Gilead Graduation Emphasizes Building to the Future
FEBRUARY 7, 1960, was graduation day for Gilead’s thirty-fourth missionary class, and 2,476 persons gathered to share with them the spiritual benefits of the occasion.
The program got under way at 9 a.m., and the Society’s president, N. H. Knorr, called on the Kingdom Farm servant and each of the School’s four instructors for brief words of counsel to the class. Then President Knorr spoke for more than an hour on the topic “Building to the Future.”
He pointed out to his attentive audience that Moses was a successful theocratic builder because he was a man of faith and had love for righteousness. Jesus built the Christian congregation. Those whom he trained did the right kind of building for the future because they were careful to build on the right foundation, Christ Jesus, the chief cornerstone. “Today,” he said, “the building work is still going on. . . . Missionaries are being sent out to new fields and to places where the work is just getting started. Why? To build up Jehovah’s work there and develop the organization locally. But, you must always remember that it is really God who is doing the building. You must do the work, but it is God who will ‘make it grow.’”
Continuing, N. H. Knorr pointed out that the missionaries should be careful always to “speak the words of God” and never their own ideas. Referring to 2 Corinthians 5:20, he reminded them that they were being sent out as “ambassadors substituting for Christ.” Hence they must speak only the “sacred pronouncements of God.” “But you must speak. You cannot build up if you do not say anything.”
Then he turned to the fifth chapter of Galatians and discussed the fruits of the spirit. First he gave a definition of each one and then discussed it, tying in other scriptures. “Having these fruits of the spirit,” he said, “enables you to build for the future.”
At the conclusion of the program the seventy-seven students filed to the platform, where diplomas and gifts from the Society were handed to them. While many received assignments to Central and South America, some would be going to faraway places such as Japan, Korea, Cambodia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Guam, there to carry on the Christian building work.