OGDEN -- The public is invited to a free weekend of Bible messages.
Jehovah's Witnesses feel that everyone, including non-Witnesses, will benefit from the positive message and practical suggestions that will be highlighted at the 2012 "Safeguard Your Heart!" District Convention being held at Weber State University's Dee Events Center, 4400 Harrison Blvd.
Going on this weekend through Sunday afternoon is the Spanish version of the convention.
Next weekend, beginning Friday and running through Sunday is the English version.
Sessions begin each day at 9:20 a.m. and run throughout the afternoon.
"Most people would agree that there are any number of stresses on us that challenge us," said Jeff Tackett, a Jehovah's Witness elder. "It can be really difficult to live up to who we want to be and who we are trying to be."
Tackett said the convention, as it explores issues of the heart, promises to provide answers to anyone interested in receiving such a message. And he emphasized that they won't have to worry about how they are dressed when they attend, as his congregation seeks to accept all people.
"God doesn't change," said Warren Beers, who is an elder from Millcreek.
"If we can protect our heart, it's a protection not only for us as individuals but our families and society, really."
Tackett said change is something people do, not God. He said God offers comforting messages.
The Witnesses' convention program promises a fresh examination of biblical references to the figurative heart, according to a news release from the church.
Through lively discourses, dramatic Bible readings and presentations, and even a live play, the program will emphasize how protecting the figurative heart will enhance one's spiritual well-being, family life and happiness.
Local Jehovah's Witnesses are putting forth extra effort to extend a personal invitation to everyone from Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada to attend the convention with them.
Tackett and Beers suggested that if people want to attend just one event at the convention, it should be the live drama, which will be at 1:40 p.m. on each of the Sundays. The title of the drama is "What is True Love?"
The elders said the play, with colorful costumes and local actors playing the various parts, will be particularly applicable to young people.
The convention theme "Safeguard Your Heart!" is based on Proverbs 4:23. "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it," reads the Bible New International Version of that Scripture.
Strengthening one's spirituality will be the focus of the program.
The daily themes and titles of the program's parts are based on passages of Scripture, including 1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Chronicles 28:9 and Matthew 12:34.
"But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart,'" reads NIV I Samuel 16:7.
"For the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever," reads the last half of NIV 1 Chronicles 28:9.
"You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of," reads Matthew 12:34.
"Hopefully, we will take a second look at what we are taking into our hearts," Tackett said.
Beers said the heart condition is a relevant topic that is often on the minds of the general public.
"You hear that topic probably more now than at any other time," he said.
There is no admission fee. Conventions of Jehovah's Witnesses are supported entirely by voluntary donations.
All of the area's 90 congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses will be supporting the activity of distributing printed invitations to the convention. An estimated 10,600 will come to the Dee Events Center over two weekends for the Bible-based programs.
Throughout the United States, 385 conventions will be held in 103 cities. Worldwide, there are more than 7,600,000 Witnesses in more than 109,000 congregations.