Convict’s Stand Bears Fruit
THE apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians that some of them had been lawbreakers but that they had changed their lives by reason of Christ’s blood and the power of God’s holy spirit. (1 Cor. 6:9-11) That these factors also make for righteousness and fruit-bearing in our day is apparent from the report received from a convict in March, 1957.
“Just recently I was released from the state prison at Columbia, S. C. . . . I would like to tell you how I came to be one of Jehovah’s witnesses.
“Because of disobedience in prison I was placed on soft solitary for a period of three months. A prisoner in the next cell asked me if I wanted to read a book. I asked him what kind. He said it was a religious book. His wife, who is one of Jehovah’s witnesses, had sent it to him. I told him that I didn’t care anything about religion, but since I didn’t have anything else to do I took the book. It was the 1949 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I became so interested I asked him where I could get some more of this literature. He said he would have his wife get a couple of books for me. She sent ‘Let God Be True’, ‘This Means Everlasting Life’ and the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures.
“The prison chaplain who censors all religious literature that comes in said I could have the Greek Scriptures but not the two books, because they were against the laws of the land. I refused to accept this unless they also gave me the other two books. A week later my time in soft solitary confinement was up, but I refused to go back to work until they gave me my books. Because of my stand they put me on bread and water for eighty-six days in hard solitary. I went down in weight from 165 to ninety-four pounds. Finally they decided to give me all the literature and, as a result of this stand, two fellow prisoners began asking me questions. I started Bible studies with them and they are now Jehovah’s witnesses. Incidentally, the chaplain who fought so hard against the literature was later fired for stealing some Christmas candy and baseball uniforms. The new chaplain, who isn’t interested in the truth, is more liberal and does let the literature come in.
“I have been immersed and pray that I can continue to remain faithful in serving Jehovah in his organization.”