Once each year, the Governing Body writes a direct letter to the congregation members included in the Yearbook. In his annual message to the Catholic faithful (Urbi et Orbi) delivered on Christmas Day, the Pope spoke about world peace, terrorism, and the refugee crisis. What would the Governing Body choose to write about? Let's find out...
A Letter From the Governing Body
*Or their ghostwriters?
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The prophet Isaiah humbly acknowledged that any success and prosperity that the Kingdom of Judah enjoyed was due only to the blessing of Jehovah. As we read at Isaiah 26:12, he declared: “O Jehovah, . . . everything we have done you have accomplished for us.” Reflecting on all that has been accomplished during the past service year causes us to make a similar admission.Jehovah is truly doing “wonderful things that have never been done” before! (Ex. 34:10) Just think of some of the blessings that we have received from his hand.
*So as we read through this list of accomplishments, think about whether they are truly "things that have never been done before."
Our official website, jw.org, has been used in a wonderful way. The site is now available in over 600 languages, and publications can be read and downloaded in over 750 languages. How effective is the website as a means of conveying the truth to honesthearted people? Consider: A married couple became disillusioned with religion because of the hypocrisy they had observed. In their search for spiritual guidance, they discovered our website. They began regularly visiting the site to read articles from our publications and to watch videos. They even downloaded the booklet Examining the Scriptures Daily and began to read the daily text along with their two teenage children. In fact, that is what they were doing the morning that Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on their door. The Witnesses learned that as a result of visiting the website, the family had made many changes. They had removed their tattoos and body piercings, discarded their religious images, discontinued celebrating worldly holidays, and stopped viewing inappropriate movies—all of this before the couple’s initial personal contact with the Witnesses! As of this writing, both parents and one of the children are publishers and the parents plan to be baptized soon.
*Thus far we have (a) a website in many languages; and (b) one family changing their religion.
We have received many expressions of appreciation for another wonderful provision: JW Broadcasting. The monthly program is now available in over 70 languages, with more languages to come. Many families view the program during their Family Worship evening. As one brother put it, “Jehovah’s organization has never been larger in size; yet, we have never felt closer to the headquarters!”
*So we add (c) a televangelism web show.
Conventions are always a highlight for Jehovah’s people, and the series that was held during the 2015 service year was certainly no exception. The convention program featured 42 videos and art presentations, as well as six delightful music preludes, one at the start of each session. Regarding the program, an experienced brother observed, “It seems that none of those in attendance wanted to leave their seat during the program, because they didn’t want to miss anything.” A field missionary remarked regarding last year’s convention, “The videos made the truth and the Kingdom more real to me.”
*Now put (d) religious conventions on the list. Also, is the "experienced brother" admitting that convention talks without videos make people want to leave their seat because they are boring???
Jehovah has also blessed us with a number of new Kingdom songs during the past year. One couple wrote: “The new songs are like a hug from Jehovah. They have brightened many dark moments for us.” Our conventions reminded us of the loving labors performed by the Watchtower orchestra and chorus in our behalf, all for the purpose of adding to the praise of Jehovah! We encourage all of you to imitate Jehovah by welcoming returning ones warmly
*Plus (e) religious music.
Has your congregation been making good use of public witnessing carts? What a blessing this form of witnessing has proved to be! Some people who live in gated communities or high-rise apartment buildings are being reached with the truth for the first time, and many other people, including inactive Witnesses, are also receiving spiritual help by this means. In January 2015, a man in South Korea approached a witnessing cart. He explained that he had recently begun to think seriously about spiritual matters. A Bible study was started. In February, he attended a congregation meeting for the first time; in March, he quit smoking. In April, he visited the branch facility in South Korea, and he continues to make remarkable spiritual progress. This is just one of the countless experiences we have received here at world headquarters.
*Also include (f) street corner information booths.
It is our prayer that the information received at the convention will motivate many who once served actively to return to Jehovah’s loving arms before it is too late! We encourage all of you to imitate Jehovah by welcoming returning ones warmly.—Ezek. 34:16.
*We already heard about the conventions... repetition for emphasis apparently.
Jehovah truly has blessed his people during the past service year. What more can we expect? We shall have to wait and see. In the meantime, please know that we on the Governing Body love all of you very much and we pray often in your behalf.
With every good wish,
Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses
SO TO RECAP
"Things that have never been done before" include:
- (a) a website in many languages
- (b) one family changing their religion.
- (c) a televangelism web show
- (d) religious conventions
- (e) religious music
- (f) street corner information booths