KEYWORDS: children, homes, have, kids, they, now

Maturation of a Movement, The

David Berg

—Have you matured?NRS14—By Father David5 Jan. 1979DFO 770

1. IN THE BEGINNING YOU WERE JUST YOUNG KIDS, mostly teenagers, hot–headed hippies & rebellious revolutionaries, & street witnessing was about all the ministry you were really suited for—you were street fighters!

2. BUT NOW YOU'RE FAIRLY GOOD SOLID CITIZENS, YOUNG COUPLES WITH HOMES & CHILDREN, & I think you would fit a door-to-door home ministry much more than just the street ministry. Street ministry is great for younger kids, just great! They love that dashing around all over town & all over the world from country to country‚ the travel & the excitement & lark of it all!

3. BUT WHEN YOU'RE OLDER & YOU'VE GOT FIVE KIDS, YOU CAN'T DASH AROUND QUITE SO EASILY ANYMORE!—And you can't support all of them quite like you did yourself alone before! When you've got a family that big you have to have a nest of some kind for them & pretty much stay put!—Unless you have a little camper like we had.

4. YOU ALSO HAVE DIFFERENT INTERESTS NOW: you are no longer a wild free teenager just wanting to see the world & get everybody to join your revolution! Now you've settled down & got a family.

5. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF OTHER YOUNG COUPLES IN THE WORLD LIKE YOU who have young children, small families trying to get started in life. You've now got a lot in common with them.—And you've got, of course, the answer to all their problems! That's where you're at now. Your personal family-type situation should inspire you to have more sympathy for others in your same age bracket & same family-unit status with the same problems, small children & a small home.

6. NOW YOU CAN HAVE A TREMENDOUS DOOR-TO DOOR HOME MINISTRY with others who also have homes & are young couples with small children etc. You can witness to anybody & win souls, but you usually do best with those in your own particular age bracket or profession or with people with whom you have the most in common.

7. YOU UNDERSTAND THEM BETTER, & they know you understand them better. You feel a greater empathy & sympathy with poor young couples with kids because you're one of them. That's what our appeal was when you kids were young teenage hippie revolutionaries: You knew the hippies, you knew the revolutionaries & you won them like mad‚ because you knew each other & understand each other because you were one.

8. NOW YOU YOUNG FOLKS ARE MARRIED COUPLES WITH CHILDREN‚ you understand young couples with children & who have small homes & small jobs. You've got so much in common so you have a whole new field of ministry & can appeal to an entirely different class of people.

9. SOME OF OUR GIRLS ARE APPEALING TO THE OLDER GENERATION NOW, the older men, the lonely businessman at the clubs etc., & that's another field that we have now. We've been highly successful there, & the girls are doing tremendously, & it has really opened up a whole new field of older businessmen.

10. BUT IF WE HAVE REACHED ANY YOUNG COUPLES AT ALL, IT'S ALMOST BEEN PURELY COINCIDENTAL & ACCIDENTAL, like on the street or somewhere. We haven't really made any big effort to try to reach them. We have not been much door–to-door but I think we are going to be forced to now. The Lord in His wisdom is marvellous!

11. WE HAVE DONE OUR SHARE OF STREET WITNESSING. We've just about reached everybody you can possibly reach on the street. We've flooded cities around the world with out lit on their downtown streets. We're a familiar street sight & our literature is very familiar—Fine!

12. WE HAVE ALMOST REAPED THAT STREET FIELD. But it's here today & gone tomorrow.—And right now‚ it was here yesterday & is gone today because of the persecution & crackdown with the laws, etc. So we're going to have to try to do something else. Well, the Lord is in it, I believe He is definitely in it!

13. HE IS GOING TO PUSH US NOW TO DO MORE FFing. He is going to push to do more Mail Ministry. Look at the drive we're putting now on the Mail Ministry‚ the WorldWide Mail Ministry—the WWMM!—(I like initials:—Even if you forget the words, maybe you might at least remember the initials.)

14. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE MORE FOLLOW-UP OF OUR CONVERTS—we're going to push it. Now we're going to be driven to use some other kind of ministries than just street litnessing.

15. I THINK DOOR-TO-DOOR IS ONE OF THE ANSWERS! (DTD—not DDT!) It's going to be one of most fruitful & one of the most important, & it's more suited to where you people are at right about now. You too are young couples with young children with young homes.

16. YOU HAVE SO MUCH MORE IN COMMON WITH YOUNG HOMES & will appeal to them so much more DTD than just going down the street like teenage hippies waving literature like some superannuated hippie revolutionary, when you ought to be home taking care of your kids or at a job!—That's the way the System thinks.

17. MAYBE YOU NOW OUGHT TO HAVE A HOME & A JOB & BE GOING OUT AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN DOOR-TO-DOOR.—That's what the Jehovah's Witnesses do! Most Jehovah's Witnesses do not support themselves just by selling their literature. If you don't buy it, they will often give it to you. They do try to get something out of it to pay for it at least.

18. BUT MOST OF THEM ARE BUSINESSMEN, HOUSEWIVES, LABOURERS, PEOPLE WHO HAVE JOBS & HOMES & families of their own‚ who only go out in their spare time witnessing & litnessing door-to-door. They live in the community, they have jobs & homes & families there. They have to live with it, they are working & living in the System‚ & they have to face it daily.

19. THEY HAVE TO BE A GOOD TESTIMONY & A FAITHFUL WITNESS because they are there face-to-face with it everyday. They work with them & have business with them, & in a way it is a good testimony, if they are righteous & fair & honest & do good work & fair business.

20. IT'S A GOOD TESTIMONY—IT'S A PART OF THEIR WITNESS.—And the fact that they take their free time, their spare time to go out & try to witness & litness & win souls is another admirable thing. I admire the Jehovah's Witnesses, I think they're an amazing people! They're really sacrificial.

21. THEY WORK HARD, & I think people—even if they don't like them, or think they are crazy or religious fanatics—still admire their zeal. The Bible says somewhere to "provoke them to envy with our zeal" (2Co.9:2).

22. WE CAN HAVE A TREMENDOUSLY FRUITFUL DOOR–TO-DOOR MINISTRY NOW. But as long as the street ministry was fruitful, & we got a good crop & a good harvest & good support, we didn't worry about it. You kids, imagine, as teenage hippies revolutionary kids, you hated the System. You hated older people so much you had nothing in common with them at all!—And the average householder was somebody older than you, so you couldn't have had a very good DTD ministry then.—It would of been DDT for sure!

23. YOU FELT INFERIOR OR SUPERIOR, EITHER ONE: You were free, not tied down with a house & a home & a bunch of kids & a job. You were foot-loose & fancy-free, & could just breeze down the streets only selling papers for a living! So there was nothing appealing to you about a home ministry‚ a door-to-door ministry.

24. NOW YOU ARE NO LONGER KIDS—YOU ARE YOUNG MARRIEDS WITH YOUNG FAMILIES & kids of your own. I think you're now going to have a lot more interest in young married couples with children who live in small homes or apartments & flats like yourselves. You're going to have a lot more in common, a lot more of an appeal to them!—And they are going to be more appealing to you, also.

25. I BELIEVE YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE A GREATER INTEREST IN THAT KIND OF FAMILY DTD MINISTRY NOW than you ever were you were a bright-eyed bushy-haired teenage hippie revolutionary!

26. ITS A WHOLE DIFFERENT KETTLE OF FISH NOW: Our average member today is now one of a young couple with small children & some kind of a home. You are settled down to some extent & trying to earn a living to support your family, & you may have to go ahead & get a System job to support yourselves, & witness in your spare time.

27. IF YOU ARE THEREFORE SETTLED DOWN IN A COMMUNITY WITH A JOB HOME & FAMILY‚ in some ways the community will respect you much more & say, "Well, now you have come to your senses! You're not running down the street screaming 'Woe! Woe! Warning! Warning!—and here today & gone tomorrow!

28. "NOW YOU'VE GOT PROBLEMS JUST LIKE WE'VE GOT‚ Now you've got a home & a job & taxes & a family & small children & you are concerned about their education, & you are more like us now. Now you can understand us better, & now we understand you better.

29. "NOW IN A WAY YOU ARE ONE OF US!—SO NOW WE'LL LISTEN! You are like one of us, yet you are happy! You're like one of us with small children & all their problems & yet your kids are happy & they are not as much trouble as ours & they don't get into much mischief as ours. They're good kids & they are well–trained—How'd you do it?"

30. THEY'RE GOING TO BE ADMIRING YOUR LITTLE FAMILY & your children & how smart they are in school "becoming one" with all the rest. You are going to become a good, local permanent‚ settle-down witness in a local community.

31. YOU'LL NO DOUBT HAVE TO HAVE A JOB because it is going to be almost impossible—the way they are persecuting us now—for us to do almost anything else. You just aren't going to be able to earn your living in the streets very well anymore. Instead you'll be FFing & door to door witnessing .

32. SOME OF YOU MAYBE COULD DTD FULL-TIME, Some Jehovah's witnesses, Seventh–day Adventists & Mormons do that fulltime & can support themselves by it.—Some!—But not all of them. The vast majority of the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh–Day Adventists, Christian Scientists & those who do that door-to-door have their own homes & jobs & just do it in their spare time—which in some ways is even more commendable.

33. THE SYSTEM LOOKS AT THEM LIKE THIS: WELL‚ YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS You've got a good home & a good income just like I have. You don't have to do this. Now we know you really mean business because you're sacrificing your spare time & your time off & your free days to go out & try to tell me about Jesus!

34. "YOU'RE NOT OUT HERE JUST TO PAN-HANDLE & BEG A DOLLAR OFF OF ME! You're really out here because you have an interest in my soul. You don't really need my money. You've got your own home your own job your own family, so you really are interested!"

35. YOU WILL "BECOME ONE", members of the community, settled there in that community with home & a job & a family, & the System will actually at least tolerate you much more than before, almost accept you! You work there, you have a business there, your children go to school there, you pay rent & taxes there, & you have a car & you're more like a solid member of the community.

36. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, "YOU'RE RELIGIOUS, YOU'RE ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT JESUS! You're always talking about witnessing & soul–winning & telling us about Bible prophecy & what's going to happen & warning us about the dollar & all these things. Well, maybe you really have something! We'll hear it! You've now proved that you can make it in our kind of a world & our kind of a system, & yet you're still religious, you're still talking about Jesus & you're still warning us about the End" etc..!

37. I DON'T BELIEVE IN BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION, BUT I BELIEVE WE ARE EVOLUTING AS A MOVEMENT. I don't believe in evolution, but I do believe in growth—just like a child grows. I have watched & studied & wrote a whole thesis on the 280-some smaller sects of America when I was in University. I studied books on it, & found it fascinating!

38. LOOK AT THE WISDOM OF GOD! At that time I never dreamed I was going to be the founder of one of those "smaller sects"!—But I studied how they operated, how they got founded etc.—Always some man was the one who started it—or some woman. God always uses somebody—or the Devil does! I studied how they worked & how they operated & how they grew, & all the various methods they used & mistakes they made. But

39. I NEVER DREAMED AT THE TIME I WAS GOING TO BE THE FOUNDER OF ONE OF THOSE "SMALLER SECTS"—BUT HERE WE ARE! But one thing I discovered in studying their histories is that they always evolute & mature. They evolve through various stages. They begin wild-eyed bushy haired screaming fanatics, like us running down the streets warning, "Woe! Woe!" in sackcloth & ashes with big rods & wandering about like we used to do.

40. BUT ONCE THEY BECAME MORE MATURE, as they became pretty well-established as a new religion that was here to stay & not going to be gone tomorrow, one of the major transitions that they had to go through was the fact that they were no longer a bunch of screaming mimis‚ a bunch of young singles foot–loose & fancy-free & "blown about with every wind of doctrine" (Eph.4:14), here today & gone tomorrow! (Or "Hair" today & "goon" tomorrow!)

41. THEY WERE GETTING MARRIED & HAVING CHILDREN & SETTLING DOWN & HAVING HOMES. They had to get jobs & the kids had to go to school & live a little like the rest of the world.—And if their religion had any appeal at all, if it's not good for young marrieds with homes & children & jobs, then it is not good for the vast majority of the people of the world!—Because that's who they are.

42. IF WE'VE GOT NOTHING TO OFFER YOUNG MARRIEDS WITH YOUNG HOMES & YOUNG CHILDREN who have to hold down jobs to earn their living, if we've got nothing to offer them, then we've got nothing to offer the vast majority of people in the world‚ because that's who they are!

43. NOW IF OUR RELIGION CAN STAND THAT TEST, then it can pass through what is now a crisis, a crucial stage which has killed many a flaming new wild-eyed sect, cult, ism or whatever you want to call it, they couldn't stand settling down.

44. THE MORMONS WERE PRETTY WILD TO BEGIN WITH, BUT THEY FINALLY GOT OUT TO UTAH & SETTLED DOWN. They were no longer just a bunch of wild & woolly teenagers, they'd become young couples—yes‚ & young triples & quadruples etc. too! But they settled down to normal farm homes, as most of them had been farmers. Joseph Smith their founder was a farmer & he appealed to farmers, & the farmers followed him, & the farmers' wives—often other farmers' wives'.

45. BUT THEY FINALLY SETTLED DOWN IN UTAH. Dear Brigham Young!—After poor Joe got shot in jail by the System, Brigham Young carried on.—It was like another stage or step in their growth & their age.

46. SMITH WAS THE WILD-EYED BUSHY-HAIRED REVOLUTIONARY PROPHET, who had this appeal to everybody! "Come follow me! Quit everything! Leave everything! Leave your husbands & leave your wives & leave everything & have a new family, new wives, husbands & marriages, & let's go!"

47. BUT BRIGHAM YOUNG WAS THE PRACTICAL SENSIBLE BUSINESS HEAD: He saw that they were going to have settle down someplace & feed them.

48. AT FIRST THEY LIVED LIKE WE DID! They lived on forsake–alls for the first few years of their existence as a religions movement. The converts were pouring in with their money from the sales of their farms & all this, bringing in their buggies & their wagon-loads & their horses, cattle, oxen, sheep & everything else‚ & they were living on forsake-alls.

49. THEN THEY BEGAN TO GET SEVERE PERSECUTION! I mean, they began to get massacred & slaughtered! They even had pitched battles with the U.S. Army! By this time they were on their way West. They sympathised with the Indians & got the Indians on their side, & with the Indians they began fighting the Federal Government! They camped out & lived with the Indians (like our first hippies!), & the Indians were their friends, & they were fighting together against the Feds like us against the System!

50. WELL, BY THE TIME THEY GOT TO UTAH THEY HAD PRETTY WELL PAIRED OFF—or squared off & tripled off or whatever—& they were young marrieds having children, families, & not a wild & woolly bunch of ravin' rantin' rarin' tearin' young singles!—And they were under too heavy persecution to get too many more new disciples, so how were they going to live off forsake–alls?

51. NOBODY IS JOINING A NEW CULT OR MOVEMENT BY THE DROVES WHILE THEY ARE UNDER HEAVY PERSECUTION!—Then nobody wants to join! Why should they? So the Mormons were really being slaughtered & massacred & persecuted & driven from one State to the other.

52. SO BRIGHAM SAW THAT THE TIME HAD COME that they had to go find some kind of a promised land & settle down back on the farm again! Most of them were raised on the farm, knew farming & could farm. Now they had families & children, so they had to get some place where they could settle down & have a little peace & quiet for a change in order to raise food & families!

53. UTAH WAS INDIAN TERRITORY, SO THEY WENT OUT THERE & HOMESTEADED, PIONEERED. Finally, they even made peace with the Federal Government! They'd been at war, literally at war with the Federal Government for years, with the Indians fighting on their side. They had actual battles with the Feds!

54. BUT FINALLY, when the Federal Government passed a law against bigamy, they gave up plural wives. Did you know a U.S. Federal law against bigamy was passed just in order to get the Mormons?!—In order to try to get rid of the Mormons!—They passed a Federal law‚ a nationwide law against bigamy, primarily to try to kill off the Mormon religion!

55. WELL, BY THIS TIME THEY HAD ESTABLISHED SALT LAKE CITY & built their first Temple, a place of worship & ceremony, & they had settled down to their farms & their homes & their families. But they still grew like mad nevertheless—particularly their children! With that many wives, you're bound to have a lot of kids! Some of them had a dozen wives & scores of children!

56. THEY WERE A LOT LIKE US RIGHT NOW: We've passed the stage where our growth was nearly all new disciples.—Now almost our major growth is our children! Well, you just can't very well handle too many of both! We've got our hands so full of children right now, we can hardly handle the new disciples! We're still reaping a few, but we've reaped our big massive harvest of new disciples & young people.

57. NOW THE MORMONS WERE YOUNG MARRIEDS WITH CHILDREN‚ settled down in family homes & farms —and their biggest problem now was kids, children, their own children! For they were practicing not only bigamy but polygamy like mad! After all‚ there is nothing in the Bible against it, & it was quite common in the Bible. —As long as you can make it work, it's great!

58. SO THEY HAD VERY LARGE FAMILIES & large homes & they worked hard, & God blessed them!—And they were getting really rich! They were prospering & the Lord was blessing them. And so the System—particularly its religions, of whom they were great, growing & grand competitors—were determined to wipe them out!

59. SO THEIR ENEMIES PASSED THIS LAW AGAINST BIGAMY, & made it against Federal law, because Utah was Indian territory. They couldn't pass laws there locally, so they had to do it in Washington & make it a Federal law in order to get them! That's the main reason they passed the law, clear back in the 1800's‚ during the founding of Utah & the Mormons.

60. SO WHAT HAPPENED? Once they had that Federal law in their hands, the Feds lined up along the hills around Salt Lake City & trained their cannon on the city & the Temple, & said, "Either you stop your polygamy or we're going to start firing, & we're going to reduce your city to rubble‚ including your Temple!" That's exactly what they did!

61. FEDERAL TROOPS SURROUNDED THE CITY & THREATENED TO BLOW THEM TO BITS IF THEY DIDN'T STOP POLYGAMY! I'm sure there were plenty of 10:36'ers who'd lost wives & daughters & sons & everything else to the Mormons, who were willing to kill for revenge!—As well as the other religions with which the Mormons were a big competitor!

62. SO, WISELY, THEIR APOSTLES & HEADS OF THE CHURCH went into the Temple & prayed & came out with a revelation from the Angel Moroni, their guardian angel‚ that declared that the Mormon church no longer would preach polygamy—It would no longer preach nor practice polygamy forever! It was no longer an official doctrine of the church!

63. OF COURSE, THE REBEL FUNDAMENTALIST MORMONS STILL PRACTICE POLYGAMY in rural Utah, Arizona, Southern Nevada & California. We met & knew women who were "spiritual" wives of the elders of the local Mormon church, but who got saved in our meetings & gave it up. They were even living in different homes, in their own homes. One lady ran the boarding house where we lived & the elder would come around & spend a different night in each home‚ with each family, including hers, & they were all his wives "under cover" secretly!

64. BUT OFFICIALLY THE MORMONS CAME OUT BEFORE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT & ITS TROOPS & made an official declaration it's no longer a necessary doctrine or practise of the Mormon church. In other words‚ they supposedly abandoned polygamy in the face of this threat to destroy them! Pretty sensible, I'd say! When it gets that rough, it's time to abandon some minor doctrine or practise the enemy doesn't like, when it's either you abandon it or they shoot!

65. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO ABANDON A FEW THINGS TOO. "All things are lawful to us, but not all things are expedient" (1Co.6:12.) Some of our literature & some of our pictures, & maybe even some of our doctrine & freedoms, we may have to forego in order to survive!

66. SO NEARLY ALL OF THESE MOVEMENTS WENT THROUGH THIS SORT OF EVOLUTION, GROWTH, MATURITY OR MATURATION. If they could get through these various crisis stages, if they could survive each of these, then they'd sail on through the next very well.

67. AND ONE OF OUR BIG CRISES WAS WHEN WE BEGAN TO COUPLE UP & HAVE MANY SMALL CHILDREN! Therefore you've had to settle down & have homes & some kind of peace & quiet to nest your little families in. Some have had to get System jobs to support yourselves. You just couldn't continue to go running down the streets waving lit!

68. YOU HAD TO SETTLE DOWN & GET A JOB & A HOME OF YOUR OWN, & make a nest for your family. But these religions were still able to carry on their meetings & ministries just the same—maybe if not every night or every day or all day long, at least they had regular meeting times & regular services & meeting places‚ or met in homes or had church buildings or whatever.

69. THEY ALL PASSED TROUGH THESE VARIOUS STAGES, usually because of the growth & the age & the maturation of their own membership. We've now reached one of these crisis points in our own growth.

70. IN TEN YEARS our former wild–eyed, bushy–haired, wild & woolly hippie teenage revolutionaries have become sane & sober reliable, responsible & respectable marrieds with children, homes & jobs!—Like a lot of their former revolutionary '60s leaders back in the States, who are now bookkeepers & writers, etc., & working in or for the System they fought & hated!—They just couldn't keep it up forever! They finally had to succumb to where they had to earn a living, & their little flocks had flown —or had to flock back into the System with them.

71. WE HAVE COME TO THE POINT WHERE WE NOW HAVE FAMILIES WITH LOTS OF CHILDREN WHO NEED HOMES & THEREFORE JOBS, & the kids need an education we can't give them. So they are going to have to settle down sometime, somehow & somewhere!—Which means that you are going to have to settle down in a Home with the kids in school & find a System job.

72. —OR YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO FIND SOME KIND OF FULLTIME SERVICE FOR THE LORD THAT'LL SUPPORT YOU & your family—and that's not very likely going to be all of you! Probably the vast majority of you are not going to be able—under the present persecution especially—to survive financially without some type of work or a job or something to support you other than public litnessing or visible witnessing.—And it may be youtoday!