Gilead’s Tenth Year—Twentieth Graduation
GRADUATIONS at Gilead are attractive in every respect. The 2,256 that were present Sunday, February 8, 1953, were thoroughly convinced that the school had Jehovah’s approval and blessing. To those assembled on Sunday morning the school’s president, N. H. Knorr, said: “Ten years ago there was some doubt as to whether Gilead was the right thing. With faith in God we went ahead with the arrangements. Now there is no doubt . . . The work is better organized, and an increase is manifesting itself everywhere.” Then Brother Knorr introduced Brother Markus, the farm servant, and the instructors.
Brother Markus compared the going away of a class to its foreign assignment to a calf that has been taken away from its mother and placed in a foreign pasture to forage for itself. “It bawls,” he said, “sometimes for days, but it soon learns that it must make an adjustment if it would live.” “Your experience will be very much the same,” he said. “Be patient with yourself, it is all a matter of adjustment. Then you will love your new life and new home.” Brother Dunlap counseled the class to tackle the assignment with the mind of Christ and they will be happy, because He is happy. Spanish instructor Brother Burt advised the class to start speaking the native language the very first day they enter the country. Brother Knorr agreed and said: “When you find yourself praying to God in the new language, that is a sure sign that you are thinking it.” Brother Glass used the crayfish to illustrate his point. “Scientific experiments have proved that a crayfish will eat until a certain nerve, running from the brain to the belly, tells it to stop,” he said. “If this nerve is severed, the fish will eat till it bursts. Now, you have been eating for more than five months. I am not suggesting you stop, no. But that nerve should be telling you there is work to be done. And that is exactly what you will find in your assignment—work!” Brother Friend would have the class to consider the many gifts with which the heavenly Father has surrounded his earthly children—the flowers, trees, the fish and animals. “Muse on these things,” he said, “for they will bring you close to God.” The school’s registrar, Brother Schroeder, climaxed this session by urging the class to do good, for thereby “you will reap merit for yourselves”. “Do bad and you will reap punishment. Persist in wrongdoing and you will harvest destruction. In doing good is your reward.” Now it became time to hear from the school’s president.
For the next hour Brother Knorr spoke to the class on the subject: “Let Your Advancement Be Made Manifest.” “Knowledge brings responsibility,” he started, “for of him to whom much is given, much more is required. You have been given much, therefore much more will be required of you.” The audience hung onto each word as he developed his talk. “You must keep testing yourself to see whether you are in the faith. Sincerely ask yourself: ‘Am I increasing in knowledge?’ ‘Am I staying close to the organization?’” Diplomas were handed out. The twentieth class, numbering 112, had graduated. Now everyone should prepare to attend the twenty-first graduation, at New York’s Yankee Stadium on July 19.
[Picture on page 236]
Main Gilead Building