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


MR No. 550—Diversity and Unity in God's Work

When [Brother] Torr came to Petaluma, he followed close after Cassidy [an apostate Adventist]. Mrs. White was his theme. The Lord sent me to Petaluma and gave me a testimony of great power to bear. Torr was convicted. I stayed at his house, and he said he had seen and heard me and he was settled now that all these reports and statements were false. He felt very tender. I saw that he did not have family prayer. I urged myself forward, prayed with them and pled with them to pray morning and night with their children. He had taken the position that social meetings were not in the order of God—that family prayer was a non-essential. But his heart was melted under the power of the Spirit of God, and he urged me with tears to come and speak to them at Petaluma as often as I could. He said, “Maybe you do not know, Sister White, how we prize these visits. They are of great value to us—beyond estimate.” 8MR 64.1

Well, Long's book came out and [also] Green's book—these most weak and contemptible productions. I waited for you and others to speak of these, as you stood in the responsible positions you do, as watchmen on the walls of Zion, and should warn the people. As editor of the paper you have every means within your reach. 8MR 64.2

Now Torr has changed. He did not take up his duties. He did not follow the light. He seemed to enjoy the suggestions and statements of these tracts, and sent them everywhere. Next he was without an anchor, and he began to read Tom Paine and has come out an infidel. He says there is no personal devil— no pre-existence of Christ, no prayer is called for. He is sowing his seeds of death.... 8MR 64.3

The time has come when if light is not cherished it leaves the one who rejects it in very dense darkness, and strong and startling developments are made quickly. Things move rapidly now. We are nearing the end. Why, I ask, is all this zeal against me? I have attended to my business, given me of God. I have injured no one. I have spoken to the erring the words God has given me. Of course I could not compel them to hear. Those who had the benefit of Christ's labors were just as enraged against Him as the enemies are against me. I have done only my duty. I have spoken because compelled to speak. They have not rejected me but Him who sent me—Him who has given me my work.—Letter 3, 1883, pp. 3, 4. (To Uriah Smith, July 31, 1883.) 8MR 65.1

Now, my brethren [G. I. Butler and Uriah Smith], I do not feel very happy, ... be assured, when I think you have encouraged Elder Canright in giving lessons to the students in the College, and in pouring into the Review such a mass of matter as though he were bishop of the Methodist Church.—Letter 13, 1887, p. 2. (To Brethren Butler and Smith, April 5, 1887.) 8MR 65.2

I rejoice in the completeness of the character of Jesus Christ. He was a compassionate and sympathizing high priest. “Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” (Hebrews 2:17, 18.) “We have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” (Hebrews 4:15.) Oh to only consider how easy it is for hardness of heart to take possession of us. Jesus the Pattern for humanity, must know from painful experience all about a wounded spirit and a broken bleeding heart, and a burdened perplexed and tempted mind. 8MR 65.3

In this school Christ was taught. In this school, we are to be disciplined and trained and learn to sympathize with the suffering ones of humanity. If we tell our peculiar trials to our friends, we know by the cold response, and listless inattention that they know not what we mean. They have not been tried in just that way. Their life may have been one of self-caring and self-indulgence. The care, the perplexities [that] have darkened the brow of the tired, has not been felt by the friend, the sorrow that has eaten into the soul has never touched his. Now the sympathy growing out of identity of circumstances he has not. But Jesus knows all about the strength of temptation, sorrow, and grief. Then let us always tell Jesus all.—Letter 79, 1893, pp. 11, 12. (To Harmon Lindsay, April 24, 1893.) 8MR 66.1

I rise this morning at half past one o'clock. Lest I should miss your questions, I will now try to answer one at least of them. 8MR 66.2

In regard to our brethren writing on the third angel's message. Let them write. Bear in mind that in the branches of the vine there is diversity in unity.... There is an unseen, conscious, indivisible unity, keeping the bodily machinery in action, each part working in harmony with every other.... 8MR 66.3

We are not to feel that we must speak the very same things, giving the same representation in the same words, and yet there is to be unity in the diversity. All the different testimonies unite to form one whole, as the books of the Bible are brought together, and bound under one cover. But should Matthew, Mark, Luke and John go off on some tangent, contradicting each other's testimony, then there would be confusion. In all the presentation of truth by different minds, there is to be unity in diversity. One must not labor to have everything that comes from his mind entirely different from that which comes from another man's mind. But he is to follow in the line where the Spirit of the Lord shall direct, then there will be different figures and different ways of presentation, that will interest and educate different minds. Some are always straining to get something original; this places them in great danger. They produce something new, that is not according to the Word of God, and they have not the discernment to see the real harm that results from their ambition to excel some other one in new and strange productions. Thus error comes to appear to them as truth, and they present it as wonderful new light, when it is an innovation that makes of none effect a “Thus saith the Lord.” 8MR 67.1

Let all be under the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit of God. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, one may use the same expressions used by a fellow-worker under the same guidance. He should not make an effort to do this, nor not to do it, but leave the mind to be acted upon by the Holy Spirit. There is one thing all should do, “Endeavor to keep the Unity of the Spirit, in the bonds of peace”.... 8MR 67.2

Men may not have precisely the same way of viewing or expressing truths as we have, yet they may be just as precious in the sight of God as we are. There is not to be a thread of selfishness or self-exaltation in our work, for we are drawing our spiritual supplies from the same store-house, and are wholly and entirely dependent upon God, for His grace and His Spirit's working. 8MR 68.1

In strict loyalty, for the glory of God, we are to bring to the people, all the light and evidence possible. In order to do this, we must be constant learners in the school of Christ. We are to learn His meekness and lowliness. Only thus, can we, by our words and in our character, impart the Holy Spirit's unction. 8MR 68.2

If there is a difference of expression in presenting the Truth, let every one seek to view all things in the light of the glory, which shineth in the face of Jesus Christ. The more we as believers drink in of the Spirit, the more we shall be animated and united by His surpassing love, and the more we shall reveal of that tender, compassionate Spirit, which made our blessed Master so long and patiently bear with the misunderstandings of those whom He had selected as His workmen. They were to be educated in close communion, yet their thoughts might vary. 8MR 68.3

We are often exhorted, “Be ye all of one mind,” which means the same as “Endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace.” All should seek to draw as closely together as possible, by dwelling upon those things in which all can agree, rather than upon those things that seem to create a difference. 8MR 68.4

“All ye are brethren.” (Matthew 23:8.) “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.) Our owner is God. The same blood that purchased one brother, purchased the next also, and the next. All are born of God by the same Spirit. All are members of the same body, and are worked by the same Spirit. All feed on the flesh and blood of the Son of God, the Word, which is Spirit and life. The sustenance of all comes from the same source. We must not think it a virtue to differ. We are in close bonds of relationship one with another. If the same vitalizing current is flowing through our minds and hearts, we shall act in harmony. In failing to do this, we deny the Source of all spiritual life. 8MR 69.1

By the meekness and lowliness of Christ's earthly life, the exhortation is given, “Love as brethren,” as members of the same family. Notwithstanding your dissimilarity in habits and character, “be pitiful, be courteous.” True love is not a mere emotion. It does not consist in sentiment alone, it is a principle manifest in works, in noble and unselfish deeds. When God's people are actuated by this love, all plans, all activities will be appreciated as coming from one Source. 8MR 69.2

I think I have answered your question. Although Elder Jones or Elder Prescott may write, your individuality remains the same. You are to write, as God shall lead your mind. Your individuality cannot be submerged in that of any man. You can, if you will, place yourself under the direct beams of the Son of Righteousness, and catch the heavenly glow. Then the softening, subduing love of Christ will come into your heart, and the grace of the tenderness of Christ will mellow your spirit and reveal the same in words and utterances. You will work out that which God works in. 8MR 69.3

What you cannot do, God can do, and will do through you, if you will heed His counsel. You may realize your inability. But it is not S. N. Haskell that is supposed to work. It is not what S. N. Haskell can do, but what God can do through you. All things are possible to Him. 8MR 70.1

Elder Smith was one mentioned to connect with you, and help you. But be assured that, if you will move in Christ's order, your inability will bring out the assurance of God's sufficiency. What is impossible for the human agent to do, God will do through you. Begin then, and advance. Do the work, believing that it is the right thing to do, and expecting the Lord to help you and your wife, and lead you in clear lines, working in and through you. As the Lord's mind becomes your mind, a divine tenderness will take possession of your soul. The channel that has been choked with misunderstandings will be cleared, the debris will be swept away by the current of Christ's love. The love of Christ will flow out to your brethren, and through them to others. Be pitiful to those whom you regard as weak and erring. In your work manifest the compassion of Christ. See how often His love broke forth in expression of sympathy for the unshepherded flock, the hungry multitudes. 8MR 70.2

Many will need to receive the object lesson from God's workmen. With many it is much easier to criticize, rebuke, and condemn than to speak words of encouragement. As laborers together with God, we are not to think lightly of souls that have cost the Lord so much, and that, through the giving of His own Son to live in humanity, may have everlasting life. 8MR 70.3

While we are to show no mercy to sin, we are to lift up the head of the perishing sinner. We should point him to Christ on the cross, suffering as a sin-bearer, because He loved man.—Letter 53, 1900, pp. 1-7. (To S. N. Haskell, April 5, 1900.) 8MR 70.4

Released May 20, 1977.