Jesus Is So
By Alex Demayo
I was a young boy when my parents and
family began studying with Jehovah's Witnesses. It all started when my cousin's
music teacher (who was a Witness) began studying with him. My cousin was about
13 years old when he began "studying." Needless to say, it upset my family very
much. But within a matter of months after starting to study with his music
teacher, my cousin had given up birthdays as well as regular association with
other boys of his age.
Eventually, my cousin did learn to play the guitar and he began indoctrinating
all of the family with JW doctrine. I had been raised from childhood as a
Catholic, so when we started studying JW teachings, I would pray that the Lord
would show me if the JW doctrines were wrong, or if they were against the
Catholic religion. Because I had no real knowledge of the Bible, the JW religion
appeared very good. The dedication of Witnesses was also appealing. It seemed
like they were always attending meetings, knocking on doors, and telling people
about their beliefs. In fact, during my teen years, the religion actually seemed
I continued studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses. By the time I was 18, I met a
young girl. We fell in love, and were married in the Catholic Church. I remember
asking my uncle, who was a Catholic priest at the time, what he thought of
Jehovah's Witnesses. He simply said I shouldn't go running after them. That was
the only advice I was given about Jehovah's Witnesses, and it really just made
the religion seem that much more appealing.
In 1959, my wife and I had our first
child, a girl. At that time, we were told by JWs that our little girl would
never see kindergarten because of Armageddon, which was supposedly just a few
years away. I remember sitting with the music teacher who had taught my cousin,
and he assured us that the generation we were living in would not pass before
Armageddon occurred. In fact, he insisted that according to calculations made by
the Watchtower Society, Armageddon would come no later than 1984. (Here we are
15 years later!)
We continued to have more kids, and by
1961 we had three small children. This was an extremely difficult time for my
wife and I because our children were in school. It was difficult because I
worked with children at the time, and I was really uncomfortable with the
message we-as good JW parents- were supposed to give our own children regarding
school. We were supposed to tell our kids that they would be going to school
with other kids who saluted a pagan image, that they would be surrounded by
pagan people, and that the school they attended was a pagan place. I used to
think to myself, "What a way to start life; what a way for a young child to be
brought into a society; what a way to take a childhood away from a child." I had
a hard time understanding how anyone could make a child become an adult so soon.
It really bothered me.
During this time, I began to feel
depressed. I was starting to have feelings of gloom and condemnation without any
hope. Yet, the Society was teaching us that we should be happy because we had
the "truth." However, I was really having a difficult time. I was trying to
support my family, make five meetings a week, go out in service, and follow up
with back calls. I felt myself slowly slipping into this maze of depression, and
I was getting weaker and weaker emotionally.
By the time I was 24 years old, I was
eaten up with guilt. I just couldn't keep up with all of the responsibilities
being heaped on me by the Society. But there was no way I could take a break on
a weekend. I felt I had to go out in field service. Eventually, I found myself
unable to even get out of bed. I became fanatical about many of the Society's
teachings, and I began to view everything with a cynical attitude, especially
the government. Nothing seemed to satisfy me.
I eventually began to see a
psychiatrist. I remember something he once said to me. He said, "Every time
holidays come around, you seem to feel so horrible, almost to the point of being
clinically depressed. Can't you see what's happening to you." I quickly
responded, "Don't you talk about Jehovah's Witnesses, it has nothing to do with
them. I don't know what it is, but I know it has nothing to do with them!"
I began praying that Jehovah would show
me the truth, that he would reveal what was wrong. I couldn't understand why I
wasn't happy like the rest of the Jehovah's Witnesses I knew. (I would later
realize that the Witnesses around me were not happy.) As I continued to pray
that Jehovah would show me the truth, things began to happen. One of the first
things I noticed was how the elders appeared to be so self-righteous. Then I
looked around. I saw Witnesses brag about the hours they spent in field service,
then watched those same Witnesses put others down who weren't able to spend time
in service. I also began to notice how Witnesses frequently referred to other
Witnesses as "worldly." As I saw this happening, I was devastated. But I
remember saying to myself, "Where can I go if this isn't Jehovah's
organization?" Still, I couldn't understand how someone could be called worldly
just because they smoked cigarettes or dressed differently. I was seeing so many
things, and I know now that it was Jesus exposing Jehovah's Witnesses and their
My wife was slipping into a state of
depression. We eventually sold our home and moved into a smaller one. After we
had moved, however, I stepped back and asked myself "Why did I do this?" It was
at this point that my wife and I began talking about what was happening to us.
Was it the Organization, or were we just weird people. My wife finally concluded
she couldn't handle it anymore, and that was when I began to read my Bible. The
Lord had miraculously put a burning desire in me to read his Word. I stopped
attending all meetings and sat down every night (sometimes until 3 or 4 a.m.) to
read the Bible. I remember saying to my friends and the elders at the Kingdom
Hall, "I will not go to another meeting until I read the New Testament."
I started reading Matthew, Mark, Luke,
and John. By the time I got to John, however, I was crying my eyes out. I
remember reading Jesus' words, "Unless a man is born again he will not see the
kingdom." At first, I didn't understand what he meant by this statement, but as
I read it, he opened up my eyes. I began to understand what it meant. It meant
Jesus is Lord; Jesus is God, and I had to come to him. I remember getting on my
knees and praying, "Forgive me Lord, I didn't know who you were." Then I asked
Jesus into my heart.
The next morning, it was as if someone
had taken a weight off of me. I knew I was never going back to the Kingdom Hall
again. Everything around me seemed new-the birds, the color of the trees,
everything around me. This was totally new for me since I previously had such a
negative, cynical outlook on life. But there I was, looking at everything with a
deep gratitude for all that had happened in my life.
Today, 20 years later, I am so grateful
for the freedom I have been given from the religious bondage that held me for 20
years. I am so grateful that the Lord gave us the ultimate gift of eternal life.
I praise his Name for what He as done. My family and children have now come to
know Christ, as well. In fact, we even have a ministry called "Jesus is the
Truth" ministries. We have been fortunate to see so many Jehovah's Witnesses
come to know Jesus Christ.
Jesus died because he loves us so much,
and all we have to do is receive that gift. It breaks my heart to see people who
won't accept His free gift of salvation. It's free. If they would just stop
trusting in themselves and trust in Him instead.