Special Testimonies for Ministers and Workers—No. 6
October 28, 1885.
(Recopied, and sent from Australia, February 7, 1895.)
Dear Brethren ----- and -----,
My prayer is that the Lord may be with you in great power during the coming conference. Some may be absent that you might wish were present; but Jesus is your helper. I sincerely hope and pray that those who bear responsibilities in Michigan, New England, Ohio, Indiana, and other States, will take broader views of the work than they have done. I hope Michigan will take a step in advance. I feel to regret the fact that there is such a dearth of breadth of mind and of far-seeing ability. Workers should be educated and trained for the fields of labor. We need missionaries everywhere. We need men and women who will give themselves without reserve to the work of God, bringing many sons and daughters to God. SpTA06 61.1
Individual Judgment to be Exercised. I have been shown that there is one practise which those in responsible places should avoid; for it is detrimental to the work of God. Men in position should not lord it over God's heritage, and command everything around them. Too many have marked out a prescribed line which they wish others to follow in the work. Workers have tried to do this with blind faith, without exercising their own judgment upon the matter which they had in hand. If those who were placed as directors were not present, they have followed their implicit directions just the same. But in the name of Christ, I would entreat you to stop this work. Give men a chance to exercise their individual judgment. Men who follow the leading of another, and are willing that another should think for them, are unfit to be entrusted with responsibility. Our leading men are remiss in this matter. God has not given to special ones all the brain power there is in the world. Men in responsible positions should credit others with some sense, with some ability of judgment and foresight, and look upon them as capable of doing the work committed to their hands. Our leading brethren have made a great mistake in marking out all the directions that the workers should follow, and this has resulted in deficiency, in a lack of a caretaking spirit in the worker, because they have relied upon others to do all their planning, and have themselves taken no responsibility. Should the men who have taken this responsibility upon themselves step out of our ranks, or die, what a state of things would be found in our institutions! Leading men should place responsibilities upon others, and allow them to plan and devise and execute, so that they may obtain an experience. Give them a word of counsel when necessary, but do not take away the work because you think the brethren are making mistakes. May God pity the cause when one man's mind and one man's plan is followed without question. God would not be honored should such a state of things exist. All our workers must have room to exercise their own judgment and discretion. God has given men talents which he means that they should use. He has given them minds, and he means that they should become thinkers, and do their own thinking and planning, rather than depend upon others to think for them. SpTA06 61.2
I think I have laid out this matter many times before you, but I see no change in your actions. We want every responsible man to drop responsibilities upon others. Set others at work that will require them to plan, and to use judgment. Do not educate them to rely upon your judgment. Young men must be trained up to be thinkers. My brethren, do not for a moment think that your way is perfection, and that those who are connected with you must be your shadows, must echo your words, repeat your ideas, and execute your plans. SpTA06 63.1