Comments You Will Not Hear at the 01-16-11 WT Study (NOVEMBER 15, 2010, pages 12-16 )(BAPTISM)
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Y OUNG O NES
— W HAT W ILL Y OU D O
W ITH Y OUR L IFE ?
“The way I am directing my blows
is so as not to be striking the air.”—1 COR. 9:26.
I grew up during the late 60’s and early 70’s in a family with a non-jw father and a shaky jw mother. I had to face baptism, did I do it because all my peers were doing, did I do it because 1975 was so close and people not baptized as jws would die eternally. I have to admit that I did not get family pressure partly because my mother really had no status in the congregation, she was a woman and married to a non-jw.
Do teenage children of jws “hold back” without the Damocles sword of 1975 over their head? Do parents threaten to kick out their children that do not get baptized? Do jw parents try to buy their children with cars, trips, a free ride if they do and pioneer?
START OF ARTICLE
1, 2. For you to be successful as you grow toward
adulthood, what do you need to have?
I F YOU were going to travel on an unfamiliar
trail, you might want to take along a
map and a compass. The map would help
you to identify your current position and aid
in plotting out a course. The compass would
allow you to orient yourself. However, both
the map and the compass would be of little
use if you did not know where you were
headed. To avoid wandering aimlessly, you
would need a clearly defined destination.
Map---WT pubs or bible
If map = bible, does GPS = WT-CD?
How many people even know what a compass looks like let alone how it works?
2 You face a similar situation as you grow
toward adulthood. You have available both
a reliable map and a compass. The Bible is a
map that can help you to know which path
to choose. (Prov. 3:5, 6) If properly trained,
your conscience can be a great help in keeping
you on the right course. (Rom. 2:15) It
can serve as a compass. For your life to be
successful, though, you also need to know
where you are headed. You need clearly defined
What does the WTS define as adulthood? Marriage—18 or older, driving—16 or older, sign contract—18 or older but baptism, as young as 6
“properly” trained by whom? WTS or bible?
3. What benefits of having goals does Paul refer to
at 1 Corinthians 9:26?
3 The apostle Paul summed up the benefits
of setting goals and endeavoring to
reach them when he wrote: “The way I am
running is not uncertainly; the way I am directing
my blows is so as not to be striking
the air.” (1 Cor. 9:26) If you have goals, you
can run with certainty. Soon, you will have
to make some major decisions regarding
worship, employment, marriage, and family,
to name a few. At times, you may feel as
though you are facing a maze of options.
But if you plot out your course ahead of
time, basing your decisions on the truths
and principles found in God’s Word, you
will not be tempted to head in the wrong direction.—
2 Tim. 4:4, 5.
Who sets our goals?
Who decides worship, employment, marriage, family? Parents, WTS, Bible?
4, 5. (a) What can happen if you do not set goals
for yourself? (b) Why should your choices be governed
by a desire to please God?
4 If you do not set goals for yourself, your
peers and teachers are likely to influence
you to do what they feel is right for you. Of
course, even if you have clear goals, some
may still offer their opinions. When listening
to their suggestions, ask yourself,
‘Would the goals they mention help me to
remember my Creator while I am young or
would they distract me from doing so?’
—Read Ecclesiastes 12:1.
Have parents told children they must regular pioneer, go to Bethel, not go to college, etc. Has it been the child’s choice?
5 Why should your choices in life be governed
by a desire to please God? One reason
is that Jehovah gave us every good thing we
have. (Jas. 1:17) Really, everyone owes Jehovah
a debt of gratitude. (Rev. 4:11) What better
way could there be for you to show your
appreciation than keeping Jehovah in mind
when you set goals? Let us consider what
goals are worth attaining and what you
must do to reach them.
Please God or parents and WTS?
Where is Jesus in this equation?
What Goals Can You Set?
6. What fundamental goal could you set, and why?
6 As mentioned in the preceding article, a
fundamental goal that you can set is to
prove to yourself that what is said in the Bible
is true. (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 13:5) Your
peers may believe in evolution or in various
false religious doctrines because others have
told them that this is what they should believe.
However, you can rise above such
thinking when it comes to your own beliefs.
Remember, Jehovah wants you to serve him
with your whole mind. (Read Matthew 22:
36, 37.) Our heavenly Father wants you to
build your faith on evidence.—Heb.11:1.
Prove that what is said in the Bible is true or what is in the WT publications is true?
What beliefs has the WTS had that they have changed and then returned to the previous belief?
Example: SUPERIOR AUTHORITIES (Romans 13:1,2)
Up to 1929: secular authorities
1929 to 1962: God and Jesus
1962 to present: secular authorities
Was the Bible wrong or the WTS?
7, 8. (a) Setting what short-term goals will help
you to strengthen your faith? (b) What will you
experience as you reach some of your short-term
7 To help strengthen your faith, why not
set some short-term goals? One goal could
be to pray each day. To help keep your
prayers fresh and specific, you could make a
mental or a written note of a day’s specific
events that you want to include in your
prayers. Be sure to mention not only the
challenges you faced but also the things you
enjoyed. (Phil. 4:6) Another goal is to read
the Bible each day. Did you know that if you
read about four pages a day, you will complete
the whole Bible in just one year?*
“Happy is the man . . . [whose] delight is in
the law of Jehovah,” states Psalm 1:1, 2,
“and in his law he reads in an undertone day
*See The Watchtower, August 1, 2009, pages 15-18.
Pray each day…if Jesus is only the mediator of the anointed, how does 1 Timothy 2:5 apply to non-anointed jws? Should you pray through Jesus?
***w75 7/1 p. 402 par. 8 Coming to the Hearer of Prayer***
To communicate readily with the heavenly Father, one must accept Christ Jesus as Lord. Peace with God can come only through the appointed way, the ransom provision by the Lord Jesus. (Matt. 20:28; 1 Tim. 2:5, 6) He is the provision for approach to God in prayer and reconciliation with him. Jesus rightly declared: “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) He is the “helper” that plays a vital role in our having access to the Hearer of prayer. (1 John 2:1, 2) The way, therefore, to come to God is on the basis of Christ’s official services as high priest as well as the ransom he provided for mankind. Our asking in his name and coming to the Father is, therefore, in recognition of his office as God’s “Chief Agent of life.” No other intermediary is necessary in addressing our prayers to God.—Acts 3:15; John 14:13, 14; Heb. 10:19-22.
To help keep your
prayers fresh and specific, you could make a
mental or a written note of a day’s specific
events that you want to include in your
So is this how prayers are arrived at at the KH? How is that possible when Brother Prayer Giver doesn’t find out until 60 seconds before the meeting starts? Or the brothers at the convention/assembly that obviously have a script/outline for the prayer?
8 A third short-term goal you could set is
that of preparing an answer for each congregation
meeting. At first, you may want
to read the answer or a scripture. Later,
you could have the goal of answering in
your own words. Really, each time you answer,
you are offering a gift to Jehovah.
(Heb. 13:15) Once you have reached some
of these goals, your confidence will grow, as
will your appreciation for Jehovah, and you
will be ready to set long-term goals.
Do you have
a goal of reading
the Bible daily?
Preparing an answer…read it from the paragraph, look up a scripture or just the snippet in the paragraph? In your own words…I have seen adults just move the words around.
The book says
The paragraph says
The magazine says
9. If you are not yet a Kingdom publisher, what
long-term goals could you set for yourself?
9 What long-term goals could you set for
yourself? If you have not yet started to proclaim
the good news publicly, your long term
goal might be to become a Kingdom
publisher. Once you reach this honorable
goal, you will want to be regular and effective,
never missing a month of service. You
will also want to learn to use the Bible in the
ministry. As you do, you will probably discover
that you enjoy the preaching work
more. You could then increase the amount
of time you spend in the house-to-house
work or even endeavor to conduct a Bible
study. As an unbaptized publisher, what better
goal could you have than to qualify for
baptism and become a dedicated and baptized Witness
of Jehovah God?
Set for yourself—or have the WTS set for you in this paragraph?
Become a Kingdom publisher—that’s right, Jesus never had the goal, but you must?
Must be “regular” (1 hour a month) and “effective” like the adults that never make return visits, never read the publications before going out, use the same presentation they have for the last 35 years?
Use the Bible—do you see adults do this?
Baptism—6 years old or ten or 12 or 14; how old do you parents want you to be to get married?
10, 11. What long-term goals can baptized youths
set for themselves?
10 If you are already a baptized servant of
Jehovah, here are some long-term goals you
can reach out for. You might occasionally
want to help congregations to preach in seldom
worked territory. You may also choose
to use your strength and good health in the
auxiliary or regular pioneer work. Tens of
thousands of happy pioneers will tell you
that full-time service is a rewarding way to
remember your Creator during your youth.
These are goals that you can achieve while
living at home. Your local congregation will
also benefit from your reaching them.
Baptized servant of Jehovah—but not a Christian witness of Jesus as Acts 1:8 says?
Why are those congregations not working their territory? How often and effectively are the territories worked in your congregation? Can you find out?
Pioneering—yes, mom and dad will let you live free at home, provide a car, pay for nice trips, are you preparing to be able to support a family?
11 Other long-term goals could lead you
beyond your home congregation. For example,
you could plan to serve in another area
or country where the need is greater. You
might want to help construct Kingdom
Halls or branch facilities in foreign lands.
You may even be able to enter Bethel service
or become a missionary. Of course, the first
milestone you will need to reach before you
can move on to most of the long-term goals
mentioned here is that of getting baptized.
If you are not yet baptized, consider what is
involved in reaching this milestone in your
Serve in another country…how do you pay for this, parents pony up?
So when do you learn construction skills…or does the WTS take people with no skills?
Reaching the Goal of Baptism
12. For what reasons do some get baptized, and
why are these not sufficient?
12 How would you describe the purpose of
baptism? Some might think that it is to protect
them from giving in to sin. Others
may feel that they should get baptized because
their peers have been immersed. Other
young ones may want to please their parents.
However, baptism is not a contract that
restrains you from doing things that you
would secretly like to do; nor should you get
baptized in response to pressure from others.
You should get baptized when you are
fully aware of what being one of Jehovah’s
Witnesses involves and when you are sure
that you are ready and willing to take on this
responsibility.—Eccl. 5:4, 5.
SOME think that it is to protect them from giving into sin….a teaching of the WTS.
OTHERS …. Peers have been immersed—pressure to get baptized from parents when all your peers are baptized
Being “one of Jehovah’s Witnesses” or a Christian? Did Jesus’ followers get baptized as jws?
Remember once you are baptized…you can be disfellowshipped and have all your family and friends totally shun you.
13. Why should you get baptized?
13 One reason to undergo baptism is that
Jesus commissioned his followers to “make
disciples . . . baptizing them. ”He also set an
example by getting baptized. (Read Matthew
28:19, 20; Mark 1:9.) Moreover, baptism
is an important step for those who
want to be saved. After mentioning Noah’s
constructing of the ark in which he and his
family were preserved during the Flood,
the apostle Peter stated: “That which corresponds
to this is also now saving you, namely,
baptism, . . . through the resurrection of
Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 3:20, 21) This does not
mean, though, that baptism is like an insurance
policy that you obtain in case a disaster
should strike. Instead, you get baptized because
you love Jehovah and want to serve
him with your whole heart, soul, mind, and
strength.—Mark 12:29, 30.
In fact the WTS says that baptism as a jw is the mark mentioned at Ezekiel 9:4-6. That people who are not will die forever at Armageddon.
***w87 4/15 pp. 12-13 par. 12 Gaining Peace With God Through Dedication and Baptism***
Should even youths consider baptism? Well, recall that Jehovah told the six armed men in the vision: “Old man, young man and virgin and little child and women you should kill off—to a ruination. But to any man upon whom there is the mark do not go near.” (Ezekiel 9:6) Of course, children too young to make a dedication would be protected by a parent’s “mark” if that parent is striving to bring the children up to love Jehovah and if they are obediently responding. (1 Corinthians 7:14) Yet, if a child is intelligent enough to make a personal decision and has reached the point where he “knows how to do what is right,” do not presume that he will continue indefinitely under the merit of his parent’s “mark.”—James 4:17.
14. Why might some hold back from baptism, but
what assurance do you have?
14 Some may hesitate to get baptized out
of fear that they may be disfellowshipped at
a later time. Do you have this fear? If so,
such fear is not necessarily unhealthy in itself.
It can mean that you appreciate the serious
responsibility that comes with being
one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Might there
also be another reason? Maybe you are not
yet convinced that living by God’s standards
is the best way of life. In that case,
thinking about the consequences that come
to those who ignore Bible standards can
help you to make up your mind. On the other hand,
it could be that you love God’s standards
but do not trust yourself to be able to
live up to them. Actually, that can be a good
sign, for it shows humility on your part. After
all, the Bible says that all imperfect human
hearts are treacherous. (Jer. 17:9) But
you can be successful if you constantly ‘keep
on guard according to God’s word.’ (Read
Psalm119:9.)Whatever reasons there are for
your hesitation to get baptized, you need to
resolve such issues and concerns.*
*For help in this regard, see the book Questions Young
People Ask—Answers That Work, Volume 2, chapter 34.
But based on the WTS statements that unbaptized people will die forever at Armageddon, avoiding baptism is not avoiding death per the WTS. And of course, unbaptized adult children of jws can be and have been shunned.
15, 16. How can you tell if you are ready for baptism?
15 How, though, can you tell whether you
are ready for baptism? One way is to ask
yourself such questions as: ‘Can I explain
basic Bible teachings to others? Do I engage
in the ministry even when my parents do
not? Do I endeavor to attend all Christian
meetings? Can I recall specific instances
when I resisted peer pressure? Would I continue
to serve Jehovah even if my parents
and friends stopped doing so? Have I prayed
about my relationship with God? And have I
actually made an unreserved dedication to
Jehovah in prayer?’
Is a six year old ready, an eight year old, a ten year old? Perhaps based on the example of 5-year-old Samuel, 5-year old children could be baptized………!!!
Do you think the six year old baptized in Chicago a few years ago would go d2d without their parent, attend all the meetings even if their parents did not, resist peer pressure!!!!
16 Baptism is a life-altering step that
should not be taken lightly. Are you mature
enough to consider this step seriously? Maturity
means more than being able to give
good talks from the platform or impressive
answers during a meeting. It requires being
able to make decisions based on an understanding
of Bible principles. (Read Hebrews
5:14.) If you are at a stage in life where you
can do that, then what lies before you is the
greatest privilege of all—that of serving Jehovah
wholeheartedly and living in a way
that shows that you are truly dedicated to
So if your child is not old enough to choose to marry, drive a car, smoke, sign a contract, are they old enough to make the most life-altering decision?
What will help you to reach
the goal of getting baptized?
17. What will help you cope with trials that may follow
17 Immediately after baptism, you may
feel a surge of enthusiasm for serving God.
Soon, though, you may face trials that will
test your faith and resilience. (2 Tim. 3:12)
Do not feel that you have to deal with these
trials alone. Seek your parents’ advice. Look
to mature ones in the congregation for help.
Maintain friendships with those who will
support you. Never forget that Jehovah cares
for you, and he will give you the strength
needed to face any circumstance that may
arise.—1 Pet. 5:6, 7.
Feel a surge of enthusiasm—sounds like infatuation not grounded love
So how long will they seek parents advice? 20, 30, 50??? Or should a 16 year old seek the advice of their parents or “mature ones” who have no parental responsibility?
How Can You Reach Your Goals?
18, 19. How can you benefit from examining your
18 Despite your best intentions, does it
seem that you just never have enough time
to do what you want and need to do? If so,
you should examine your priorities. To illustrate:
Take a plastic bucket and place several
large rocks inside it. Then fill the bucket
with sand. You have a bucket full of rocks
and sand. Empty the bucket but keep the
same sand and rocks. This time, fill the
bucket with the sand first, and then try to
place the rocks inside the bucket. No room?
That is because you put the sand in the
This is a lame illustration…sounds like someone new is making them up or stealing someone else’s idea without attribution.
19 You face a similar challenge when managing
your time. If you put things like recreation
in first place, you will never seem to
have enough room in your life for the big
things—spiritual pursuits. But if you follow
the Bible’s admonition to “make sure of the
more important things,” you will find that
you have room for both Kingdom interests
and a measure of recreation.—Phil.1:10.
So which is more important earning money for rent, food, transportation, or going to a meeting? Will the people there feed you if you quit your job because it interferes with one meeting?
20. If you experience anxiety and doubts as you
strive to reach your goals, what should you do?
20 As you strive to reach your goals, including
baptism, you may at times experience
anxiety and doubts. When you do,
“throw your burden upon Jehovah himself,
and he himself will sustain you.” (Ps. 55:22)
At present, you have the opportunity to
share in the most exciting and important
work in human history, a worldwide preaching
and teaching campaign. (Acts 1:8) You
could choose to be a spectator and watch
others do this work. Or you could be part of
the action. Do not hold back from contributing
your talents toward furthering Kingdom
interests. You will never regret serving
“your Creator in the days of your youth.”
—Eccl.12:1,New International Version.
So will God provide food, housing, medicine?
Watch others not make return visits, waste time, not prepare…if jws were judged by how effective they were in making disciples as if a job, would they be fired?
What lesson do you learn from this illustration?
How Would You Answer?
- Why should you set goals?
- What are some goals that are worth
- What is involved in reaching the goal
- How can examining your priorities
help you to attain your goals?
Things have been busy and stressful lately. Would you marry someone your parents picked and at a time they chose? If not do not let them make this decision for you. Get in a position where you are not dependent financially on your parents and have friends outside the KH.