THE Finnish edition of The Watch Tower of April 1, 1916, contained a letter from Brother Russell directed to a few brothers in Scandinavia, including Brother Kaarlo Harteva. Brother Russell wrote to them: “We encourage all of you, dear brothers in the faith, to return to the truth and the work that belongs to this era.” Why did Brother Russell make this appeal?
Brother Harteva, who was born in 1882, was one of the first Bible Students in Finland. He was baptized in April 1910, and in the summer of 1912, Brother Russell authorized him to publish The Watch Tower in Finnish. All went well until World War I broke out. Brother Harteva wrote in the December 1, 1914, issue of The Watch Tower: “Because of the difficult economic situation, . . . we cannot promise that The Watch Tower will have the same number of pages or will be published as often this year.” However, in 1915, to raise funds, Brother Harteva and others founded a cooperative association called Ararat, which began to publish a magazine by that name.
As Brother Harteva focused his attention on the new association and the new magazine, another brother began to serve as editor of the Finnish Watch Tower. Ararat magazine published Biblical articles but also articles on such topics as natural cures and the newly invented language Esperanto. Before long, the new magazine distracted the brothers from the clear teachings of truth. At that point, Brother Russell, out of concern for their spiritual welfare, appealed to Brother Harteva and others to “return to the truth.”
How did Brother Harteva react? He published Brother Russell’s letter in Ararat magazine, together with his own reply. Brother Harteva apologized for his actions and stated: “If I may correct the matter, I want to do what I can.” Shortly thereafter, in the last issue of Ararat magazine, Brother Harteva again apologized for the confusion he had caused and added: “I will try to be more careful with regard to every aspect of the present truth.” Unlike some of the proud elected elders of those days, Kaarlo Harteva humbly accepted correction.
Later, Brother Harteva was again appointed as the editor of The Watch Tower in Finnish and as branch overseer. He continued to take care of those responsibilities until 1950. He finished his earthly course in 1957, faithful to Jehovah and to the truth. Indeed, those who humbly accept correction from their King, Jesus, are refined and receive Jehovah’s blessing.