See the notes at Matthew 8:19-22.
For years light has been given upon this point, showing the necessity of following up an interest that has been raised, and in no case leaving it until all have decided that lean toward the truth and have experienced the conversion necessary for baptism and united with some church or formed one themselves. There are no circumstances of sufficient importance to call a minister from an interest created by the presentation of truth. Even sickness and death are of less consequence than the salvation of souls for whom Christ made so immense a sacrifice. Those who feel the importance of the truth, and the value of souls for whom Christ died, will not leave an interest among the people for any consideration. They will say: Let the dead bury their dead. Home interests, lands and houses, should not have the least power to attract from the field of labor. If ministers allow these temporal things to divert them from the work, the only course for them to pursue is to leave all, possess no lands or temporal interests which will have an influence to draw them from the solemn work of these last days. One soul is of more value than the entire world. How can men who profess to have given themselves to the sacred work of saving souls, allow their small temporal possessions to engross their minds and hearts, and keep them from the high calling they profess to have received from God? 2T 540.1
I saw, Brother A, that your influence in the vicinity of ----- and ----- has done great injury to the cause of God. I knew what that influence was while you were at Battle Creek last. As I have been writing out important matter for ministers, your case has been brought before me, and I intended ere this to have written you; but it was impossible. For three nights I have slept but little. Your case has been upon my mind almost constantly. I was mentally writing to you in my sleep, and also when awake. When I recognized in the congregation the very individuals that had been injured by your influence, I should have brought the matter out, had you been present. Not one word from any mortal was intimated to me in regard to your course. I felt compelled to speak to one or two in reference to the matter, stating to them that I recollected their countenances in connection with some things shown me in regard to you. Then, very reluctantly, facts were related to me confirming all I had stated to them. I have said only what I believed I should say in the fear of God, discharging my duty as His servant. 2T 541.1
Two years ago I saw that you and your wife were both very selfish, grasping persons. Your own selfish interests were dearer to you than souls for whom Christ died. I was shown that you were not generally successful in your labors. You have the ability to present the truth; you have an investigating mind; and if it were not for the many defects in your Christian character, you could accomplish good. But, for many reasons, you have not made the preaching of the truth a success. One of the greatest curses of your life, Brother A, has been your supreme selfishness. You have been figuring for your own advantage. You both have made yourselves the center of sympathy and attention. When you go to a place and enter a family, you throw your whole weight upon them, let them cook for you and wait upon you; and neither of you seeks to do as much work as you make. The family may be toiling hard, bearing their own burdens and yours; but you are both so selfish that you cannot see that they are worn and that you are both physically better able than they to perform the labor which they do for you. Brother A, you are too indolent to please God. When wood or water is needed, you do not know it, and you let these be brought by those who are already overworked, and frequently by females, when these little errands, these courtesies of life, are what you need to perform for the benefit of your health. You are full of flesh and blood, and do not exercise half enough for your own good. The indolence you manifest, and the disposition to grasp everything whereby you may be advantaged, has been a reproach to the truth and a stumbling block to unbelievers. 2T 542.1Read in context »