163. The Principles of How to Treat Work Arrangements

(1) Work arrangements, sermons, and fellowship represent the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work and God’s current will. They must be accepted, obeyed, and put into practice;

(2) It is necessary, in doing one’s duty well, to adhere strictly to the principles of the work arrangements. One must never do things as they wish, by their own means, thereby walking the path of the antichrists;

(3) Work arrangements, sermons, and fellowship are illuminated and enlightened by the Holy Spirit. They are counted as human knowledge, and must never supplant God’s words or be treated as His words;

(4) Work arrangements, sermons, and fellowship must be enacted swiftly and decisively, without cutting corners, in order to ensure the attainment of the Holy Spirit’s work and the effective performance of duty.

Relevant Words of God:

In their work, church leaders and workers must pay attention to two things: One is to do their work exactly according to the principles stipulated by the work arrangements, never violating those principles and not basing their work on anything that they might imagine or on any of their own ideas. In everything they do, they should show concern for the work of God’s house, and always put its interests first. Another thing—and this is most crucial—is that in all things, they must focus on following the Holy Spirit’s guidance and do everything in strict keeping with God’s words. If you are still capable of going against the Holy Spirit’s guidance, or if you stubbornly follow your own ideas and do things according to your own imagination, then your actions will constitute a most serious resistance against God. Frequently turning your back on the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit will only lead to a dead end. If you lose the work of the Holy Spirit, then you will not be able to work; and even if you do somehow manage to work, you will accomplish nothing. These are the two main principles to abide by while working: One is to perform your work in exact accordance with the arrangements from the Above, as well as to act according to the principles that have been set forth by the Above; and the other is to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit within you. Once these two points are grasped, you will not be so liable to make mistakes.

Excerpted from “The Main Principles of Work for Leaders and Workers” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

Work arrangements are the specific arrangements and requirements made by the house of God for a certain piece of work. They require implementation and communication by the leaders and workers, and represent the stipulations, tasks, and methodology for a particular piece of work that are issued to all church members. This is the definition of “work arrangements.”

What are the projects within the work arrangements? Everyone knows the word “project,” but what do they entail? They should have some specific content, should they not? (They should.) The first, church administrative work, is the biggest. If administrative work is not done properly, then a church is a church in name only. The second, personnel work, is a big one. The third, the work of the gospel, is big as well. The fourth, professional work, has a fairly large scope and includes film, text-based work, translation, music, video production, art design, and so on. The fifth is the life of the church. The sixth is financial management work. The seventh is the work of cleansing the churches. The eighth is external affairs work. The ninth is church welfare—for instance, providing solutions and taking action when brothers and sisters are experiencing problems at home, as well as visiting brothers and sisters in prison and caring for their families. All such things are parts of church welfare. The tenth is emergency plans. Sometimes, the church issues emergency measures. When the pandemic occurred, for example, the church took necessary isolation measures. Such things are all part of emergency work. The work arrangements basically encompass these ten projects. All other minor matters or special cases fall within these ten projects; the work of churches is basically these ten broad projects. Does the scope of the work arrangements issued by the house of God basically include these things? (Yes.) Now, with these ten projects identified, everyone should have some idea about the house of God’s work arrangements and be aware that these are major work tasks of the house of God, that they are what is within the scope of the responsibilities that the house of God required of the leaders and workers. As a leader or a worker, this is the full purview of your work, which also means that none of your responsibilities are outside the scope of this work. The entire scope of your work is included in these projects of the work arrangements, and none can be left out. If there are things outside of this work that you wish to do and can do well, then do them; God’s house does not demand that you do so; it makes no demands of you beyond the scope of these ten projects. Thus, as you work, you must reflect on where the work is done badly, how it should be done, what the work arrangements require, what the house of God requires, what specific work you are required to do, how it is to be implemented, whether it has been implemented properly, how it is coming along, whether you have been following up, whether there have been any deviations or omissions, and whether every participant in the work is doing it. You must consider such things constantly.

Excerpted from “Identifying False Leaders (9)” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

After receiving work arrangements, leaders and workers must first fellowship and digest the work arrangements’ various requirements, and the details and principles of these requirements. After that, they must find a path, a plan by which to carry out and implement these arrangements so that their implementation is more detailed and specific. Before all else, they must be aware of what the work arrangements require, what must be done, what the principle is, and what people and area of work they are targeted at. This is the first thing leaders and workers should do after they receive the work arrangements, instead of just flicking through them then reading them out to everyone, or else just sending them out and notifying people of them, and nothing more—that’s just passing the work arrangements on, sending them out, it is not bringing them to fruition. The first specific job of implementing work arrangements is that, before all else, leaders and workers must try to understand the work arrangements’ specific contents and requirements, the Above’s aims and requirements for this work, and its significance—after which they must produce a specific plan to execute and bring them to fruition. This is the first step, which should be easy to achieve. In addition to being able to understand the text, to achieve the first step leaders and workers must also have a conscientious and responsible attitude toward work, rather than being casual and insouciant, winging it, going through the motions. Whether or not these work arrangements have been put forward before, regardless of if this work is easily achievable or involves some difficulty, no matter whether people are willing to do it or not, and so on—regardless, the attitude that people should have toward work arrangements should not be perfunctory, it should not be one of “admiring flowers whilst galloping past on horseback,” they should not just read the text and make a fuss over its superficialities, or repeat slogans. What should their attitude be? Before all else, they must have an attitude that is serious, conscientious, responsible, and rigorous. So is it the case that they need only have such an attitude, and understand and appreciate the specific contents and items of the work arrangements, to be able to properly implement this work? No. This is merely the attitude that people should have whilst doing a certain piece of work; it is not a replacement for carrying out specific work. So what should leaders and workers do once they have this attitude and, at the same time, understand the specific contents, requirements and principles of the work arrangements? The next step is how to execute what is required by the work arrangements; there is specific work to be done.

Excerpted from “Identifying False Leaders (10)” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

Regardless of the category of work arrangement, if it is to be communicated by a leader or worker, then before anything else—and after having accurately and correctly understood the work arrangements without adding any of their own embellishments—the leader or worker must find a way, based on the local environment, to communicate these work arrangements to those below them without cease or delay. As to who the work arrangements are communicated to, if the house of God says they must be passed on to the various tiers of leaders and workers, including those at the level of church leader, church deacon, and church preacher, then that is the level they should be communicated to, and no further. If communication is to every brother and sister, then, in strict accordance with the house of God’s requirements, work arrangements should be conveyed to every brother and sister. If, due to the environment, communicating the work arrangements in text form is inconvenient—if it poses a risk, or will involve a lot of trouble—the main, important content of the work arrangements should be accurately communicated to each person in oral form. And what must be done for them to be considered “communicated”? If they are communicated in text form, it must be ensured that everyone has a copy, that everyone is aware of the work arrangements, and takes them seriously. If the work arrangements are conveyed orally, the recipient must be repeatedly asked whether they are clear to them, and if they can remember them. You can even make the person repeat them back to you; if they can, and do so clearly, and are aware of what the requirements, principles, and specific content of the house of God are, then this proves that the work arrangements are in their head, that they remember them, and clearly understand them. Only then will the work arrangements have been truly communicated to these people. If such factors as the conditions and environment are suitable, and appropriate for written communication, then communication must be written; if environmental factors do not permit written communication, and oral communication is required, then it must be ensured that the content passed on by the person doing the oral communication is identical to the work arrangements themselves, that there is no deviation, or the addition of their own personal interpretation, and it is, rather, a reproduction of the original text—in which case the work arrangements will have been faithfully communicated. Communication should be wholly in accordance with what was specifically stated in the work arrangements, instead of being embellishments and groundless speculation based on their own personal interpretations and imaginings, or even including additions and redactions. When it comes to “accurate communication,” people should appreciate how rigorous the requirements are for communicating work arrangements. Some people ask, “Should communication be flawless?” There’s no need for that. Robots have to be flawless; for people, even being able to achieve accurate communication is impressive enough. For example, the work arrangements of the house of God require that God’s chosen ones eat and drink the words of God about knowing God. Some people ask, “Can I read it if the words about knowing God include how to differentiate between the incarnation, and prophets and spiritual people?” The person doing the communicating says, “The work arrangements say you are not permitted to read this, that you must ignore any words that include such content, and must not read them.” Is this what the work arrangements said? The work arrangements didn’t say anything about this, so just pass on what the work arrangements said; don’t add your own personal meaning or interpretation. The work arrangements merely provide a scope for people; people can read other, related texts, but if they misinterpret them, and overlay their own notions and interpretations, and communicate things that are superfluous, then have they gone astray? This is not accurate communication; it is adding your own embellishments, and speaking nonsense. Individual work arrangements must, first and foremost, be communicated accurately, passed on from leaders and workers to the leaders and workers lower down, and on until they reach every brother and sister—that is what “communication” means. Communication is according to the method and scope required by the house of God. Of course, the content that is communicated must be accurate and without error; misinterpretations must not be introduced before it is passed on as the official work arrangements—that would not be accurate, and would be a dereliction of duty on the part of leaders and workers.

Excerpted from “Identifying False Leaders (9)” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

After receiving a work arrangement, the ultimate goal is not simply to implement it to the extent of passing it on and sending it out; implementation in theory is not the same as genuine implementation, and cannot be considered true execution of the work arrangement; this is just notifying people in theory, making most of them aware of this job. It does not count as fulfilling one’s responsibility, nor is it ultimately the standard required by God. Passing on and sending out a piece of work arrangement is not the aim; the aim is to implement it. So how, specifically, should it be implemented? The leaders and workers must call together the relevant brothers and sisters and other leaders and workers at various level to fellowship how this work is to be carried out, whilst also selecting the main supervisors and main members to execute this work. The first order of business in leaders and workers’ implementation of this work is to fellowship—to fellowship how to act in accordance with principle, and in accordance with this work arrangement of the house of God, and in a way that implements and executes this work arrangement of the house of God. At the same time as fellowshiping, the brothers, sisters, leaders and workers should propose various solutions before ultimately selecting the one that is most appropriate, and most in line with principle, choosing the ways and steps that are most in line with principle, and what to do first, then next, so that the work proceeds in an orderly fashion. It’s not enough that after understanding the theory, people stop having problems, they stop imagining things, they stop resisting the work, and are able to appreciate the significance and purpose of this work arrangement of the house of God. What must also be considered is who is most suited and adept at this work, who can bear the responsibility of it, who has the ability to complete it; a person must be chosen to undertake this work, and the plans finalized, the schedule set, and the data and material necessary for completion fully prepared and clarified—only then is the work being implemented. Of course, detailed, one-on-one discussions should also be held with the supervisor of the project prior to implementation, asking them whether they have done such work before, and what their views on it are, letting them talk about their ideas. They may say, “My idea is to first do this, then that. I need this person to work with me—as I understand it, they have done this work before, they have some experience of it—so I wish for them to be transferred here to work with me, do you think that’s ok? This work also requires several pieces of equipment, how can they be purchased? Who knows how to choose the equipment? Will we be swindled? None of us are experts at this, and in today’s world, every industry has its fair share of fraudsters—so we must find a way to get a professional to help us choose.” During the implementation process, are these the kinds of problems that arise, and content that should be fellowshiped? What’s more, when the house of God requires this work to be done, should one seek how to carry it out in a way that does not violate principle? Topics that should be fellowshiped by leaders and workers and the relevant supervisors also include whether there is a timeframe for the project, how long it should take to complete, whether there are any specific rules when it comes to specialist tasks, and so on. “Implementation” is more than spoken theory; it involves the progress of corresponding work, and certain questions and problems that the follow-up work entails. These should all be considered by leaders, workers, and supervisors when they are implementing work arrangements. Which is to say, before taking any actual action, this is the kind of fellowshiping, analysis, and discussion that should be carried out; this is what is meant by implementation. Such implementation is one facet of the approach that should be exhibited by leaders and workers involved in specific projects. Is this what should be done by leaders and workers? And does doing so mean they are participating? If the leader says, “I don’t know how to do this work, either. Anyway, it’s been handed over to you, the work arrangements have been communicated and issued to you, I’ve told you the related matters. Whether you know how to do this, whether you do it, how you do it, whether you do it well or not, how long it takes you—that’s all up to you, don’t come running to me, it has nothing to do with me; doing this much counts as me having fulfilled my responsibility.” Is this something leaders and workers should say? (No.) What kind of person are they if a leader says such a thing? They are a false leader. At the advent of new work arrangements, or some major matter, they say: “You do it, I don’t know how to. Anyway, you understand everything, you’re a professional—I’m just a layman.” This is the false leader’s favorite saying; they find an excuse, then slip away.

When a true leader, one who is able to fulfill their responsibilities, implements a piece of work to a high level of specificity and detail, then they are fulfilling their responsibilities. Having implemented the house of God’s present work arrangements to this point, they continue to observe and keep track of how implementation is going—whilst, at the same time, being capable of countermeasures and solutions when unexpected circumstances occur, rather than doing a disappearing act, or throwing up their arms—this is what “hands on” implementation means. When a major work arrangement is issued, the leaders and workers should take charge of this work as the most important work of the time, getting involved and keeping track of it, being “hands on” within the scope of work of related work arrangements, whilst also keeping an eye of other work projects, asking after them, keeping track, monitoring; this is the responsibility of leaders and workers. If you are fearful that you will fail to implement this work properly, that you will be remiss in following it up, that you will fail to fulfill the responsibilities of leaders and workers, then you should put everything you have into it. Because the house of God has repeatedly stressed that this work must be done well, and that if it is not done well, the leaders and workers will be neglecting their duties and at risk of being replaced, you must devote all your time and effort to the implementation of this work. If other work is progressing in an orderly manner, it can be entrusted to the management of another, suitable person, and it’s enough to simply inquire and help with any special issues when you have time. Can you work like this?

Excerpted from “Identifying False Leaders (9)” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

Keeping an eye on things is its own individual job. In addition to keeping an eye on how well the work arrangements are being carried out, it is also necessary to look at whether leaders and workers are acting in strict accordance with the work arrangements. After receiving the work arrangements, there are leaders and workers who say all the right things when you’re talking to them face-to-face: “We’ve already decided who’s going to do what, who will be responsible for what.” After returning to their homes, though, they drop out of sight; afraid of being arrested, they go into hiding, and for a long time have no contact with the brothers and sisters, who have no idea if there are work arrangements, or whether they are being carried out; these leaders and workers have no sense of urgency toward the requirements of the work arrangements, and do nothing to implement them. So, too, are there leaders and workers who, toward some requirements of the work arrangements, have certain opinions, and are resistant, and have notions—and who, after returning to their homes, are deviant in their implementation, who do not carry them out as originally intended, but according to their own inclinations, distilling them into a simpler form or taking their own path, doing what they want to, and so on. Senior leaders and workers need to keep an eye on all of this. The aim of keeping an eye on things is to do a better job of executing everything required by the work arrangements according to principle, and without deviation. While keeping an eye on things, if there are discovered people who are not working, who do not take responsibility, who carry out the work arrangements very slowly, who are antagonistic toward the work arrangements, being resistant and picky about implementing them, or simply do not act in accordance with the work arrangements, and run their own operation, and if there are those who go so far as to conceal the true facts and deceive the brothers and sisters, keeping them ignorant of the specific requirements, related issues, and intent behind the arrangements, and merely passing on the word, or informing the brothers and sisters as they please, and so on—then these problems must be handled and solved by senior leaders and workers. If leaders and workers do not keep an eye on things, and merely communicate and guide from above, then these problems cannot be identified. And so, when executing work arrangements, and after providing guidance, leaders and workers must, in addition to communicating them to each level, also monitor the work at every level. Regional leaders must monitor the work of district leaders; district leaders must monitor the work of the leaders of each church; and the leaders of each church must monitor the work of teams. What is the aim of this monitoring? It is in order to do a better job of accurately executing work arrangements according to their specific requirements. Thus, the work of keeping an eye on things is of great importance. While monitoring, and if the environment permits, leaders and workers must delve deep into what’s happening on the ground, questioning individual people, observing, making inquiries, trying to find out more, and familiarizing themselves with how the work is being implemented; at the same time, they must also try to find out more about the brothers and sisters’ difficulties and ideas with regard to carrying out this work, whether they have gained any knowledge, whether they have a grasp of the principles of this work—all this is the specific work that should be carried out by leaders and workers. With those church leaders who are of relatively poor caliber, who do not have much sense of responsibility when performing their work, who are of relatively poor humanity, and lack commitment, and are relatively lazy, supervision is especially important. And how is this supervising carried out? “Hurry up! The Above is waiting for us to complete this task, this work has a time limit, we can’t delay.” Is this the right way to supervise? Is it just a case of hurrying people along? What is the best way to supervise people? When you see those who are struggling, you provide specific guidance and assistance, you coach them; when you see those who are being lazy, you deal with and prune them. If they can do something but are too lazy, if they dawdle and procrastinate in their work, and covet the comforts of the flesh, then when such situations require them to be dealt with, they should be dealt with. And what if the problem hasn’t been solved after they have been dealt with, and there hasn’t been any change in their attitude? First give them a warning: “This work is very important. If you approach it with such an attitude again, you will be relieved of your duty and replaced by someone else. If you don’t want to do it, someone else will. You have no commitment toward your duty, you are not fit to do this work. If you are not up to the task, if your flesh cannot bear this hardship, the house of God can replace you, or you can submit your resignation. If you do not resign, and still want to do this work, then do a better job, do it according to the requirements and principles of the house of God. And if that is beyond you, and you keep procrastinating—which affect the progress of work, and damages the work—then the house of God will have to discipline you, and you’ll be on your way.” If they are willing to repent after being warned, then they can stay. But if, after repeated warnings, there is no change in their attitude, and they do not repent at all, and stay the same, then is the answer to the problem not to dismiss them? It shouldn’t be the case that when someone has some small fault or problem, you latch onto it and don’t let go; give them a chance, and if they change, and are willing to repent, and are much better than they were before, then let them stay. If you keep giving them chances and fellowship with them over and over again, and dealing with them and pruning them does not work, and the warnings do not work, and anyone trying to help them does not work, then this is no ordinary problem; this person’s humanity is too poor, they do not accept the truth at all, and so they are not able to undertake this duty. Send them away—they are unworthy of performing duty. That is how such matters are sorted out.

Excerpted from “Identifying False Leaders (10)” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

Right after the work of supervising comes the work of checking up. Usually, the work of checking up is aimed at whether the organization of a certain item of work has been effective, and once the work has been organized, how far subsequent work has gotten, whether it has been completed, and how well—how effectively and efficiently—it has been completed, to what extent those involved in the work carried it out, whether or not any specific problems were identified, whether there were any difficulties, whether it was carried out according to principle, and so on. Checking up on work that you have previously organized is a specific and necessary piece of work. Some leaders and workers often make the following mistake: They think that once they have organized the work, that’s it; they think, “I’ve completed my mission and fulfilled my responsibility; in any case, I told you how to do it, you are aware of this now, and you promised to do it, so what comes after has nothing to do with me, just give me a shout when you’ve finished.” After organizing the work, they go into hiding. They don’t check up on the progress or latest developments in the work, nor on whether those they arranged to do this work are suitable and appropriate, or how the majority of people are approaching the work; nor do they check up on whether their own plans for the implementation of this work have received good feedback, and are appropriate, whether there is anything wrong with them, or there are any places they have misinterpreted or that are at odds with the Above’s work arrangements. They pay no attention to any of this, but think that after making arrangements, there is nothing more to be done. This is not doing specific work. So what is checked during checkup work? Of chief importance is comparison with the work arrangements: look to see if the work is consistent, whether it has overstepped the principles of the work arrangements, whether it has contravened the requirements of the work arrangements—and also whether, as the work was carried out, there were any who disturbed or interrupted, or stirred up trouble, or used high-sounding words. Naturally, at the same time as doing this work, leaders and workers are also checking whether there have been any failings whilst executing this work arrangement; at the same time as checking up on other people’s work, they also check up on their own work.

Excerpted from “Identifying False Leaders (10)” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

For any work arrangement, leaders and workers should intermittently pray-read it, and then check whether they have failed to properly arrange any work during this period, or overlooked anything required by the work arrangement—in which case they should quickly make amends and intervene. If you don’t have the time due to doing other work, you can entrust it to other people, and then continue to follow up, be involved, and check up on it; do not just listen to reports on it, standing back and watching from the sidelines. If you are in charge of any piece of work, then no matter how many projects you are responsible for, it is your responsibility to constantly be involved and ask questions, at the same time also checking up on things. This is your job. And so, whether you are a regional leader, district leader, church leader, or any team leader or supervisor, once you have ascertained the scope of your responsibilities, you must frequently examine whether you are doing your part in this work, whether you have fulfilled the responsibilities that ought to be fulfilled by a leader or worker, what work you haven’t done, what work you don’t want to do, what work has been ineffective, and what work you have failed to grasp the principles of. These are all things you should often reflect on. At the same time, you must learn to fellowship with and ask questions of other people, and must learn how to identify, in God’s words and the work arrangements, a plan and principles for implementation. Toward any work arrangement, whether it relates to administration, HR, or the life of the church, or else any kind of specialist work, if it touches upon the responsibilities of leaders and workers, if it is a responsibility that you are supposed to fulfill, and within the purview of your responsibilities, then you should concern yourself with it. Naturally, work should also be prioritized so that no projects fall behind. If you say, “I don’t have three heads and six arms, I can’t manage all the projects involved in the work arrangements”—there being some work that you can’t personally be involved in—have you arranged for someone else to do it? After that person had finished, did you follow up with questions or help see if things are up to standard? Surely you had the time to ask a few questions and see if things are up to standard? Some leaders and workers say, “I can only do one job at a time. If you ask me to check whether a project is up to standard, I can only do so with one; any more than that is a problem.” In that case, you’re not fit to be a leader or worker, you’re not up to the task, and you don’t have the skills. You’re better off finding the kind of work that suits you. If you don’t have what it takes, go ahead and resign, so that someone who can do the job can be found. Is this not appropriate? Don’t try and do everything by yourself: In the end, you’ll fail, and hold up the work of the house of God, and bring harm to the house of God—in which case you will not have fulfilled your responsibility. This is having no self-awareness, not doing real work, still trying to do everything by yourself, preferring the perks of status, which makes you a bona fide false leader.

Excerpted from “Identifying False Leaders (10)” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

There are some who are entirely too cavalier in their attitude toward work arrangements from the Above. “The Above makes the work arrangements,” they think, “and we’re down here, doing the work. Some of what’s said and some of the tasks can be implemented flexibly—they can be altered when they come down to us. The Above just talks, after all, and we’re the ones doing practical work. We understand the situation in the church, but the Above doesn’t, so the people and work of the church that are given to us are ours to do with as we see fit. We can do as we like, and no one has the right to interfere.” To such people, the principle of serving God is this: “If I think something’s right, I’ll take note of it; if I think something isn’t workable, I’ll ignore it. I can resist you if I like, or go against you, and I don’t have to implement or carry out anything I don’t want to. If something you say strikes me as unsuitable, I’ll edit it for you, and, once I’ve filtered it, I’ll pass it on down. Nothing I haven’t approved may go to print.” Everywhere else, they disseminate the arrangements from the Above in their original form, but this person sends their edited version of the work arrangements to the people in the area they lead. Such a person wishes always to set God off to the side, and desperately wants everyone to follow and believe in them. The way they see it, God is not their equal in certain areas—they should be God, too, and everyone should believe in them. That is the nature of what they do. If you understood this, would you still cry when such a person is removed and replaced? Would you still feel sympathy for them? Would you still think, “What the Above does is uncalled for and unjust—how could the Above dismiss someone who’s suffered so much?” For whose sake have they suffered? They have suffered for the sake of their own status. Are they serving God? Are they performing their duty? Are they loyal and submissive to God? They are nothing but a lackey of Satan, and their work is the devil’s dominion; it destroys God’s management plan and disturbs His work. What sort of faith is that? They are nothing but a devil, an antichrist!

Excerpted from “What Is It to Offend God?” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

Some people, though they cannot understand parts of the arrangements made by the Above, are yet able to obey them. They say, “All God does is correct and has significance. Even if we can’t understand it, we submit to it. What we will not do is pass judgment on God! If something doesn’t sound right to us, we heed it anyway. We’re humans, with human minds—so what do we know? So we just follow along and submit to God’s arrangements until the day comes when we understand them. Even if that day doesn’t come, we would still submit willingly. We are humans, and we should submit to God. That’s what we’re supposed to do.” Others, however, are not like this. When they see what is being done by the Above, their first reaction is to investigate it. They say, “God, let’s look at what You say and what You require. The first item is fine, but the second isn’t quite right. I’ll fix it up for You.” Does someone who says so have a heart that reveres God? It may rather be that they have notions about something God does, and therefore do not carry out His arrangements in the church, but wantonly circulate their notions among their brothers and sisters, so that they come to have notions about God. Firstly, such a person cannot provide the truth; secondly, they spread notions; and thirdly, they cause others to have notions about God, and to oppose what He does, and to try to make Him act differently, such that, in the end, He may relent to them. There are those who would do such things in hopes of dispelling people’s notions, making God relent and act differently, and making Him satisfy people. Were such a person to feel remorse and weep after doing such things, could they then be counted as one with a heart of reverence for God? Some people are a bit zealous and ignorant in their service of God—for this, you can be forgiven. If, however, you continue to act so, you will have knowingly done wrong, which is a graver and greater sin, and a terrible thing! If your view of these matters is simplistic, and you feel they do not amount to much, then you are bound, one day, to offend God. I have seen some such people; even if they are not purged, their outcomes were actually already decided early on.

Excerpted from “What Is It to Offend God?” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

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Next: 164. The Principles of Coming to Know God

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