attended a jw memorial talk yesterday

by man in black 7 Replies latest jw experiences

  • man in black
    man in black

    After being DA'd for two years, I felt it was my duty to attend the memorial talk for an elderly brother who I greatly respected over the years.

    I was quite nervous going back to the KH and seeing everyone.

    Well, my wife and I walked in, and most of the elders we saw just looked away, or acted like we were invisible. Several of our old friends winked, smiled, or waved secretly. The hall was full, and this elder named Jeff Renfroe placed us in the 2nd row from the front. .

    During the talk I was just amazed how confined, and limited the jw way of thinking was. The speaker used the same scriptures used in these talks for over 30 years. The same examples as to why people die. Remember the example of the dented bread tin ? They updated it now to a computer virus, and how it transfers from one computer to another.

    The life, family, and times of the person who died were reduced to a small introduction , the rest of the talk was an infomercial for promoting the jw mindset. It was a real eye-opener for me as to how confined witnesses are and how they are not allowed to think, or act on their own thoughts or feelings.

    After the talk we were walking out, and I made a real effort to make eye contact with as many people as possible. Most just looked away, but many smiled.

    I believe now that when a person leaves the jw religion on their own, and not doing anything that would have been a df'ing offense the congregation develops the thinking that the life of the person who left will just fall apart and it will just be a short time before that person comes crawling back the the kh asking for forgiveness.

    Having gone back to the hall just supporting the family of the man who died actually made me feel good, and the way the elders looked at or ignored us I felt that they were nervous because we are still normal. And the people who ignored us more forcefully were the spiritual "men" who are guiding the congregation. I felt bad for many of the kids we knew, now they are teenagers and they seemed torn as to whether they should say something or not. Most just ended up looking away if their parents, or an elder were near,,,, I thought that was really sad that even children could not act on their own feelings.

  • heathen

    They really are a bunch of inconsiderate A holes . What gets me is how they talk about being considerate and respectful in the publications then in practice they are petty small minded oafs .

  • knockknock

    Yes, I feel bad for those who are trapped in there. I believe that when Christ returns, all captives will be set free! And the Harlot will be exposed for what she really is. The pressure is getting worse for the JW's. Read the September 15, 2010 Watchtower lesson. It shows the double speak of the Watchtower.

  • moshe

    Give it some more time- in another 10 years most won't even recognize you guys. I visted a KH that I had been absent from for about 20 years and I saw not one JW who recognized me from the past. Some had a look of, where do I know you from?, but they couldn't place me.

  • treadnh2o


    I was at a JW funeral earlier this year. You are the bigger man. I too left feeling sorry for so many people. It reinforced my decision to leave (even though I did not DA). Continue to live your life, do what is right and watch many of these young ones leave.


  • knockknock

    Man In Black,

    you were brave going back to the kingdom Hall, knowing how you'd be treated. Bravo! I know a person who actually came to the Hall to partake of the emblems because they were'nt going to leave the Org. without partaking there first. The elders acted like they were about to jump out of their chairs to grab the emblems from this person...and after the memorial, the elders avoided him like a plague and no one came to talk to him afterward. They wouldn't even look at him.

    Ignored. At that time, anyone partaking of the emblems from the outside, are judged as imposters and apostates. Sad, it is so evident they don't know "The Truth" John 14:6.

  • Juan Viejo2
    Juan Viejo2

    This is one of the major points made by a current elder who wrote an article for

    I have attended three memorials this year for two elderly members of my family and one young man in his early 20s. None of these family members were Jehovah's Witnesses. Each one was a non-religious memorial, but had some Christian ethic overtones and commentary. The prayers were non-denominational and intended to be supportive to the family. Each funeral allowed family members and friends of the deceased to come forward and offer their comments and to share stories about the deceased. Each funeral had a video slideshow that showed the life events and growth of the deceased.

    When leaving those kinds of memorials everyone feels that they have had a chance to learn more about the person who passed. Everything is upbeat and positive. It is a chance to share hugs and stories. Yes, there are tears shed, but they are simply natural responses that we all feel for the family and the fact that the deceased will never again be a part of our lives - only memories.

    Jehovah's Witness funerals are boring. Any mention of the deceased is very limited - usually less than five minutes total. Very little is shared about his or her life, their families, their accomplishments, or what everyone in the room remembers about them. If anything is to be shared in the way of stories or other commentary about the deceased, it must be held until after everyone leaves the Kingdom Hall and maybe goes to a reception in a private home or restaurant. Once out of the Kingdom Hall or mortuary sanctuary, family members can do other things to celebrate the life of the deceased - but even that may be limited. It is very easy for the elders to find fault with the family members who do too much - criticizing them for "glorifying a person over Jehovah."

    I know of at least one case where friends and family members simply took over the funeral at a Kingdom Hall. It caused a near riot when the elders tried to stop them. I did not get all the details, but I do know that one of the family members was mentioned after a service meeting as being "on probation" and unable to enjoy any special responsibilities.

    If a family of Jehovah's Witnesses wishes to have both a JW funeral and an open memorial, then they should avoid having the funeral at a Kingdom Hall. Have the memorial at a community center. Invite one of the brothers - or a family member who is a JW - to give the official JW talk. Then after the official funeral is over, let a family member take over the memorial and run the rest of it as the family wishes. There may be some gossip and a lot of elder criticism afterwards, but screw them.

    Also consider not having a JW funeral. Have a non-sectarian funeral for the deceased. Let the family and friends, both JWs and non-Witnesses attend if they wish. If the JWs have a problem with that, screw them too. They are not really friends of your family if they take that approach.

    JW funerals have been a pain in my butt since I was a kid. All of my deceased family members have had JW funerals and they have all been exactly the same - boring, boring, boring! I leave them crying - not out of grief for the deceased, but rather for the way their memory was just ignored and minimized as unimportant.



    I've questioned whether or not I'll go to a JW memorial when the time comes many times. On the one hand, I can't imagine not going to the memorial for my father, grandparents, etc...on the other hand, I don't know if I could take watching them turn my loved one's memorial, a time to speak about THEM, into an infomercial for themselves. It bugged me at my mom's memorial when I was still a JW, I can't imagine how I'd feel now.

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