“Firm to the End”
IT IS with mixed feelings that the announcement is made that a faithful servant of Jehovah, Brother Nathan H. Knorr, after many months of illness, died in the late evening of June 8, 1977. His zealous and steadfast course over many long years is a fine example of one who looked “straight ahead.” His ways were “firmly established,” and he did not “incline to the right hand or to the left.” (Prov. 4:25-27) To those who were in close touch with him he always gave the encouragement to “make fast our hold on our freeness of speech and our boasting over the hope firm to the end.”—Heb. 3:6.
Brother Knorr was born on April 23, 1905. He was baptized on July 4, 1923, and entered Bethel service the same year. From 1932 on he held various positions of responsibility in guiding the activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in 1942 he became the president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. He married Audrey Mock, January 31, 1953. His natural abilities in organizing and expanding the work were fully used in the oversight of the Society’s branches world wide, involving frequent and extensive traveling and lecturing. The educational aspect of our Christian work was especially advanced during the years he served as president. In 1943 he was instrumental in establishing the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead for the training of missionaries. He was privileged to see the number of Witnesses increase from 115,240 in 1942 to 2,248,390 in 1976.
Though death brings a sense of loss and the need for comfort, yet we rejoice on Brother Knorr’s account, especially in view of the record he made of love for God’s people and God’s work, shown by unflagging zeal and willingness to expend himself down to the end. We rejoice still more because we are living in the day when those with the heavenly hope, on finishing their earthly course, are “changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” and are “raised up incorruptible.” (1 Cor. 15:51, 52) Let the hope of life everlasting in God’s kingdom cause us also to “make fast our hold on the confidence we had at the beginning firm to the end.”—Heb. 3:14.