Manuscript Releases, vol. 8 [Nos. 526-663]


MR No. 616—The Workers’ Need for Efficiency and Moderation

Instead of the work being molded according to the habits of men, their habits must be reformed. Where the workers are decidedly below their task, they must take a new turn and become efficient. The work must not bear the mark of a faulty education and of the hereditary tendencies of man. It must be accomplished with exactness. If one has no qualifications for a certain work, let someone else be chosen to learn it, even if it incurs an expense. The work is of such importance that the angels look down upon it with an intense interest, and walk through the rooms of the institution. They watch every worker and the work that comes forth from his hands, and the report is brought back to heaven of the manner in which it is performed and of the spirit in which it is done. 8MR 325.1

There is a great need of careful building in every important institution like this. There is a great need of tact, intelligence, skill and businesslike thoroughness. This is even an absolute condition of prosperity in this institution. It will be easy to make great blunders if the business is not looked after with clear and sharp attention. Although the novice or apprentice may be energetic, if there is not in the various departments someone to oversee, someone who is properly qualified for his work, there will be failure in many respects. As the work grows, it will become impossible even occasionally to postpone jobs from one date to another. What is not done in due time, be it in sacred or in secular matters, runs a great risk of not being done at all; in any case, such work can never be done so well as at the proper time. 8MR 325.2

This defect must be corrected in our managers as well as in our apprentices, for the eyes of the Lord are upon the work and the workmen. Much time goes by every day, and every hour of the day, which is far from showing the results which could be expected. Do one thing at a time, and complete it as far as possible, then take up another. It is impossible to think of having apprentices working diligently and yet making only very little advancement. The lesson to be taught is this: Do not take up your time with trifles, stop this state of things where everybody is in a hurry, and no one is getting ahead. 8MR 326.1

We must have at the head of the departments, calm, firm, punctual business men, able to bring order out of confusion, but who will not throw everything in confusion and keep things eternally on the run in order that jobs left behind may be done on time. There must be men who will begin a work in the right way, and hold to it and push it forward firmly. Everything must be done according to a well-matured plan, and with system. God has entrusted His sacred work to men, and He asks that they shall do it carefully. Regularity in all things is essential. Never be late to an appointment. In no department or office should time be lost in unnecessary conversations. The work of God requires things which it does not receive, because men do not learn from the God of wisdom. They press too many things into their life, postpone until tomorrow that which demands their attention today, and much time is lost in painfully picking up the lost stitches. Men and women can reach a higher degree of usefulness than to carry with them through life an unsettled state of mind. They can improve the defective traits of their character contracted in their younger years. Like Paul, they can labor to reach a much higher degree of perfection. 8MR 326.2

The work of God must not be done by fits and starts. It will not be placed on vantage ground by following a sudden impulse. On the contrary, it is positively necessary to follow the good work patiently, day by day, progressing in our ways and methods. One should get up at a regular hour. If during the day the work is neglected, and the following night is spent in making up for lost time, the morrow and following day will show, as a result, a wearied brain and a general fatigue which constitute positive violations of the law of life and health. There should be regular hours for rising, for family worship, for meals and for work. And it is a religious duty, in every one of our institutions, to maintain this by precept as well as by a firm example. Many squander the most precious hours of the morning hoping that they can terminate the work thus neglected during the hours which should be devoted to sleep. Godliness, health, success, everything suffers from this lack of true religious system. 8MR 327.1

There are many lessons which should be taught here in Europe. Some workers need to give up the slow methods of work which prevail, and to learn to be prompt. Promptness is necessary as well as diligence. If we wish to accomplish the work according to the will of God, it must be done in an expeditious manner, but not without thought and care. 8MR 327.2

The work needs more effort and care than it is receiving here. Our translators have too much to do. They are not training their minds to a close and deep analysis of their work. They need to have their mind clothed with all its strength and elasticity and to have a clear and free imagination in order to grasp the original to be translated. A translation should never be considered as complete as long as it has passed through the hands of one person only. For the translation of the Holy Scriptures, in many lands, a large number of men were chosen who labored together, closely examining and mutually criticizing their work. 8MR 327.3

Our work is much more important than is supposed, and requires much more thought. The translators should have less hours to devote to close and absorbing intellectual labor, lest the brain become too weary, and the force of penetration being relaxed, the labor accomplished shall be imperfect. In dealing with the truth, everything should be done with a grace and a solidity which have not thus far characterized the work; for this reason, the mind of one should not be overburdened. Brother _____ has too much to do. He is in danger of contracting the habit of not giving to his work all the thought, all the effort and all the care that he should, and as considerable responsibility rests upon him, he must not be laden with a multiplicity of matters which he feels he must do, lest he shall become positively incapable for the competent and thorough work which is needed.—Manuscript 24, 1887, 3-6. (“Testimony for the Workers of the Publishing House at Basel,” February 14, 1887.) 8MR 328.1

In order to be successful, you must do but one thing at a time, concentrating all your powers upon that. If God has said to you as He did to John, “Write,” then give yourself to that, and do not attempt more. But if you are to give discourses, your mind, although intensely active, is not vigorous enough to sustain the strain of speaking and visiting, and writing too. You should let your pen rest in a great measure when you engage in an effort to present new and startling truths to the people, the reception of which involves a cross.... 8MR 328.2

You must take time to be a Christian, not tax brain and nerve to such an extent that you cannot be Christlike under difficulties. It is only by living a life in harmony with that of the Saviour, that we meet the requirement of God to be not only hearers but doers of the word of God. 8MR 329.1

The Lord would not have us be so excitable, in such a hurry. The counsels of God in His word were not given in a few days, on the high-pressure plan. It took a long period of time to bring out the Bible history. Under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, a chapter was written, a psalm composed, a proverb penned, a vision recorded, and so down through the ages the will and purposes of God were brought out. About fifteen hundred years passed from the time Moses began to write the book of Genesis, down to the completion of the Revelation by the beloved John. 8MR 329.2

The people need to be educated. This cannot be done if all the preacher's powers are given to other things. If your vitality, both mental and physical, has been expended needlessly, you cannot do your work with efficiency.... 8MR 329.3

It is not so much the activity that we bring into the work that makes it a success, but it is the well-directed efforts, not trusting in ourselves, but through the grace of Christ, taking God at His word, working humbly with Him, keeping self under strict control, preserving nerve and brain from over taxation, and having religion the controlling element in our lives, that the atmosphere of heaven may be diffused in the home circle, in the church, everywhere. 8MR 329.4

Show that you believe in God. Self-will indulged will drive to infidelity. Self subdued will lead to the submission of every thought, word, and action to Christ. The Word of God, not impulses, not impressions, must be your guide. 8MR 330.1

A solemn, sacred work is this, to preach the truths for these last times to perishing souls. Take the things God has revealed in warnings, reproofs, corrections, encouragements. But if we have eyes that see not, ears that hear not, and hearts that feel not, then it is in vain that the declaration from God has ever come to us. God has honored us by making us the depositaries of His truth; and He has placed us under the most sacred obligations to diffuse that light, that it may illuminate those who are in darkness. 8MR 330.2

Has God been mistaken in us? Are we not His chosen vessels? Are we not the agents He has selected through whom to send forth the last message of mercy to a world? Oh, if we only had Jesus in our hearts, if His Spirit controlled our actions, if His law was the rule of our life, what a power for good we would be in the world! We must remember that others have pleaded and preached for souls—persons more learned and talented than we—and have pleaded in vain. But the humble, devoted worker, feeling his own weakness, and depending only upon God, will realize the strength and sufficiency of the mighty Helper.—Letter 56, 1887, pp. 1, 5, 9, 10. (To D. T. Bourdeau, 1887.) 8MR 330.3

Physicians should practice what they teach. They should teach that by studying after nine o'clock, there is nothing gained but much lost. Teach and practice that the time can be systematically employed, one duty after another attended to promptly, not allowed to lag, so that midnight hours will not have to be employed in laborious studies.—Letter 85, 1888, p. 9. (To Brethren Caldwell and Gibbs, May 10, 1888.) 8MR 330.4

God has given you talents and ability, but these gifts are not to be misused and consumed faster than the supply is furnished. What you can do calmly, under the divine guidance of God's Holy Spirit, that you may venture to do.—Letter 15, 1896, p. 2. (To Elder J. O. Corliss, July 20, 1896.) 8MR 331.1

When teachers of the Word depend upon outward appearance, they forget the nobler scene before them. They forget the great and mighty Worker who has promised to be with them always. They forget that there is present One who can enlarge the faculties of the speaker, One who can make impressive the presentation of the power and grace of the truth. 8MR 331.2

The gospel minister should realize that he is a laborer together with God. He should reflect into the hearts of others the divine rays of light that shine into his heart. Thus he will cooperate with God in stamping upon human hearts the divine likeness.—Letter 49, 1902, pp. 4, 5. (To Brother and Sister Haskell, February 5, 1902.) 8MR 331.3

For their usefulness and success, the Lord's servants are dependent on Christ. He reads their hearts. He knows their motives and purposes, and He calls upon them to separate from themselves everything that would prove a hindrance to their success in presenting the truth for this time. This is the work that is to be made first of all. As they give themselves to it, success will surely crown their efforts. Angels of God will impress hearts, and many will be brought into the light of truth.... 8MR 331.4

Live as becomes the subjects of His kingdom. To carry out the words, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in heaven,”—this is our life-work.—Manuscript 124, 1902, 7, 8. (“The Work in Nashville,” May, 1902.) 8MR 332.1

When the Lord lays upon His stewards a special work, they should be careful not to increase their responsibilities; for this overtaxes their powers. My brethren, give diligent heed to the business for which you are fitted. Had Elder _____ attended to his special line of work in connection with the General Conference, pleading with God for His purifying power and for wisdom to keep the way of the Lord, he would have had victory at every step.—Manuscript 3, 1903, 2. (“To Every Man His Work,” March 1, 1903.) 8MR 332.2

You need spiritual life. This life would give vigor to your soul and to your body. Spiritual life yields to its possessor that which all the world is seeking, but which can never be obtained without an entire surrender to God. You will have to say more often than you have ever yet said, “Be still, and know that I am God.” This will give your soul the needed rest. It will give you contentment in doing the very best you can. 8MR 332.3

Spiritual life—what is it? It is the contemplation of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us, that our lives might be sweet and fragrant, that we might have power to perfect an unselfish Christian experience, and that from us others might learn to do good. 8MR 332.4

The work given you is to represent Christ. He came to this world to shed upon you His own brightness and peace. Close the windows of your heart against the atmosphere of unbelief, and open them heavenward. It is your privilege to face the light, to talk light and faith. 8MR 333.1

Be affable and compassionate. Let your countenance reflect the joy of the Lord. Speak of His goodness and tell of His power. Then your light will shine more and more distinctly. Above your trials and disappointments will be revealed the reflection of a pure, healthy religious life. In the outworking of the inner life there will be a wonderful peace and joy. You may reflect the beauty of the character of your risen Lord, who, though He was rich, yet for our sake became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich in the grace of heaven. As you rise above despondency into the clear sunlight of the presence of Christ, you will reveal the glory of God. 8MR 333.2

We can, we can reveal the likeness of our divine Lord. We know the science of spiritual life. We can glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are His. Do we do it? Oh, what an illustrious example we have in the life that Christ lived on this earth. He has shown us what we can accomplish through cooperation with Him. We are to seek for the union with Him of which He speaks when He says, “Abide in Me, and I in you.” This union is deeper, stronger, truer, than any other union. The heart must be filled with the grace of Christ. His will must control us, moving us by His love to suffer with those who suffer, to rejoice with those who rejoice, to feel a deep tenderness for everyone in weakness, sorrow, or distress. 8MR 333.3

Being partakers of the divine nature will make us willing always to reach forth a helping hand to those in need of relief.—Letter 121, 1904, pp. 6-8. (To Edson and Emma White, March 29, 1904.) 8MR 334.1

Let us have a revival of our faith. My son, let us, you and I, set an example of doing our best to clear the King's highway, and after we have done this, let us place everything in the hands of God, saying, “Lord, I have done my part. I believe Thy promises. Wilt Thou not now give evidence of Thy working?” He will hear and answer.... 8MR 334.2

There is spiritual life for every church member. We all need to apply the Word of God most earnestly to ourselves. We need to live in a higher, purer atmosphere. If we have the faith that works by love and purifies the soul, we shall be partakers of the divine nature. Then we shall have spirit and life and health. When the Word of God is brought into the daily life, there will be spiritual soundness. The powers of the soul will be exercised unto righteousness and godliness. Christ will dwell in our hearts by faith, and the presence of His Spirit will be revealed by a healthy spiritual growth.—Letter 123, 1904, pp. 3, 7. (To Edson White, March 29, 1904.) 8MR 334.3

I long for strength to do the work that must be done at this time. I would speak daily at this Long Beach campmeeting if I could; but I have not strength to do this. I dare not consume all my strength in this meeting; for there is other important work before me. Lately I have given considerable time and effort to the work of completing the book on the Acts of the Apostles. This book is now nearly finished, and I am very thankful for this.... 8MR 334.4

Let no time be wasted, but do not overwork. Teach the truth as it is in Jesus. When the power of truth is felt in the soul, the principles of truth will be brought into the daily life. Then true godliness will appear.—Letter 66, 1911, p. 3. (To Brother and Sister Haskell, August 28, 1911.) 8MR 335.1

Released June 21, 1978.