Dear (our Elder & wife),
This has been a very hard letter for us to write because of the sincere feelings we have for you both. You have always treated all four of us with the utmost kindness and made us feel so welcome in your home; for this we will always be grateful.
After learning some time ago that “This Way” began around the beginning of the century, we continued to go to meeting and enjoy the fellowship and spirit of others although feeling somewhat deceived. There have always been certain things that have concerned us but being taught at an early age not to question, we dismissed them from our minds.
These past two years we took note of situations we observed and thoughts we heard in meetings (or didn’t hear) and became very bothered. Here are a few things that helped make our decision not to return to meeting:
1) The putting down of sincere Christians of “Another Way.”
2) Judgmental attitude towards others.
3) Preoccupation with the outward appearance, therefore, overlooking the love for our brethren and neighbor.
4) Hypocrisy and dishonesty to God, to our children and to others because of the strict unwritten rules.
5) Misconduct that is excused.
We are aware that many feel we have been led astray, but when you have a deep personal feeling that something is wrong, we just could not continue to go to meeting. It is wonderful to feel free now to reach out to others and not have the guilt that it is wrong to cross over the wall to the “outside world.”
As a family, we enjoy discussing the Bible, its meaning to us, and how the teachings of Christ can guide us. We now realize the word “Gospel” simply means that Christ lived and died for our sins and to believe in Him. No added conditions by man. In the past, when Tricia was invited out to a friend’s church, she would mention to us how much she enjoyed going. This was something that was hard for us to accept but now we appreciate and understand her views.
We know this past year has been very difficult for you, but please try to understand our feelings. The purpose of life is for everyone to be honest with God and do what they truly feel is right. Again, thank you for your kindness towards us. You both will always have a special place in our hearts.
Dwayne, Bobbie, Tricia & Rick Olson
February 8, 1992