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Revised 09-03-12

Posted 8-6-2005 THE HOLY SABBATH DAY







GREEN FONT = My Own Personal Commentary or the Commentary of Others.

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Please Note: This is just a short Section on Decision Making taken from THE DIVINE MOST HOLY SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, by Sister Ellen G. White. It draws its examples from the Marriage Institution and the Principles involved in choosing a partner, IN THE LORD. There are some other examples, also. The few examples serve as DIVINE GUIDELINES when making any other Decisions in our lives, regardless of whatever the decision may involve. IT IS A SHORT, BUT, MOST VALUABLE PRESENTATION.

Brother Randahl


                                           PRINCIPLES TO EMPLOY IN DECISION MAKING

Feb. 20, 2001 3rd Auburn

We cannot hold that a position once taken, an idea once advocated, is not, under any circumstances, to be relinquished. There is but One who is infallible--He who is the way, the truth, and the life. {TM 105.2}

Better to Break Unwise Engagement.--Even if an engagement has been entered into without a full understanding of the character of the one with whom you intend to unite, do not think that the engagement makes it a positive necessity for you to take upon yourself the marriage vow and link yourself for life to one whom you cannot love and respect. Be very careful how you enter into conditional engagements; but better, far better, break the engagement before marriage than separate afterward, as many do. {AH 48.2}

You may say, "But I have given my promise, and shall I now retract it?" I answer, If you have made a promise contrary to the Scriptures, by all means retract it without delay, and in humility before God repent of the infatuation that led you to make so rash a pledge. Far better


take back such a promise, in the fear of God, than keep it, and thereby dishonor your Maker. {AH 48.3}

Let every step toward a marriage alliance be characterized by modesty, simplicity, sincerity, and an earnest purpose to please and honor God. Marriage affects the afterlife both in this world and in the world to come. A sincere Christian will make no plans that God cannot approve. {AH 49.1}

Prayer Necessary to Right Decision.--If men and women are in the habit of praying twice a day before they contemplate marriage, they should pray four times a day when such a step is anticipated. Marriage is something that will influence and affect your life, both in this world and in the world to come. . . . {AH 71.1}

The majority of the marriages of our time and the way in which they are conducted make them one of the signs of the last days. Men and women are so persistent, so headstrong, that God is left out of the question. Religion is laid aside, as if it had no part to act in this solemn and important matter. {AH 71.2}


Sometimes on Lucifer's Ground.--When a man takes the position that when he has once made a decision he must stand by it, and never to alter his decision, he is on the same ground as was Lucifer when he rebelled against God. He held his plans regarding the government of heaven as an exalted, unchangeable theory. {3BC 1161.6}

No man should think that human opinions are to be immortalized. Any man taking the stand that he will never change his views places himself on dangerous ground. Those who hold the position that their views are unchangeable can not be helped; for they place themselves where they are not willing to receive counsel and admonition from their brethren (Letter 12, 1911). {3BC 1161.7}

Closely connected with Christ's warning in regard to the sin against the Holy Spirit is a warning against idle and evil words. The words are an indication of that which is in the heart. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." But the words are more than an indication of character; they have power to react on the character. Men are influenced by their own words. Often under a momentary impulse, prompted by Satan, they give utterance to jealousy or evil surmising, expressing that which they do not really believe; but the expression reacts on the thoughts. They are deceived by their words, and come to believe that true which was spoken at Satan's instigation. Having once expressed an opinion or decision, they are often too proud to retract it, and try to prove themselves in the right, until they come to believe that they are. It is dangerous to utter a word of doubt, dangerous to question and criticize divine light. The habit of careless and irreverent criticism reacts upon the character, in fostering irreverence and unbelief. Many a man indulging this habit has gone on unconscious of danger, until he was ready to criticize and reject the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." {DA 323.1}


MR No. 1471 - The Fallacy of Thinking Human Ideas and Positions Are Infallible & Unchangeable

(Written circa 1910 or 1911 to H. W. Cottrell.)

I have words to write to you, Elder Cottrell. As my eyes pain me I can scarcely tell your dangers as fully as I would be glad to do. Your idea that the positions you assert are infallible is very dangerous. Your fallibility is shown in claiming that position. The word of God is Yea and Amen. {20MR 224.1}

My brother, you did stand commended of God in a position when you were chosen, so willing to encourage and help Elder Haskell, and the Lord sustained you in doing your duty at a time when your help was especially a great encouragement to him. There were some who were jealous of Elder Haskell and his wife. I will not write the names. The Lord had presented the persons to me. The decided experience of Elder Haskell in connection with Elder James White and myself made the two safe generals in the work. But neither of these men claimed infallibility. {20MR 224.2}

This infallibility is a new experience to come into our work. Their trust was in God, and Elder Haskell, from his earliest labors in connection with Elder James White, in the place of losing confidence in Elder White had his confidence increased in him as a man led and taught of God. Elder James White was received and trusted. He never claimed infallibility. The light given him was always received and always believed because the Holy Spirit accompanied the message of the testimonies entrusted to give to God's people. They had been proved. But there was a class that refused the testimonies and went into fanaticism. {20MR 224.3}

Elder Haskell was rooted and grounded in the light given, coming from the Lord's messenger. I had an experience that I must cherish because it came from God, and the evidence was so very strong that the light was given of God. But fanatical ideas came up and were brought in by men claiming to have light from the Lord. The Lord presented to me the position taken by some as unreliable and unsafe, and this brought about truth in contrast with dangerous error. There were those who refused to see the light and chose their own ways and ideas. The light God had given was refused. It revealed that their own characters were unsafe to be trusted. The truth was pointed out in clear, distinct lines in the light given of God. There were men of great self- confidence


who refused the light God had given, and declared their position to be infallible. Notwithstanding [the fact that] the evidence was sufficient, they refused to receive the light given in the testimonies. {20MR 224.4}

Elder Maxson was a man determined to have his own way. When this light was given, some would accept and some would close their minds and hearts to all the evidence given of the Lord. They followed their own way, and two parties were created, not agreeing among themselves. Those who had taken their stand upon the light given held firmly to the position that the Lord was leading His people through genuine experience; but some who wanted to have their own way in the sanitarium acted out their own disposition, refused all correction of their errors that the Lord had graciously given, and talked their unbelief. Thus two parties have been formed. {20MR 225.1}

Elder Maxson set up a warfare against the light, determined to oppose; and they have continued to do this. Evidence was sufficient, but the ones who opposed the light gave evidence they were not led of the Lord. This has been a great evil and has hindered the advancement of the work of the Lord in reflecting His light to the world. There were the two parties, and when we returned from doing the work in foreign countries, a state of things existed that had to be righted up; and notwithstanding all the evidence given of the correct work to be done, some men determined to carry things their own way, which made the work exceedingly hard. {20MR 225.2}

Elder Cottrell was one who stood in many respects on right ground. But a very strange thing came into our ranks in some of our leading men, that a position that some had, when once taken, was to be held under all events as never to be changed--infallibility. This has proved itself to be a great error. There is reformation to be made in churches. When the light of truth shall come to them, this would create harmonious sentiments, else the ones who now persist in their assumed infallibility would go out from us, as some have done. But some are found to take a position in opposition, which creates disunion, not particularly with the faith received, but in the expression of the faith; and that all that they may do is infallible, when no such things are to be accepted. {20MR 225.3}

If one differs from his brethren and insists he is infallible, he is a dangerous element; if he never yields that he has anything to correct, he is in a dangerous position. {20MR 225.4}

It is a great fallacy in a man [to claim] that because he has accepted certain theories, his ideas are infallible. If others cannot see these things in the same way another sees them, what then? Because he has expressed his faith in that sentiment,


has he immortalized that idea in his mind as unchangeable? There are some who express ideas as the truth, but is that man's mind immortalized? Is his view of matters unchangeable? We need good, sound, common sense. If we have certain ideas of things and another views these things in a different light, and expresses them thus, what shall be done? Withdraw fellowship from him? No, but these objectionable things, if expressed, cause dissension and strife. {20MR 225.5}

I will now refer to some things. The Lord gave me special testimony that such a state of things existed at Healdsburg, that our efforts should not be made to continue it as an important educating center. But a certain brother expresses in his mind sentiments counter to this. Then shall that man's human judgment be expressed as the command of God? This one instance I mention. Shall that brother build up a counterworking? No. Let him keep his impressions to himself; his ideas upon subjects may be incorrect and fallible. {20MR 226.1}

Should he express his individual judgment and exalt that human judgment and immortalize the same as unchangeable? I had been instructed that all such infallibility claimed for any man--that he must not change but hold to as infallibility--is the great mistake of his life. The Lord presented to me that for the college to be at Healdsburg would be a mistake. The moral and religious influence would not be refined, purified, sanctified. {20MR 226.2}

Now I have not been able to sleep after twelve o'clock for two nights because the case of Elder Cottrell has been presented to me. The Lord will use Elder Cottrell if he will give up the idea that plans he may suggest are infallible, never to be revoked. This understanding is an erroneous idea. God does not endorse it. This is the position that Lucifer took. He was next to Christ in the heavenly courts, but decided that he was entitled to a higher position. Read and understand Ezekiel 28:11-18. This matter has been opened to me. When the Lord sought to correct him, he would not be corrected; and when any man in all our ranks shall not be willing to yield up his own way, but will persistently choose to follow his own judgment, carrying the idea that his judgment is unchangeable, he claims infallibility. The Lord has no more any use for him unless he changes his ideas. {20MR 226.3}

There is help for such if they will be helped. They need reconversion. There are men and women in our churches who need reconversion. If they accept an opinion, they first need to search the Word to know from the pure, clean statements of the Word of God if that position is infallible. They are not to take a certain position on important subjects hastily. {20MR 226.4}

I have a very pitiful feeling for those who suppose their position upon some ideas, if once expressed, is not to be changed. If they have, in their human judgment, decided the course that should be taken, circumstances may arise that make necessary a change in their decision. {20MR 227.1}

This is the case at Mountain View, where the work and cause of God demand a change in the position of some, else the Lord cannot use them. Obedience to the way of the Lord will improve their manner of laboring. That an opinion once expressed is infallible is a most dangerous idea as it relates to the working out of the Lord's plans. While in counsel, all present may have laid out certain plans to follow, but as others are informed, intelligent reasons are presented why these plans should be changed. [Remainder missing.]--Letter 156c. 1910.


RH May 10, 1887 BP1004, Col. 2B

When you have a yoke that is galling to the neck, you may know it is not CHRIST’S YOKE; for HE says HIS YOKE is easy. What GOD WANTS of us is to be learning every day of our lives how to build our characters for time and for etrnity. HE DOES NOT want us to get into one channel and never turn out of that: to have fixed ideas, and hold them fast, whether they are right or wrong. HE WILL PLACE us amid trials and difficulties, and when we have learned to overcome obstacles in a right spirit, with high and lofty purpose, HE WILL GIVE us another lesson. And if we have not the meekness of CHRIST to be constantly learning of JESUS IN HIS SCHOOL, then we must know that we have not THE YOKE OF CHRIST.


I trust you found the above examples and principles of Decision Making Most Helpful, and that we will all employ them in our lives to further our upward climb in the Christian Walk, IN THE LORD.


Brother Randahl