Section 11—Our Relationship to Other Temperance Groups

Chapter 1—Working Together

Stand Shoulder to Shoulder—In other churches there are Christians who are standing in defense of the principles of temperance. We should seek to come near to these workers and make a way for them to stand shoulder to shoulder with us. We should call upon great and good men to second our efforts to save that which is lost.—Testimonies for the Church 6:110, 111. Te 217.1

Unite When We Can—Whenever you can get an opportunity to unite with the temperance people, do so.—The Review and Herald, February 14, 1888. Te 217.2

In his labors, my husband, whenever he had opportunity, invited the workers in the temperance cause to his meetings, and gave them an opportunity to speak. And when invitations were given us to attend their gatherings, we always responded.—Letter 274, 1907. Te 217.3

Linking Only With Those Loyal to God—We are not to take our stand with temperance clubs composed of all classes of men, with all kinds of selfish indulgences and call them reformers. There is a higher standard for our people to rally under. We must as a people make a distinction between those who are loyal to the law of God, and those who are disloyal.—Letter 1, 1882. Te 217.4

A Sensible Attitude Toward Other Organizations—The temperance question is to be respected by every true Christian, and especially should it receive the sanction of all who profess to be reformers. But there will be those in the church that will not show wisdom in the treatment of this subject. Some will show marked disrespect to any reforms arising from any other people besides those of their own faith; in this they err by being too exclusive. Te 217.5

Others will grasp eagerly every new thing which makes a pretense of temperance, having every other interest swallowed up in this one point; the prosperity and peculiar, holy character of our faith is ignored, the parties upon temperance are embraced, and an alliance formed between God's commandment-keeping people and all classes of persons. Dangers beset the faith of every soul who is not closely connected with God.—Letter 1, 1882. Te 218.1

Lessons From a Detrimental Union With a Superficial Group—Temperance societies, and clubs have been formed among those who make no profession of the truth. [Note: In the latter half of the nineteenth century a number of popular temperance organizations were formed with large memberships. These were relatively short-lived and are not known today by the general public.—Compilers.] ... I was shown that the condition of the church at ----- was peculiar. Many who, had they given as much zeal, and manifested as much missionary spirit in the work of reform among us as a people as they have given to the Red-Ribbon Club, their course would have been sanctioned by God. But the different organizations upon temperance are very limited in their ideas of reform. Te 218.2

Those who give so great influence to the agitation of this question and at the same time are devotees of tobacco, drink tea and coffee, and indulge in health-destroying food at their tables, are not temperance people. They make weak and spasmodic movements, full of zeal and excitement, but they do not go to the bottom of true reform, and in a short time will show flagging interest, and a returning of many to their old wicked indulgences, because they merely picked off the leaves of the tree instead of laying the ax at its root. This matter of temperance must go to the root of the evil or it will be of but little avail. Te 218.3

Our Influence Must Be With Loyal and True—While our people mingle with the class who are enemies of Christ and the truth, they neither gain nor give strength.... We must not be exclusive as a people; our light is diffusive, constantly seeking to save the perishing. But while we are doing this our strength of influence must ever be found with the loyal and true.... Te 219.1

God's House Desecrated—The house dedicated to the worship of God is not the place to bring in the class that come into the house of God, and defile the temple of God with their intemperance in the use of tobacco while they profess to be temperance advocates. The coarse speeches, the noisy talk and actions, are not a credit to these brethren.... Te 219.2

It is impossible for our people to harmonize with any party or temperance club, when our faith is so dissimilar.... Te 219.3

Our unbelieving friends have stood exulting while they see the dissension in the church that has grown out of our people uniting with the Red-Ribbon Club. They have had no sympathy for us as a people upon the subject of temperance. They are far behind, and have ridiculed our people as fanatics upon health. They are willing now to be favored, and receive the strength of our influence while they come no nearer in sympathy to our faith; when if the matter had been managed discreetly it might have had that influence upon some to change their opinion of our faith. Te 219.4

If the temperance club had been left to stand on its own ground, we, as a people, standing upon our advanced ground, keeping respectively the high standard God has given us to meet as necessary to our position and faith, there would have been a much more healthy influence existing upon the temperance question in the church than now is revealed.—Letter 1, 1882. Te 219.5

Not to Sacrifice Principle—From the light God has given me, every member among us should sign the pledge and be connected with the temperance association.... Te 220.1

We should unite with other people just as far as we can and not sacrifice principle. This does not mean that we should join their lodges and societies, [Note: These remarks were made by Mrs. White at the annual meeting of the Michigan Health and Temperance Association. Her statement touched on a number of resolutions just presented, among which were the following: Te 220.2

“Resolved, That we encourage the organization of a local club in the church to which we belong or with which we are associated.... Te 220.3

Resolved, That we urge our young people to take an active part in our local clubs and at the same time endeavor to guard them from the influence of other societies that do not adopt the high moral and physical standard that we advocate.”—The Review and Herald, October 21, 1884, 669. (Italics supplied by compilers.)] but that we should let them know that we are most heartily in sympathy with the temperance question. Te 220.4

We should not work solely for our own people, but should bestow labor also upon noble minds outside of our ranks. We should be at the head in the temperance reform.—The Review and Herald, October 21, 1884. Te 220.5

An Effective Work in Uniting With Christian Temperance Workers—Soon after my husband and I returned from California to Michigan in the spring of 1877, we were earnestly solicited to take part in a temperance mass meeting, a very praiseworthy effort in progress among the better portion of the citizens of Battle Creek. This movement embraced the Battle Creek reform club, six hundred strong, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, two hundred and sixty strong. God, Christ, and Holy Spirit, and the Bible were familiar words with these earnest workers. Much good had already been accomplished, and the activity of the workers, the system by which they labored, and the spirit of their meetings, promised greater good in time to come.... Te 220.6

By invitation of the Committee of Arrangements, Mayor Austin, W. H. Skinner, cashier of the First National Bank, and C. C. Peavey, I spoke in the mammoth tent, Sunday evening, July 1, upon the subject of Christian temperance. God helped me that evening; and although I spoke ninety minutes, the crowd of fully five thousand persons listened in almost breathless silence.—Manuscript 79, 1902. (Part quoted in Testimonies for the Church 4:274, 275.) Te 221.1

Give Temperance Talks in Other Churches—Let the talks upon temperance reform which are given to Seventh-day Adventists be given to the other churches.... There is to be no raid made by Seventh-day Adventists by pen or voice against any temperance movement.—Letter 107, 1900. Te 221.2

Doctrinal Differences Not to Alienate Us—Although its friends do not believe with us in many points of doctrine, [Note: Reference is here made to the Martha Washington home in Chicago, where, upon invitation, Mrs. White gave a temperance address.—Compilers.] yet we will unite with them when by so doing we can aid our fellow men. God would have us individually learn to work with tact and skill in the cause of temperance and other reforms, and employ our talents wisely in benefiting and elevating humanity. Te 221.3

If we would enter into the joy of our Lord, we must be colaborers with Him. With the love of Jesus warm in our hearts, we shall always see some way to reach the minds and hearts of others. It will make us unselfish, thoughtful, and kind; and kindness opens the door of hearts; gentleness is mightier far than a Jehu spirit.—The Review and Herald, February 10, 1885. Te 221.4

To Sense Our Responsibility—Those who have labored in the temperance cause, and who in their work have had the Lord behind them, should have had far more labor put forth in their behalf. We need to feel our responsibility in this work.—The Review and Herald, May 8, 1900. Te 221.5

Relieved of Establishing Buildings—It is the plan and constant effort of Satan to entangle the work of God in a supposed beneficent and excellent work, so that doors cannot be opened to enter new fields and work with people who have an advanced acquaintance with temperance principles. To unite with them in their work would be to do a special work for this time, without taking on the responsibilities of a work which will enforce an expenditure of means in establishing buildings that will embarrass the conferences, a work which will absorb and consume but not produce.—Manuscript 46, 1900. Te 222.1

God Will Open the Way—Seek every opportunity to enlighten and benefit the temperance workers. The temperance organization is one that I have ever respected. If you will be guided by the Holy Spirit, ways will open for you to work.—Letter 316, 1907. Te 222.2