. Take it from there.

    Kids are bright. They might not like you to come down hard on 'the only true religion' so let them set their own critical thinking abilities in action.

    Good luck!

  • sass_my_frass

    You can go two ways:

    - try to fight it, which if you don't do right will trigger their persecution complex and drive them straight towards it

    - fully support them, even encourage them, even make them go out when they don't want it, and hope that they realise how dull it is and grow out of it.

    I think you should consider #2. You're going to have to play a complex game either way. You're better off if you're not the bad guy.

  • Clam
    The elder was very polite , and ask my wife to have my opinion regarding this.

    Maybe you could write him a letter about how you actually feel. You could say that you don't believe that they are old enough to make such a decision and that you don't agree with children being baptised; after all even Jesus waited until he was thirty. You could also say that you've heard that once baptised they would have to follow a strict code and could, during the dangerous teen years fall foul of the JC. This could result in DFing and shunning. You're concerned over the future possible consequences for your family. No need to get the elder's back up.You could disguise a steel fist in a velvet glove so to speak. Dialogue may change the picture.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Tell them that Jesus did not begin his ministry until the age of 30, when fully a man able to make his own and clear decisions in life. Sublty suggest that those who begin so early to do this, often end up baptised early too. Point out examples [if you know of some] of those who were disfellowshipped later for a decision made far too young.

    Most people don't actually like the FS. So let then know that it is ok with you if they choose not to become publishers until they are older. No force, no pressure. With the right suggestions, made logically for a 13 year old mind, and his own mind working on the tidbits you state to him, he may well decide to wait a while.


    Sorry Clam. Great minds must think alike. While I was composing you had already posted.

  • MidwichCuckoo

    Just a thought - if children below 'working age' (I think it's 12 in UK, and they have to obtain a permit from local authority and specific hours are allowed), are going door to door with WT it strictly 'legal'?

  • Scully

    I'm not sure how old you are yourself, but it wasn't so long ago that unbaptized people did not require the elders' permission to be regarded as a publisher. When you were ready, you just started submitting a field service report.

    Ask him if he thinks Jehovah can't tell what is in his heart until after he requests permission and gets approval from the elders. Ask him why he thinks he really needs to have the elders' permission to do a job that Jesus commanded all his followers to do. How is having the elders' permission and receiving recognition from the elders in the form of an artificial label changing the actual thing that he's doing or the "contents" of his heart that only Jehovah can see? Take a can of soup and put it in front of him. Ask him what is in the can. Take the label off. Ask him if what is in the can has changed now that the label is not there. He knows what is in there and that's all that matters. In the same way, Jehovah knows what is inside him, even without an artificial label that the elders "allow" him to have. The preaching work is not the elders' work, it is the job of all Jesus' followers. He didn't tell them to clear it with the Apostles first.

    It's interesting that your 13 year old is the same age as when many groups (Jews, Muslims, some Native people if I remember correctly) have "coming of age" ceremonies for their children. This is a recognition of the child's developmental stage and ability to accept more grown-up responsibilities. Maybe it's a good time to involve both your sons in a regular grown up activity that you can enjoy together that has nothing to do with the JWs. It can be a sport or a hobby, it doesn't have to be expensive - even if you go on nature walks and start cataloguing the various kinds of birds, trees and animals you can find it is something non-threatening to the JWs that serves as an alternative to JW activities.

  • diamondblue1974

    Ask them why they are called Publishers and how that title is Scriptural.

    Tell them that if they can answer that question adequately using the bible then they will be qualified to go from door to door and make their own choice.


  • Gayle

    Could you re-direct them into a sport now instead? Most boys these ages would honestly like more being in a sport. I think the boys would in the long run appreciate if you took them to that Saturday mornings and during the week for practices.

  • greendawn

    Was it their mother that put them up to it? The point is if you oppose them that may label you as an apostate and cause a lot of friction. I guess you want to fade away quietly.

    You could though try to gently move them away from these cultic objectives by bringing up points in a very indirect way when she is not present.

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