Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Lt 206, 1907

Tenney, J. E.

St. Helena, California

June 3, 1907

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 358.

Elder J. E. Tenney
Graysville, Tennessee

Dear Brother:

I have words of caution to give you. You are in danger of crowding yourself with too many responsibilities. It would not be wise for you to try to carry on a school in addition to the important work you already have. This work demands all your talents. 22LtMs, Lt 206, 1907, par. 1

There are many branches of the work in which you are engaged that may be made to strengthen and further the work of the third angel’s message. Do not bring in a strange work in order to carry out certain ideas of your own which you suppose to be superior. There is a work for you to do, and there is a work for Elder Butler to do. There is a work to be done in establishing schools for the colored people of different grades. There is need of especial help at Huntsville and other centers in the South. We are greatly in need of a corps of workers who will labor unitedly. 22LtMs, Lt 206, 1907, par. 2

When a laborer has found his place in the work, it is not wise for him to step out and take upon himself some other duties that will interfere with his appointed work. Do not let your desire to do a new work lead you to step in and do a work that is already being done in the way of the Lord’s appointment. Brethren Sutherland and Magan are carrying forward a work under the Lord’s direction. 22LtMs, Lt 206, 1907, par. 3

I am instructed to say to you, Brother Tenney, Move guardedly, and under the guidance of the Lord. Before you take up a new work, be assured that you have your orders from the right source. “If any man lack wisdom,” God says, “let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith nothing wavering; for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed; for let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” [James 1:5-7.] The Lord will guide and instruct all who will yield themselves to His guidance and control. 22LtMs, Lt 206, 1907, par. 4

We must guard against the coming in of a spirit of rivalry. The spirit of strife for the mastery will create an influence that does not tend to unify, but to cause difference and contention. If the spirit of unity that breathed in Christ’s last prayer for His disciples were brought into the experience of the workers, we should see each one, not seeking to outdo his fellow workers, but seeking to do his appointed work in a spirit and manner that God can approve. God calls for a change among His people. He demands from them a manifestation of unity and love. 22LtMs, Lt 206, 1907, par. 5

Every man is amenable to God for the use he makes of his talents. Every worker in the cause should regard his talents as lent goods. We are God’s hired servants. From age to age Christ has delivered His treasures to the church, and from one generation to another His faithful servants have improved the talents lent them. The gifts that eighteen hundred years ago He placed in the hands of His chosen ministers, the twelve apostles, have descended to His workers in this age. Yet how few of us realize our high privileges and our true position as ministers of His grace. The talents we possess are to be used in the work of saving the souls ready to perish. With His own life the Saviour paid the price of our willing service. In accepting any position of trust in His cause, we are to hold that trust as sacred, realizing that we are the stewards of His grace. If with sanctified hearts we seek to render faithful service to God, we shall hold each talent as a consecrated gift, and the humblest service will be accounted a joy because we are doing it for the Master. 22LtMs, Lt 206, 1907, par. 6

The Lord’s servants should pray more and humble their hearts before God. He wants His workers to weed out from the heart every trace of selfishness, every desire that would lead to the exaltation of self, and take up with a humble heart the work He places in their hands to do. Beware, my brother, lest you hasten to take up a work that you are not best prepared to do, and which if you attempt will end in defeat. Take up with cheerfulness the work to which God has appointed you. Do not seek to grasp many lines of work; for if you do, you will certainly fail. 22LtMs, Lt 206, 1907, par. 7

“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.” [1 Peter 3:8.] “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” [Philippians 2:3, 4.] 22LtMs, Lt 206, 1907, par. 8

Watch unto payer. The Holy Spirit can help all our infirmities. Pray, believe, and rejoice in the promise of the soon coming of the Master. 22LtMs, Lt 206, 1907, par. 9