Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 201, 1898

Diary Fragments — Dangers of Employing Relatives



Previously unpublished.

There is need for the president of the General Conference to have increased faith. There is need of the work that must be done without wearing out the life of the one who shall do the work. The Lord would have all those who bear weighty responsibilities of leading [employ] a helper, one who is not a lad but a full grown man, an experienced worker, who has judgment and perception and the fear of God. 13LtMs, Ms 201, 1898, par. 1

There is a great error [when] men placed in responsible positions employ for helpers their own relatives. This is not the best way to do. Some will choose their sons to help them, others their brothers and relatives of some kind, and attach them to the work. This is not wise. It will prove a hindrance and does not work the best results. Let this matter be faithfully considered. 13LtMs, Ms 201, 1898, par. 2

The best results are to have wise, God-fearing counselors. If these are composed of the members of the same family there will be a carrying of the work to suit the ideas of the family who are united in that work. They need to have clear conceptions and no favoritism to make the family element the moulding influence. The work will come to be after the mind and judgment of that family. 13LtMs, Ms 201, 1898, par. 3

It is an unsafe thing to do to link up relatives. If one shall commit an error, the others aware of the matter are tempted to let it pass. Counsel or advice is hard to give and very hard to receive from the relatives of the family connection. There are great dangers in such linking up together in the work. All would be far more safe if working in different conferences. The Lord revealed His displeasure to Aaron and Miriam because they lost a sense of the fact that Moses was the Lord's chosen instrument to carry out the will and the purposes of God. 13LtMs, Ms 201, 1898, par. 4

Another lesson is to be learned—that in times when there are troubles in the church, periods of declension, one family connected more or less by relationship cannot be a power for the largest good on the right side, but has less influence because of their relationship. Let not the several members of one family be employed in doing the service for the cause in the same association, linking together. 13LtMs, Ms 201, 1898, par. 5


Isaiah 40:3-11. This whole chapter is a lesson of deep import and representing spiritual things. It is a parable most significant which the people of God are to understand was the work to be done prior to the first advent of Christ to our world, and embraces also the work to be done before the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven. 13LtMs, Ms 201, 1898, par. 6

The message to be proclaimed by the messengers of God is the same message that Isaiah saw in prophetic vision. The churches in every place are to hear the call of God. Christ calls us to have a share in His divine life, to be laborers together with God, called of God and chosen to act a part in this divine life to share in His work. Thus the real spiritual life begins in a new birth. The Lord calls. Do you hear His voice? “He that will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up the cross and follow Me.” [Mark 8:34.] 13LtMs, Ms 201, 1898, par. 7

The blessings in the parables spoken upon the mount (Matthew 5) are full of deep meaning that many who claim to be Christians do not choose to bring into their practical experience. Every symbol has its value but they are dimly appreciated. If the messengers of God would see the real value of these parables, they would understand the true position they are called to occupy and will manifest, when proved and tried, that they will work out the same in their own lives and in their own experiences. They would obtain knowledge of the highest value to them. These wonderful golden treasures of truth and instruction only need to be incorporated into the life to give understanding that is experimental knowledge. 13LtMs, Ms 201, 1898, par. 8

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” [Verse 3.] Compare this with Isaiah 57:15; 66:2; Psalm 34:18, 19. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] 13LtMs, Ms 201, 1898, par. 9

“Lay not up treasures upon the earth.” [Matthew 6:19.] Our Redeemer knew how to advise and counsel. As the worshipers of mammon make the world first, the Lord Jesus requires of all who believe in Him to subordinate the world to the seeking first of “the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Verse 33.] Instead of exhausting all the vigor of physical and mental powers for the bread which perisheth, He who knows advises that we put forth our highest endeavors for that future eternal life. The earthly things perish in the rising to seek the heavenly currency upon which God has stamped His image and superscription. The Lord Jesus has paid the ransom for the soul. He knows what is its value. 13LtMs, Ms 201, 1898, par. 10

The Lord proves and tries His people. If those who love God would have much less to do with the study of books, and take this chapter, Matthew 5, and read it and believe it and practice it, what a change would be seen in their life and what Christlikeness would be developed in their character! If there was not another page of the Bible but these sayings from the lips of the great Teacher, not a soul would be lost. But while time and money is invested in procuring a library of books which become a burden, the plain “It is written” is but dimly comprehended. [If] those who search the Scriptures have their minds made up to lay their preconceived opinions at the door and take the Word as a “Thus saith the Lord” on its own merits—truth expounding and explaining truth—and believe and practice the Word which is the bread of life which came down from heaven, irrespective of the consequences to their financial standing, losses, or gains, every church member would have the divine principles inwrought in the heart as if written with the finger of God. Te gaping lion's den or the fiery furnace could not intimidate them to deny and betray the truth for any amount of favor or worldly honors or for exalted position. Man's reputation is to them as nothingness. For me, to live is to obey the word of Christ; to die for the truth's sake is gain. This was not only the sentiments of the apostle Paul, but of those who have enlisted to serve under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. 13LtMs, Ms 201, 1898, par. 11


[Circa April 11, 1898]

Since I conversed with you I have felt much burden. I am awakened quite early and burdened in reference to you, Earnest Ward. I was conversing with you in the night season, bearing to you a message. The matter rests wholly with yourself, whether you will be a worthy young man, or a nonentity. No one but yourself, in putting your trust in God, and loving and serving Him, can form a character for usefulness and for duty in this life. 13LtMs, Ms 201, 1898, par. 12