Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)


Ms 110, 1909

Aged Ministers to Have a Part in the Work



Previously unpublished.

I have a special message to bear from the Lord which is similar to the testimony I have borne for the last forty years. We are in danger of conducting our camp-meetings in a way which God does not commend. Testimony upon testimony I am to search up and place before our people. The meetings are to be carried in the very best manner to produce the greatest amount of lasting good in impressing minds and hearts both of believers and unbelievers. There has been too much haphazard work done at these important gatherings. The Lord is not always glorified in the way these meetings are left to inexperienced inventions of men. 24LtMs, Ms 110, 1909, par. 1

The question is, Who shall be the ones to bear the message to the people? It is not in the order of God to choose the young men to bear the message to hundreds and thousands of people, but the old men—full of the rich ore of truth—the old, experienced hands are to be selected to bear the message, for they will sense the importance of giving the very message that should come to the people for this present time. Those who are yet living who have been through the experience of presenting the truths comprehended in the third angel’s message from the beginning of its proclamation are to be urged to present in a clear, forcible manner the reasons for our faith in our camp-meetings every day. Their experience of the past and knowledge of the present necessity fit them to preach the Word in the power and spirit of the grand truths that are applicable for this time. 24LtMs, Ms 110, 1909, par. 2

The younger ministers need to learn all possible for them to learn. Young ministers who are present at these meetings are not to be brought to the front while the aged men—like John the apostle, who had his experience in trials and in victories—are not solicited to speak. These aged men have the word of present truth burning in their souls. Once each day let the old stories of their experience be given to the people. Our people who assemble together in large numbers in camp-meetings, need the information and inspiration coming to them from the old, experienced servants of God. Our camp-meetings are for the special purpose of letting these young ministers hear the important messages of present truth for this time from their lips. Let all understand that the men chosen and depended upon to conduct these gatherings should always be experienced men. The aged men who have borne the burden in the heat of the day should always be consulted and always invited to take a prominent place in presenting the truth, and let all the young ministers learn and receive the blessing of hearing. 24LtMs, Ms 110, 1909, par. 3

I am instructed that the younger of the laborers are to have the benefit of listening to the aged ministers who have the experience of truth and the evidence of truth for this time. The young ministers are to exercise their ingenuity in managing, along the lines of becoming acquainted with the men who are unconverted, as used to be in our camp-meetings during the period of 1844. We used to have our camp-meetings in groves of the wood, and every morning the younger, inexperienced men were taken into a tent or out-of-doors into a grove where the ministers would in a most solemn manner read to these young men the messages in the testimonies and then pray with them. Here is where they were learning to be laborers together with God. They learned to seek the Lord most earnestly and were to act their part as evangelists, to seek to open the Word to a class that needed help. Some always responded and some held off, but nearly all finally were converted. 24LtMs, Ms 110, 1909, par. 4

There is a field to use young ministers or ministers of less experience to help them get their bearings in a humble manner, but it is a great mistake to place young talents before the large congregations at camp-meetings. Our camp-meetings are to be of the highest educational order. They are to hear the testimonies from old men of experience and the aged ones who have fought the battles for half a century. They are the ones who are presenting the truth in its important bearings for this time. I am to say, You men who have managed these meetings have acted unwisely. Whoever was in charge of that camp-meeting in Los Angeles made a mistake. Elder Haskell and his wife should both have been on the ground from the commencement to the close, and God would have been glorified in strengthening them to act a distinct part and bear the burden and would have given them strength to bear the message. We need special men to be placed in charge of our camp-meetings, wherever they may be, who shall have the spirit of wisdom and a sound mind to present the truth. And those who have but limited experience in the past half century cannot present all the light with such power as can these old experienced men. Our people are not called out to camp-meetings to hear the ordinary discourses from young ministers. The sanitarium is to be represented by men of years of experience, who give should discourses upon health reform during these meetings. 24LtMs, Ms 110, 1909, par. 5

There is abundance of missionary work to be done. If words have been spoken and there are feelings of dissatisfaction, go to the ones whom you think have erred and follow Christ’s prescription for settling these difficulties. This will soften hearts. Often feelings are cherished because of supposed wrongs that have been done. Brood not over these, to resent them and to feel and nurse your suppositions, but commence to remove these things by speaking to the ones whom you think have injured you. Tell them you want all the rubbish of disunion removed, that no wounds shall be left unattended to, but shall be healed, that not any obstruction may remain to corrode and break forth after the camp-meeting. Cure these things at the first of the meetings, and then your individual heart and mind and soul can appreciate the blessing of God. 24LtMs, Ms 110, 1909, par. 6

The first work is to be reconciled to your brother. Let each engage in the business of humbling his soul before God. Invite any one who has a grudge toward you to present it to yourself and him alone. After you have acted your part with humility, the great Physician will pour in the oil of grace and heal the mind, spirit, and soul. You will be so blessed in having old wounds healed that the Word preached will be tenfold more precious to you. Conquer your own pride. The Word of God demands that you clear the King’s highway. Truth and justice demand that you respect the conviction of the Spirit of God and not continue to be at variance with your brother or sister. 24LtMs, Ms 110, 1909, par. 7

What is the work prescribed for us? “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Hebrews 12:12-15. Let not these words be lost out of your mind and heart. You who have erred will never improve your character by vindicating your hasty, harsh course of action. Confess. James chapters 3 and 4. Everlasting consequences depend upon the use of the tongue. 24LtMs, Ms 110, 1909, par. 8

Let all ministers be under Christ’s orders and build up and not tear down. Pray that they may always speak words that, under the Holy Spirit of God, will soften and subdue and not aggravate their fellow workers in the ministry and discourage them. Angels of God have looked with objection upon ministers who have thought it their work to tear down and dictate. The Lord forbids all this and will not suffer it to be continued. Truth and justice demand that we should yield to conviction as soon as we have facts set before us in verity and in truth. 24LtMs, Ms 110, 1909, par. 9

I am distressed as these matters are presented before me. The young ministers of less experience are to consider themselves blessed to hear the words spoken by men who carry the burdens of the cause of God on their souls day and night. The Lord puts His word in their hearts and in their minds to place before the people, under the dictation of the Holy Spirit of God, and the very lessons coming from the lips of old, tried servants of God will be light and grace and power to the saving of many souls. Young men are not to be placed to conduct camp-meetings and that without consulting the men of experience as to how these meetings shall be conducted. The Lord is to move on hearts and minds and give them the special message for hundreds to hear. The people need the words these old veterans, old soldiers of the cross, have to bear. It is not ordinary speeches that God calls for. The Lord has special messages to be borne, to come to the ears and hearts of all these hundreds of people. They do not come to the camp-meetings to listen to very good words in ordinary meetings. There is a great loss to many souls in listening to discourses proper in their place, but not hearing more decided messages which God gives His servants to present. 24LtMs, Ms 110, 1909, par. 10

The managers who took this part upon themselves are in need of learning of these experienced veterans of the cross of Christ. My soul cannot be at rest in such management. God is to be the chief counsellor in these great gatherings; for the end is near, and nearer than many suppose, and every hour is to be filled with important labor. The young men are called to do their work and to be missionaries, laboring all the time possible with young men and women, praying and pleading with them at all our camp-meetings. In these large gatherings, where there are thousands to hear the most forcible truth that can be presented, we are to give the reasons for our faith, to establish and confirm and impress the hearers. The young ministers need to listen to discourses from the old, experienced warriors of the battle, whose hair has become gray in the Lord’s service. 24LtMs, Ms 110, 1909, par. 11