Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers
Chapter 47—Conference Presidents
August 2, 1896.
My attention has been called to the instruction the Lord has been pleased to give in Gospel Workers. I have arisen at three o'clock a.m., and have read the matter in the little book entitled Conference Presidents, page 232. The same things have been presented to me again and again. Will our brethren take heed to these things? Or will they turn aside from the light? The president of the General Conference should act upon the light given, not contrary to this light. If men close their eyes to the testimonies God has been pleased to give, and think it wisdom to walk in the light of the sparks of their own kindling, it will spoil the church. Such men are not qualified to become either ministers or presidents of conferences; they have not taken counsel from the Source of all wisdom. TM 327.1
He who is placed as a president of a conference must learn that the human heart is wayward, and that it needs to be strictly sentineled by watchfulness and prayer. As he seeks the Lord conscientiously and constantly, he is taught of God to grow into a representative man, and can be trusted as God trusted Abraham. He needs the whole armor of God; for he has to fight the good fight of faith, and having done all that the Spirit of God has taught him to do, to stand. His enemies may be those of his own household, his wife and children, or they may be his own hereditary and cultivated tendencies, which continually seek for the mastery. Man is human and defective in character, and must battle for the victory. Everyone who begins aright must begin at his own heart. Let the fervent prayer go forth from unfeigned lips, “Create in me a clean heart, O God,” and it will bring the response, “A new heart also will I give you.” TM 327.2
Lessons need to be learned by all who shall step into places where they are to be proved and tested by God, to see whether they shall be registered day by day as faithful and true stewards of God's entrusted talents. Have they shown that they have the fear of God before them, whether they are dealing with superiors, inferiors, or equals? They need to cherish the truth as an abiding principle, that it may sanctify the soul. The creating, transforming power of God's Holy Spirit will make them copartners with Jesus Christ. Yoked up with Christ, they can be more than conquerors through Him. TM 328.1
The man who is fully sensible that he is in the service of Jesus Christ, will aspire for the friendship of God. He will lie low before God, that he may be nothing, and God everything. Such a man is a copartner with Christ, fitted to preside over a state conference. If he proves himself circumspect, he is prepared for any position, according to his experience and qualifications. Let the churches understand that such man is to be trusted and sustained. They may go to him and talk with him. Such a man will never feel sufficient to carry the work, even of a state conference, without the constant grace which God will give. He will not choose to do the work and bear the responsibility alone. Through wise management, he will have the tact to recognize talent in others. He will use those who have this talent, and help them, while they help to share his burdens. TM 328.2