Missionaries Counseled to Hold to “The Way”
AMONG the happiest people in New York city on the morning of March 8, 1970, were upward of two thousand Christian witnesses of Jehovah. Why? Because they were privileged to attend the graduation of the forty-eighth class of the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead being held at Jehovah’s Witnesses Assembly Hall.
The program, which began at 10 a.m., was presided over by the president of the school as well as of the Watch Tower Society, N. H. Knorr. After hearing his warm words of welcome all joined in song and prayer and then listened intently to a series of brief talks given by those who had oversight of the missionaries as instructors and in other capacities during the past six months. T. Galfas noted that, even as Jesus’ coming to earth showed great love, so now these missionaries could show love by serving in strange and distant lands. U. Glass told the missionaries that, when faced with a serious problem, they should follow the example of King David and strengthen themselves in Jehovah and consult those in a position to help them, such as branch servants and others.
E. Dunlap emphasized the need of loyalty in their assignments, while M. Larson made several apt analogies between the missionaries and a builder’s use of blueprints, one being the need to follow instructions carefully. Next G. Couch reminded the missionaries that as a result of their training they now had a fine key of knowledge that they should use with patience in teaching others. Then M. Henschel read many of the greetings sent to the students from various parts of the earth.
These were followed by remarks by the vice-president of the Watch Tower Society, F. W. Franz. He elucidated a number of points relating to Bible prophecies nearing fulfillment. In particular he stressed the urgency of helping lovers of truth to flee now from Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion, for Revelation 18:4 shows that when God’s destructive plagues hit her it will be too late to flee.
N. H. Knorr gave the main talk of the morning, speaking on the subject “The Way.” He noted that today there are two ways for people to choose from. There is the way of the world, which is the Devil’s way. Dedicated Christians have chosen to walk in the right way, in Jehovah’s way. It is possible to enjoy life to the full by walking in that way. To gain eternal life one must keep walking in that way.
The speaker next noted that Jesus Christ had opened The Way. He walked in the way his heavenly Father wanted him to walk, and it was a way based on love. God, through his Word and by such publications as The Watchtower, helps Christians today to walk in His way, even as He says: “Your own ears will hear a word behind you saying: ‘This is the way. Walk in it, you people,’ in case you people should go to the right or in case you should go to the left.”—Isa. 30:21.
Jehovah God is interested in people; he loves people, the Society’s president next emphasized. That is why he gave men the truth and showed them the way to walk. By paying more than the usual attention Christians will not stray to the right or to the left.
Christians should feel as did the psalmists who repeatedly refer to Jehovah’s way. And in particular did the speaker comment on the plea found at Psalm 119:37: “Make my eyes pass on from seeing what is worthless; preserve me alive in your own way.” He then asked: “Do we do that? Or do we let our heads turn to everything that is worthless, to the wicked things on TV,” and so forth? It is easy to stray from the way, he warned, and this may especially be the case in their foreign assignments. He assured the missionaries that the whole organization is always ready to help them and in conclusion urged: “Do just as Jesus did. You are in the world but no part of it . . . Keep in mind: ‘This is the way. Walk in it.’”
After these remarks N. H. Knorr handed each of the missionaries an envelope that contained the class picture, a gift from the Society and their diploma if they merited it. Then a resolution was read in which the students expressed their appreciation for the training received and determination to prove faithful to their trust.
After an intermission the program was resumed. Among the choice things heard and seen were a fine musical program of beautiful singing in six languages; a touching and strikingly beautiful Bible drama; reports of the fine progress being made in some of the lands to which the missionaries are going and a song by them especially composed for the occasion. Then all joined in song, and the school’s president closed the program with heartfelt prayer.