Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers


Chapter 42—The Need of Divine Guidance

[Special Testimonies, Series A 6:56-60 (1896).]

Christiania, Norway,

October 1, 1885

Dear Brother -----,

I was more sorry than I can express to learn that under your instruction Brethren ----- and ----- sought to restrict the work at the ----- camp meeting. You could not have advised them to do a worse thing, and you should not have put a work into their hands that they were not fitted to do in a wise manner. Be careful how you repress advancing work in any locality. There is little enough being done in any place, and it certainly is not proper to seek to curtail operations in missionary lines. TM 297.1

After looking matters over carefully and prayerfully, I wrote as I did in my notes of travel. I wanted to leave the matter in such a shape as not to discourage the laborers in ----- in their effort to do something, although I desired to give them caution so that they would not make any extreme moves in their plans. The workers were doing well, and ought to have been encouraged and advised to go on with their work. There are men in ----- who should have helped them by making needed donations to invest in the cause. They will have to give to the work before they will grow in grace and the knowledge of the truth. TM 297.2

You and your workers should have looked at this matter from different points of view than you did. You should have investigated the work thoroughly, and asked yourselves if five thousand dollars was too large a debt to incur in the important work in which these workers were engaged. Your influence should have been exerted in such a way as to cause the people to see the importance of the work, and to realize that it was their duty to rise to the emergency. You should have done as I wrote of doing, in my notes of travel. But if our brethren feel at liberty to stop the work when they cannot see where money is coming from to sustain it, then the work will not only be contracted in ----- and -----, but in every other state in the Union. If our workers are going forward in any place, do not put up the bars, and say, Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther. I feel sad that you have closed up the school at -----. I see that the brethren sent to look after this enterprise have not taken measures to advance the work by soliciting donations from men who could give. There are rich men in the conference, who have made complaints about the debt that has been incurred, who ought to have sustained these workers. While reproach and discouragement have been cast upon the workers, the impression has been left upon those who have means that they have a perfect right to question every enterprise that calls for money. TM 297.3