1995- They put a couple of paragraphs in a study article of the WATCHTOWER magazine about how Jesus didn't mean what the Watchtower
leaders had been saying he meant all these years, but obviously Jesus meant something else. It wasn't an admission that they were
just as wrong as they were about 1975 or any other previous failed prophecy/prediction. It was more like it had come to their
attention that they can be more right with this new understanding than they previously were. The end of this system would come
right on schedule, but we just don't know quite when it is.
It read like the new understanding was so logical and easy to follow, so of course all the readers will accept it. In
reality, it was using a wild definition for the word "generation" and it was very difficult to understand.
When I studied the doctrine originally, it was heavily stressed that Watch Tower's teaching about the nearness of the end was not
wrong. Now, I saw that they were avoiding the word "wrong" but they were still saying that their previous understanding was not
I spoke with others about this upcoming study and some of the members were quite excited about this "new light." I asked the other more experienced elders about it and was amazed that they simply
thought it was no big deal. "They change things sometimes."
Well, the day comes when we studied the magazine article in the Kingdom Hall on Sunday. The paragraphs with this huge change in
doctrine were covered just like any other paragraphs. The paragraphs were read aloud, the questions at the bottom of the page were
asked, and someone answered them. That was it. In less than ten minutes, we were supposed to all change our long held beliefs that
we were told were coming from Jehovah through Jesus through the Bible and believe something completely different from now on.
Despite childhood exposure, I came into the JW's as an adult in 1988 and this was the very beginning of the end of my relationship with them. I had been allowing the literature and lectures to prevent me from thinking for myself for 7 years up until the
time those paragraphs were studied. That ended the very moment it was breezed over in the Kingdom Hall like it was just another
change. I didn't abandon doing what was expected of me. I didn't say anything to anybody about my new freedom to question things
and think for myself, but I was not the same lemming willing to run right off the cliff if the other members did so. The words, "They
change things sometimes" spoken by a fellow elder stuck with me. I had expected the end of the world to arrive so soon ever since I
first embraced the doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses, but now I knew it would possibly not come in my lifetime.
I had never counted on retiring before Armageddon. I knew I was
going to have to change my priorities. I laid the foundation to focus on finding a career instead of a job, and I stopped standing in my wife's way to get a college education. Sure, I stayed another 11+ years more, but with a different attitude. 1995 was huge for me.