How Many Days Do You Plan to Attend?
PLAN to attend what? Why, the “Word of Truth” District Assemblies of Jehovah’s Witnesses. On Wednesday, June 9, the first ones open in Dublin, Eire, and in Edinburgh, Scotland. During the following weeks assemblies will be held in Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, and, finally, in Berlin, Germany. A thousand persons from the United States and Canada are planning to attend these assemblies, along with tens of thousands more from Europe. Will you be there? If so, try to arrange to be on hand right from the opening day.
Of course, those who will not be in Europe this summer will by no means be left out, because the “Word of Truth” District Assemblies will also get under way in North America in June. The first will open at Seattle, Washington, on June 24; and, during eleven successive weeks, a total of thirty assemblies will be held throughout the United States and Canada.* Later in the year there will be like assemblies in other lands.
WHAT TO EXPECT
What is the purpose of all these assemblies? Why will hundreds of thousands of persons be arranging their vacations to attend?
The main appeal is the Bible. From the first day to the last the program will focus attention on God’s “Word of Truth.”
Fundamental Bible truths will be thoroughly discussed, enhancing the understanding of those present and strengthening their faith. Practical counsel from God’s Word on the problems of everyday life will be considered—problems with which you are confronted. Instruction will be provided to enable those present to share their beliefs with others, and to do so effectively. What’s more, there is no admission charge, and from the first session to the last, no collection will be taken.
The assembly programs will vary in length, depending on where you attend. The assembly in New York will run for six full days; most of the others will be four days. But in every case sessions will open at about two o’clock on the first day with the chairman’s talk on the appropriate theme “God’s Word Keeps Your Faith Alive.” How true that is! And how beneficial it will be to hear the matter discussed!
Regardless of how many days the program runs in various cities, Thursday afternoon will feature discourses on archaeological confirmation of the Bible and Biblical chronology. In the evening the keynote address of the assembly will be given—“Answering the Question ‘What Is Truth?’” This is one of the principal sessions of the assembly, one that sets the pace for what is to come. It is a session we feel that you will want to attend.
For the benefit of those who have advanced in their study of the Bible to the point of dedication, there will be arrangements for baptism on Friday morning; and even those who have not yet progressed to that point will find it most beneficial to be on hand to hear the discourse that will be given.
That afternoon consideration will be given to “The Bible’s Place in the Modern Home.” What place does it occupy in your home? Do you use it as a family? Those who are present at the assembly on Friday afternoon, we feel sure, will grow in appreciation of how much the Bible can add to the happiness of their home. The afternoon session will conclude with an hour talk on a matter that affects all of us: “Slaves of Men or Slaves of Your Repurchaser—Which?” Be sure to hear it!
As is customary at assemblies of Jehovah’s witnesses, meetings are held for the benefit of those who are Christian overseers. No doubt you have often wished that you could sit in on such a program and hear what is discussed by these mature men in the Christian organization. At this assembly you will have that opportunity, because the two-hour program Friday evening for appointed servants will be thrown open to the entire assembly, for your benefit.
On Saturday attention will be given to problems with which everyone is confronted in these days—problems of morality. How should Christians act, what should they do when face to face with the countless moral issues of our day? Whether a parent, a young boy or girl, or older person, you will find much help in the symposium scheduled for Saturday afternoon. The program that afternoon features another subject too, one that may stir considerable anticipation on the part of Jehovah’s witnesses, and one that we feel you will want to be present to hear: “Let God Be Found True.”
In the evening there will be a series of demonstrations and discussions helping you to become equipped to put your finger on Scriptural information that you need, when you need it. Have you ever wished you had at your fingertips satisfying arguments to prove to a skeptical person that the Bible is indeed the inspired Word of God? Can you offer a convincing array of archaeological evidence and proof of the fulfillment of prophecy that will satisfy others? Can you produce evidence to show that the Christian’s position of neutrality today is the same as that of the early Christians? If you were asked questions on scores of different Bible questions, could you turn to scriptures to answer them all? The program Saturday evening will help you to learn how you can do just that. But the spiritual feast for the day is not yet finished. The day will conclude with a full-hour Scriptural discourse on “Benefits from God’s New Covenant Spreading Worldwide.” Arrange to stay until the entire program for the day has concluded.
The final day of the “Word of Truth” Assembly opens on Sunday morning at nine o’clock. Along with talks to stimulate appreciation for the contents of both the Hebrew and the Greek Scriptures, the entire Bible, there will be a full-hour session of heartwarming, encouraging advice on “Applying the Word of Truth to the Problems of Life.” It is the type of thing that will help you to make wise decisions and to walk in harmony with God’s Word.
While the entire assembly is open to all persons who are interested in God’s Word, the talk scheduled for delivery at three o’clock Sunday afternoon will be specially advertised for the public. It contains information that will be encouraging to them, a discussion of Bible truths that will strengthen their faith. Even though they may not have been Bible students in the past, they will find that it is something that they can grasp and appreciate. The subject for this one-hour public talk is “World Government on the Shoulder of the Prince of Peace.” Indeed a timely subject! One that you will want to hear.
Following the public talk, some may start to think of travel home. But those who have ever attended one of these assemblies before know that the program is not yet over, and that they would not want to go before hearing the closing remarks. If you have never had the pleasure before, stay this time and you will know why others do.
PLANNING TO ATTEND
Assembling to worship God with persons of like precious faith is a joyful event for lovers of Bible truth. Long ago the psalmist David expressed his feelings regarding the matter this way: “I rejoiced when they were saying to me: ‘To the house of Jehovah let us go.’” (Ps. 122:1) Are not these your sentiments also? They are the sentiments of persons around the world who love God and his Word.
In previous years when the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society arranged assemblies these Bible lovers made great effort to attend; they appreciated what a blessing it would be to them and their families to be present. Two years ago the “Everlasting Good News” Assembly was held in cities around the world. Although Stockholm, Sweden, was the nearest assembly city to Denmark, it was, nevertheless, hundreds of miles away. Despite this, two sisters from Vejle, Denmark, pedaled on their bicycles 540 miles to be there!
The following week the “Everlasting Good News” Assembly was in Milan, Italy, and among those present was a young man paralyzed from the chest down. The man had recently come to a knowledge of God’s Word of truth, and, although he lived hundreds of miles away in Spain, he was determined to be in Milan. After arriving with great effort, each day it was necessary that he be carried on his stretcher-bed from his sleeping quarters in the First Aid department to the sessions—but he did not miss even one of the talks! Friday morning he was baptized in symbol of his dedication to Jehovah.
Even children put forth much effort to attend and to help their families to attend assemblies. In Australia many Bible lovers had great distances to travel to reach the Around the World assembly location in Melbourne. One young boy of eleven rose at five o’clock each morning to collect bottles before school, sold papers in the evenings, cut lawns and did many other odd jobs to earn his fare. His sister, age nine, grew flowers and sold them, and also performed odd jobs for the neighbors. In this way they helped the family with the heavy expense of attending the assembly.
How many days did these Bible lovers plan to attend? Not for just a day or two, but for the entire assembly—being on hand from the opening session. When the Around the World assembly opened in Seoul, Korea, 5,947 persons were in attendance at the first talk, which was about one thousand more than the peak number of Kingdom preachers in the entire country! Practically every publisher was there, and many had brought along newly interested persons for the very first day!
But attending an entire assembly requires advance planning. It takes real effort, especially if there is a long distance to travel. So now is the time to make your arrangements to be on hand at one of the “Word of Truth” District Assemblies. Be there from the opening day! A rich spiritual blessing awaits you.
See lists of assembly cities in The Watchtower of May 15, 1965, and on page 352 of this issue.