How old were you when baptized?
I was born in (3rd generation, even) but managed to hold out until I was 18. My sister was baptized at 11, and confided in me that it was only because a bunch of her friends where doing it at the time. I resolved then that because it was always said to be an important "decision" I wanted to make sure that I only did it because I loved Jehovah. I never had any long-term friendships (inside or out) so I never quite got pressured to get dunked by them, so it wasn't much of an issue. I think after a certain point, people just assumed I was baptized.
The problem was that my father started pressuring me to get baptized before each assembly/convention starting at about 12. I held out for 6 years with one of my major reservations being that I felt unlikely to ever find a girlfriend/wife in the organization (all the girls were just out to get married, and they all seemed shallow and stupid to me, as did many JWs in general). Then I met a girl that wasn't shallow and stupid, we dated for a while (she was my first love) and she broke up with me (probably pressure from her parents) and in my heartbroken state my father one day came into my room apparently with one thing on his mind. We had the following conversation:
Him: Did <ex-gf's name> know you weren't baptized?
Me: I don't know....we never talked about it.
Him: How do you think she would've reacted if she'd found out you weren't baptized after you'd already started dating?
Me: I don't know....
Him: well that's something to think about.
And that did it. I thought I was being punished for not being baptized, and god was dangling a carrot in front of me to get baptized. I actually resented Jehovah for a long time due to "his" tactics to get me to be baptized. It makes me sad to think about now, because it's really the only time that my father betrayed me, and it was such a deep betrayal to take advantage of a heartbroken teen to pressure them to join a cult. I know he had good motives, but it's still hard to forgive him for it.
They shook the bushes in Madison County, Arkansas and came up with a 37 year old true believer. I was 7 months pregnant with my sixth child when I was baptised.
Born a Catholic, for the previous 10 years I had been reading the gospels and fervently trying to live a christian life--taking in the homeless, immigrants,being a good neigbor,etc. (Note:My non-christian husband, btw, was involved in this too). The Witnessses got a hearing from me finally for their anti-war stand. I got involved in a free home bible study with a pioneer sister who has been locally famous for her "success in the ministry". My husband noted the negative effect the JWs had on my freedom to help others--I told him we were preaching the "Good News" so that took care of it (I felt guilty though).
I came to my senses 5-6 years ago.
I do regret so much those years as a JW.
I was baptized at 24, a convert from agnosticism. I was impressed by the JW's extensive preaching work and felt it was an undeniable sign of true religion.
a watcher - Do you mind if I ask if you where coping with an emotionally trying event when you were first contacted or when you first decided that it was 'the truth'?
I had to get baptized to use the hall.
We had a big Italian wedding.
Joe, actually no. I was just at loose ends and looking for something to do with my life that was worthwhile.
It seems that most of us, so far, were indoctinated as children. I was too, baptized way to young. I could not have driven a car, or taken a job. If I had promised to marry someone it would have been considered meaningless due to my young age, but there I was signed up & dunked - now responsible by a binding oath that remains in effect for the rest of my life.
Crazy..isn't it - and nowadays they do it all the more and encourage it even younger..In it's day this was exceptional but by publishing it now they make it a desirable action
Wt 06 10/1 p12
In September 1938, my parents were baptized. My siblings and I were baptized in December 1941 at a national convention held at Hargreave Park in Sydney, New South Wales. I was seven years old.
16 and it was because of my rush to go up and become an adult. My parents were heavy handed in all areas of my life and I wanted to break the chains and get out of Dodge. I was not allowed to get a car even though I was holding down several jobs and riding a bicycle over 30 miles a day to accomplish school and work. I was told that I could get a car if I pioneered. Well you have to be baptised to pioneer. I got my car, pioneered one month and was on my own in a year.
To be fair I will add that I did believe it was the "truth" and wanted to be baptised. However I never wated to pioneer or go to bethel and the more I was pressured the more I hated the idea. That was decades ago and although my parents are still JWs they are much better people now. I was just their first child and they had a lot to learn. My other 4 siblings worked them over pretty good.
I was born in, but didn't get baptised until I was 35.
born in....baptized at 13....it was all sleepwalking