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


MR No. 661—Materials Appearing in This Day With God

MR No. 662—How to Deal with an Unproductive Worker

There is one thing more which I would like to present before you concerning the case of Elder C and family. Elder C stated to Willie that when he entered the work he knew that he was not prepared to preach. Others also presented themselves at the same time that he did, and all were allotted some place to work as beginners. He urged that he should be allowed to go as tent master with one of the ministers, and learn how to work, but Elder B did not regard his request. He asked if they were not going to give him something to do, and Elder B told him to go out to some country town and hammer away, to go to work in school houses. He feels that he has not had a fair chance, and I hope that his case will not be passed over without due attention. Give him a chance to learn the lessons that he should have had an opportunity to learn years ago. He is fearful that he is to be sent to America and then be dropped out of the work, but this should not be. He has some excellent qualifications although Australia is not his place. Please give Elder C a chance somewhere, and in order to know where to put him you must get acquainted with him.—Letter 39, 1892, p. 1. (To O. A. Olsen, July 7, 1892.) 8MR 452.1

Elder Olsen, we feel deeply in regard to our ministers. In the last mail I wrote you something in regard to Elder C. We all feel greatly relieved that he is no longer in Australia. The church in Adelaide where Brother C made his home, has been strangely neglected. The man devoted much of his time to his own enterprises, and took no care of the church. The sick were not visited, the desponding were not comforted, and the influence of this neglect is now felt by us who are here. Yesterday Elder [G.C.] Tenney read me a letter from a brother in Adelaide, in whom all have confidence, which set forth the condition of things. His course in money matters has been very much after the order that D pursued. Means was entrusted to him toward the building of a meeting-house, and, thinking to replace it, he used this means, and then hardly knew how much he had appropriated. He was paid more salary than any other man in the conference. It is a great pity that he was ever sent here across the wide ocean. I cannot understand what kind of discernment those in office could have had to advise this step. All feel wondrously relieved that he is no longer to labor in this conference. 8MR 452.2

At the very commencement of the conference we had a long meeting of three hours with the ministers alone and the Spirit of the Lord was upon me. Calling each person by name, I laid out the true condition of each one. Especially did I open before Elder C his method of labor. Oh, how he cried, and yet I could see that while he was depreciating himself there was an attempt at justification, as though after all he was not so bad, but I could not allow it. I told them all that I knew their situation. I told how wrong it was to receive pay as ministers and yet neglect the flock, leaving them to perish. I told them the Lord did not accept their labors. Then confessions were made, and prayer was offered together that He would mercifully heal the wounds that they had given to the cause. 8MR 453.1

I have talked with Elder C twice since then in regard to his increasing family, that brought such burdens upon his wife. The brother who wrote from Adelaide stated that when they thought that Sister White was coming they felt sure the Lord would set things before her, and he would be sent back to America and, said he, “The Lord did work to relieve the church.”—Letter 40, 1892, pp. 15, 16. (To O. A. Olsen, July 15, 1892.) 8MR 453.2

I do not expect to visit Adelaide again, although this is not certain. I am fully pleased with the place. I think much of the people and am sore distressed when I consider how much might have been done that is not done because of unconsecrated workers. It is these thoughts that distress me and wear me, that our General Conference should make such unwise moves as have been made in sending Elder C here to Australia, and that the Conference in Australia should not have examined his work and changed this order of things. Now the neglect of doing that which was manifestly the duty of someone to do, has left a burden on this Conference to be especially liberal in doing a work now to redeem the past and make, as far as in their power, restitution for the past neglect, for Elder C is supposed to have the endorsement of the Conference, and thus leaves a guilt upon the Conference for sustaining a man who was remiss in his duty, unfaithful to his charge, giving lessons in dealing with the supposed erring, contrary to the Bible rule, which now have to be counteracted and an entirely different mold given to the church. This business is to me a sad and sorrowful one. And it is not a feeble effort or short work that can make a sufficient change and leave a healthful, wholesome influence in the church, which will be abiding.—Letter 84, 1892, p. 2. (To W. C. White, November 9, 1892.) 8MR 454.1

On Sunday I visited Brother and Sister H. I did not think it best for Elder [A. G.] Daniells to go with me, although I should have been glad to share the labor with him. I went to Brother H's at two p.m., and labored for Sister H till past five o'clock. She wept as I read things I had written to help her mind in regard to the Sabbath and points connected with it. She is helped. I prayed with them. She has promised to attend meeting again with the church. Elder C's course in reference to them was very censurable, all because he thought Brother H did not speak to him respectfully. I have been shown that these two—Brother and Sister H—will, if consecrated, make superior workers in the church. 8MR 454.2

They were both apparently fully consecrated, ready to do all the good they could, both with their means and by active effort. But Elder C knew not how to deal with them, and he has wounded and bruised and driven away Sister H. Brother H was for eight years an active worker in the Presbyterian church, taking charge of the Sunday school, until he embraced the truth. Then he took charge of the Sabbath school, and in the absence of a preacher conducted the meetings. Through Elder C's mismanagement he was relieved of every office, yet he would not give up the truth or forsake the church. About the time we came, he was in a position of sore temptation, but he is strengthened and established by the things that he has heard. His wife is a woman of great firmness, of decided opinions, and independent judgment. She has much push, and if consecrated, would be an aggressive worker. I have no doubt now that she will come along if she is rightly treated, and the Lord will be glorified if this sheep that has been driven away is restored to the fold. I shall see them once more in their home before I leave. I have perfect liberty in speaking plain things to them in love.—Letter 29a, 1892, pp. 1, 2. (To W. C. White, November 20, 1892.) 8MR 455.1