Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 109, 1893

Diary/Change in Leadership Positions



Previously unpublished.

The Lord works in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. The Lord does not design that one man shall be president of our conferences more than two years in succession. [One] year would be better; [and] then let him not be placed in some conference to take charge, but let him act in a common capacity, as a minister, to preach the Word. It is dangerous to the spiritual experience to have one man year [after] year as president of the General Conference or even of State conferences. 8LtMs, Ms 109, 1893, par. 1

In the case of men who are having a wrestling [work] in responsible positions, the Lord will have that man have repose [from] large cares and responsibilities. In the case of our ministers, wrong methods are pursued. The Lord tests and tries everyone who is placed in responsible position. He permits them [to carry] the weight of responsibilities, of important interests for a time, then He changes their position to that of less responsibility, [to come] apart and rest a while in doing other work. Reformation must be accomplished in this way. To be called on [to] make decisions, to give counsel, to be referred to as superior, endangers [the] simplicity of his experience, and the Lord prepares more [fruitful] paths, yet fully as useful as [when] the man had been used by God as leader. 8LtMs, Ms 109, 1893, par. 2

At the time of his most brilliant success, Luther suddenly disappeared from his life of strain and struggles to seclusion where he would not have the active position of aggressive warfare [or the need to] carry so heavy responsibilities, [and] where he could not [be exalted]. He must disappear for a time and his individuality be hidden for a period of time, that the reformatory [work] in religious lines should not bear the stamp of one individual mind. For the most healthful cause of the Reformation, it was necessary that man should be secluded, [and] God might remain, that men should look to God alone [and He] move by His Holy Spirit upon human minds; for Martin Luther had not been converted from some errors that the people were not to receive. God would say, “Let light shine forth, increased light.” 8LtMs, Ms 109, 1893, par. 3

It is not the Lord's plan to have one man to [serve] as president of the General Conference or of the State conferences more than a couple of years. The Lord would have the moulding of the minds and character after the divine Master's pattern. The very errors of one in position of trust will by some be viewed as virtues. The Lord would have us move guardedly, wisely. In serving, there will be a need for close thinking. In certain lines of work, which make their decisions of force, when their decisions are not the mind and will of God but the habit and customs of the man who presides, they need to lift their heads and see afar off. A change would be for the good of the work and decidedly for the benefit of the one who has served. 8LtMs, Ms 109, 1893, par. 4