How old were you when you got baptized...was it your own decision?

by Desilusionnee 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • Desilusionnee

    sd-7 most of us raised or born in THINK they make their own choice, but we were more or less manipulated. Always the fear of dying at Armageddon.

  • coffee_black

    I was 8. I remember hearing at the meetings that a child was covered by his/her parents baptism until they understood, and then they would no longer be covered... I thought I understood, so I asked to be baptized. My parents actually tried to talk me out of it because of my age. They had a family friend and Circuit O (Paul Havlin) talk to me, and I convinced him I was ready.


  • VoidEater

    I was 9. I "chose" to do it because it was expected that I would do it at some point, so what was the difference whether it was now or later? It never occured to me that I didn't have to - of course I had to.

    Got through the pre-baptism questions fine. But, to tell the truth, I was shocked and perplexed at what I was told I was committing myself to at the ceremony itself - I thought I was committing myself to God, but the speaker at the assembly said something about committing myself to the organization? In my little, confined, young mind, I only committed myself to God.

  • Desilusionnee

    8 and 9 year old!!!! I didn't know one could get baptized that early!
    And that's true, we're expected to take our decision as soon as we "understand", overwise we can't really "please Jehovah"...that's the point.

  • Soldier77

    15. I did it because all my friends were getting baptized and the elders were pushing me, asking me, are you thinking about getting baptized etc.

    Was I ready? Nope, when I talked to an elder and let him know I wanted to be baptized, he asked if I dedicated my life to Jehovah in prayer first... I said, uhhhh... no? He said, go home, pray tonight and do so then come back and talk to him. Manipulative eh?

  • Found Sheep
    Found Sheep

    12 I thought it would get rid of the guilt I always felt...

  • sd-7
    sd-7 most of us raised or born in THINK they make their own choice, but we were more or less manipulated. Always the fear of dying at Armageddon.

    Actually, I don't really remember thinking of it as my own choice--I knew it was something I was reluctant about, on the inside. When an elder asked me for my own reasons why I was getting baptized, I knew that I had no personal reasons to offer him. So I made up one. The easiest one was, might as well do it now rather than later. But I knew it wasn't genuine, even though I wanted to live up to all these good moral ideals I'd heard about.

    Honestly, I didn't feel qualified for it because I'd just learned that (1) masturbation was wrong and (2) I'd been masturbating for a year and was having trouble stopping it and was too ashamed to talk about it. I should add (3) I finally understood what masturbation was after I started producing the man-fluids and re-read the Young People Ask chapters on it. I hoped getting baptized would stimulate me to work harder to stop--yet the very same night after, I was tempted again to do it. Believe it or not, sleeping on my side actually did help me...not coming into contact with the bed made it less tempting. 'Nother story, perhaps for the Adult section...

    But I definitely didn't do it because I feared being destroyed at Armageddon if I didn't--that wasn't really on my mind at all, that I can recall. I figured that God wouldn't kill someone who was living by his laws just because they hadn't gotten baptized yet. But I was still a kid, and didn't know all that much about the deeper stuff.

    Too much information. But looking back on it, it wasn't really my decision, though I agreed with a lot of what I learned about.

  • St George of England
    St George of England

    When I was baptised half a century ago, there were no questions to go through in the Organized Book; there was no Organized book. There weren't even Elders in those days! When you got to being a teenager after 13 years of brain washing and indoctrination it was just expected of you. No one asked you any questions, no one checked you understood what you were doing. You, or more probably your parents would mention it to the Congregation servant before the Circuit Assembly and then you turned up on the Sunday morning with your towel and cozzie.

    The only book produced for 'young people' in those days was the 'Paradise Book' in 1958 and that certainly didn't mention sex. It was too busy explaining how each of the creative days were 7000 years long.


  • brizzzy

    I was 12. I thought it was my own decision at the time. I did it because I never really felt this unquenchable, all-consuming love for Jehovah that I was "supposed" to have, and that everyone else seemed to have. I always felt like the one miserable sourpuss in a sea of glowing, beaming, Stepford JW faces. I thought something was seriously wrong with me, and I figured that perhaps getting baptized would transform me and sort of "force" me to feel love for Jehovah.

    Oh, and sd-7, I had the masturbation "problem" too, for 3 years before I was baptized. Though I felt pretty guilty occasionally, I didn't let it stop me from getting baptized, though (and I certainly never confessed or got caught - I had pretty strong self-preservation instincts). After baptism, I managed to stop for a few months before relapsing, at which point, I decided "eff this!" and never bothered to try and repress it again or feel guilty about it. I think on some level, part of me always knew I was destined to bolt once I turned 18.

  • mentallyfree31

    Desi - I was 11. My parents NEVER pressured me once on this issue. My parents were very big on reading, and as small kids (1 yr thru 5 yrs) we read constantly. Thus I was a great fluent reader by the time I was in 2nd grade. So by the time I was 11, I was quite adept at reading, so I guess I understood most JW things/organization rules, etc by that time.

    I do remember wanting to be able to carry the microphones, and baptism was a requirement for that.


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