Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Yielding My Will

Being "yielded" was the ideal characteristic for TFI members. Dictionary.com defines this as "inclined to give in; submissive; compliant." It took me years of being told to "surrender my will to the Lord" to attain to this goal, but I finally made it.

I think the turning point for me was when I returned (to the enormous School Home where I lived) with my fifth baby after giving birth at a little clinic. It was my birthday, and I was filled with joy to have a beautiful new baby. That joy had already been tempered when someone told me at the clinic that the District Shepherd had written to me. Although trying to push it out of mind so I could enjoy the day, I was worried.

For good reason. As soon as I was settled on my bed, new babe in arms, looking forward to introducing my children to their new baby brother, I was handed a 16-page computer printout of correction from that Shepherd. This is the Shepherd who had already put the onus on me for any marriage problems we were having by telling me I was, "not just self-righteous, but really, really, really self-righteous." That 16-page list of my sins and failings, I now see, was the straw that broke the camel's back.

If I had lacked in decisiveness and confidence before, it was nothing to how I was after that letter.

Of course, mandatory public "confession" and united prayer followed, after giving me a week or so to dwell on "what the Lord was trying to teach me." (Shades of Mao and the public confessions required during the Cultural Revolution.) Naturally, I was to do even more intensive studies of the Mo Letters and the Bible as remedy (or was it penance?) for my sins. Oh, not to forget the OHRs (Open Heart Reports), where we wrote our secret sins and daily struggles and victories for our Shepherds to muse over and decide on future dealings. These were ramped-up during times of confession, when "the Lord had his spotlight" on me.

The whole idea was to break our wills and psychologically beat us into submissive, unquestioning, even unthinking, followers. Even more so for women, who were to be obsequious, fawning "helpmeets."

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