Thanks everyone for all this very helpful input.
leavingwt, great questions! I think they will put on a long face and say how sad they feel about former members who've gone elsewhere. That was their response over their "friend" who was disfellowshipped 3 weeks ago. That really shook me. His daughter was at the meeting in tears.
I know what their answer is about when they think Armageddon will take place. They'll say no-one but the Father knows the hour...entirely Biblical, of course, but somehow raising questions about all the calculations.
You wrote ...I don't yet know how to do the Quote thing..."Please ask them if Jehovah is going to kill tens of millions of Asian children at Armageddon?" Interesting question. Before I ask it, I'd like to know why you put it, please. What's behind it? Am I being thick? What's special about Asian children as opposed to other children?
I wasn't searching and didn't have a loss, except I was devastated by the revelations of what had been happening in our church, as were many others, who have left and gone all over the place.
Yknot, thanks for your input. I think you're in the US. I'm in the UK so maybe a phone call isn't the best idea, but thanks a lot! You ask "What was going on in your life when you became involved?" I'd been taking the magazines for about 3 years. It was when some really bad stuff was going on in our church that I really paid attention to the JW's and accepted a study. I argued very hard on some points but eventually saw the points that were raised. Yes, I have got a copy of the ministry School book, also a lot of other books including Reasoning and Organized as well as the Proclaimers book and some other things. There are lots of good things among it but also big leaps in reasoning that they know I don't yet find proved, eg 1914 and 1919 and also Jesus identical with Michael...possible but by no means provable.
Quandry, I have certainly done a lot of research, especially in the first 6 months of studying. I was dubious. I researched the history of the organisation, and also and especially the origins of the teachings, original texts, early church history etc. I found much that seemed right, and then these extra things that weren't provable along with the good stuff.
I am quite clear that I do not trust my study conductor and his wife. He doesn't have a mind of his own and she is a control freak. There are many people who are very nice. Some of that is true of all groups of society. What I haven't been taught much about and what I'm finding alluded to on here is the difference in attitudes to and requirements of a person once they are baptised,. All I know is that you get to clean the loos and vacuum the carpets!
Because I'm new here I'm allowed only 2 more posts in the next 12 hours, which is basically overnight, so I don't think we need worry too much. My fiirst two posts were blanks by mistake! Thanks everyone for all your advice and help and also those who pointed out, correctly, that the Guidelines were just below this area of the page...all I needed to do was open my eyes wide and look, though you were all to polite to say so!
Could that be a metaphor trying to tell me something, I wonder?! ;)