I am very happy indeed to know that you are inviting the laymen to follow the Ministerial Reading Course. There are many, many laymen who are capable of carrying the advanced study that the brethren in the ministry are carrying, and with some encouragement I feel sure that many would enroll. For many years I have served on the conference committees, so know something concerning the problems and the work of the ministry. As a young businessman I laid out for myself the same stiff program of study and work that is followed by those in the ministry, and in addition I have conducted a successful business. I am sure that this was accomplished as a result of having a definite plan, and then working to that plan.
Heeding the admonition of the "Testimonies," I selected this place in which to settle down, establish an industry, and do missionary work. There were no believers in the third angel's message here when I came, but the Lord was very good and gave us souls who were willing to work, and today we have in this community five churches composed of good Christian people.
Sometimes it may seem to the laymen that these courses are rather heavy. But many times information that we acquire and think to be of no value at the time, is just what we need later on.
Recently I took my family on a vacation into the Southwest. On my way, I spent Sabbath in Joplin, Missouri, where I was asked to speak at the morning service. A policeman happened to come in and hear my study. The folks asked me to give another study in the afternoon, and then I was invited to meet a lawyer who was opposed to the truth. When I came to his home, I found the policeman there also. I immediately found myself in a debate with a legally trained mind, and I was deeply thankful for the information that I had accumulated through the past years by reading the Ministerial Reading Course books.
After our discussion, the policeman asked to see me alone, and came to the park where my "Covered Wagon" trailer was parked. I studied with this man far into the night, had prayer with him, and then I had to leave. Later I wrote to him, pressing upon him the truth and its claims, but did not hear from him_untiLrny return home. I quote from his letter:
"I have delayed writing to you until there was something really worthwhile to tell. I attended the Nebraska camp meeting in August, was baptized while there, and last Sabbath was admitted to the Joplin church, for which I am truly thankful. I am taking this means of thanking you for your kind assistance at a time when I was discouraged and tempted to give up the whole thing."
I thank the Lord for this soul. How terrible it would have been if through carelessness I had not been prepared to meet the arguments put forth by a misguided legal mind.
O. J. FORMAN.