The terrible inroads being made by the liquor traffic, with its far-reaching consequences, into all classes of society, is a mighty challenge to the ministry of Seventh-day Adventists. Who, in his soul, has not cried out against this thing? Who has not said in his prayers again and again, "O God, help me to smash this evil traffic that is destroying so many thousands" ? We all recognize that something must be done, and it must be done quickly.
This sentiment has been growing in proportion to the blatant disregard for law on the part of the liquor interests, until it has swelled into a mighty roar of demand. Crystallized into one sentence, the demand is: Something Must Be Done to Combat the Liquor Traffic! In harmony with this aroused attitude on the part of our people, the following action was voted at the last Autumn Council :
"Whereas, the present deplorable situation regarding the use of intoxicants in our country demands that we enlist all our people in a great battle against the liquor traffic ; and
"Whereas, In the past, temperance societies within our churches have functioned effectively ;
"We recommend, 1. That a temperance society with the necessary complement of officers be organized in every church.
"2. That secretaries best fitted for this work be appointed in all conferences where no assignment has been made."
To a large extent the success of the temperance program for 1943 will depend upon the attitude of the local pastor or district leader in co-operation with the conference temperance secretary. A temperance society leader and secretary-treasurer should be elected in the usual way in every church. The temperance society meeting should be held on the second Tuesday night of each month, or at some other time designated by the church board. The material for these meetings will be sent to the temperance leaders from the office of the American Temperance Society before the first of each month.
A leaflet stating the objectives of the society, duties of officers, etc., will soon be placed in the hands of the officers. The young people should be given a prominent part on each program and encouraged to be active in this field. The local temperance society should seek to co-operate with the existing dry organizations in the community. Persons of ability should be encouraged to conduct temperance meetings before clubs, churches, young people's groups, schools, etc. The local pastor or district leader is urged to give impetus to this work by enthusiastically taking part in the programs and by giving careful direction to the work.
We are facing a deeply entrenched, far-reaching octopus, whose tentacles are wrapped about the bodies and souls of millions today. The liquor traffic will brook no curtailment or interference in its work. This attitude enlarges the challenge to us as ministers and workers in this cause. We must, because of the very nature of the liquor traffic and our position as workers for God, do all within our power to combat this evil. The messenger of the Lord asks this question: "Why are we not putting forth much more decided efforts to oppose the liquor traffic ? . . Have we not a solemn responsibility to put forth earnest efforts in opposition to this great evil ?"—"Counsels on Health," p. 432. Let us organize wisely and well for an all-out battle in 1943. May God bless each minister and worker as we look forward with great expectancy to a mighty struggle against this deeply entrenched evil.
"Oh, what a work there is before the faithful watchman who must quickly warn the people of the perils of these last days ! How important it is that God's messengers shall call the attention of statesmen, of editors, of thinking men everywhere, to the deep significance of the drunkenness and the violence now filling the land with desolation and death! As faithful colaborers with God, we must bear a clear, decided testimony on the temperance question."—Mrs. E. G. White, in Review and Herald, Oct. 25, 1906.