Become Jehovah's Friend
|Become Jehovah's Friend|
DVD release cover
|Release date(s)||2012 District Convention|
|Running time||? minutes|
Become Jehovah's Friend: Listen, Obey, and Be Blessed is the name of a DVD that was released by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society at the 2012 "Safeguard Your Heart" district convention. The DVD features several short videos, including a two minute introductory video by a member of the governing body, Anthony Morris III, and two other digitally animated videos. Brother Morris tells viewers that animated movies can be "a powerful teaching tool" and that children "can learn so much during their formative years. Lessons they learn at a very young age can make an impression that lasts a lifetime."
The second video is called "Lesson 1 - Obey Your Parents" and is approximately six minutes long. The first half of the video begins with a boy, named Caleb, playing outside with a remote controlled airplane. His mother has just finished cleaning the floor when she tells Caleb to come in for dinner. She reminds Caleb to take off his shoes before he comes inside, but he forgets and leaves a trail of mud on the floor. Caleb's father catches him and asks, "How will your mother feel when she sees this?" We see Caleb imagining that his mother is crying at the sight of the dirty floor. After the two of them clean up the floor together, Caleb's father shows him a scripture in Ephesians that says, "Be obedient to your parents that it may go well with you."
The second half of Lesson 1 begins with Caleb playing in the living room. He has blocks strewn about the floor and a toy dump truck filled with marbles. He dumps the marbles in the floor when his mother says, "What a mess!" She then tells Caleb that it is time for family worship and that he should get his book. She also instructs Caleb to clean up the floor before someone gets hurt, and leaves him alone. Caleb starts to clean up, then seems to give up when he picks up a teddy bear and starts to walk away. Then Caleb remembers his father's words: "Always listen to mommy and daddy." He then imagines that his father is walking down the steps and slips on a toy. The impact leads to widespread damage throughout their home. Caleb then begins to pick up his toys as his mother instructed. His mother sees this and tells, "Thank you! I'm so proud of you for obeying." Caleb's mother then urges him into the kitchen where his father has already begun instructing his sister during their family worship time. The video ends with the father saying prayer.
The third video is called "Lesson 2 - Obey Jehovah" and is approximately two minutes and forty-nine seconds long. (See Sparlock for more details.) It begins with Caleb playing outdoors with a new action figure. When Caleb walks inside, his mother sees him and asks what he is playing with. Caleb explains that it is, "Sparlock the Warrior Wizard." His mother then sits him down at the dinner table for snacks and a talk about magical toys. She explains that Satan likes magic, while it makes Jehovah "sad." Once she has convinced Caleb that playing with toys that have been marketed as "magical" is against Jehovah's wishes, she and Caleb go outside and throw the Sparlock toy in the trash.
Some believe the videos encourage parents to treat their children in a manipulative way, or that they encourage childhood indoctrination through guilt. The Lesson 2 video was seen as especially harmful by critics. It shows images of a snake (which represents Satan) offering Caleb the Sparlock toy or even tempting him with it, suggesting that playing with a toy that has been marketed as "magical" is equivalent to accepting gifts from the Devil. This would obviously go against Jehovah's wishes. Caleb was also told that playing with the Sparlock toy - which possessed no real magical powers of any kind - would make Jehovah "sad."
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