Manual for Canvassers


Selection of Canvassers

Some are better adapted than others for doing a certain work; therefore it is not correct to think that every one can be a canvasser. Some have no special adaptability for this work, but they are not, because of this, to be regarded as faithless or unwilling. The Lord is not unreasonable in His requirements. The church is as a garden in which is a variety of flowers, each with its own peculiarities. Though in many respects all may differ, yet each plant and flower has a value of its own. MC 14.2

God does not expect that with their different temperaments His people will each be prepared for any and every place. Let us all remember that there are varied trusts. It is not the work of any man to prescribe the work of any other man, contrary to his own convictions of duty. It is right to give counsel and suggest plans, but every man should be left free to seek directions from God, whose he is, and whom he serves. MC 14.3

The canvassing work is more important than many have regarded it. If there is one work more important than another, it is that of getting our publications before the people, thus leading them to search the Scriptures. As much care and wisdom must be used in selecting the workers as in selecting men for the ministry. In all parts of the field, colporteurs and canvassers should be chosen, not from the floating element of society, not from among men and women who are good for nothing else and who have made a success of nothing, but from among those who have good address, tact, keen foresight, and ability. MC 15.1


Persons of uncouth manners are not fitted for this work. Men and women who possess tact, good address, keen foresight, and discriminating minds, and who feel the value of souls, are the ones who can be successful. MC 15.2


Those of the best talent and ability, who will take hold of the work understandingly and systematically, and carry it forward with persevering energy, are the ones who should be selected. There should be a most thoroughly organized plan; and this should be most faithfully carried out. MC 15.3

Men should be at work who are willing to be taught as to the best way of approaching individuals and families. Their dress should be neat, but not foppish, and their manner such as not to disgust the people. Among us as a people there is a great lack of true politeness. Much is gained by courtesy. MC 15.4

Canvassers need self-culture and polished manners, not the affected and artificial manners of the world, but the agreeable manners that are the natural result of kindness of heart and a desire to copy the example of Christ. They should cultivate thoughtful, care-taking habits,—habits of industry and discretion,—and should seek to honor God by making of themselves all that it is possible for them to become. Christ made an infinite sacrifice to place them in right relations to God and to their fellow men; and divine aid, combined with human effort, will enable them to reach a high standard of excellence. The canvasser should be chaste like Joseph, meek like Moses, and temperate like Daniel; then a power will attend him wherever he goes. MC 16.1