Jehovah’s Witnesses to convene
More than 7,500 from 3 states expected at convention in Ogden
By Lynn Arave
Deseret Morning News
OGDEN — “Deliverance at Hand!” is the theme of next weekend’s annual Jehovah’s Witness District Convention for Utah and portions of two surrounding states at the Dee Events Center.
More than 7,500 Jehovah’s Witnesses from Utah, southeast Idaho and western Wyoming are expected to attend the three-day event, which begins Friday and continues through Sunday, July 2. This is one of 260 similar conventions to be held in the United States as well as in 154 other nations this year.
All meetings are free and open to the public. No collections will be taken.
“It helps you to refocus on what’s going on in the world,” said Warren Beers, an elder in the Millcreek Jehovah’s Witnesses, who is helping to organize this year’s convention in Ogden. “It gives a person a lot of hope.”
Richard Wolf, an elder in the North Salt Lake congregation of Witnesses and another district organizer, said the conventions always help people escape from the cares of the world and delve into some basics of the Bible.
The two men also stressed that “deliverance” is a pretty strong word but that God’s message is not a fearful thing. They remain hopeful, despite worsening world conditions, and say the convention will share their biblical basis for optimism.
Witnesses will focus on the biblical phrase “Deliver us from the wicked one,” found in Matthew 6:13. They believe that only God can deliver mankind from inherited sin. They will also refer to Romans 5:12 and Roman 6:23, to underscore man’s need for deliverance.
They see worsening world conditions as evidence that mankind is closer than ever to God’s intervention in earth’s affairs — with the destruction of the wicked close at hand.
A record attendance is expected at this year’s convention, which has sessions starting each of the three days at 9:30 a.m. They said the Dee Events Center offers plenty of free parking and the mountains to the east provide a spectacular backdrop.
Friday’s focus will be on Jeremiah 1:19, “I am with you.” The morning’s keynote address will be “Jehovah’s Provisions for Our Everlasting Deliverance.” The afternoon will shift to examining how God provides an escape for his servants. The day’s program will end at 5:15 p.m.
On Saturday, July 1, the program will center on “Deliver Us from the Wicked One” and “From every sort of Lawlessness.” Practical advice on resisting wicked influences will be presented. Christian baptism will be examined at 11:50 a.m., followed by an ordination of new members of the faith as ministers. “Are you Living with Jehovah’s Day in Mind?” will be the concluding discourse of the day at 4:35 p.m.
“Know that the Kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21:31) will be the focus of the final convention day, Sunday, July 2. Speakers will expound on several parables of Jesus Christ, and a costumed drama will be presented. “Deliverance by God’s Kingdom is at Hand!” will be the final discourse at 2 p.m.
The Dee Events Center is located at 3850 University Circle, just east of Harrison Boulevard. The convention has been held there annually for more than 25 years.
Jehovah’s Witnesses now number more than 6.6 million in 235 lands and territories throughout the world. There are more than 98,000 congregations of Witnesses worldwide.
Some 1.5 million people are expected to attend this year’s district conventions in America.
The group’s main publication, The Watchtower, has a circulation of 27 million in 153 languages.
For more information on Jehovah’s Witnesses, go to www.watchtower.org.