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Manuscript Releases, vol. 15 [Nos. 1136-1185]

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    Do Not Lord It Over Others

    Men of God of the clearest minds and of the best capabilities are generally the ones who are the most ready to admit that they have failings and weaknesses and that their own understanding may not be perfect.15MR 126.1

    Humility is the constant attendant of true wisdom. Those who have this grace will patiently listen to the advice and counsel of others and give it due weight. They will not give up their own judgment for another's, but if advice and counsel bear the recommendation of age and experience, they will carefully weigh the matter and incorporate it into their own experience and mind because they see the force of the counsel and advice given....15MR 126.2

    God has in His providence placed the cup of sorrow to your lips that you might sympathize with your brethren who have tasted of its bitterness. To close the soul to human griefs, to make no consideration for circumstances where God's providence is at work upon His suffering children, to force all under any and every circumstance and condition into one groove without reference to God's providences, is a fearful mistake which will react upon our own heads.15MR 126.3

    I was shown that in dealing with our fellowmen we all are to consider that they are of like passions with ourselves, feeling the same weaknesses and suffering the same temptations. They, with us, have a struggle with life if they maintain their integrity in circumstances of peril, keeping the balance of the mind. We must deal with fellow mortals with kindly compassion and tenderest sympathy. We must cultivate in our character amiable tempers as well as firmness of principles. It is entirely out of place for one fellow laborer to lord it over another....15MR 126.4

    I was shown that God requires true love to unite the hearts of the human brotherhood, and why this love does not flourish is because selfishness, envy, and jealousy exist. True justice will not injure our fellow men, and true politeness will not offend them....15MR 127.1

    God is displeased when fellow laborers in His vineyard shut up their sympathy to themselves, esteem themselves highly, and cannot see the good purposes, the noble efforts, of their fellow laborers, but live as if they felt no pitying love or tender sympathy. I have been shown that love, tender love and consideration for our fellow mortals, needs to be cultivated, for it is very essential and is the most valuable trait of Christian character we can have.... We shall be very unhappy if we place ourselves in a position to question and criticize as an enemy every man who does not greet us with a smile....15MR 127.2

    Oh, how many mistakes we make in attempting to judge the motives of our brethren! That which we condemn as grievous wrongs in them are not greater than those that exist in ourselves which we do not discern....15MR 127.3

    God wants this evil to exist no longer. He calls upon us to put away this great sin and to strive to answer the prayer of Christ that His disciples may be one as He is one with the Father that the world may know that the Father had sent His Son. It is the special work of Satan to cause dissension, that the evidence of oneness which should exist with them might be hindered, that the world should be deprived of the most powerful testimony Christians can give it that God has sent His Son to bring into harmony turbulent, proud, envious, jealous, bigoted minds....15MR 127.4

    We lose much, very much, by lack of love for our brethren and sisters. Our ministering brethren—by their unity, their steadfast love, their delicacy in dealing with their brethren, firmly sustaining one another, their forbearance and sympathy and tender compassion for each other—can give to the churches an example that will rightly represent the life of our Redeemer. The truth of God is not designed merely to deal with errors and vices, and the ministers to feel that they must be reined up to censure and condemn even if they see existing wrongs. Frequently the very best way to cure the evil is to let those who are wrong see the heart of the minister of God softened and tender and pitiful, His bosom full of the milk of human kindness.15MR 128.1

    The truth is designed to sanctify the receiver, to fashion and mold the entire man, externally as well as internally, by abasing pride and disposing his heart to be kind and amiable and condescending. Yes, the religion of Christ is a system of the truest politeness, and its triumphs are complete when a world may look on a people professing godliness with a united front, believers showing habitual tenderness of feeling and kindness of deportment and sincere regard for the reputation of each other. We may not look for the approval of God unless we work to the point of habitual kindness, acting upon the principles of the gospel. Tender mercy is to soften whatever is harsh in the disposition and to smooth, refine, and elevate whatever is course and rough in deportment. Love and faith carried out in our words and actions bear a testimony to the world that they cannot resist. It is the most powerful ministry that a church can have.—Letter 25, 1870, pp. 4-5, 7-11. (A Testimony Regarding Elder and Mrs. D. T. Bourdeau, written cir. 1870, from Battle Creek, Michigan.)15MR 128.2

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