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Manuscript Releases, vol. 17 [Nos. 1236-1300]

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    MR No. 1242—Talented Speakers Needed for Camp Meetings; Business Men to Handle Financial Matters

    (Report of A portion of A meeting of the executive committee of the California Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association, held in the St. Helena sanitarium library, tuesday forenoon, July 14, 1902. Present: A. T. Jones, W. C. White, A. N. Loper, E. E. Parlin, R. A. Buchanan, W. S. Sadler, L. M. Bowen [members of the committee].)

    Early in the meeting Elder Sadler stated his conviction that it would be best for him to resign as president of the San Francisco Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association, and requested that Elder Corliss be chosen to fill the place.17MR 50.1

    While the board were considering this proposition and questioning the advisability of it, Sister White unexpectedly came in, accompanied by Sister J. Gotzian.17MR 50.2

    Elder White stated that the committee had been considering matters connected with the San Francisco Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association, and that they would be glad for any words of counsel that Sister White might give.17MR 50.3

    Sister White asked what special points were under consideration.17MR 50.4

    A. T. Jones: We were considering, Sister White, the medical missionary and dispensary work in San Francisco.17MR 50.5

    Sister White remarked that she had not yet been given any definite point on which to give counsel. After a short pause, and without waiting for Elder Jones to state any specific points, Sister White spoke, as follows:17MR 50.6

    Mrs. E. G. White: My most recent burden has been to make known to our brethren that during the tent meeting season, those who are especially adapted to labor in camp meetings and other large gatherings are not to be held from these meetings by any city work or local affairs in which they may be interested. In our tent meetings we must have speakers who can make a good impression on the people. The ability of one man, however intelligent this man may be, is insufficient to meet the need. A variety of talents should be brought into these meetings.17MR 50.7

    The medical missionary work is one important phase of the message to present before our brethren and sisters in camp meetings. Our workers should bear a united testimony in regard to this branch of the work. Their words must have the right ring, for all our people should be made familiar with the work that is to be done in this line.17MR 51.1

    A short time ago I understood that the brethren were considering the advisability of inviting Brother Prescott to connect with the Berrien Springs school. But I have been shown that he is to give his entire time neither to editorial work nor to teaching, for over and over again the Lord has revealed to us that our people can be reached best at the camp meetings. We must have the best talent at these meetings.17MR 51.2

    Where is Brother Corliss?17MR 51.3

    A. T. Jones: He has gone home.17MR 51.4

    Mrs. E. G. White: I thought he was not going home.17MR 51.5

    A. T. Jones: He went this morning.17MR 51.6

    W. C. White: If you say what you desire him to hear, a report of it can be sent to him.17MR 51.7

    Mrs. E. G. White: From the light that I have had, I know that it would be far better for Elder Corliss and for the cause if he would not specify the exact line of work that he is to do. He should understand that we are in need of camp meeting laborers, and he should hold himself in readiness to be called to these meetings and to give his best thought to them.17MR 51.8

    I do not know when our ministers will learn to let business and financial matters alone. Over and over again I have been shown that this is not the work of the ministry. They are not to be heavily burdened with the details of city work. They are to be in readiness to go to places where an interest has been awakened in the message, and especially to attend our camp meetings. They are not to hover over cities at the time when these meetings are in progress.17MR 52.1

    Camp meetings must be multiplied. Place after place is to be entered. The interests can be divided, meetings being held in more than one place at the same time, if our men of ability are not kept hovering over the cities at the very time when they could reach many people in large tent meetings. This instruction has been repeated over and over again.17MR 52.2

    A. T. Jones: You have solved our problem. You could not have spoken on our subject any better if we had told you all that we have been talking about this morning.17MR 52.3

    Mrs. E. G. White: I did not know what you were considering, but this matter was presented to me only recently. I did not feel like mentioning it at the time because I thought it had been repeated so many times before that it was fully understood.17MR 52.4

    A. T. Jones: Just before you came in we were discussing whether it would be advisable to assent if it should be suggested that Brother Corliss be president of the San Francisco Medical Missionary Association, which has charge of the medical missionary work in that city.17MR 52.5

    Mrs. E. G. White: It would not be according to the light that I have had. You must find businessmen to fill such positions. If you cannot find them, establish a school to train men to bear these burdens.17MR 52.6

    A. T. Jones: That is the way we were looking at it—just as your testimony has indicated it.17MR 53.1

    Mrs. E. G. White: In this country there is a dearth of ministers who can labor acceptably in our large meetings. Australia, too, has very few such men. Many of the workers have left that field.17MR 53.2

    When we have a camp meeting, the principal speakers are not to hurry back to the cities to attend to business matters connected with various lines of our work. Now is our time to give the message to the people. Over and over again I have been shown that camp meetings and open-air meetings should be held in Los Angeles and in various parts of the community round about. Good speakers should now be proclaiming the message in these places. But the work is not to be confined merely to Los Angeles and vicinity. A long line of meetings should be held in many other places. Camp meetings are to be held where the people are.17MR 53.3

    To fasten a minister to one place by giving him the oversight of business matters connected with the work of the church, is not conducive to his spirituality; for it is not according to the Bible plan as outlined in the sixth of Acts. Study this plan, for it is approved of God. Follow the Word.17MR 53.4

    A. T. Jones: We were inclining in just the direction you have spoken—that Brother Corliss should be at liberty to be used in the field and in the camp meetings, et cetera, instead of being fixed there to that local work as a presiding, leading officer.17MR 53.5

    Mrs. E. G. White: I know his constitution. From what has been presented to me over and over again, I know that for a while he will take hold of a line of work enthusiastically, but after a time he wearies of it, and should have a change. He is not to be held too long in any one place. He should go from place to place, speaking to new congregations. He has done very well in San Francisco, but it is not wisest to keep him over one congregation too long. He has another work to do.17MR 53.6

    A. T. Jones: That is the way we were looking at it.17MR 54.1

    Mrs. E. G. White: Such men as Elder Corliss and Elder Prescott can bear a much needed testimony in our large meetings. These men should be freed from local responsibilities in order that they may be able to attend these large gatherings. Camp meetings result in the accomplishment of but little good when the helpers are inefficient. In these meetings we must make the most of every service, presenting the various phases of the message forcibly, in order to make a good impression. We must reach the people soon. The little time yet remaining in which to work is rapidly growing shorter and still shorter.17MR 54.2

    We should secure the best laborers for our camp meetings. These laborers should do personal work with the people. Let them meet the brethren and sisters in little companies for seasons of prayer. After the presentation of the Word in the large tent, let the minister invite those who do not understand the lesson to go into a smaller tent, where he can study the Word with them, dwelling more fully upon the points brought out in the sermon. Thus the camp meetings will be more educational in nature than they now are.17MR 54.3

    One man is not to do all the speaking either for the old or for the young. Varied talents are to be brought into the services, one laborer speaking at one time and another at another time. Especially in the young people's meetings one speaker should not carry the whole burden. Hearts that are closed to the words of one speaker may be touched by the entreaties of another.17MR 54.4

    Brethren, we need to be melted over. We need to be resoldered.17MR 54.5

    A. T. Jones: Good!17MR 55.1

    W. C. White: That is what our committee needs.17MR 55.2

    A. T. Jones: We appreciate that.17MR 55.3

    Mrs. E. G. White: When we are resoldered we are in touch with the Holy Spirit. If we cannot be resoldered we might just as well stop where we are. We must reach a higher standard spiritually.17MR 55.4

    During the time when camp meetings can be held in this conference, two or three meetings in different places should be in progress at the same time. There is a time when these meetings cannot be held; but during the months when we can use the tents to advantage we are not to confine our efforts to the largest cities. We must give the warning message to the people in every place.17MR 55.5

    Even if the outward circumstances seemingly make it difficult to hold the attention of the people, their interest must not be allowed to flag. To maintain an interest we may find it necessary to work very hard, but we should remember that God has entrusted us with a message that we must bear to the people.17MR 55.6

    We must make more of our camp meetings. As ministers, we must teach in the Spirit, as Christ taught in the Spirit. At the time when the features of a camp meeting are the most discouraging, we should strive the most earnestly to bring in a spirit of hope and confidence in God. We are not to falter when the wheels do not seem to be moving as rapidly as Jehu's chariot wheels moved.17MR 55.7

    “Work out your own salvation,” we are instructed, “with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”17MR 55.8

    Instead of choosing the work most pleasing to us, and refusing to do something that our brethren think we should do, we are to inquire, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” Instead of marking out the way that natural inclination prompts us to follow, we are to pray, “Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path.”—Manuscript 104, 1902.17MR 55.9

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D. C.,

    April 6, 1987.

    Entire Manuscript.