Gilead Graduates 22nd Class
A GRADUATION at the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead is always a heart-warming and faith-stimulating experience. And this seemed to be especially true of the graduation of the twenty-second class, whose 120 students had come from thirty-seven different lands.
Saturday’s snow and wind had painted the landscape of the Finger Lakes region of upper New York state, where Gilead is situated, a beautiful white, which glistened in the sun on graduation day, Sunday, February 7, 1954. At 9 a.m. the program began with song and prayer. Heard during the first hour were brief remarks of appreciation and parting counsel by the servant of Kingdom Farm, on which the school is situated, and the school’s four instructors; also many of the telegrams received from the four corners of the earth.
Then N. H. Knorr, president of the Watch Tower Society as well as of the Watchtower Bible School, addressed the class on the subject, “Do Not Accept the Undeserved Kindness of Jehovah and Miss Its Purpose,” based on 2 Corinthians 6:1 (NW). It was a frank, earnest and stirring talk full of practical admonition that each one in attendance could apply to himself with profit.
Among other things, Brother Knorr stressed that all our privileges are expressions of Jehovah’s undeserved kindness. If we slack our hands or turn back we shall miss its purpose. Though we may have been in God’s service many years, yet until Armageddon is past there is danger of our missing its purpose. We must be careful not to let others implant in us a root of bitterness and we must also watch our daily conduct. To get complete satisfaction and joy from living we must center our lives in Jehovah. We must keep on studying, for we can never exhaust the storehouse of Jehovah’s knowledge.
Regardless of what we have done in the way of service, Brother Knorr reminded his listeners, Jehovah owes us nothing. We shall always be indebted to him. The liar, the Devil, wants to prove us to be liars like him, and so we shall prove to be if we let him turn us away from our dedication vows. Having started something, we want to finish it.
In conclusion he expressed the confidence of the school that the missionaries graduating will hold high before the people the fine principles of the Watchtower Bible School, which they had learned to appreciate more as a result of their training here. Then each student received an envelope from the president containing his report card, a class picture, a gift from the Society, and, all those graduating with merit, a diploma. Coming from thirty-seven different lands, they were being sent to forty-five different ones.
Then one of the students read a Resolution which was unanimously adopted by the class and in which they resolved ‘that by Jehovah’s undeserved kindness they will spread the knowledge they have received wherever sent; that they will continue to walk humbly in the name of Jehovah and in unity with the New World society, letting others learn how good God is to those who dedicate themselves to him, maintaining an immovable stand and a vigilant guard until the final victory, and ever increasing in love for God by continual study and meditation of the unfolding light of his Word, taking the course expressed by the words: “Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever.”—Ps. 145:2, CB.
At about 11:30 the program closed with the very appropriate song, “Lord, Here Am I, Send Me,” and prayer by Brother Knorr. A count showed that 2,137 had attended this winter graduation.
Sunday afternoon at 1:30, thirty-eight students, one speaking for each country represented by the class (counting Scotland), were heard in expressions that evinced mature understanding and heartfelt appreciation of Jehovah’s undeserved kindness. This program, which lasted two hours, served as a delicious dessert to the spiritual feast that had begun Saturday evening with the study of the weekly Watchtower lesson and an absorbing two-hour report by the president on the trip he and Brother Henschel had taken during the winter through South America, which highlighted the zeal, faithfulness and love of our brothers on that continent and Jehovah’s blessing upon them.
Yes, from beginning to end the graduation of a class at the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead is indeed a heart-warming and faith-stimulating experience.