Manuscript Releases, vol. 9 [Nos. 664-770]


2—Leader Qualities

Men and Women With Warm, Kind Hearts, Cool Heads, and Sound, Unbiased Judgment

At this time God's cause is in need of men and women who possess rare qualifications and good administrative powers; men and women who will make patient, thorough investigation of the needs of the work in various fields; those who have a large capacity for work; those who possess warm, kind hearts, cool heads, sound sense, and unbiased judgment; those who are sanctified by the Spirit of God and can fearlessly say, No, or Yea and Amen, to propositions; those who have strong convictions, clear understanding, and pure, sympathetic hearts; those who practice the words “All ye are brethren”; those who strive to uplift and restore fallen humanity.—Testimonies for the Church 7:249. 9MR 145.1

Leaders Should Have a Living Connection With God

The converting power of truth needs to take hold upon human minds. Men who have been placed in positions of responsibility need to be worked by the Holy Spirit. But while self swells to large proportions, the Holy Spirit can make no impression upon human minds and hearts.... 9MR 145.2

The leaders in our work should be men in such a living connection with God that they can understand His will, and preserve their integrity. The eternal principles of truth are to govern the households of those who have a part to act in the working out of the Lord's plans. In their families the study of the Bible should be given prominence, and its teachings should exert a decided influence. 9MR 145.3

There is no position in life, no phase of human experience, that should not be influenced by the principles of the Word of God. It is to be studied and obeyed, in order to give to men in positions of trust a preparation to mold the work in right lines.—Letter 48, 1910, pp. 1-2. 9MR 145.4

Amenable to Counsel

Link up with your brethren, if you would have them link up with you, and give you their confidence. Confidence and faith will beget confidence and faith. You should gather into your confidence not only your ministering brethren but those with whom you are brought in contact, and show them that you have confidence, and that you believe that they are taught of God as much as you yourself are taught of God. Open your plans before them. One will be free to speak, and another will be free to speak, and they may call your attention to some things that you had not thought of before. 9MR 145.5

God does not open everything to one mind, but he teaches one, and another, and still another. Men are to stand in God, and without having the fear of criticism constantly before them, they are to speak as God shall give them utterance, and to write as God shall dictate. After they have written their thoughts, let them be free to read their articles to their brethren, and let them receive any kindly word or caution that the brethren may see fit to offer in the spirit of brotherly kindness and love.—Letter 53, 1894, p. 8. 9MR 146.1

Recognize Attributes of Laymen

There is danger that ministers, that presidents of conferences, will take too much upon themselves and manifest too little confidence in the people. The people should be educated in such a way that they will search the Scriptures for themselves. The Holy Spirit is to work to mold every man after the similitude of Christ. Men have made a great mistake in not considering that God works through His church. Ministers should give ample encouragement to the individual members of the church and to those whom God shall select to do a special work in maturing thoughtful plans for the saving of the souls of those who are in error. 9MR 146.2

Then there would be no contention, no one striving for the mastery, or seeking to secure the highest places. The Holy Spirit has much to teach the church when it becomes attentive to the voice of divine truth. The Lord would have the teachers of the church lead the people upward, and in no case give the impression that the people have no need to fulfill their individual responsibilities. 9MR 146.3

If they will walk humbly with God, the Holy Spirit will teach them divine truth, and enable them to present the word with power. The apostle says, “We are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building” (1 Corinthians 4:9).—Manuscript 1, 1895, p. 20. 9MR 146.4

Hold the Reins of Presidential Authority

Brother and Sister C came as workers and for the first year they did quite well, but after that the _____ church ran things and did not magnify his office. They would criticize his preaching and dictate to him until he was manipulated like a ball of putty. He was president only in name and he lost his courage and his manhood and had no moral backbone and under this management everything in the conference ran down. 9MR 146.5

And when D was sent here to help them, they put him through the picking machine until his courage was about gone. Brother R has never been in harmony with his brethren. He has been independent, self-conceited, but carries such an appearance of humility that nearly all believed him to be the humblest of men. He was talking against the General Conference and finding fault with the men in responsible positions.—Letter 19, 1884, p. 1. 9MR 147.1

Whole-Hearted Tenderness

We should not place in office men who will exercise a dominating spirit. We need men who manifest a wholehearted tenderness. We must deal with erring ministers and with church members as with God's property, not as though they were school children. We need to remember that we are dealing with men with like passions as ourselves. We cannot use our influence to place in office those who have not a control over their own spirit, or who have a disposition to be easily excited. Such men know not how to deal with human minds. 9MR 147.2

Let every one pledge himself before God to control all passion, and never to take a course that will depress or cast down one whom the Lord Jesus has bought with His precious blood. The Lord will help every one who will trust Him. 9MR 147.3

Preach cheerful discourses, and do not wear the organs of speech by overtaxing yourself. Keep as fresh and as vigorous as possible. Now, just now, is our time to prepare for the higher school above. Let us soften our spirit, and be true as steel to principle. We must humble ourselves, and exalt Jesus Christ. Let no one strive for the mastery, but let all endeavor closely to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. 9MR 147.4

“If any man will come after Me,” says Christ, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). This He asks for our safety and our happiness. As we closely follow Jesus, we become true laborers together with God.—Letter 332, 1906, pp. 1-2. 9MR 147.5

Gentleness, Tenderness, Grace

If you are made president of a conference, you must not mistake your work. You do not altogether comprehend what is included in the work of the president of a conference. You seek to embrace too much. You must not think that your position gives you liberty to rule over God's heritage. When you attempt to rule, your labors are a positive injury. 9MR 148.1

In dealing with the Lord's people, bring gentleness and tenderness and grace into your voice and your words. You need to change in this respect. You need to learn how to deal with minds. Guard yourself against being rash and impulsive and speaking harshly. You need to consider that the effect of your harsh words is deleterious to your own soul and to the souls of those to whom you speak. 9MR 148.2

Do not accept the position of president of the conference unless your spirit is softened and subdued by genuine conversion; for otherwise you cannot fill the position acceptably. You need to become as a little child in meekness and lowliness.—Letter 164, 1902, p. 4. 9MR 148.3


God needs all-sided men, men who will keep the windows of their soul open heavenward, and let His light shine into the chambers of the mind. The Lord has a large interest in His servants, and especially in those who are lowly in heart. He makes impressions upon the minds of the humble workers. They are just as precious in His sight as those who carry large responsibilities and who look with superiority upon those who do not stand in such exalted positions.—Manuscript 115, 1899, p. 5. 9MR 148.4

There are men to whom the Lord Jesus has entrusted responsibilities as leaders. Let them hide self in Christ, that they may know what it means to bear responsibilities in the work of soul-saving. A sense of their own unworthiness will lead them to humble fervent prayer, and earnest seeking of the Lord in humility.—Letter 44, 1910, p. 5. 9MR 148.5

Compassion for the Erring

Many have dealt with the erring as with traitors, when they ought to have been dealt with in the mercy and compassion of Christ. Men have not cherished and cultivated the attributes of His character. If those who accept positions of trust in connection with the work of God appreciate what is involved in rightly carrying out their responsibilities before the universe of heaven, they would rather resign their positions than not bear them to the honor of God. They need daily to be converted, to be clean vessels. A strange delusion is upon the minds of many who claim to be the workmen of God.—Letter 16a, 1895, p. 3. 9MR 148.6

Represent God's Character

Let men be connected with God's work who will represent His character. They may have much to learn in regard to business management, but if they pray to God as did Daniel, if with true contrition of mind they seek that wisdom which comes from above, the Lord will give them an understanding heart. Read carefully and prayerfully the third chapter of James, especially verses 13-18.—Letter 55, 1895, p. 17. 9MR 149.1

Presidents Men of Prayer

Presidents of conferences, you will be wise if you will decide to come to God. Believe in Him. He will hear your prayers, and come to your assistance, in much less time than the public conveyances could take one, two, three, or four men from a long distance, at a great expense, to decide questions which the God of wisdom can decide far better for you. He has promised, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). 9MR 149.2

If you will sincerely humble your hearts before Him, empty your souls of self-esteem, and put away the natural defects of your character, and overcome your love of supremacy, and come to God as little children, He will bestow on you His Holy Spirit. When two or three shall agree as touching anything, and shall ask the Lord, in the name of Jesus, it shall be done for them.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 323-324. 9MR 149.3

Not to Worry or Be Discouraged

(Letter to the President of the General Conference)

You have your work to do. It is a responsible work, but you are not to look at it until it assumes so large proportions that it hides Jesus from your sight.... 9MR 149.4

Thank God that human agents are not constrained to wear the official breastplate. Jesus is able to bear it. He is able to bear all your burdens. You are invited to cast all your care upon Him. He will be your counselor, your everlasting support. The enemy is working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, but you must gird yourself with Christ's righteousness, and tell your experience that others may be benefited. 9MR 150.1

Suffer not this or that event, the want of piety in professors, the lack of godly work in those connected with the cause of God, to confuse and startle you. You have the Word of God. Take it, believe it, plant your feet upon it, and you will find it is solid rock. In Christ you may stand firmly.... 9MR 150.2

As an instrument in the hand of a Master Workman, you may do what you can, but do not worry. Do the best you can and keep cheerful. Though the father of lies will set every conceivable power at work to discourage and make fainthearted the chosen of God, yet do not permit him to triumph over you. I know that a heavy burden rests upon you, and we will try to bear it with you, though we cannot be upon the ground. But Jesus will be close by your side, and daily you may find rest and peace in Him. 9MR 150.3

You need more rest. You are not immortal, and you cannot bear constant strain. You have a divine armor that Satan wants to strip you of. But trust in Jesus like a little child. You are to let your light shine, not to make it shine. Jesus will do that. Let the righteousness of Christ surround you as a garment. Believe that all your knowledge, all your wisdom, will come to you from the Holy One of Israel, who will not fail, nor be discouraged.—Letter 23, 1892. pp. 1,2,3. 9MR 150.4