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A question for JWs

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Would you date a reproved?

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Before deciding to date it is important you pay close attention to the person you are interested in. How do they treat others? Are they spiritually mature? How do they handle money matters? How do they handle responsibility? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? There is never a reason to settle for less. We don’t need to look for perfection, but when it is clear that they require a ton of assembly or when they don’t have very important qualities or skills needed to make a marriage a success, we would be wise to hold off from pursing a courtship. Normally, when purchasing an item we do research to make sure we are getting the best quality. Why would we do any less when it comes to something as life changing and important as choosing a marriage mate. Also, if I am aware that I have a ton of assembly required and lack in many areas of life, why not work on those things first before trying to date. If we really like someone we should want them to have the best, right? “Patience is the key”. (See YPA Vol 2 Chapter 1)
       
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I find it interesting when so much is compared between the Jews and the JW's.
      But in my opinion, one big difference between being a Jew before and in the time of Jesus, and being a JW, is choice. 
      If a person was born into the Nation of Israel, they were born under Law and ruled over by the Religious leaders (and the Romans) at that time. There was no choice of being a Jew or not being a Jew. They were born into it. So of course many of them, probably all of them, committed 'sin' and had to make sin offerings. God had chosen that Nation, those people had responsibility but not of their choice. 
      Now, people that enter the JW religion do so voluntarily.  ( Unfortunately for those born into it, they have to go through the motions of serving the JW Org until they are of an age whereby they can leave home. Then, when of age they too can volunteer to be a JW or chose to leave the Org.). 
      There is a big difference from being born into a Nation which you may not like, than voluntarily joining a religion which you do like.
      So the big question is, if 'millions' of people voluntarily join this JW Org, why do so many commit child abuse, adultery and many other sins ? 
      If this is supposed to be 'THE true religion', why are the people not guided by God through Jesus  Christ ?  Just reading comments on here from so called JW's makes me laugh. There is no love, no mercy, no understanding, no respect even. 
      Being an ex JW and seeing things from both sides i have found more genuine love, kindness, friendship, respect, warmth, understanding etc outside of the Org than inside. Inside the Org people have to be told to 'love one another', outside the Org people do it anyway. 
      It has amazed me how JW's can really believe that God is with them when they are so cold and selfish.
      With the Jews that were born into that Nation, they had no choice about their way of life. It was basically a dictatorship by God. The Laws were from 'above'. Obviously for the right reason, to bring forth Jesus Christ who in turn would 'rescue' the human race from complete destruction. But it was a totally different situation to the JW Org today.
      So now all you 'JWs', think on it. Do you truly believe you are in this' special environment' within the Org ? Do you really think that your Org has God's approval ? 
      Think deeply about all the problems within JW Org. All the disgusting things being done voluntarily by all the volunteer JW's. 
      Now ask yourself, are you really a volunteer JW or are you trapped in the Org for fear of losing all those 'so called friends' ? 
      You know that you can only have your family and 'friends' as long as you are a JW.   Do you feel like the Jews must have felt, trapped in that Nation ? 
      As we know many of the Jews left the Jewish religion and way of life to follow Christ, but it was difficult for them. However, they did have God's approval and God, through Christ made this known clearly. And it seems that many are leaving the JW Org to seek God's approval too. 
      But remember that all JW's are volunteers, or should be, so why oh why is there so much trouble in that Org ? 
       
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I've often thought of this point of reproof from the platform. It does nothing positive at all, it just leaves people wondering why the person was reproved.
      And it certainly does not protect the congregation.  
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      by  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. In January of 2019, elders in the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses were issued a new version of their confidential handbook, "Shepherd the Flock of God." This handbook covers, among other topics, when a person should be "reproved."
      For those unfamiliar with the their practices, Jehovah's Witness elders might determine that someone guilty of a serious sin is repentant and will be "reproved" rather than disfellowshipped [excommunicated]. This reproof might be administered privately, or it might include a very brief announcement to the congregation.
      Public Reproofs Are Not a Protection
      The "Shepherd" book makes the claim that a public reproof serves as a "protection" to the congregation against certain dangerous behaviors, such as child sexual abuse; note this statement from chapter 14, "Child Abuse::

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. However, this announcement of reproof includes no information about the person's "sinful" behavior, as instructed in chapter 16, "Procedure for Judicial Hearings":

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The "Shepherd" book even outright instructs that a person's sinful acts should not be connected to their reproof, such as when a "warning" talk is given regarding their behavior; also from chapter 16:

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. This statement alone demonstrates that the entire "public reproof" arrangement protects no one from congregation members who might pose a danger to others, including children. Simply stating that someone has "been reproved" doesn't warn a congregant of that person's specific behavior, and especially when there is a long list of reasons why someone might be publicly reproved, including:
      Smoking Fornication, adultery Theft Lying, slander Various forms of "apostasy" Severe fits of temper, fighting Drunkenness Using narcotics Taking up boxing After hearing a rather generic announcement that someone has been "reproved," without knowing the actual reason for that reproof, how would congregants know to keep their children away from them? Another congregant might assume that a person being reproved was caught smoking or fornicating with an adult; child sexual abuse might be the last thing they would consider when they hear of someone having been reproved!
      Your Conscience Shouldn't Be Clean
      This begs the question of why Jehovah's Witnesses think that their consciences can be clean in these cases. Elders honestly think that making an announcement of so-and-so having been "reproved" protects the congregation and so they've done their job of keeping people and children safe?
      Nothing can be further from the truth, especially when it comes to child sexual abuse. This "public reproof" arrangement purposely conceals the action that warranted the reproof, so it warns no one about a congregant who might be a danger to their children.
      This announcement does not take away from an elder's complicity in hiding allegations of abuse. Any elder who hears of such a credible allegation and doesn't notify authorities, cooperate with their investigations fully, and then do everything possible to keep a potentially dangerous person away from children shares guilt and blame if that person goes on to molest another child.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The bottom line is that Jehovah's Witnesses and elders especially have no problem lying to themselves and to the general public about their supposed "protections" for congregants. They shield alleged molesters by purposely ensuring that no information about a particular act is associated with "reproved" persons, and then tell themselves that this passive-aggressive "hinting around" is going to somehow alert congregants to the need to keep their child away from him or her.
      While the authors of these practices and the elders charged with enforcing them might go to bed with a clean conscience, remember it's not them who suffer the consequences of their actions; the elders are not being raped and abused, the men who wrote this "Shepherd" book are not the ones who will be the next victims of these "reproved" persons.
      Their complicity in this horrific act is bad enough, but their smug self-righteousness in thinking that they've somehow done enough to protect children with a generic "reproof" is just another slap across the face of those same children.
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      Having read lots of comments on this forum it is very easy to see that all that Jehovah's Witnesses have is their belief in their Governing Body and it's Writing Department. 
      If they believe, as a certain cowboy would have it, that a person can gain no true knowledge from the bible itself, then how else does a person gain true knowledge ? 
      It would seem that Jehovah's Witnesses rely totally on their GB 'boses' and on the Writing Department of same, to tell all JW's what to believe and when to believe it. 
      Why do i say 'and when to believe it' ?  Well you have to keep up you know . What is said to be 'truth' by the GB and co one day,  will be said to be totally untrue the next day or week.
      JW's have nothing, no proof of any 'enlightenment' from above. They talk proudly about having 8.5 million members earthwide, but how many Muslims are there earthwide ? How many Catholics earthwide ?  Numbers prove nothing as it can be clearly seen. 
      Yes I was once fooled by all the 'niceness' of a few brothers and sisters. But once I got to know those people properly I soon found out that they are no better than people in the world. 
      The JW Org is no better than any other organisation that pretends to serve God, but the JW Org is in some ways more dangerous.  It wraps itself around people's lives and restricts people's freedom of thinking. It pretends to have 'special knowledge' from God that no other organisation has.
      But then if one looks closely one can see it is all just a smoke screen. The JW Org only has 8 men in America dominating it, and 8.5 million people worshiping those 8 men. 
      I do feel a bit foolish having wasted years of my life believing all of it's lies and deceit, but I congratulate myself for not being frightened to ask questions and do research for myself. 
      No matter what any Jehovah's Witness tells you, the truth is, all they have is a belief in their GB, and they follow their GB's orders via all the others in charge including the puppet men Elders. 
      At meetings, conventions, assemblies, on the ministry et al, all they do is use the literature provided for them by the GB and the Writing dept. Without question they pump this 'information' into other people. When conducting a supposed 'bible study' it is actually a book study, studying the words of the GB / writing dept, not studying God's written word properly. They spend more time reading the paragraphs and answering those questions than they do reading scriptures and focusing on God's words.
      It is a horrid way of brainwashing people, washing out the common sense and replacing it with lies from the GB / writing dept. Dictating, giving orders and pretending it is God's will. 
      Removing the love that people have for one another and replacing it with discrimination. Shunning family members, turning their back on anyone that is not a JW by saying all other people are just 'part of the world' and therefore wicked. 
      Frightening people with threats of 'armageddon' killing them. 
      And now it seems that they are almost begging for contributions as they seem to be getting short of money. Well paying off millions in compensation for the Child Abuse / Pedophilea of course. Selling off Kingdom Halls too as funds run low. 
      Oh how low that religion has sunken. Are they really stupid enough to believe that God is with them ?  
       
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I was going to add this to another topic but remembered we are told to start new topics, so I've done that.
      Hope this hasn't been added before but it would take me a month to go through all the topics to see if its on here.
      It is about the baptism of children, but I also thing it involves making children go on the ministry. 

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      In February, a Russian court sentenced a Danish citizen who was a legal resident of Russia to six years in prison for such an extremist offence as organizing other Witnesses to shovel snow from their church’s property.
      A month later, Sergei Skrynnikov, a Russian and allegedly a Jehovah’s Witness, was charged with “participating in an extremist organization,” an offence under Russian law that could earn him up to six years in prison. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been fleeing Russia and seeking asylum in Germany and Finland to escape such harsh sentences.
      In China, state authorities harass Jehovah’s Witnesses and raid their meetings. Authorities also deport foreign Witness missionaries from countries such as South Korea.
      South Korea has only recently dropped a 2003 law prohibiting conscientious objection to fighting in its armed forces, a law that confined young Witness men — as well as other men — to jail.
      All these states violate international laws that protect religious freedom, including the freedoms of unpopular minorities. Article 18, 1 of the 1976 United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights protects everyone’s freedom to “have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice” and “to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.”
      A long history of persecution
      Jehovah’s Witnesses were among the first groups the Nazis persecuted. There were about 25,000 to 30,000 Witnesses in Germany in 1933. About half of those who did not flee were convicted of various crimes and between 2,000 and 2,500 were sent to concentration camps, where about 1,000 died. About 250 were also executed.
      Some years ago I met a Jehovah’s Witness in the city where I live who told me the Nazis had beheaded his grandfather. Germany’s Jehovah’s Witnesses were not merely passive religious group that refused to adopt the Nazi ideology: they also actively tried to expose Nazi atrocities.
      In the 1960s and ‘70s in Malawi, entire villages of Jehovah’s Witnesses were burned, and many villagers were raped, tortured or murdered as they tried to flee. Their crime was refusal to participate in rituals of loyalty to the newly independent Malawian state and its president, Hastings Banda.
      The Malawi government denied me a visa in the early 1980s when I told its High Commission in Ottawa that I wanted to know what had happened to these Witnesses for research for my book, Human Rights in Commonwealth Africa.
      Many Witnesses in Rwanda, both Tutsi and Hutu, lost their lives during the 1994 genocide, many trying to hide people at risk of being murdered.Even now, Rwandan authorities expel some Witness children from school and have fired some Witness teachers because they refuse to sing the national anthem or participate in religious training.
      Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada
      Here in Canada, Jehovah’s Witnesses have not always enjoyed their rights to freedom of religion and expression.
      During the Second World War, Witness children were banned from schools in several locations because they would not salute the flag, sing the national anthem or repeat the pledge of allegiance. A Witness father sued the Hamilton Board of Education on behalf of his two sons, who had been expelled from school in 1940. In 1945, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, saying the Board was required to excuse students from participating in religious exercises to which their parents objected.

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    • By JOHN BUTLER
      OK, not really a topic, but I'm confused  
      J W's Open Club ?  this one that I've just joined.
      What happened to the other JW club ?  Do you know I cannot even remember what it was called.
      Was it JW's Private club ?  Any way did i miss something happening and if so what, when and why ??? 
      Thanks. 
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      OK, I've sort of shot myself in the foot by saying I'm now going to take this forum as a joke and have a laugh. In most ways i will continue to do so BUT.
      This evening I was given some information that 1.maybe I shouldn't have been given. 2. Maybe i wish i hadn't been given. 
      Some of you may say I'm telling lies. Some of you may say I'm just after attention. Some may say I'm just trying to put down the JW Org.
      However i have to think on something i say a lot. DUTY OF CARE. Care of everyone, in or out of that JW Org. 
      I have been given this information :-
      Somewhere between 18 months to 2 years ago, a young man that is a member of Honiton Congregation (my ex congregation) committed a sexual offence against a young girl that would have been around 7 or 8 years old at that time.. 
      The young man was visiting the home of this child and he went up to the girl's bedroom and asked the girl to have sex with him. I do not think that sexual intercourse took place but from the information that I've been given, he laid her on the bed and got on top of her and 'humped' her as if he were having sexual intercourse with her.  
      The incident was reported to the Elders and the police were not informed. I have no idea what action the Elders took but the congregation were not informed.
      The young man ( who's name I have ) would have been in his very early twenties at the time, but his mental age is lower. He is a bit slow in learning things and possibly has mental disorders. That is not meant as an insult, but i do know this young man personally and he does act a bit strange sometimes and frightens people.  
      The young man's father was a single dad of three children ( i knew this man quite well ), but he invited a foreign lady (a sister in the JW Org) over to the UK, and they married. The marriage did not go well as the woman wanted to 'be the boss'. They split up and she went back to her country of origin. But then she came back to have a 'second try' at the marriage.  I do not know the marriage situation at this time. However the whole issue would have been totally upsetting for the three children, especially for this young man that found it difficult to cope with some situations. 
      The person that gave me this information, in my opinion, is completely trustworthy, and once again in my opinion, would not have any reason for making up a 'story'. As I was given the young man's name, and i know the young man and his father, it all seems quite genuine to me.
      Now i come back to the duty of care.  For, in my opinion, it is the duty of anyone that has any information concerning child abuse to report it to the police. 
      This could be just a one off incident, but it could be the start of a young man becoming a pedophile. I honestly don't know where my duty is here. 
      The young girl that was the victim of this assault may need help getting over the situation. The information was also that the father of the victim does not want 'any trouble'. Hence he did not want the police involved. That helped the Elders to keep it secret, well almost. 
      Now this young man may commit sexual assault again, within the JW congregation or outside of it.  And that young lady will be in fear of him and yet still have to attend that Kingdom hall where she will see him every week. 
      So should i report what i have been told to the police or not ? Of course I would have to tell the police it is only third hand information.
      BUT, if the police could get hold of the 'records' / paperwork from the Kingdom hall regarding the incident, then it would be proved as true. 
      I do not expect that the Elders would willingly hand over paperwork, so I've no idea how it would work out in the end. But it's my actions that I'm concerned about here , my responsabilites. What should i do ?  
       
       
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      This topic is aimed toward asking ADMIN these questions. I do not know who Admin are. Some folks here seem to have made friends with Admin where as I just use the forum. 
      Why was Jehovah's Witnesses Private Club set up ?
      Should it be 999% about Jehovah's Witnesses and their Organisation, which would include the GB ?
      Am I therefore wrong when i only talk about Jehovah's Witnesses and have no interest in other religions ?
      There are those on here that regularly 'bite my ears off' because i only talk about the JW's, but I thought that was the intention of this forum.
      Admin please clarify these matters for me, please ...... 
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      YELM, Wash. — Authorities on Wednesday were investigating after someone tried to set fire to the Kingdom Hall of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Yelm.
      This comes after four other recent attacks on Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Thurston County that are being investigated as hate crimes.
      In the latest incident, authorities were called around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to the report of an attempted arson at the Kingdom Hall on Vail Road SE in Yelm.
      The ensuing investigation closed a large section of Vail Road for most of the day.
      Church elders had arrived to find fire logs stacked up against an outside wall that was smoldering. They doused the logs with water and prevented any further damage to the building.
      The elders reported finding a suspicious device placed on the ground on the west side of the building. It “had the appearance of being an explosive device,” so deputies called the bomb squad to the scene.
      People living nearby the church told Q13 News they were told by law enforcement to evacuate for their own safety.
      “I got woken up by my roommate Zachary saying there was a device on the church next door to our house and we needed to evacuate,” said Richard McIntire.
      McIntireÂ’s shared his concern about living so close to whatÂ’s become a repeated target.
      “I don’t understand why people have to target churches,” he said.
      Neighbors in rural Yelm expressed their worries about the attacks and hoped police would soon make an arrest before someone gets hurt.
      By late afternoon investigators determined the suspicious device wasn’t dangerous. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office later tweeted, “The suspicious device was made to look like a real bomb but in the end, it was found to be fake.”
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Many of the children described conditions at US Customs and Border Protection facilities, where they were taken and processed during the first days after crossing the border. In the reports they were only identified by their first names. Timofei, 15, from Russia, who sought asylum on the border with his parents for his beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses, said they were crowded night and day in the closed and crowded room, detained along with other boys. He said there was only one window that opened onto an empty hallway and that they did not have soap in the bathroom, and that only sometimes, they gave him a toothbrush for individual use. He also said that he was offered a shower when he arrived at the facilities in San Ysidro, California, but he did not and the second or third day there did not allow him to do so.
      https://www.clarin.com/mundo/trataron-chicos-separados-padres-frontera-relatan-dias-detenidos-unidos_0_SJh7dyam7.html
    • By Kurt
      Single Christians who are looking for a marriage mate recognize the risks of online dating sites, especially the risk of developing a relationship with a person whom one knows very little about on Social Media. Yes, We're talking about Facebook, Instagram, ..Snapchat. Etc.
      So You're Single and looking.
      The Bible says: “Keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons, . . . because the days are wicked.”—Ephesians 5:15, 16.
      Brothers, you could be chatting online to a Con-Man named Phil, not a Sister.
      Sisters, You could be talking to a Sexual Predator, or a Con Man from another Country, not a Spiritual Brother.
      Yes, it's true, Online dating is very risky business. Many have been robbed, stabbed, beaten ferociously, raped, killed and dismembered after meeting lying, manipulative psychopaths online. Let this be a Stark warning for those who wish to meet with someone they've been chatting with online.
      The Bible says: “The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself, but the inexperienced keep right on going and suffer the consequences.”—Proverbs 22:3.
      We'll like to add, Please Do Not Send Your Hard Earned Money To Anyone. If you are being asked for money, (Red Flag) you have met a Con Artist looking for a meal ticket. Just Say: "No" And BLOCK them. No one wants to be Traumatized.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      When we find ourselves interested in a certain job or person our initial inclination may be to only focus on the things that we like about it. We zoom in on those aspects of the job or person and this can cause us to miss out on the bigger picture. That great job that pays very well may cause you to miss meetings or service. That guy with the dreamy eyes or that girl with the beautiful smile could have disgusting habits, may treat others poorly or may lack spiritual qualities. It's important that we learn how to back up and look at whatever we may be interested in objectively. Even more important it is to not make costly decisions without relying on Jehovah. Proverbs 3:5,6-"Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, And do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, And he will make your paths straight."
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Jeremiah 17:9- The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it? Proverbs 6:27-Can a man take fire to his chest and not burn his garments?The heart can cause us to make unwise decisions when it comes to dating. It can also cause us to develop feelings for more than one person. Our heart may even convince us that we are just being kind to those of the opposite sex when in reality we may actually be flirting with others and leading them on. Thus causing them to develop feelings toward us that we have no intention of reciprocating. It can happen to anyone ( even those with privileges) and without us even noticing it. It's important we identify where to draw the line. Also it requires honest self examination as to our feelings and relationships with others.  (Check out the article "Are We Just Friends-or more?, Parts 1 and 2" g 6/12 pp.15-167) 
    • By Ann O'Maly
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      BY  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. APRIL 20TH 2017 The Supreme Court of Russia has a decision to make this week about whether to label the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization and liquidate its assets. This act would transform the religious community into a criminal network, and make individual Witnesses vulnerable to arrest simply for speaking about their faith with others. While the court case has attracted recent media attention, this move is the culmination of two decades of increasing state hostility to Witnesses. In the late 1990s, Moscow took the Witnesses to court to deny them legal standing in the city limits. After several years of court hearings, the city banned the organization. In more recent years, anti-extremism laws drafted in the wake of domestic terrorism have been turned against Witness magazines and books. Currently, over eighty publications have been placed on the federal list of extremist materials. Even their website is now illegal. So is My Book of Bible Stories, an illustrated book for children, listed alongside publications by terrorist organizations.
      If the state criminalizes the Witnesses, it will represent a major deterioration in religious toleration in post-Soviet Russia. It will also put Russia at odds with the European Court of Human Rights, which has repeatedly ruled in favor of the Witnesses in the past two decades. It may make other minority faiths vulnerable to similar legal challenges. In the 1990s, scholars spoke of a newly opened religious marketplace, in which post-Soviet citizens, freed from the constraints of state-enforced atheism, shopped around among the faith traditions. It is fair to say that these days, this marketplace has fewer customers, fewer stalls, and more regulations.
      If history is any guide, Russia will find it nearly impossible to eliminate Jehovah’s Witnesses. Soviet dissident author Vladimir Bukovsky once admiringly wrote of the Witnesses’ legendary persistence under ban. When the Soviet Union barred religious literature from crossing its borders, Witnesses set up underground bunkers to print illegal magazines for their congregations. When Soviet officials prohibited Witnesses from hosting religious services, they gathered in small groups in their apartments, often in the middle of the night. Sometimes they snuck away to nearby woods or out onto the vast steppe, where they could meet with less scrutiny. When the state told believers that they could not evangelize their faith to others, Witnesses chatted up their neighbors, coworkers, and friends. When these actions landed them in labor camps, Witnesses sought out converts among their fellow prisoners. Witnesses are certain to revive many of these tactics if placed in similar circumstances in the future.
      Moreover, technology makes it far more difficult for Russia to control the religious practices of its citizens. Although the Witnesses’ official website is no longer available in Russia, individual members can easily share religious literature through email or dozens of other social media platforms and apps. While Soviet Witnesses had to write coded reports and hand-deliver them through an underground courier network, Witnesses today can text this information in seconds. Technology will also facilitate meeting times for religious services in private homes.
      The Russian government simply does not have the manpower to enforce its own ban. It is hard to imagine that local officials could effectively prevent over 170,000 people across more than 2,000 congregations from gathering together multiple times per week, as Witnesses do worldwide. The case of Taganrog is instructive. Several hundred Witnesses lived there in 2009, when the city declared the organization illegal. A few years later, it convicted sixteen Witnesses for ignoring the ban and continuing to gather their congregations for services. The state spent over a year in investigations and court hearings for sixteen people, a tiny fraction of the total congregation, and then suspended the sentences and fines rather than waste more resources in following through on its punishment guidelines. There are not enough police officers in Russia to monitor the daily activities of each and every Witness, and the Witnesses know it. Under a ban, everyone will face more scrutiny, a few will be dealt more serious consequences, and most will continue practicing their faith regardless.
      Russia may nonetheless decide that all of this conflict is worth it. After all, Soviet officials were fairly successful in relegating Witnesses to the margins of society. Few Russians will complain if Witnesses no longer come to knock on their door. After all, even Americans rarely have kind words for religious missionaries at their own doorsteps. In my own research, I have never heard a single Russian, other than a scholar, say anything positive about Witnesses. For the record, my experience with Americans has been similar. On a more basic level, Russian citizens may not even notice the Witnesses’ absence from public life. While the post-Soviet period saw a religious revival for all faiths, far fewer joined the Witnesses than the Russian Orthodox Church. For all their recent growth in membership, the Witnesses remain a tiny minority in a largely secular society.
      The vocal determination of Witnesses not to acquiesce to state demands should not cause observers to overlook the very real damage a ban would do to this community. Yes, Witnesses have faced similar challenges before and have dealt with them. For decades, they held their baptisms in local rivers and lakes under cover of night. In the post-Soviet period, new members were finally able to celebrate their baptisms in full view of their fellow believers at public conventions. A long-time Witness who attended one of these events in the early 1990s recalled, “What happiness, what freedom!” A new ban would mean a return to this underground life, to a hushed ceremony in cold waters. This is not what freedom of conscience looks like in modern states.
      Emily B. Baran is the author of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Her work explores the shifting contours of dissent and freedom in the Soviet Union and its successor states. She is Assistant Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      How long should a couple date before marriage?
    • By The Librarian
      Is Russia clamping down on Jehovah Witnesses? BBC News
      Russia’s Supreme Court has begun hearing a government request to outlaw the Jehovah’s Witnesses and declare it an extremist organisation. The justice ministry has already placed its headquarters near St Petersburg on a list of extremist groups.

      Forum to discuss in detail located HERE
      Via
    • By Kurt
      GENEVA (4 April 2017) – Moves by the Russian Government to ban the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses using a lawsuit brought under anti-extremism legislation have been condemned as “extremely worrying” by three United Nations human rights experts*. 
      “This lawsuit is a threat not only to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but to individual freedom in general in the Russian Federation,” the experts said. 
      “The use of counter-extremism legislation in this way to confine freedom of opinion, including religious belief, expression and association to that which is state-approved is unlawful and dangerous, and signals a dark future for all religious freedom in Russia,” they stressed. 
      The condemnation follows a lawsuit lodged at the country’s Supreme Court on 15 March to declare the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Centre ‘extremist’, to liquidate it, and to ban its activity.  
      A suspension order came into effect on that date, preventing the Administrative Centre and all its local religious centres from using state and municipal news media, and from organizing and conducting assemblies, rallies and other public events. 
      A full court hearing is scheduled for 5 April and if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the authorities, it will be the first such ruling by a court declaring a registered centralized religious organization to be ‘extremist’. 
      Concerns about the counter-extremism legislation have previously been raised in a 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  by the three experts to the Russian authorities on 28 July 2016.   The Suspension Order imposed on 15 March is the latest in a series of judicial cases and orders, including a warning sent to the organization last year referring to the ‘inadmissibility of extremist activity’. This has already led to the dissolution of several local Jehovah’s Witness organizations, raids against their premises and literature being confiscated.  
      “We urge the authorities to drop the lawsuit in compliance with their obligations under international human rights law, and to revise the counter-extremism legislation and its implementation to avoid fundamental human rights abuses,” the UN experts concluded. 
      (*) The experts: Mr. David Kaye (USA), Special Rapporteur on 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Mr. Maina Kiai (Kenya), Special Rapporteur on  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and Mr. Ahmed Shaheed (the Maldives), Special Rapporteur on  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .   The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.   UN Human Rights, country page: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Opposites attract, so date someone who's nothing like you. But, wait a minute—isn't it important to find someone who has a similar background, values, and goals? There's so much conflicting dating advice out there, how can you possibly figure out how to find love?
      While it's true that finding a partner with qualities that differ from yours can add balance and excitement to a relationship, problems can arise when there are too many differences. The more compatible you are with your partner, the more successful your relationship will likely be.
      Here are seven areas of compatibility to examine when choosing a partner. They don't all have to line up perfectly, but the more aligned you two are, the better the relationship will be.
      1. Temperament
      Do you get along well most of the time or find that he/she irritates you on a regular basis? Do you find yourself saying, "If only she'd think before she spoke" or "I wish he'd be less lazy"? Is he overly anxious? Does her alphabetized music collection make your skin crawl? What you see is what you get; so if you don't like your partner's temperament, don't try to fix it. Find someone whose personality is more compatible with yours.
      2. Communication style
      Are you direct or indirect in communicating what's important to you? Are you passive while she's assertive? Do you hold things in until you explode or speak your mind clearly and directly? If you can both communicate clearly and in a similar fashion, you'll have a much higher chance for a successful relationship.
      3. Friends and family
      Do you like and get along with each other's friends and family? Do you agree about how much time to devote to both? And if you're both single parents thinking about tying the knot, are you clear about how you'll parent? If friends and family issues become too stressful, they will have a very negative effect on your relationship.
      4. Nutrition and fitness
      Are you a gluten-free vegan while he is a Big Mac addict? Do you surf the waves on the weekend, while she's home surfing the web? This may seem like a minor point, but think about how many meals you will share with each other. How do your partner's food choices and attention to fitness align with your lifestyle and values? If you're not a good match in this area, you will probably have big challenges in your relationship.
      5. Financial
      Many people say that they are seeking a partner who is financially secure. In today's volatile financial market, financial security is not something you can count on. A few more appropriate questions are, "Are you responsible with finances? Are you generous? Do you contribute to charities?" Money is one of the things couples fight about most often. It is helpful if you share similar financial goals and habits.
      6. Education
      I don't believe you have to be with someone who has the exact same level of education. In fact, there are many brilliant people who never graduated college (Steve Jobs, Rachael Ray). However, couples who share similar backgrounds in education (and that includes self-study), life, and professional experience are usually better suited for each other. They have more in common and can relate to each other in a deeper way. They are on the same wavelength and truly "get" each other.
      7. Intimacy
      There are many things that come under the category of intimacy, including romance and public display of affection. Some couples have different sexual needs, which can lead to anger and resentment. An essential component of a lasting loving relationship includes having similar ideas about frequency and style of intimacy. So if you're more Mr. Fifty Shades and she's Ms. Low Libido, you will have issues in your relationship.
      What can you do if you are not compatible?
      It doesn't have to mean things can never work, but these are your options:
      Accept things as they are. Work on yourself and the relationship. Leave the relationship. Remember that the only person you can change is yourself. You partner will only change if he/she wants to.
      If you are dating to find a lasting, loving relationship, it is far more effective to choose a compatible partner from the start than to try to fix a relationship with a weak foundation. Don't be afraid to walk away if your basic needs are not met. There are millions of singles in the world. Move on and find a better fit. And make sure to use the most powerful four-letter word in dating—"Next!"
      http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-29324/7-signs-youre-dating-the-right-person.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=170315
    • By Kurt
      TRANSCRIPT
      In an earlier Vortex, we reported between the years of 2008 and 2014, 3 million Catholics left the Faith in the United States. So we went digging to see what the numbers are for the the last 15 years, since the turn of the century — essentially one generation.
      Brace yourselves here: According to the most recent data from solid sources, in the year 2000, 18 million Americans identified themselves as former Catholics — those who had left the Faith. One generation later, as of 2016, that number had swelled to 30 million.
      Elevent million more Catholics have left the Faith since the turn of the century. There are more Catholics over 50 than under 50. And there are more Catholics over 65 than under 30. And the percentage of young people — those under 30 — in the Church is a smaller percentage than almost any other religion.
      Only Jehovah's Witnesses and mainline Protestants have a smaller percentage of young people comprising their ranks than Catholics, and even there, Catholics are a hair's breadth away from being dead last.
      17 percent of the Church are people under 30. 16 percent of mainline Protestants are people under 30. 15 percent of Jehovah's Witnesses are people under 30. Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and the Eastern Orthodox all have larger percentages within their ranks of people under 30 than the Catholic Church does.
      Over the next 15 years, we can expect to see the raw number, the straight pure number of Catholics begin to drop off more dramatically. One of out every five Catholics right now, today, is over 65. Almost all of those people will be dead in 10–15 years. And they aren't being sufficiently replaced. Additionally, we're beginning to reach the moment where there will be more Catholics who have actually left the Faith then there are those who claim to still be in it.
      Although there are conflicting data on the actual number of Catholics in the United States, a safe number is about 73 million. Thirty million Catholics, as we said before, no longer call themselves Catholics. Just another 6 or 7 million leaving the Faith, and there will be more former Catholics than those who still identify as Catholics.
      At current trends, which show no slowing up or changing, we will reach that moment in about three years — right around 2020. We already know from surveys during the campaign that the percentage of Catholics relative to the overall U.S. population has slipped from the historically stable number of 25 percent to roughly 20 percent, and the percentage of Catholic voters dropped from 26 percent to approximately 21 percent.
      This is a Church in full-blown retreat.  
      Eleven percent fewer parishes since 2000; 18 percent fewer priests; and only two thirds what priests there are are in active ministry. The other third are too old for active ministry. Graduate-level seminarians essentially flat lined. The slight increase in the numbers of priestly ordinations is nowhere near enough the number needed to replace those dying — not by half, in fact.
      Infant baptisms off by a third. Adult conversions down by 40 percent. First Holy Communions and confirmations also both down. And marriages — perhaps the most significant barometer for the future life of the Church — down almost 50 percent since the year 2000. In fact, the only two sacraments that there aren't officially horrible numbers for are the only ones no official records are kept for: confession and anointing of the sick.
      But any Catholic with working eyes knows the number of confessions has also fallen off the cliff. Even the number of Catholic funerals since the year 2000 has dropped by 16 percent.
      This entire disaster — and that is what it is — must be placed squarely at the feet of the U.S. hierarchy, who have done nothing meaningful to arrest the decline and have in many ways helped speed it along. What business would tolerate such horrible results from its managers and directors? It would have fired them more than a decade ago for complete incompetence.
      We here at Church Militant often get blamed for causing division, often times by many of the bishops and their staffs. Look at these numbers, Your Excellencies, numbers largely taken from your own data, and own them. Don't blame us. The vast majority of Catholics have no idea who we are. It's not causing division to point at the house burning down and yell "Fire!"
      Your lackluster, protestant-minded, false ecumenism, happy-clappy, fake-joy, heresy-accommodating, tradition-hating strategies are responsible for this failure. You and your staffs have caused the division — not us, not others. You!
      You have given young people nothing to commit to, other than embracing worldly causes, which they don't need you to tell them to do. You have abandoned or destroyed one tradition after another to the point that now, we have arrived at a point where there is no longer any Catholic identity to speak of. You have allowed and even encouraged a flood of abuses in the liturgy, the seminaries, religious houses, schools and colleges so that young people have no idea what being Catholic means, so understandably they have no loyalty to it.
      You have not taught. You have not encouraged. You have not loved. And accordingly, your sheep are abandoning you. You have ground underfoot the patrimony of tens of millions of Catholics from former generations and sold it off. And you rip into loyal Catholics who point this out to try and wake up what few remaining Catholics there are before it's too late — if it isn't in fact already too late.
      Your ill-advised, protestant-based evangelization efforts and emotional theatrical presentations won't turn this around. All you are doing is putting into high gear what you've already been doing since the year 2000. In the next 15 years, when most of you will have been judged by Almighty God, you will stand before Him and be directly responsible for a Church in America that will be unrecoverable owing to your spiritual cowardice.
      You will have to explain to Jesus Christ, one by one, how you embraced the world instead of converting it. Your lampstand has been taken away. You need to meditate on that in the quiet of the night, when there is no one around except you and God. And you need to tremble and quake at the fate that awaits you at your judgments if you don't reverse course immediately.
      Pray for them, Catholics; pray that the majority of them will wake up before they all die in their sins in a few years.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The organization faces a ban in all of Russia

      The supreme court in Russia’s Karachay-Cherkessia declared the local Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization on February 10 and ordered for it to be dissolved and its property forfeited to the state.
      Earlier, the republic’s prosecutor office had accused the organization of producing and disseminating extremist materials. The Witnesses were then forced to pay a fine and had their literature seized, however, as they wouldn’t give up what the prosecutor’s office referred to as “extremist activity”, the matter was taken to court.
      The Russian prosecutor general’s crackdown on Jehovah’s Witnesses started with a notice of “unacceptability of extremist activity” sent to the organization’s management last April. Citing religious discrimination, JW representatives appealed against the notice. However, Moscow’s city court on January 16 upheld it, ordering the organisation to “fix the violations” unless it wanted to be banned on the entire territory of the Russian Federation.
      Seven of JW’s regional branches have been closed down in Russia by courts. In the southern Russian city of Taganrog, 16 Witnesses were convicted for failing to comply with the ban. Four criminal cases have recently been launched against several members of the organization for “inciting hatred” and “creating a non-commercial entity violating citizens’ rights”. 
      In 2005, a Moscow court ordered the dissolution of the capital’s JW community. In 2010, the European Court for Human Rights found the court in violation of the European convention. And in 2015, the community finally had its registration resumed. 
      There are 100 to 150 thousand Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. The Christian denomination emerged from the Bible Student movement, founded in 1872 by Charles Russel. It reports a worldwide membership of more than eight million adherents.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      When Audrey Butler dedicated herself to becoming a Jehovah's Witness seven years ago, she knew she would never accept a blood transfusion—even if that meant making a choice between life and death.
      "Well the scriptures do tell us that the blood is the soul. So that's how precious blood is to us. It's your life. It's the person's life," she explains.
      Butler and other Jehovah's Witnesses believe that several passages in the Bible forbid them from consuming blood in any way, including via blood transfusions. This belief can be at odds with standard medical practice; during the course of surgery, some patients require blood transfusions in order to combat blood loss.
      At age 46, Butler began suffering from pain and stiffness in her knee. Doctors told her she had arthritis, and that she would likely need a knee replacement in the coming years.
      Butler avoided surgery for as long as possible, enduring painful knee injections and doing her best to live with a limp. But eventually, she began to feel that her limp was slowing her down significantly. Her arthritis was having a considerable impact on her quality of life. 
      Butler knew she needed the knee replacement. She also knew she was unwilling to abandon her faith.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      What's your idea of the perfect date? 
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Éloïse Dupuis was giddy with excitement the day before she gave birth to her first child, a son she and her husband named Liam.
      In a Facebook message to her aunt Manon Boyer, the 27-year-old said “she couldn’t wait to see him, to hold him and to rock him.”
      “She said the dream of her life was about to come true and she couldn’t wait to introduce him to me,” Boyer recalled, one week after her niece died in a hospital following complications from a difficult delivery.
      Dupuis was a Jehovah’s Witness and had signed a document, when she became an adult, saying she would not accept a blood transfusion. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that passages in the Bible order them to abstain from taking blood, even when their life is in danger.
      The young woman died six days after giving birth in a hospital in Lévis, near Quebec City, after being transferred from a birthing centre when complications arose. The exact cause of death has not yet been determined. However, reports suggesting she didn’t accept a blood transfusion have created a stir in Quebec, with friends, some family members and politicians questioning whether she made the decision freely. 
      Her parents, her husband and her in-laws were with her for six days before she died, Boyer said.
      “I don’t believe she would have refused blood after having her baby if she knew her life was in danger. I don’t think she had the capacity to make a free choice because she was ill from two surgeries. The family never notified us that she was ill.”
      Boyer said she is happy that coroner Luc Malouin is investigating her niece’s death, because he will probably question the nurses and doctors who treated Dupuis at the hospital. Boyer said she has already spoken to Malouin about the death.
      Boyer said she felt that something was amiss when Dupuis, and her niece’s mother, failed to answer Facebook messages she had sent inquiring about the birth on Oct. 6.
      “I sent a message congratulating her on being a grandmother, but she didn’t answer,” Boyer recalled. “The next day, I sent a message saying I know they’re busy, but could they let me know if Éloïse is fine. But that wasn’t answered either.” 
      A few days later, Boyer noticed a message on Dupuis’s Facebook wall, congratulating her and her husband on their second wedding anniversary. However, the person who posted the message said that they knew “it wasn’t a happy time but that the couple would have other times to celebrate.”
      Boyer said she was confused by the message, so she replied to it asking for news about her niece.
      “Why isn’t it a good day to celebrate when you just had a baby?” she wondered.
      It was then that someone wrote that Dupuis was fighting for her life and had lost a lot of blood.
      Boyer said her daughter called the hospital to find out what was going on. A nurse said she would ask a member of Dupuis’s family to speak to her, but family members refused to come to the phone, she said.  
      “The nurse said we could come to the hospital to visit, but she said that Éloïse’s heart was beating slowly and it was just a question of hours before she would die.”
      After hearing the news, Boyer contacted Cassandra Zélézen, a childhood friend of her niece. Zélézen and her two sisters, who are triplets, drove to the hospital from their home in Rawdon, in the Lanaudière region, to try to see their ailing friend.
      Zélézen told the Montreal Gazette that Dupuis’s father refused to allow them to see his daughter. Dupuis’s husband told the triplets that he had regrets about having the baby at the birthing centre and wondered about the decision not to have a blood transfusion. 
      “Now, it’s too late,” Zélézen recalled the husband saying.
      Her friend died a short time later. 
      While at the hospital, Zélézen said that Dupuis’s husband showed her a note that Dupuis had written, while intubated, after having her uterus removed. 
      “It’s OK, we can adopt,” the note read.
      After Dupuis’s death, her friends messaged her aunt saying: “She’s dead, she’s dead.”
      On the day Dupuis died, three elders from a Jehovah’s Witness congregation were present at the hospital, according to Zélézen.
      John Redwood, a former Jehovah’s Witness from Maryland who wrote about Dupuis’s death on his website, said the organization has a Hospital Liaison Committee made up of trained elders who are dispatched to hospitals any time a Witness may require a blood transfusion.
      “Their purpose is to support the family in their decision (and) to avoid being coerced into taking blood,” said Redwood, 49, who left his congregation three years ago. “They may not have ever met the patient, but these are the enforcers of the policy.”
      He said there is a second committee, called the Hospital Visitation Committee, made up of members who visit and pray with sick patients but don’t “interfere with blood policy.”
      Simon Picard, a spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada, denied that elders are sent to hospitals to ensure that blood transfusions do not take place.
      “We have members who will be there to provide support, but the choice to not have a blood transfusion is an individual choice,” he said. “When you’re in a crisis situation, you like to have members to support you in a decision you have made.”
      Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard called Dupuis’s death “terrible,” but said it was important for society to respect the law and individual choice.
      “The jurisprudence has been very clear: if a person of sound mind refuses medical treatment, even if it costs them their life, we can’t go against their will.”
      In Quebec City, the Coalition Avenir Québec described the incident as “troubling,” and said it raises serious questions about the health care system.
      “I don’t have answers today, but I say to myself: ‘How can it be that we let someone die in Quebec for religious reasons?’ ” CAQ Leader François Legault said. 
      Nathalie Roy, the CAQ critic for secularism, wondered whether Dupuis “had really given free and clear consent. Are there people who spoke for her, who decided for her? Did she know she was going to die leaving her child there?” 
      Dupuis, whose immediate family could not be reached for comment, had moved to the Beauce region two years ago, following her marriage, but still remained in touch with Boyer and her family.
      “It’s unbelievable that you could die a few days after having a baby,” Boyer said. “The baby will be raised by them (Dupuis’s family) and we will never see him. We have lost a beautiful girl. She was full of love and was ready to help anyone, anywhere, any time.”

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      (QUEBEC) The Government does not intend to restrict access to hospital rooms to specific groups, religions of the disciples, said yesterday the Minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette.
      “You ask me to decide on a person can receive visits from his entourage. You are going away, “said Mr. Barrette briefing. Mr. Barrette has acknowledged that as a physician, he had already faced JW representations to patient.
      Earlier in the National Assembly, the caquiste MP Simon Jolin-Barrette had claimed that Quebec clearly gives hospitals the right to restrict access to patients. In addition, a judge should be asked to intervene to assess if a patient refuses treatment rightly whose life may depend, proposed caquiste Member for Borduas.
      The young Eloise Dupuis, died last week at the Hotel Dieu de Lévis, refused a blood transfusion because she was a follower of Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, shortly before his death, the young woman had been in the hospital, visiting senior members of the sect. This “Jehovah’s Witnesses Hospital Liaison Committee” had pressured the young woman to conform to the dogma and refusing to receive blood. The Sun reported yesterday that relatives of M me Dupuis had indicated that members of this group were found in the room of the young mother until the final hours of his life.
      “We know that a font of blood is present in Québec hospitals,” said Simon Jolin-Barrette, caquiste Member for Borduas.
      “[The policy of blood] put pressure on patients and their families, it denies access to people who are not members of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the patient’s room,” reported Mr. Jolin-Barrette. According to him, access to in-patients should fall away. Can not let the “blood police” control access to rooms.
      It exceeds certain limits”
      According Gaétan Barrette, it is an exaggeration to talk of “blood police”; the opposition would, in fact, create a “police visits.” But the patient is “autonomous in his choice must be done independently.” It is a “situation is dramatic.”
      “But to use inflammatory language, when we talk of” blood police, “I think here we exceed certain limits,” said Gaétan Barrette.
      A coroner examines the circumstances of his death.
      For the PQ member Agnes Maltais, not need a judge. “Decisions on the free and informed consent, he takes daily by doctors, and it faces, in general, this kind of situation. We do not agree with the position that says that they can attack the doctors. The doctors do their job. In this case especially, we know very well that there were lawyers, there was an ethics committee and there were doctors who intervened, “said she summarized.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      How long would you wait to meet a person you have been knowing/dating on line?
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Marriage can be a beautiful thing when done properly. However, if you marry for the wrong reasons you can find yourself in a relationship that is not what you thought it would be. Look beyond the physical to the 'secret person of the heart'. Take your time,and if you are young keep in mind 1 Cor 7:36-"But if anyone thinks he is behaving improperly by remaining unmarried, and if he is past the bloom of youth, then this is what should take place: Let him do what he wants; he does not sin. Let them marry." Emphasis on "past the bloom of youth." Most importantly keep Jehovah in your decision making at all times.(Though the comic shows the guy in the dog house the situation can go either way.)

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