A Recommended Book
LAST January 23, the Sunday Sun, a newspaper from the Caribbean island of Jamaica, carried the headline: “Witnesses Forge Ahead.” After describing recent increases in their numbers, the paper noted:
“The Witnesses have now released a new, attractively-illustrated, cogently and simply written 255-page book which should help them considerably to expand their numbers. Titled YOU CAN LIVE FOREVER IN PARADISE ON EARTH, the hard-bound book is sold for the reasonable price of J$4.50 [$2.50, U.S.]. . . .
“The Witnesses have disturbed many a person’s Sunday afternoon and have knocked up many out of the bed, practices which are not particularly endearing.
“But the Witnesses deserve a hearing. If one can’t allow them to put a foot in the door, then by all means acquire YOU CAN LIVE FOREVER IN PARADISE ON EARTH, which systematically and comprehensively outlines the theology and practices of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. . . .
“The Witnesses have always had the knack of identifying religion with the pulse of everyday living. Witness publications do not largely deal with picky and petty religious issues and debates which seem to fascinate many Fundamentalists. The everyday struggles people encounter—such as depression, loneliness, sexual problems, financial distress, fear—are dealt with powerfully in Witness theology.
“While many Christians speak of the Gospel in terms that seem unrelated to what’s happening in the real world and while many separate their spiritual lives from their social and intellectual life, the Witnesses’ religion dominates everything they do. YOU CAN LIVE FOREVER IN PARADISE ON EARTH amply demonstrates this. . . .
“There is one theme that dominates the book and, indeed, Witness theology: the superiority of the Kingdom of God. The book marshalls strong evidence that the Kingdom of God was central to Jesus’ ministry. Even the healings of Jesus, which were dominant in His ministry, the Witnesses tie this in with the Kingdom of God. The Witnesses show that prolonging human life in itself was not Jesus’ primary concern. Rather, the miracles ‘proved that, with God’s power, all human problems can be solved. Yes, they showed on a small scale what will take place on earth under the Kingdom of God.’”
Although this newspaper writer takes issue with certain teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, yet, as noted above, he encourages his readers to obtain the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth. Many of you also have had opportunity to read this fine publication. Are you eager to share its valuable contents with others?
Many persons are, as is evidenced by the Live Forever book’s distribution into the many millions of copies within its first year of publication. One such person from North Carolina wrote the Watchtower Society late last spring. Beginning his letter with, “Dear Sir and Brother,” the man said: “I hope you don’t mind me addressing you that way. However, I’m writing you about a book you printed entitled You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth.
“Sometime about the first of March a Witness came by my house with a little boy that remembered me. After showing me the book he placed it with me. Well, I read the book and liked it very much. I’m a truck driver by profession; so the next week I went to Long Island, New York. I saw some people I knew with foster children with problems. So I gave them the book. I didn’t find another book until I got to Hayti, Missouri.
“After that I went to Houston, Texas. En route to Houston I stopped by the Kingdom Hall in Lufkin, Texas, and picked up 10 books. While in Houston I placed all 11 books I had. So when I came back through Lufkin I picked up 8 more (the night of the Passover). When I got to Conway, Arkansas, the 8 were gone. So I picked up 10. By the time I got to Durham, North Carolina, they were gone. So I picked up 2 more from Brother J——. Then that Sunday I picked up 15 from the Hall in Durham. They, too, went, so when I got over to Wilmington, Delaware, I picked up 16 more. I picked up 3 in Rockton, Illinois. I ran out in North Dakota and didn’t get any more books until Memphis, Tennessee, where I got 10 more. Then in Brooklyn, New York (at the Watchtower headquarters), I picked up 27 more. My last pickup was in Springfield, Illinois, where I picked up 10 on May 1, 1983.
“All in all from the 27th of March until the 27th of April, I placed 96 of those books. Well, this is another month and I’m getting off to a slow start. But every time I get books and between times I ask the brothers to have a study with me because at this time I’m not a Witness. But between the Kingdom recordings in my truck, the studies I get here and there (and the little red book) and the undeserved kindness of Jehovah our Father and Jesus Christ the Son, plus continued prayers, maybe I too can have everlasting life.”
After asking that prayers be said in his behalf and closing his letter with an expression of love, this truck driver concluded his letter: “P.S. On this date, 5/17, I picked up 25 more from the Watchtower.”
How does this man place so many copies of the Live Forever book? Bob Rodish, a member of the Brooklyn headquarters staff who had a Bible study with him when he stopped for more literature, explains: “He told me that he just shows people the book, tells them that he has learned many wonderful things from it and that what he has learned has actually changed his life. Then he opens up to certain pages to illustrate what the book contains—for example, pages 140 and 141, which provide chronological evidence that God’s Kingdom has already been established in the heavens and is now ruling.”
Actually, one’s enthusiasm and personal appreciation for the publication is the key to getting others to obtain it. By the way, Bob Rodish says he later heard that his truck-driver friend was continuing to place the books with people wherever he meets them—over 200 of them by last June.
This coming January and February Jehovah’s Witnesses will again have a special campaign to get this fine Bible study aid into the hands of the public. You also are encouraged to have a full share in spreading the good news of God’s Kingdom by offering You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth at every appropriate opportunity.