Manuscript Releases, vol. 11 [Nos. 851-920]


MR No. 872—The Need for Decentralization

A New Order Urged for the General Conference in 1901—God forbid, brethren, that this Conference [1901 General Conference session] should close as our conferences have closed in the past, with the same management, the same tone, the same order. The Lord wants those who have a knowledge of the truth to come to their senses. He wants them to arouse. It is time for us to arise and shine because our light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon us.... 11MR 76.1

From the light God has given me, everything connected with this conference is to be regarded as most sacred. Why? Because at this time the work is to be placed upon a proper basis. Wrong principles have been followed. For the last fifteen years wrong decisions have been made; and now God calls for a change.—Manuscript 43, 1901, 3, 4. (A Talk in the Battle Creek Library, April 1, 1901.) 11MR 76.2

Cooperation Urged for the Advancement of SDA Work in Europe—Now I was shown in America that there must be here [Europe] the very same growing in the work as there was there; that all should feel that they are under obligation to God to help in the work. Then these individuals will feel that the cause of God is a part of them. I was shown that there should be additional laborers in the field to carry forward the work. Brother Matteson has had upon him a tremendous load. He has not only been laboring in the field, but has been doing a great amount of writing. Now Brother Olsen has come here to your conference and he can take hold with Brother Matteson, and Brother Matteson with him. They can thus help each other in carrying forward this work. 11MR 76.3

A few of our brethren who have taken hold of the truth have no idea what it will accomplish. What is needed is a more thorough conversion to the truth of God. There needs to be an education of the people up to the standard. They need organized, systematic effort for every church. If everyone here feels that it is the great and solemn work of God, and that they are individually to be a light that is to be reflected to the world, then we shall see that the cause and work of God will advance more rapidly than it has in the past.—Manuscript 6, 1886, 2. (“Beginnings of Work in Scandinavia,” June 23, 1886.) 11MR 77.1

Church Urged to Adopt Correct Business Principles—It is essential that correct principles in business lines should be laid before the whole body of Seventh-day Adventists. I am instructed that this should have been done years ago. Our brethren and sisters are not to be led on blindfolded, not knowing what movements will next take place. If we are not in earnest in remedying this evil at the heart of the work, we shall give occasion to those who have been agitating the danger of organization, to justify themselves in their position.—Manuscript 11, 1895. p. 12. (“Publishing Houses,” April 10, 1895.) 11MR 77.2

Local Conference Presidents to Bear Their Share of Responsibilities—The men who act as presidents of State conferences should be carefully selected. Then let these men bear the responsibilities of the conference in a most thorough, earnest, God-fearing manner. If they are not qualified to do the work thoroughly and successfully, do not keep them in that position. 11MR 77.3

A mass of matter is laid before the General Conference. Every burden is carried to Battle Creek. This makes the presidents of the State conferences very irresponsible. Many are not growing in aptitude and in judgment.... 11MR 78.1

Let the presidents of State conferences walk humbly with God, and they will not have occasion to write to the president of the General Conference to leave his work to settle little matters for them. Even many large matters may be carried to God, and God will give counsel in every State conference. The Lord can be approached by all. He is much more accessible than the president of the General Conference. Let the president of the General Conference educate the presidents of State conferences to take care of their portion of the moral vineyard where they are situated wisely, without laying their burdens upon him.—Manuscript 17, 1896, 4, 10, 11. ( Untitled Manuscript, May 13, 1896.) 11MR 78.2

Management Responsibilities to Be Delegated—The management of the business interests of the sanitarium should not rest upon the doctor [J. H. Kellogg] as it has done. Others must attend to such matters. A multitude of cares may thus be removed from him. He should make every exertion on his part to qualify men to engage with him in the work, and should give them an opportunity to share his responsibilities. This would be a mercy to himself and a great blessing to them. Unless he does make efforts to save himself, he will become, unexpectedly to himself, a complete wreck, when with proper exercise of his powers, restraining inclination, he might be able to do a good work, enduring as eternity. 11MR 78.3

This advice and warning was given to me to give to my husband, and has been given to many others. They were urged to unload, and not break under the continual strain and burden.... 11MR 79.1

Elder D might have lived had he encouraged and educated others to share the burdens with which he loaded himself down. He deprived them of an education they might have had, because he did so much himself and allowed them to rely upon his brain instead of doing their own thinking. Every man can be a man, a whole man. By patient, thoughtful effort, put forth with zeal and energy, all may overcome cowardice and ignorance and inefficiency.... 11MR 79.2

The Lord has said, “No one man's mind or judgment is sufficient to exert a controlling influence in any of our institutions.” Therefore it is necessary that councils be held, that plans be considered by men of different stamp of character. Then if there are defects, they will be discovered and removed.—Letter 1, 1885, pp. 5, 6, 8, 9. (To Sanitarium Directors, October [probably November] 3, 1885.) 11MR 79.3

Let Others Develop Their Talents and Bear Responsibilities—You are not the only men whom God will use. Give the Lord room to use the talents he has entrusted to men in order that the cause may grow. Give the Lord a chance to use men's minds. We are losing much by our narrow ideas and plans. Do not stand in the way of the advancement of the work, but let the Lord work by whom He will. Educate, encourage young men to think and act, to devise and plan, in order that we may have a multitude of wise counselors.... 11MR 79.4

This same character of spirit [centralization of power] is found here in Europe. For years Elder D held the work back from advancing, because he feared to entrust it to others lest they should not carry out his precise plans. He would never allow anything to come into existence that did not originate with him. Elder E also held everything in his grasp while he was in California and England, and as a result the work is years behind in England.... 11MR 80.1

The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. Jesus said this, and we see that the world works on a different plan in these matters. Weighty responsibilities connected with the business of the world are not placed wholly upon one man. In large business enterprises responsible men choose others to share their burdens and lift their responsibilities so that in case one should fail there is someone ready to step into his place. Someone should feel a burden over these matters, and a decided change should take place in the manner of our work.—Letter 12, 1885, pp. 3-5. (To G. I. Butler and S. N. Haskell, October 28, 1885.) 11MR 80.2

What Might Have Been Accomplished If Selfishness Had Been Eradicated—It is not wise to open up more fields than can be thoroughly worked. If selfishness from the first had been eradicated from the hearts of the laborers; if the love of Jesus and the love of souls for whom Christ died had controlled the workers, what a strong company might have been raised up. Jealousies, evil surmisings, envyings have built up barriers between you and God, making it impossible for the Lord to do His work, His precious work of bringing souls to the knowledge of truth. If many had been converted, who would have been able to care for these lambs, these newly come to the faith? What lessons they would have learned of envy, jealousy, and evil surmisings. Wherein would inquiring souls find the right kind of instruction? Who would educate and train them for the work of the Master?—Letter 3, 1892, p. 15. (To W. D. Curtis, January 16, 1892.) 11MR 80.3

Decentralization of Power Urged—The matter in regard to centralizing all the power in one body in Battle Creek, has become serious. From the light given me, I see that this administration is embracing altogether too much, and is trying to carry burdens and interests which it has not strength or wisdom from heaven to bear, or to conduct successfully. The Lord is just as willing to impart wisdom and ability to men in distant fields as He is to impart wisdom and ability to the men in Battle Creek.... 11MR 81.1

Distant conferences should not be compelled to depend upon Battle Creek to manage for them. In every country men should be appointed to assist the presidents of the different conferences. The carrying forward of the message should be entrusted to willing men—men who, in the fear of God, will minister in His service. As these men do their best, according to their ability, working with a deep, earnest love for the souls for whom Christ has died, God will help them.—Letter 88, 1896, pp. 1, 2. (To W. W. Prescott and Wife, September 1, 1896.) 11MR 81.2

White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

July 20, 1981.