From Drugs to Living by Right Principles
“HE WAS a hippie-clad drug addict and ‘pusher’ [illegal drug seller]. The drugs he used were marijuana, ‘speed,’ L.S.D., heroin, amphetamines and barbiturates.” That was the description a high school teacher, who is also one of Jehovah’s witnesses, gave of one of his school students in California. How could such a youth ever come to be described as ‘one who follows right principles’?
At an assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses in San Francisco, California, the Witness high school teacher explained what occurred. The student just described was in the teacher’s social studies and English class. It was widely known by the teachers and students in the school that this young man used and sold drugs. His mother and older brother knew of it, too, but did not stop his activities, even his occasional use of heroin and opium.
As part of his normal school work he was preparing a research paper that touched on some religious subjects. His teacher, the minister of Jehovah’s witnesses, did not preach religion in the classroom, but he did type up and share with the student some archaeological and historical quotations taken from Watch Tower publications. Thus this young man became interested in religious matters.
However, his illegal involvement with narcotics brought him into conflict with the authorities. The police arrested him a number of times, and finally he received a suspended felony sentence that could have resulted in ten years’ imprisonment. Learning about this, the teacher approached the student on a personal basis and gave him a copy of the Bible study aid “The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life.” The next day the teacher asked him what his reaction was, and heard his enthusiastic response: “It’s the truth.” The high school teacher now became his teacher in another sense, for after school hours the minister conducted a Bible study with this young man. The youth’s mother would not allow the study to go on in the home, so they studied in the teacher’s automobile.
The assembly audience heard the high school teacher explain: “The next seven months were thrilling. The slovenly dress ceased. He shaved off his beard, cut his hair, threw away his dirty, tattered old hat and told his friends that their company would be appreciated only if they were interested in discussing Bible subjects. School personnel, faculty and students, were impressed by the transformation. Speech, dress, conduct and appearance underwent such a noticeable change that the name Jehovah could be heard all over the school as the reason for the ‘new boy’ on campus.”
This lad regularly shared what he was learning with his girl friend, she being a Sunday School teacher at the Baptist church.
The young man had to weather quite a storm of family opposition, and that he did. But the greatest battle he had was giving up marijuana. Many times he mentioned to his teacher that he just did not think that he could break that habit; perhaps it represented security. The Witness says: “I simply asked him to continue to read Romans 12:1, and to remind himself of Jesus’ example. Would Jesus practice such a habit? Could he visualize Christ smoking marijuana? He couldn’t.” Finally that habit, too, was behind him.
To the delight of the Witness relating the experience, the young man progressed to the point of qualifying to become a baptized minister of Jehovah’s witnesses. And he was baptized, the government even classifying him as a minister. He now looks back at his past life and views it as ‘a waste of time and effort, a striving after the wind.’
His girl friend? She, too, in time became a baptized witness of Jehovah, and about a year later they were married. Members of both their families attended their wedding. One of the relatives, who had noted the complete change in their way of life and the new values that they now had, remarked: “It’s so good to see that there are people who follow right principles of morality. You don’t see that much any longer.”
Indeed, any person with a sincere desire to learn of God and his purposes can achieve real peace of mind and, not a fanciful, dreamy “instant paradise,” but the hope of an actual, enduring one, by studying the Bible with Jehovah’s witnesses.—Rev. 21:4.