Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8


Chapter 37—Leadership

St. Helena, California,

November 17, 1903

In the daily papers of various cities there have appeared articles which represent that there is a strife between Dr. Kellogg and Mrs. Ellen G. White as to which of them shall be leader of the Seventh-day Adventist people. As I read these articles I felt distressed beyond measure that anyone should so misunderstand my work and the work of Dr. Kellogg as to publish such misrepresentations. There has been no controversy between Dr. Kellogg and myself as to the question of leadership. No one has ever heard me claim the position of leader of the denomination. 8T 236.1

I have a work of great responsibility to do—to impart by pen and voice the instruction given me, not alone to Seventh-day Adventists, but to the world. I have published many books, large and small, and some of these have been translated into several languages. This is my work—to open the Scriptures to others as God has opened them to me. 8T 236.2

God has not set any kingly power in the Seventh-day Adventist Church to control the whole body or to control any branch of the work. He has not provided that the burden of leadership shall rest upon a few men. Responsibilities are distributed among a large number of competent men. 8T 236.3

Every member of the church has a voice in choosing officers of the church. The church chooses the officers of the state conferences. Delegates chosen by the state conferences choose the officers of the union conferences, and delegates chosen by the union conferences choose the officers of the General Conference. By this arrangement every conference, every institution, every church, and every individual, either directly or through representatives, has a voice in the election of the men who bear the chief responsibilities in the General Conference. 8T 236.4