Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Lt 290, 1907

Reaser, G. W. and ministers in Southern California

St. Helena, California

August 29, 1907

This letter is published in entirety in SpM 412-413. +Note

To Elder George W. Reaser and the ministers in Southern California

Dear Brother Reaser:

The Lord has revealed to me that in your work as president of the Southern California Conference, you are in danger of embracing too much responsibility. Some time ago the Lord showed me that if you were placed in office, you would attempt to rule in every branch of the work, but that this was not to be permitted, because you have not the judgment to deal with all lines of work, and because God has chosen especially qualified workers for certain lines of His work. 22LtMs, Lt 290, 1907, par. 1

Because of a wrong comprehension of the duties of your office, the work in your field has become sadly confused in the past two years. You have accepted responsibilities that should not have been placed upon you. Because you were president of the conference, you considered yourself to be in a certain sense the manager of the work of the Loma Linda Sanitarium, and that it was your duty to see that matters there were conducted according to your ideas. I am bidden to say to you that you are not qualified to take the control of the sanitarium work. 22LtMs, Lt 290, 1907, par. 2

Elder Burden has been given this work, and he has good helpers and advisers in the workers who are associated with him. The Lord appointed Elder Burden to the position he occupies, and he is to bear his responsibilities in that position without interference. He is fully capable of doing the work that has been given him to do. The Lord has not told you to watch and criticize and interfere with his work. He bids you, my brother, to stand out of the way. Elder Burden has proved in the past that he can do his work acceptably. He is to stand in his lot and place, exercising his God-given right to ask wisdom of Him who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not. 22LtMs, Lt 290, 1907, par. 3

It is a mistake for a conference to select as president one who considers that his office places unlimited power in his hands. The Lord has instructed me to tell you that you do not know when to use authority, and when to refrain from using it unwisely. You have much to learn before you can do the work of a conference president intelligently. You are to bear in mind that in the cause of God there is a chief Director, whose power and wisdom is above that of human minds. 22LtMs, Lt 290, 1907, par. 4

God will have nothing to do with the methods of working where finite men are allowed to bear rule over their fellow men. He calls for a decided change to be made. The voice of command must no longer be heard. The Lord has among His workers men of humility and discretion; from these should be chosen men who will conduct the work in the fear of God. 22LtMs, Lt 290, 1907, par. 5

It would be well if Elder Cottrell and at least one other worker of broad experience should be called upon to consult together and consider your plans that affect the medical work. God designs that His servants shall carry the responsibilities of that conference in a spirit of humility and dependence upon Him. 22LtMs, Lt 290, 1907, par. 6

It is a dangerous work to invest men with authority to judge and rule their fellow men. Not to you nor to any other man has been given power to control the actions of God’s people, and the effort to do this must be no longer continued. God has been dishonored by the education that has been given to the churches in Southern California in looking to one man as conscience and judgment for them. God has never authorized any man to exercise a ruling power over his fellow workers; and those who have allowed a dictatorial spirit to come into their official work need to experience the converting power of God upon their hearts. They have placed man where God should be. 22LtMs, Lt 290, 1907, par. 7

When men engage in labor for the souls of others, they are not to be made amenable to the will of their fellow laborers. God is well able to direct the course of action of those who work for Him. But when His laborers, instead of calling upon Him, seek first, and regard as of first importance the counsel and advice of human minds, He is dishonored. The method of sending one minister to another minister to learn his duty is a plan of working that should not be encouraged. Greater evils will result from such a course than finite and erring man can foresee. 22LtMs, Lt 290, 1907, par. 8

My brother, God lives and reigns. Let your brethren have the right of way to the footstool of Christ. Encourage them to carry their burdens to the Lord, and not to any human being. Never take the responsibility of becoming conscience for another. As brethren you can counsel together, and pray together, and seek instruction from the source of all wisdom; but you are not to seek to direct another regarding his duty. Let all work of this character be done away. God forbids that this spirit shall again come into His work while time shall last. 22LtMs, Lt 290, 1907, par. 9