Baptism was the key activity during the ongoing district convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Somhlolo National Stadium yesterday.
The key question directed to the baptised candidates was, ‘Have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?’
Thus, in front of witnesses, the candidates said, ‘Yes’, respecting their promise to serve God forever.
To Jehovah’s Witnesses, the baptism session counts as a highlight activity, which is normally performed on the second day of the three-day convention.
Bheki Mamba, the speaker who delivered the baptism talk, ‘Continue Walking in the Truth,’ said the commitment meant refraining from ungodly acts and taking up a new life which will only involve serving Jehovah God and living according to his standards.
Baptism for this Christian group is performed by fully immersing the candidate in water only once.
Mamba explained that the full immersion was supported by the scripture Acts 8 verse 8:
It is done after a short prayer to God to seek guidance and strength to stick to the commitment made to Him.
To qualify for baptism, candidates should have studied the truth from God’s Word and should have already have conformed their lives in accordance to God’s standard.
This is a voluntary dedication to Jehovah made by an individual.
The eldest baptised candidate was 69-years-old and the youngest was 11. Since this is a yearly event, this year’s theme for the district convention is ‘God’s Word Is Truth,’ which promised a fresh examination of biblical references to the truth.Yesterday’s programme included different Bible based discourses that emphasised on clinging on what is true.
These talks discouraged the fraudulent acts at the workplace when running a business and family life.
By the end of the convention, delegates were expected to have a clear understanding on ways one can lead a truthful lifestyle and enhances one’s spiritual being, family life and happiness.
As today’s programme is ongoing the morning session will include a public Bible discourse titled, ‘What is truth’ inspired by the scripture John 18:38.
This discourse will examine the importance of being firmly set in the truth and ways in which one can do so.
The afternoon session will include a drama, live play, taken from the Bible life story of Esther.
The lesson behind this play is to prepare Christians’ hearts for the trials ahead.
During the afternoon session on Friday, five tracts (religious pieces of writing) were released namely: How do you view the Bible; How do you view the future; What is the key to happy family life; Who controls the world; and Will suffering ever end.
All these publications are bible-based and convey the Bible’s view of life’s experiences.
Two more books were released on the day during the morning session.
The first book was the Research Guide for Jehovah’s Witnesses translated into 44 different languages which is aimed at benefiting various nationalities.
Another publication released was the New World Translation Bible in siSwati.
Only the Greek section of the bible has been translated therefore it includes scriptures from Mathew to Revelations.
Pointing out the reason behind the release of the Bible, a speaker from the Jehovah’s Witnesses branch in New York, explained that most bible translations had removed God’s name, replacing it with His qualities.
Some of these qualities that have replaced God’s name include, Almighty and Simakadze (time indefinite) to name a few.
This copy of the siSwati translated Bible has traces of God’s name, Jehovah, appearing over 237 times, as it appeared in the original Greek scriptures.
These publications were all published by the Watchtower and Tract Society which is part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Organi-sation.
As part of the efforts of reaching a wider scope of readers, the organisation has managed to translate into over 15 000 languages spoken worldwide.
The three-day convention is set to end today at 14.35pm where all those who have gathered will return to their respective places around the country.
NB: Story submitted by Jehova’s Witnesses’ News Department