Unerring Counsel for Executives

Those who are tempted to feel that the counsels of the Testimonies were good enough for the earlier leaders, but a bit behind the needs of the present hour, remind me of Carlyle.

By L. K. DICKSON, President, Northern California Conference

To the conference president, the counsels found in the Spirit of prophecy are most practical and of unsurpassable value. The growing complexity and difficulty of the work, and the fact that it has entered upon a more advanced and much more exacting stage of development, call for adjustment and restate­ment of plans and programs in the light of the new outlook in the realms of thought and human relations. This cannot be safely done without the guidance of the voice of God in pointing out the primitive principles and foundations of God's great program.

Those who are tempted to feel that the counsels of the Testimonies were good enough for the earlier leaders, but a bit behind the needs of the present hour, remind me of Car­lyle. He paused on an Italian mountain path, looked at the figure of Christ hanging on the cross, and, shaking his head, said, "Poor fel­low, you have had your day." Was Carlyle right? Has Christ had His day? Has the Christ of the beginning failed to be the Christ of the ending? You answer No, and rightly so. Neither, then, have the counsels of the Spirit of prophecy had their day. Carlyle lived to see the day when he retracted his statement. He knew, finally, that the day of Christ was just beginning.

Just so it is with the Spirit of prophecy. Its greatest day is just now dawning. In it we find words which speak calmness and heal­ing and power and wisdom in this stormy, troubled hour. In it we find the counsel with which to meet every emergency. In it we find the comfort and guidance which is an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast, in a day when everything of eternal value seems to be slipping away.

Without doubt we need more leaders who are able to deal in large dimensions. Why? Because the world work of this cause is the largest unaccomplished task on earth. It em­braces every man, woman, and child of every nation and race, in the whole range of individ­ual life and of human relationships. It in­volves the greatest problems and issues which can engage the minds of men. It therefore demands the keenest insight in solving the most intricate problems which men have ever been called to face.

A mark of true leadership in our work now, as in every hour of crisis, is that of attentiveness to the voice of God. Sensitive­ness to the ordering of Heaven is needed by the leaders of the church today. In his su­premely important work as administrator of the things of God, the president of a confer­ence should give constant evidence that he recognizes the moving, beckoning hand of his Lord. He should be able to discern the times and the season for advance moves to be made, and the plane of principles which must guide and underlie successful service in this great cause. In all of this, he is continually in need of counsel—tried, unerring counsel which touches every problem of his many-sided work. This can be found alone in the divinely indited counsel of the Spirit of prophecy writ­ings.

It is my deep belief that, as leaders of the people of God, we need to know these great writings better. We must spend more time pondering deeply the counsel of Heaven which has been given in love, that we might not lead the precious flock of God astray, or flim­sily build the fabric of God's cause which must stand the stress and strain of these mighty closing days. We must seek a more heroic practice of the things which God has said to this people. We must contemplate and medi­tate upon the instruction which God would have His people receive. We must diffuse among the laity the things to which God is calling His people just now.

It seems nothing short of tragic that any in positions of responsibility and leadership in this great movement should deprive them­selves of the counsel of these messages which God has sent to this people. How can we, if we have any understanding of the seriousness of the times through which we are passing, of the gigantic task before us, and of the tremendous odds against us in Satanic maneu­vers, neglect this great source of divine wis­dom and guidance?

There is need now of a great awakening among the rank and file of both workers and laity to the resources of understanding and counsel which are at the command of this people in these tremendous hours of uncer­tainty, confusion, and bewilderment. This is no time to be taking things for granted or to take counsel of our own intellect and judg­ment in the conduct of the work of God. We have come into times which call loudly for omnipotent power, divine wisdom, spiritual understanding, and unerring leadership, not only that the ground already won for Christ shall be held, but that the frontiers of the message may be widened throughout all the earth, and the task speedily finished.

Let us as leaders in the advent movement lay a firmer hold upon the wise counsel of God through the writings of the Spirit of prophecy, and avail ourselves of every direc­tion which He has given us for the completion of the work which has been placed in our hands to do quickly. Surely all that God has said to this people should be known and under­stood by those who would lead this people wisely and safely.


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By L. K. DICKSON, President, Northern California Conference

June 1939

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