Wednesday, August 13, 2008

the Jehovah Witnesses

Bobby called me on his way out Monday, "I just saw the J.W.s proselyting. Heads up." So I closed everything up to be able to pretend no one was home when they came by and went about my day not even noticing they didn't come by. But, I didn't realize that they were housing out the area and I had let my guards down the next day when they came knocking on my door. I opened it having completely forgotten about Bobby's warning call the day before.

Hey, I figure I knocked on thousands of doors as a missionary why not be nice. I know what it's like. So I listened. They're approach was "Do you ever feel like the world is in chaos and it's affecting you?" She brought up the fighting that's going on with the Russians. They tried to make the approach that the Bible has the answers to help us feel peace in this chaotic world of doom and gloom.

After looking around me and seeing what a beautiful day it really was here in this cute, suburban neighborhood and how peaceful my street was with no one around but us, and hearing my kids playing nicely together in my clean house as I finish up a book, my reply was, "Not really. Sadly it's out of sight and out of mind." I don't want to be unempathetic or indifferent to the terrible things people are going through but right now (today at this moment) things are good and I'd like to enjoy this moment in my life without feeling guilty people. Haven't I been through enough already?

So I was feeling guilty afterwards. We really are blessed. Yes, we have trials. I know I have. I struggle through them all the time and am grateful when they pass and I feel better. What comes to mind is the teaching from the scriptures that goes something like the following--where much is given much is required. Surely the boss upstairs can't be too disappointed in me for being comfortable right now, I have 3 young boys for crying out loud. But it's true I need to reach out more especially to those who are struggling as I do or as I have in the past with life, pregnancy, post partum ness, etc. I probably should make an effort to serve others and actually apply the principles of the gospel in my life. We pray, love our kids, don't break the law, but there's more that I can do. I should have given water to the guy trying to sell magazines today. Small acts of service, a good place to start.


Emily said...

I cant believe they are using the SAME tactics...

Okay, a JW came to my door and showed me these pictures of kids starving and deformed ... etc etc... and she said asked if I knew these things were going on in the world....

I stared, almost in disbelief, and said, "this tactic of yours is very manipulative and undermining, you're trying to bring me down, so that you can "rescue" me with your message and bring me back up! totally wrong to treat people that way!"

I'm sure you were much nicer than I was... I was planning on being nice to them (since we've been in their shoes before) but I JUST couldn't help myself... and I'm saddened to hear that they haven't changed their approach!


Carson Calderwood said...

Good thoughts! We have thought about this a lot lately. Its good to recognize that there are bad things out there that we should help with when possible, but not let it overshadow the good that we have and make us depressed and miserable. I think you chose wisely grasshoppa'

Tiffany said...

They came to my house this week, too! I hear ya, when you see them standing there it's that "Why did I open my door....I don't have time for this?" But then of course, I'm always nice. My kids are all clamoring at the door and we got the same kind of do you feel about the fighting in the world.....what would you do if your boys had to fight...?

I was all over the "I would never choose it on purpose, but if they were drafted...they absolutely would go". The woman looked at me in shock, like I was an unfeeling mother. I followed up with something along the lines of, "In our church, we believe in obeying the laws of whatever land we live in, and if that means fighting to defend freedom, then we do it." Overall it was a positive conversation and I even offered them a cold drink. But I liked your thoughts on this...doing what we can in our corner of the world.

Liz and Jake said...

Funny they also stopped my house last week and I told my son to tell them I had just gotten out of the shower. They left him some books and my kids didn't understand why I wouldn't let them keep them.

I feel bad because I too think of the missionaries when they come. It won't be too many years before my oldest will be able to serve and it would break my heart to know that people are shutting their doors on him or making up lies not to come to the door! I guess next time I should actually say HI or even offer them a drink like Tiffany.

BTW Small world...I will have to show my husband your husbands picture. I hope your husband only remembers good things...however it was high school! We joke that if we would have met in high school we never would have dated...Seriously he had a mullet!

the narrator said...

while i don't care for the tactic of jehovah's witnesses, i don't really care for the approaches that our lds missionaries use either. i do admire what they do though. for many latter-day saints 'every member a missionary' means that you find a non-member, pretend to be their friend, bug them, and then drop the fake friendship once it is realized that they are not planning on getting baptized. these jehovah's witnesses take time from their day to go out in the blistering sun and do their best to share a message that means a lot to them to total strangers because of the love that they have for others. they do this week after week after week through their whole lives, not just for their first pair of adulthood years.

though i'm glad most latter-day saints don't do this, because they would probably screw things up pretty good.

as far as the "In our church, we believe in obeying the laws of whatever land we live in, and if that means fighting to defend freedom, then we do it" idea goes, i quite disagree. when joseph smith wrote the articles of faith in the infamous wentworth letter, when he included 12th article he was allaying fears and misconceptions that the mormons were an anti-nationalist threat. every year in july the church in america celebrates rebels who openly broke the laws of and fought against their government. in the 19th century, the lds church was often going up against and defying the laws of the country.

and if my kids were drafted into a war they they thought was immoral (such as our occupation of iraq) and they wanted to avoid it, i would whole-heartedly support them.

Amy-Alisa said...

Good things to think about, as usual. I never know what to do with the magazine people.