Mark’s 2011 Watchtower Memorial Experience

How the Watchtower is changing focus:

The Memorial is one thing that Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate that has so much relevance and is even more inescapable now. It’s even more fated now than ever before. Why is this so?

“Mark,” a former JW from our Downey Ex-JW Meetup, received an invitation at his door three weeks before the Memorial.  When that Sunday evening April 17th approached, Mark decided that he would attend.  The event was held in a public school’s auditorium.

When he arrived, it was already crowded, ushers were directing everyone in.  He had to walk a distance from where he parked to get to the door.  When he arrived, it was very crowded with plenty of hustle and bustle.  As he walked toward the seats, he realized that no one has greeted him.  He found that very strange.  As he looked for a seat, he saw seats next to an older couple and he asked if there was a seat available, toward the back.  Still no one has greeted him.  He dressed business casual and brought his own Bible to make it obvious that he was a visitor.

What disturbed him was that song #8, “The Lord’s Evening Meal,” that he was formerly familiar with, is not the same melody anymore.  However, the most disturbing thing was that the song they used did not contain any words describing the symbolism of the bread and the wine.  The words of the new song seemed to water-down the very essence of why they were having this “Memorial.”  This new song, in Mark’s opinion, did not seem spiritually moving and was more like a “jingle” than a song of worship, and inappropriate for this occasion.

The talk was ordinary as it began, but Mark began to notice how the Watchtower spin focused mostly on who were the “heavenly class” rather than the Passover’s deliverance from bondage. They did use scripture to try to prove the Watchtower’s position on their belief.

As they were about to pass the emblems, Mark turned to the man next to him and asked:  “Why is the whole purpose to come here is just to make sure we don’t partake?  I don’t get it.  Why are you commemorating the act of NOT PARTAKING the emblems?”  The man whispered some basic standard bullet points of what the JW’s believe, but didn’t really address Mark’s questions.  The entire focus was about the “heavenly class” and how they are to co-mediators with Jesus.

When the emblems arrived and the “bread” was passed to Mark, he held the platter for just a few seconds, looking at the “brother” to his left, and then looking at the “brother” to his right.  Finally he passed it on with a sigh and just shook his head bemusement.  Before the speaker introduced the cup, the speaker asked, “Has everybody been served?”  This was too ironic because no one “served” had partaken of the emblems.  It is though someone has invited you to their home for dinner, but tells you that while you may sit at the table you must not eat, because there are a special class of guests who will be eating on your behalf.

As the “wine” was passed, Mark did the same with it that he did with the bread, turning to the persons on his left and right and then passing it on.

After the final song, Mark began to speak with the gentleman (who appeared to be in his early 70’s) and continue the conversation that started as whispers during the passing of the emblems.  However, this gentleman’s wife was more interested in going home than giving a “witness” to Mark the “newcomer.”  She even discouraged her husband from speaking to “Mark” and answering his questions.  Mark found it puzzling that they behaved this way, because in his experience JW’s usually are very eager to “give a witness” to any newcomer who shows an interest in their organization.

Mark suggested that they talk on the way to their vehicles, but this man did not initiate any more conversation.  When they reached his vehicle they said their “goodbyes” – but they did not talk or discuss any of Mark’s questions.  Mark also noticed as they were leaving that no one else seemed to acknowledge his presence as a visitor.

Later, as Mark went to his own vehicle, he heard a man call out to him saying, “Well, hello there neighbor!”  Mark didn’t know who it could be. He thought someone had recognized him from his prior days as a JW. Thankfully it wasn’t anyone he had known previously, but it truly turned out to be a real neighbor who lives around the corner from him.

In conclusion, Mark is left wondering about the opening song, and theorizes that the verse he remembered about the bread and wine symbolizing Jesus’ body and blood.  He wonders why the focus has shifted entirely from what Jesus did to how this “priestly class” will receive the full benefits of Jesus’ promises, while everyone does not qualify to have a relationship with Him.  This whole idea puts more focus on the “Watchtower religionship” rather than a true relationship with God!

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6 Responses to Mark’s 2011 Watchtower Memorial Experience

  1. Robert says:

    I have not attended the Memorial in several years. Not interested. Not any longer. Same experience. No one cares to meet you or greet you…all about the ceremony. Take a lesson from the Catholic church….if all you want is ceremony, there you go. If you want to celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus and the salvation of mankind and the true love and fellowship, then talk to people. Typical witness thing, dress up, show up, pass the stuff, see who partakes, ok, go home… What is the point? Crimenently. Why are we here at this, if only a member of the Governing Body were present..what a rush! I do not take them for more any any of us…just men, imperfect, not prophets, not inspired and probably have a bit of a megalomaniac complex….

  2. ex pioneer says:

    Of course it can be argued that it’s the angels that direct the preaching work hence they knew you weren’t sincere, by the way I’m ex JW too, and even I, a mere human
    can see you were just out to prove something

  3. Nancy Crews says:

    What would have happened if you partook of the bread and the wine? I remember going as a child to a kingdom hall with my grandmother (my parents were out of town) I was raised baptist. I wondered why my grandmother didn’t partake. I was used to passing the plate by when it came to me because I had not been baptized yet, but I didn’t understand why no one else did.
    It seems like to me it’s an open rejection of Jesus’s sacrifice.
    What would happen if a bunch of Christians went to one of those ceremonies and actually partook and then stayed after to give testimony on their personal relationship with Christ. Would they get thrown out? Would it be effective?
    My grandmother was the first person I ever witnessed to when I first came to know Jesus as my Savior and boy did she ever make my head dizzy by her twisting of scriptures. I prayed for her and mom and dad and other family members spoke to her about the Lord, but she never left her JW’s. I wonder, because she did end up going to my wedding and it was held at a Baptist Church. And on her death bed she said to me, “I’ll see you there” and she looked up. I asked her to repeat herself, but she would not. My brother-in-law says he had a talk with her and that she admitted to him that she believed in Jesus as her Savior but didn’t want to tell my mom because my mom was a Bible thumpper. I really do hope I see her again. She was a very sweet woman. I love her very much. Because of her, and because I myself was involved in a church that although Baptist (not the same one I got married at) started having some strange teachings and strong abusive control over the people of the congregation, I have a heart for people to know the truth of God’s word. I know what it feels like to know something is not quite right, but not want to go against the leader. I know what it feels like to be confused, scared and in darkness. I know what it feels like to have to leave the only friends you ever knew and who feel more like family than anyone. I know what it feels like to feel like you don’t know how to trust anymore. These people are being lied to and my heart goes out to them. It breaks my heart when I think of the passing around of the emblems of Christ’s sacrifice and them not partaking. They are so close to even have it in their hands and rejecting it because they don’t believe it’s for them.
    My prayer is: Savior, please reveal yourself to them. I try to treat JWs who come to my door as I would hope Christians would have treated my grandmother.

  4. rosemary osborn says:

    what a cult they are. they have been duped by the upper millionaires that control
    everything they can so or do. I feel such sadness that they do not even know our
    Savior belongs to more than just JWs. How grateful am I to have escaped that cult.
    I partake every first Sunday at my beloved church as I know HE loves me.

  5. phil says:

    The Lord Jesus told us to partake in the emblems as a remembrance of Him.This is of course to be done by all of His followers.It seems an insult if one attends but does not partake.How different this is to the original teachings of Bro.Russell, who even made allowances in his books for isolated brethren.
    I have had a wide range of contact with Jw’s over many years.I myself have from a ‘born again Christian’ some thirty odd years ago to becoming a Bible student begotten of The Holy Spirit.There are many reasons for this which I can go into,but I doubt if anyone would want me to.I just thought that I would like to add my little piece re the memorial.
    Yours in Christ, phil

  6. dera says:

    Did Mark go to Memorial this year? would love to hear his report.

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