Lt 194, 1898

Lt 194, 1898

Olsen, O. A.

Balaclava, Australia

[April 1898]

Previously unpublished. Not sent.

Elder Olsen:

I have received several letters from you and thank you for writing. But, my brother, I have felt sorry for you. But if you did see all things clearly, you have a work to do of repentance that needeth not to be repented of. I cannot feel you are clear and understand things clearly now. There is a great need of your seeing things straight. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 1

You have become so of the same mind and spirit with those you have associated with you that you have done a great evil to yourself and to your brethren. You have talked and sown seeds in the minds of others in regard to Bro. Ellet Waggoner. You had the inspiration of that spirit of him who was an accuser of the brethren. You dropped words here and there that have left a wrong impression upon minds, and this was not the work that the Lord gave you to do. Had you stood in a proper position before the Lord as His appointed agency, you would have used the means that God permitted to flow into the treasury in Battle Creek to establish the work in foreign countries where the standard of truth had not been uplifted. What we needed were the very means you are misappropriating. You would have looked at matters in altogether a different light. You would have said to me, Sister White, advance as God shall lead you and we will sustain you in building up the work in every place. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 2

But you and A. R. Henry and others united in appropriating means that should come to this field, means which was the Lord’s, not yours to appropriate as you please—a surplus of means that you supposed sometime would be called for in America, but you did not see afar off. The whole round world is God’s vineyard, and the surplus means was not yours to appropriate and hold and hold in America, burying in a napkin, hiding in the earth, that means which was not yours, or A. R. Henry’s and your associates’, to misappropriate as you pleased. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 3

Gladly would I see you free and clear before God, but you are not thus presented before me. Your course has greatly displeased God and you have been led by evil influences away from light into foggy and dense darkness. What part have you acted to counteract your own work? When the Lord was sending you special messages that the voice of the General Conference had become a strange voice, that it bore no weight as the voice to be respected, why did you do as has been revealed to me that you did do? [You] presented to your brethren and sisters the ideas—strange-working ideas—that God had been teaching you were false and wrong, which you wished to [have] carried; and the statements made by one in your position gave you influence. There was invested in yourself a power to exercise against or in favor of your brethren. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 4

What great schemes you were planning with these very men. If you had heeded the light given, you would have corrected these influences. Oh, true it is that there is danger of investing one man with authority year after year to transact the most important work of stewardship for the General Conference, whose mind and judgment can be perverted, as your mind and judgment has been turned aside from righteous, sound principles that will not bear the test of investigation. There should never again be left a conference in America, or any of our institutions God has created, to be so fully managed by one man as a power to control. It was not the right thing to do, for you yourself would be tempted to do things that ought never to be done, that would work out your own defective judgment. Many things were being neglected that ought to be zealously attended to. There should be no less than seven men who shall be appointed to share the work of the president of the General Conference—honest, staunch men filled with the Holy Spirit—men who will not be bought, sold, or misled by Satan’s devices. In Acts 6 we have the class of men who are to be chosen men of God. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 5

My brother, after the reproof has come to you, you have represented that the voice of the Conference was a power to be respected as the voice of God. Why did you entrench yourself as president of the General Conference behind the sacredness of power in the General Conference, when you and your associates had forfeited, as verily as did Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, all right to the claim? You claimed you had great light; you carried the impression you believed and respected the light, but you did not obey it all. Your work for years was so mingled with men’s devisings, with selfishness, [with the claim] that you were especially exalted of God, that you hurt God’s servants, the oil and the wine. You sustained men whom God could not favor. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 6

The Lord did not work you by His Holy Spirit. The position you were in gave you every chance to choose your assistants to stand by you in the work. While you should have been on your knees before God you were planning consolidation. Your schemes were not inspired. Everything should have been guarded jealously. The very counselors who had remained true, that knew the work when it was carried on in the past in the establishment of our institutions, you should have rallied to your side as your advisers. But thoroughly selfish men—whom you ought to have known were divorced from God and refused their help—were your counselors, and you were imbued with the same spirit that actuated them. They were men with uncontrolled passions, thoroughly selfish men and constantly in determined opposition to those whom God was using to carry forward and advance His work. Men whom the Lord uses will not remain in blindness when the truth is continually enforced upon them, but in handling great responsibilities will unite themselves with men worked by the Holy Spirit, aiming to advance the work in all its lines, that nothing shall be neglected, men who can be safe counselors, carrying out the precepts and examples that have been before them. Always remember it is safe to follow men whose course of action has been to follow God. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 7

You bound the hands of men in Europe by setting in operation a course of action which would get them, if possible, out of your track so that you could bring in a change in the working of the things in reference to the cause of God, which virtually sustained those whom God condemned. You removed men whom the Lord loved from positions of influence, and connected with you, as your associates, men you chose. [You] cast down and enfeebled the influence of men who should be sustained by voice and vote, and placed in this work your set men of oppression. You have mingled the sacred with the common in using the men whom you linked up with. They led you astray; they were as watch dogs. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 8

Your attitude toward the workers in Europe, especially in England, was an offense to God. You bound about the work. Your thoughts and heart were unsanctified, and God’s servants were misjudged. You placed over men whom God was using a man who needed to be converted by the Holy Spirit of God but had not that blessing. You exalted this man to watch and guard men whose work was to “Go Forward,” and the means was being diverted from the work of God in the proper channel where it should flow to establish and advance the truth and to provide facilities that would give character and dignity to the work. This work that God designed should be done moved slowly under your planning and management. What did you suppose would be the result of such a course of action? That man’s wife was not a converted woman and her influence is a curse wherever she goes. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 9

The power given you to help and support the work where it was needed, which should have been considered a power invested in a Higher Power, but which was not respected by you as of any sacred value, has been felt in America. This power was used to make your methods effective, in Europe especially, to discourage and oppress men who were using all their God-given ability to do their best under poverty and want of means. The influence you have exerted still remains in a degree, which is an influence God does not recognize. Your course has been highly censurable. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 10

You have not honored God, and my heart is made so sad for God’s cause I love that I am awakened in the night season to write in regard to false and oppressive principles that have been brought into the work. The men you have oppressed are men that God has honored, and the result will be that the Lord will leave you to be oppressed. May the Lord pity you is my prayer. Strange things have been transacted under your planning that the Lord has taken no part in. These points surely will become history. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 11

I am drawn out to write and continue to write in regard to the wrong principles that have been brought in. Oh, I am so sorry for the work you have done in leavening the Pacific Publishing interests—that they went in the tread of Battle Creek. The London workers have felt the influence of your wrong, deceived spirit, and it is not cleansed away thoroughly yet. Yet the iron hand of oppression has done its work of mischief in a greater or less degree whenever its power has been acknowledged. It will need cleansing from the powers that have ruled that would misdirect men whom the Lord has appointed to do a special work in straight/strait, hard places. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 12

And what have you done to counteract your own work under the specious deception that was upon you? Will the Lord impart to you light and grace and knowledge while the work that has been done has swayed the cause and work in wrong lines? Will the Lord say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant” [Matthew 25:23], when you have done evil and have not made thorough work in undoing your own work that God never gave you to do? I have to write and work to counterwork the principles that have been brought in under your administration. The dearth of means is not because men have not means to give, but their confidence in the leaders is gone. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 13

The same scheming and conniving to bring in wrong principles by any methods possible has cost, and is costing, a great deal of time and money to set right. You have acted under a deception. You have acted a double part. You have used the testimonies to help men to carry their own spirit when their spirit was an offense to God. It would have been better, far better, for you to take up the stumbling blocks you have made for others to stumble over before you should continue your work as if the Lord would entrust you with His responsibilities. When the past tracks are not made clear, why, oh why, did you not make straight paths for your feet? I cannot feel confidence in your experience or that you are safe and clear before God to stand as adviser and in authority. The very same spirit continues in the men who have not had discrimination to discern between good and evil and right and wrong. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 14

I might mention names but I will not now. Have you no knowledge that your voice has given power to the voice of Elder Robinson and wife to work their will in England? Do you understand that the wife of Elder Robinson is a deterrent and a snare and a curse wherever she goes—that her influence is of a character to corrupt and destroy? Where is the discrimination of the people of God? Better never have her husband labor in a place to control if her influence is to come in. She has not been converted; never has been converted. When in Brooklyn, NY, he contemplated opening a mission to teach young men and women to be workers in the cause of God. The Spirit and the power of God came upon me and I decidedly protested in the name of the Lord. I told him one man’s mind, one man’s judgment, and one man’s experience would never fit any man or woman to engage in the work. They would both give a mold to the work that would have a debilitating influence. This was the strange fire offered to God, and that unconverted woman has done a work that has not been rebuked in the American and European fields. 13LtMs, Lt 194, 1898, par. 15