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Old 05-19-2017, 06:52 AM   #1
BlossomingLily
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Question Help a concerned FTT trainee.

I am in the training but many things that I hear bother me and just don't sit right, it's not the most condusive atmosphere to ask questions either as you're told to turn to your spirit and get out of your mind.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:47 AM   #2
UntoHim
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

Thanks for stopping by Lily! There are a number of former FTT attendees that frequent this forum. When I was younger (way back in the dark ages of the 1970s) there was no full-time training, at least here in America. Everyone was expected to attend the biannual training (preferably in person in Anaheim), and much of "the church life" for the remaining 6 months was a weekly "digesting" of the 30 messages given by Witness Lee during the training.

The vast majority of younger brothers and sisters lived in corporate houses, many times headed up by a married couple. We were expected to attend every weekly meeting (at that time 3 or 4 weeknights), Saturday morning service groups, usually a Saturday night Gospel meeting, and of course 2 meetings on Sunday. (during those times the Lord's table was on Sunday evening) We didn't need to go to a full-time training - we were living in a 24X7 full-time training!

To many of us older ones out here, the thought of a full-time training (where brothers and sisters actually live at a corporate training center) was a foreign concept. This seemed like a seminary type situation, and you are probably aware of Witness Lee's attitude towards seminaries...he called them "cemeteries". Many of us totally understand your dilemma and can totally sympathize with your predicament. I'm assuming your parents pushed you to attend the FTT.

Again, there are a number of forum members who attended the FTT and may have some helpful advise and encouragement for you.

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Old 05-19-2017, 11:20 AM   #3
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Unhappy Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Thanks for stopping by Lily! There are a number of former FTT attendees that frequent this forum. When I was younger (way back in the dark ages of the 1970s) there was no full-time training, at least here in America. Everyone was expected to attend the biannual training (preferably in person in Anaheim), and much of "the church life" for the remaining 6 months was a weekly "digesting" of the 30 messages given by Witness Lee during the training.

The vast majority of younger brothers and sisters lived in corporate houses, many times headed up by a married couple. We were expected to attend every weekly meeting (at that time 3 or 4 weeknights), Saturday morning service groups, usually a Saturday night Gospel meeting, and of course 2 meetings on Sunday. (during those times the Lord's table was on Sunday evening) We didn't need to go to a full-time training - we were living in a 24X7 full-time training!

To many of us older ones out here, the thought of a full-time training (where brothers and sisters actually live at a corporate training center) was a foreign concept. This seemed like a seminary type situation, and you are probably aware of Witness Lee's attitude towards seminaries...he called them "cemeteries". Many of us totally understand your dilemma and can totally sympathize with your predicament. I'm assuming your parents pushed you to attend the FTT.

Again, there are a number of forum members who attended the FTT and may have some helpful advise and encouragement for you.

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I was "gained" on campus and my parent DO NOT agree with me being here, I don't know how to go on
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

I've often said to those I know in the local churches the full time training is not for everyone. One should not attend due to peer pressure.
I would recommend reaching out to forum members Znpaaneah and Aron. They might be best able to provide guidance from their experiences with the full time training.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

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Originally Posted by BlossomingLily View Post
I was "gained" on campus and my parent DO NOT agree with me being here, I don't know how to go on
In this case, my dear sister, I would seriously consider dropping out of the FTT. Of course I understand this will be a hard thing to explain to "the brothers", but the longer you wait, the harder it will be. I am not suggesting that you drop completely out your home Local Church (unless you feel before the Lord that it would be necessary to do so). You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. You must realize that leaving the FTT is NOT as if you are leaving the Lord or his ultimate will for your life.

You have the Spirit of Truth living in you! The Lord Jesus promised that the Spirit will "guide us into all truth". If you feel that you are not being guided into all truth at the FTT, you should strongly consider leaving as soon as practically possible. May the Lord keep you and bless you as you seek to follow the Lamb wherever he goes.

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Old 05-19-2017, 01:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

How did you end up in the training? Where did it all begin?
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Old 05-19-2017, 02:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

My sister went to Taiwan when the whole system first started up. And she left early followed by leaving the LRC during the period of the Anaheim storm related to John I, Al K, etc. Unfortunately, it was only for a while. She is back now.

How did that happen? Some smarty-pants young people's leader at the church she was attending had some notions about what she might believe as a result of having been in the LRC and rather than letting her discover errors as they appeared to her, he made points about it somewhat openly and so before she could reject them, she just embraced them and went back.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlossomingLily View Post
I was "gained" on campus and my parent DO NOT agree with me being here, I don't know how to go on
I was in the FTTT and I was also a trainer while in Taiwan.

Can you give us some details about what is making you uncomfortable?

1. Is it the doctrines, like "ground of the church"?

2. Is it the practices, pushing a support for the ministry?

Personally I think it is a terrible idea for a new one to be in the FTTT. I know that there is pressure on the churches to send recruits, so the idea that they took a new one and shipped them to Anaheim to fulfill some quota is also a possibility. Were you pressured into attending?

You say your parents are against your participation. Are they Christians? Are they against this particular church, against churches in general, or against your "full time" participation?
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

I graduated from the FTTA within the last several years. I also attended the FTTT for a period. My time in the FTTA was valuable to me for the relationships formed there. I doubt I will ever again experience such camaraderie as I found in that setting. The brothers I grew close to there remain my dearest friends.

The real purpose of the FTTA, however, is to "constitute" young people with Witness Lee's ministry. When you stop and think about this, you realize how insidious it is. For this reason, I could never recommend the FTTA to anyone after me. I also feel that the standards and requirements set there give a strange and unrealistic view of what it means to be a Christian (e.g. - lint-rolling your bed for hairs = "God-man living," etc.). This can be very damaging, and the effect can take years to unravel.

If you have any questions about my experience, please feel free to contact me. I feel that the experience one has in the FTTA today is rather different from the LC of 30 years ago, etc.
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlossomingLily View Post
I was "gained" on campus and my parent DO NOT agree with me being here, I don't know how to go on
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
I'd recommend reaching out to forum members Znpaaneah and Aron. They might be best able to provide guidance from their experiences with the full time training.
I'm not an expert, but have opinions and will share if you take my word as what it is - an opinion.

The Living Stream Ministry aka "Local Church" or "Lord's Recovery" puts pressure on people to yield to them - their 'gospel' creates psychological tension and emotional stress which is relieved if you "submit" or "surrender", seemingly to the Lord Jesus Christ but really to the programme of indoctrination and culture of subjugation to the ministry of Witness Lee.

Witness Lee wasn't perfect, and the indoctrination programme lends to errors, some subtle, some glaring. Like Watchman Nee before him, Lee's Bible interpretation was marred with ignorance, cultural bias, and self-interest (as is mine of course, but I'm not starting a church).

First off, Lee's culture taught that you don't question group leadership; he was supposedly God's oracle, with the so-called ministry of the age. Nothing could be further from the truth. I heard FTTA trainers tell us, "don't waste your time" with the old, the sick, the weak. Don't waste your time with those who can't repay you in this age. Instead, go after the "good building material", i.e. young naive college students. Is that from the Bible or fallen human culture?

This kind of mindset clearly opposed the teachings and example of Christ, and I recognised that even then, and spoke against it, but was ignored (and stayed on several more years because I was 'sold out' or 'wrecked' for the programme).

Second, if you look at Witness Lee's teachings, some of his departures from the apostolic precedent are striking. For example, the New Testament reception of the Psalms: Jesus said that David was "in spirit" writing about Him (Jesus); and Peter said that David was a prophet and foretold the coming Messiah, the promised Seed. Something like 40 times the Psalms are cited as authoritative.

Witness Lee said no, David was a muddled, God-fearing law-keeper who typically didn't know what he was writing. Probably 2/3 to 3/4 of the contents of Psalms is panned as "mixed sentiments" or "fallen concepts" in RecV footnotes. So here, as elsewhere, Lee clearly departed from established precedent of the Christian church, from the NT composition up to the present age.

Third, Witness Lee wasn't even qualified to be a Local Church elder, since Paul said that an elder should have believing children and Lee put his ne'er-do-well sons onto church money. If you haven't read about Daystar and Timothy Lee, or about Philip Lee who who ran the LSM office for 10+ years, molesting the sisters and poisoning the church, you should.

Witness Lee repeatedly put his family above the church, and made us put the church and his ministry above the Lord. The whole thing is a false god, one of the "powers of this age"; if you read Protestant history it's flush with so-called prophets with special, proprietary visions used to siphon off some of the flock for themselves.

Now, what to do? Just get out. You got in, so get out. You're an adult with choices and free will. You chose to go to the FTT; now make a decision to leave.

p.s. be careful what you write because they monitor sites like this; they already know there's an unhappy trainee, consorting openly with the "opposers". And they know you aren't a church kid but are pulled from a college campus. If they find you they'll put pressure on you - can't have any sheep sniffing at freedom! That might give people ideas.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

Hey sister, I am guessing we are at a similar age. I too was an active "member" on campus, but I didn't follow most of my friends who ended up in the training. That's another story, but the friends of mine in the training now are very dear to me and I miss them a lot. However I do know a few of them have dropped out after completing a term or two, and I believe they remain in good relationships with other saints. In your case, since your parents aren't really supportive, you have another solid reason to drop out, if you feel so after prayers and considerations. Please know that as Paul says, he doesn't even judge himself nor does he let others judge him. He knows it is and will be the Lord who judges. So whether you remain in the training or not, your decision won't change your status or standing before the Lord. ***You are no less "victorious" or loved by the Lord when compared to others who are in training. ***

By the way, I find it interesting that my friend who is in the training recently shared with us that "sometimes we shouldn't over-spiritualise" things. She said sometimes she wants to just turn to the spirit and remove her thoughts but it often is unsuccessful. She said the Lord cares for our soul as well and that she uses such ones to shepherd others. It's very true and I hope you will also, through your confusion and exhaustion, grow deeper in the Lord and to one another.

Last edited by Fuji; 05-20-2017 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Missing words
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:29 AM   #12
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
My sister went to Taiwan when the whole system first started up. And she left early followed by leaving the LRC during the period of the Anaheim storm related to John I, Al K, etc. Unfortunately, it was only for a while. She is back now.

How did that happen? Some smarty-pants young people's leader at the church she was attending had some notions about what she might believe as a result of having been in the LRC and rather than letting her discover errors as they appeared to her, he made points about it somewhat openly and so before she could reject them, she just embraced them and went back.
I've seen a number of people who left the LSM programme go back. They couldn't find Christ in scripture except as defined by the ministry, and couldn't find fellowship in Christ apart from the 'body' as defined by the ministry. They were mentally, emotionally & psychologically compromised. So they re-defined their expectations; instead of the "glorious church life" they said, "Well, everyone has problems" and went back to the LSM LC.

To me, the difference between Lee's ministry and other ministries can be seen with the effect it has on relations with my neighbours. Lee's ministry tended to isolate me from Christ, and also my fellows, apart from the "God's economy" matrix, while other ministries did the opposite. A good book by a Baptist or Catholic or Greek Orthodox scholar wouldn't make me leave my home church, or despise it, but rather would enliven and empower the Christ that I brought into church.

Back in the day we'd say that we were "wrecked and ruined for the [LSM LC] church life". Boy howdy, were we ever. It was tough to go back into Christianity. The tendrils of Lee-thought were deeply entwined. But eventually I was able to break free from those chains.
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Old 05-20-2017, 02:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If you turn to your spirit there will be a change in your feeling and thought about the situation. God uses uncomfortable situations to turn us to the Spirit.
The term "turn to your spirit" or "turn to my spirit" is not in the Bible.

Dear FTTA student. Turn your heart to the Lord. The Lord is the Spirit. And, where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. If saints in FTTA are putting you in shackles, that is not the Spirit of the Lord. It is a different spirit. One to flee.
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Old 05-20-2017, 02:37 PM   #14
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Question Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

One of the major things I find uncomfortable is the way they speak of other believers. Even if the believe is that the church life is Philadelphia, of course they were overcomes there but so was there in all 7 churches, I don't enjoy openly mocking others, a lot of things that they speak of with pointing fingers are also found in the church life .

Also one question I always ask myself after reading the book "the vision of the age" where it says. Every age has a minister and WL said he was the minster, well who is it now? Can the present minister of an age be late? and I certainly don't understand reading mainly from one person
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlossomingLily View Post
One of the major things I find uncomfortable is the way they speak of other believers. Even if the believe is that the church life is Philadelphia, of course they were overcomes there but so was there in all 7 churches, I don't enjoy openly mocking others, a lot of things that they speak of with pointing fingers are also found in the church life .

Also one question I always ask myself after reading the book "the vision of the age" where it says. Every age has a minister and WL said he was the minster, well who is it now? Can the present minister of an age be late? and I certainly don't understand reading mainly from one person
Hi BlossomingLily,

Excellent observation. Witness Lee has been dead 20 years. How can he be the MOTA? Since your parents don't want you to be in the FTT, that should help you to walk away.

Evangelical's "admonition" notwithstanding, I agree that "turn to your spirit" is not in the Bible. In fact, the Bible says "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Rom. 8:9. You're not comfortable because the Holy Spirit is showing you the sinful practices and behavior in that place.

Unbiblical phrases like "turn to your spirit" are code for "shut up and do what you're told." You've probably experienced someone "calling on the Lord" AT YOU in order to shut you up or manipulate your behavior. This and mocking others is a sure indication that something is not right here. The Holy Spirit does not behave this way and you are under no obligation to remain in such an oppressive environment.

Welcome and blessings to you and peace---

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Old 05-20-2017, 11:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

BlossomingLily is clearly a "LC member" so instead of getting into arguments with them about "turn to the spirit" not being in the bible, we should use the language they are familiar with. They may not know how to pray any other way.

Turn to the spirit means turn to the Spirit.

"He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit" (1 Cor. 6:17).

But if they are teaching you properly in the FTT you should know this already. I could have said pray and turn to the Lord. But some think this means to pray before an idol or to a God in a galaxy far far away. The Lord is now inside of us. Turn to the Lord inside of you.
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Old 05-21-2017, 04:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
Hi BlossomingLily,

Excellent observation. Witness Lee has been dead 20 years. How can he be the MOTA? Since your parents don't want you to be in the FTT, that should help you to walk away.

Evangelical's "admonition" notwithstanding, I agree that "turn to your spirit" is not in the Bible. In fact, the Bible says "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Rom. 8:9. You're not comfortable because the Holy Spirit is showing you the sinful practices and behavior in that place.

Unbiblical phrases like "turn to your spirit" are code for "shut up and do what you're told." You've probably experienced someone "calling on the Lord" AT YOU in order to shut you up or manipulate your behavior. This and mocking others is a sure indication that something is not right here. The Holy Spirit does not behave this way and you are under no obligation to remain in such an oppressive environment.

Welcome and blessings to you and peace---

Nell
Nell, thanks.

The Bible NEVER insrtucts us to turn our attention to ourselves. That is why the saying "turn to your spirit" is so deceptive.

The Bible speaks of the heart (or the spirit) turning TO THE LORD, and to "turn from idols to the living God." (II Cor 3.16; I Thess 1.9) The direction we turn to, focus on, and set our affections on, is only Jesus, our Lord, and NOT to ourselves. Doing that merely puffs us up, as we continually see in the poor attitudes of LC members towards others.

We are instructed to walk by the Spirit. We also must exercise ourselves in godliness. Exercising our spirit should not be shouting in the meetings, but the exercise of our conscience according to righteousness, and obedience to the Lord. I Timothy 1.1-5, 4.1-8 reveals this need in our LC brothers. They obsess with MOTA genealogies, and cling to the ministry of man, and because of their hypocrisy condemning all others, they damage their own conscience and their faith.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:56 AM   #18
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Nell, thanks.

The Bible NEVER insrtucts us to turn our attention to ourselves. That is why the saying "turn to your spirit" is so deceptive.

The Bible speaks of the heart (or the spirit) turning TO THE LORD, and to "turn from idols to the living God." (II Cor 3.16; I Thess 1.9) The direction we turn to, focus on, and set our affections on, is only Jesus, our Lord, and NOT to ourselves. Doing that merely puffs us up, as we continually see in the poor attitudes of LC members towards others.

We are instructed to walk by the Spirit. We also must exercise ourselves in godliness. Exercising our spirit should not be shouting in the meetings, but the exercise of our conscience according to righteousness, and obedience to the Lord. I Timothy 1.1-5, 4.1-8 reveals this need in our LC brothers. They obsess with MOTA genealogies, and cling to the ministry of man, and because of their hypocrisy condemning all others, they damage their own conscience and their faith.
BlossomingLily,

Ohio is correct. As to the heart, Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Another good question: who can know the heart of man? Turning "inward" to a deceitful heart is something we are never told to do, as Ohio clearly stated above.

Many times when I was told: "turn to your spirit", I would think "...but...I thought I was "there" (in spirit). I began to question "how do I know when I 'get there'?" If I don't know, then how can someone else "know?"

I know. I was waaaay overthinking. This is another peril of someone using unscriptural terminology on you as though it were Scriptural. It "sounds good" but you end up chasing your tail.

As for "get out of your mind," this is more "code". The Word says to "be renewed in the spirit of your mind." (Eph. 4:23) When your good mental faculties are "disengaged" you can get into a lot of trouble. Mindless obedience...you swallow everything you hear as truth and discern nothing.

Continue to ask questions. If you're going to invest your time and effort in anything, you deserve clear, scriptural answers. A good question to ask when you hear something that troubles you..."where is that in the Bible?" Look for a specific answer, book/chapter/verse that clearly answers your question. For years WL would "minister" based on a few verses that had nothing to do with the subject of his message. If you look through a few "Life Studies" today, you will notice the disjointed scripture references.

These questions will not "go away." This is your protection. This is the Holy Spirit in your life guiding you into all truth.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

This is a promise from God's Word. The FTT relies on the ministry of WL. We rely on the Word of God.

Nell
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
Continue to ask questions. If you're going to invest your time and effort in anything, you deserve clear, scriptural answers. A good question to ask when you hear something that troubles you..."where is that in the Bible?" Look for a specific answer, book/chapter/verse that clearly answers your question. For years WL would "minister" based on a few verses that had nothing to do with the subject of his message. If you look through a few "Life Studies" today, you will notice the disjointed scripture references.

These questions will not "go away." This is your protection. This is the Holy Spirit in your life guiding you into all truth.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

This is a promise from God's Word. The FTT relies on the ministry of WL. We rely on the Word of God.
Amen Nell!

BlossomingLily - Praying for you.
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Old 05-22-2017, 06:18 AM   #20
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

BlossomingLily,

How are you doing? Is any of this helping you?

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Old 05-22-2017, 05:01 PM   #21
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BlossomingLily, How are you doing? Is any of this helping you?
Let's all hold off on this thread until our sister gets a chance to answer Nell.
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Old 05-22-2017, 05:42 PM   #22
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Let's all hold off on this thread until our sister gets a chance to answer Nell.
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I really hope sister lily is ok because in the past experiences shared here it seems like LC authoritities do monitor what members say here and since she is a current trainee, it's likely they would say something publicly in the training to put pressure or fear in the trainees' hearts to stop posting or reading stuff here (I mean they were never supposed to go on the internet to do things like this according to the training rules...)...hope she has peace within from the Lord.
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:09 AM   #23
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Default Re: Help a concerned FTT trainee.

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I really hope sister lily is ok because in the past experiences shared here it seems like LC authoritities do monitor what members say here and since she is a current trainee, it's likely they would say something publicly in the training to put pressure or fear in the trainees' hearts to stop posting or reading stuff here (I mean they were never supposed to go on the internet to do things like this according to the training rules...)...hope she has peace within from the Lord.
He is right. I for one appreciate the anonymity of this forum. It might be better for you (BlossomingLily) not to be overly specific on places and people.
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