Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers


Effects of Constantly Following Others

There are men who today might be men of breadth of thought, might be wise men, men to be depended upon, who are not such, because they have been educated to follow another man's plan. They have allowed others to tell them precisely what to do, and they have become dwarfed in intellect. Their minds are narrow, and they cannot comprehend the needs of the work. They are simply machines to be moved by another man's thought. Now do not think that these men who do follow out your ideas are the only ones that can be trusted. You have sometimes thought that because they do your will to the letter, they were the only ones in whom you could place dependence. If anyone exercised his own judgment, and differed with you, you have disconnected from him as one that could not be trusted. Take your hands off the work, and do not hold it fast in your grasp. You are not the only man whom God will use. Give the Lord room to use the talents He has entrusted to men, in order that the cause may grow. Give the Lord a chance to use men's minds. We are losing much by our narrow ideas and plans. Do not stand in the way of the advancement of the work, but let the Lord work by whom He will. Educate, encourage young men to think and act, to devise and plan, in order that we may have a multitude of counselors. TM 303.1

How my heart aches to see presidents of conferences taking the burden of selecting those whom they think they can mold to work with them in the field. They take those who will not differ with them, but will act like mere machines. No president has any right to do this. Leave others to plan; and if they fail in some things, do not take it as an evidence that they are unfitted to be thinkers. Our most responsible men had to learn by a long discipline how to use their judgment. In many things they have shown that their work ought to have been better. The fact that men make mistakes is no reason why we should think them unfit to be caretakers. Those who think that their ways are perfect, even now make many grave blunders, but others are none the wiser for it. They present their success, but their mistakes do not appear. Then be kind and considerate to every man who conscientiously enters the field as a worker for the Master. Our most responsible men have made some unwise plans, and have carried them out because they thought their plans were perfect. They have needed the mingling of other elements of mind and character. They should have associated with other men who could view matters from an entirely different point of view. Thus they would have helped them in their plans.... What folly it is to trust a great mission in the hands of one man, so that he shall mold and fashion it in accordance with his mind, and after his own diseased imagination! Men who have been narrow, who have served tables, who are not farseeing, are disqualified for putting their mold upon the work. Those who desire to control the work think that none can do it perfectly but themselves, and the cause bears the marks of their defects. TM 304.1

[For further study: Testimonies for the Church 9:187, 284; Gospel Workers, 303, 304, 484, 485, 488.]