Question: Has the Youthful Worthy class been completed?
Answer: The Youthful Worthies began as individuals in the Fall of 1881, and were called as a class from September 16, 1914 until September 16, 1954. Following the death of Bro. Raymond Jolly, the Great Company and Youthful Worthy leader and the Executive Trustee of the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement (LHMM), on February 14, 1979, there have been two Youthful Worthy leaders – Bro. August Gohlke, who served as such, and as the Executive Trustee of the LHMM from February 14, 1979 until his death on December 18, 1985; and Bro. Bernard Hedman, who served as such, and as the Executive Trustee of the LHMM from December 18, 1985 until his death on January 30, 2004. Both Bros. Gohlke and Hedman were pointed out in the Scriptures and in the Truth writings.
Since Bro. Hedman’s death the brethren have experienced many trials, including a large percentage of brethren departing from the LHMM. Because no prospective Youthful Worthy candidate seems to be pointed out in the Scriptures and the Truth writings as the leader of the Youthful Worthies following Bro. Hedman’s death, many brethren wonder whether Bro. Hedman was not only the last Youthful Worthy leader, but also the final Youthful Worthy member. One argument that favors this thought is that the final member of the other three Elect classes was a prominent member of his respective class – John the Baptist of the Ancient Worthies, Bro. Paul S.L. Johnson of the Little Flock and Bro. Jolly of the Great Company. By analogy, one might argue that there are no remaining potential Youthful Worthy brethren of Bro. Hedman’s prominence.
On the other hand, one could argue that the above is not conclusive enough evidence. Perhaps many of us have known several prospective Youthful Worthy candidates who seem(ed) to be faithful, but who either died after Bro. Hedman’s death or who are still living. Of course, we cannot base a conclusion on this either. Perhaps the Lord has not given us a definitive answer to this question yet for a Divinely pleasing reason. At any rate, this question will undoubtedly be answered to everyone’s satisfaction in the Lord’s due time.