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Manuscript Releases, vol. 13 [Nos. 1000-1080]

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    MR No. 1027—Words of Counsel Regarding the Management of the Work of God

    There are many things which need to be said. May the Lord help me to say with my pen the very words that should be said.13MR 179.1

    God's people should stand as a distinct, holy people, separate from the world. But the Lord has been greatly dishonored because they have consulted lawyers in regard to church matters. They have lost their spiritual discernment, and in the place of using the sacred fire of God's own kindling, they have used the common fire. Some act like men who are destitute of the Spirit of God, and under the control of Satan. God's people should be working in different lines. There is earnest, solemn work to be done in all our institutions. These institutions have not been guarded as they should have been. Too little dependence is placed upon God, and altogether too much upon unsanctified men.13MR 179.2

    The subject I wish now to bring before our people is that of the special management of the general interests of the cause of God at the present time. For years light has been given me that the one selected to preside over the General Conference should not be left to bear all the burdens alone. He is to be a man of clear discernment, who will not swerve from right principles, and he is to have as his counselors staunch men who will not sway or be swayed in wrong directions, who are as firm as a rock to principle. He is not to be left to follow his own inclinations in the choice of his counselors. This has been done for years, to the detriment of the work. His associates are to be chosen men who have the confidence of the people; God-fearing men upon whom he can rely.13MR 179.3

    The president of the General Conference should not select his son to be a counselor or a judge, for if such a relative is connected with him, there is danger that correct principles will not be carried out. The very fact that the counselor is a relative will be a source of temptation to those who have been swayed from truth and righteousness to carry things in their own way, the son thinking he has no right to question his father's decisions or work. The president of the Conference should choose as his counselors “able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness” [Exodus 18:21].13MR 180.1

    Sometimes the men chosen to preside over the State Conferences are not the best and most trustworthy men. Some cannot reason correctly, because they have lost their spiritual eyesight. Spiritual things are “spiritually discerned” [1 Corinthians 2:14]. Much careful consideration should be given to the matter of appointing State Conference presidents. Much prayer should be offered to God. He should be sought most earnestly, that the presidents of the State Conferences may show themselves to be men of ability in spiritual understanding. The Lord requires this of all who come near to Him.13MR 180.2

    In the eighteenth chapter of Exodus we are shown what kind of men are to be chosen to share the burdens and responsibilities of the work of God. Moses had a great charge, and it was necessary that others should bear the burdens with him.13MR 180.3

    [Exodus 18:13-22, quoted.]

    This is the kind of men who should be chosen to carry forward the work of God. Lessons from God's Word should be learned by those who are carrying heavy responsibilities.13MR 181.1

    “Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people.” Speaking to the congregation afterward, he said, “I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him” [Deuteronomy 1:16].13MR 181.2

    God's directions have not always been followed. Men have been selected to fill places on the Foreign Mission Board who had not sufficient experience for the work. They needed to lift up their eyes and behold the field white unto the harvest. The decisions which have been made in various lines have shown that some of the men chosen were not men of consecrated ability, men who were of value because of their experience in living connection with God. They became self-important, wise in their own conceit.13MR 181.3

    Men have been given the work of judging whether or not a book was of value, who were not sufficiently intelligent in regard to the matter to be entrusted with this work. They needed to realize their ignorance, to become educated. They needed to wear Christ's yoke, and learn of Him who is meek and lowly in heart. They needed to heed the injunction, “Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it” [Deuteronomy 11:8]. “Lay up these words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” [verses 18, 19].13MR 181.4

    Eternal vigilance is the price of safety. Had these requirements, which are even more essential at this time when everything is ripening for the great day of God than they were in the time of the children of Israel, been heeded, a different condition would now be seen. The most decided strength of purpose should have been shown lest Satan should beguile through his specious devices. The people should have been taken into the counsels, and interested in the work. Matters should have been laid out before them that they might have known how the means which they had invested were being handled.13MR 182.1

    The president of the General Conference has altogether too many burdens for one man to carry. For years this has been presented to me. My husband fell under the heavy draughts made upon him. Elder Butler was counseled by the Lord to share his burdens with men who could counsel with him. They were to be given a portion of the load. But this counsel was unheeded. Elder Butler linked with him his own son, who could only be a worker under his father. Thus the relief which it was pointed out Elder Butler should have, he did not have, because he did not manage wisely.13MR 182.2

    Elder Olsen was advised to share his burdens with men who could help him. The work of the General Conference should never have rested on one man. At first one man could carry it, but as believers multiplied, the man must suffer as well as the work, which needed careful thought and the utmost firmness, in order that right principles might be maintained.13MR 182.3

    The Lord did not give Elder Olsen the work of engaging in the publishing business. The publishing institutions were established to carry forward important interests. But men who were not under the divine guidance were given management in them. At the very heart of the work erroneous principles were pressing for recognition. All matters should have been laid before the people. The Lord should have been sought in humble prayer. Then the Holy Spirit would have been their teacher.13MR 183.1

    But the Conferences at large were not enlightened in regard to what was being done. Men were linked up with Elder Olsen who led him and imbued him with their spirit. Unrebuked, corruption was going on at the heart of the work. The cause of God in our institutions was being perverted. Men were exalted, regardless of the advice God was giving. Covetousness held sway. Judas-practices were contaminating the workers. No language can be framed to describe the result of placing unfaithful, unconverted men in holy places.13MR 183.2

    Some have been trying to struggle to the light, but there are secret things which have not come to light. Many poor souls will not be able to enter in at the strait gate, for it is altogether too narrow to admit any of Satan's intrigue and deceptions. When the Holy Spirit breaks away the barriers, the lawyers will no longer be called upon to adjust difficulties for God's people. God will take the matter in hand and bring to light every hidden thing. He will bring men into places where they will speak, and things which are now involved in mystery will be revealed, and their bearing on His cause will be seen.13MR 183.3