The number of Jehovah's Witnesses is growing, and I feel privileged to be one of them.
I am not baptized yet, and that is my own decision. I feel that I need to learn more before I can decide to be baptized.
I will tell you what I do know about our beliefs and how it affects me as a teenager.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ is God's son and that he died on the cross for all obedient humans' mistakes that were brought on by Adam and Eve's first sin. We also believe that Jehovah created everything, including the heaven, the earth and humans. This means we believe in creationism, not evolution.
One of our beliefs affects everyone, which is having Jehovah's Witnesses come to your door. You see us in your neighborhoods in order to bring hope and comfort to the distressed and to warn you and your neighbors about the battle of Armageddon.
Armageddon will be a battle between Satan and Jehovah, where Jehovah will eliminate the wicked system of things that presently exists. This includes Satan and all who did not obey God's requirements, and the wicked will be destroyed eternally.
After the battle is when all humans who followed the will of Jehovah, or followed Jesus' example of serving Jehovah, and all who have died will be brought to life and make the earth into a paradise. They will not suffer from pain, sadness, or death any longer.
We also believe that 144,000 people will be brought to heaven and rule with Christ. When that happens, they will be born again as spiritual sons of Jehovah. The entire Bible is used as our guide.
Being a Jehovah's Witness has changed my life immensely, all in good ways. It has saved me from many things that could have harmed me. My religion has also served as a shield of protection in numerous ways. It affects my decisions on everything, including my friends, my dress and dating.
It affects whom I choose as friends. If I choose wrongly, I could end up doing bad things and losing my relationship with my god, Jehovah. If I choose correctly, I could become more strengthened to do right and continue to serve Jehovah, so choosing my friends wisely is important.
My religion affects how I dress, because how I look in public reflects Jehovah's Witnesses and also Jehovah himself.
Being a Jehovah's Witness also affects my dating life. As I mentioned earlier, Jehovah is our protector and he wants us to be safe. With dating, I have to wait until I feel I am ready to get married or look at a boy that way. If people are dating just because they can, they are usually simply fooling around and not taking it seriously.
By not dating, it has helped me to live a better, safer life and stay protected.
Being one of Jehovah's Witnesses can sometimes be hard, especially when you're a teenager, but in the end, I would never change a thing.
Sometimes I may be persecuted for my beliefs, but I know Jehovah is protecting me and will help me through it. I sometimes try to think about what my life would be like if I wasn't a Jehovah's Witness, and I don't like it. Yes, there are many rules, but when I stop to think about it, they are for my own good. I am glad they are there. I love who I am, and who I am is one of Jehovah's witnesses.
Robbi Anne Robbins will be a senior this year at Steamboat Springs High School.