Manuscript Releases, vol. 15 [Nos. 1136-1185]

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Disfellowshiping Sometimes Necessary

There are those members who are busybodies, speaking evil, sowing the seeds of doubt and infidelity, who pay no heed to the light God has given them in His Word. If we have but one church member who by his spirit, words, and influence seeks to counterwork the influence of the minister of Christ, labor with that one faithfully; and if after taking the steps required by Christ, he will not hear, will not change his course of action, then separate him from the church, and let him know the reason why the church cannot hold him in her fellowship. And if there are those who sympathize with him, who will not discern the right from the wrong, who, after patient instruction has been given them, choose to keep on the wrong side, let them also be suspended. God's name must not be dishonored by murmurers, faultfinders, and those who are continually sowing seeds of disaffection. 15MR 163.3

“A bishop must be blameless as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not give to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy temperate; holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision; whose mouths must be stopped.” 15MR 164.1

There has been too little personal labor done. When one becomes in any way disaffected, he begins to visit and talk with others, and impressions of a disagreeable and untruthful character are left upon the mind. Thus it is that much of the seed of irritation and evil-surmisings are sown, and the unity of the brethren and sisters is broken up. There is a great need of work to be done, that the churches may not become defiled. Let those persons who have no inclination to come out and be on the Lord's side be labored with, and if they cannot harmonize with the church, let them either keep their tongue as with a bridle, or find some other place to worship. Their influence of evil cannot have the sanction of the church or God's approval. This work has been strangely neglected. It is time to set the church in order.—Manuscript 52, 1898, pp. 17-19. (Written May 5, 1898, “The Work Required of God's People.”) 15MR 164.2