The Retirement Years


Chapter 10—Conserving Life's Energies

Short Discourses, Longer Life

My dear brother [George I. Butler],

We shall have trials. But I am instructed to say to you and to others, that laborers often bring upon themselves greater taxation than is required. The counsel given is, Cut the discourses short. Were a long discourse divided, and only one-half given, it would be better retained in the minds of the hearers than the whole of a long discourse. This counsel belongs to me as well as to you. Except when I have a special message to bear, I am determined to speak briefly because it is best. RY 123.1

I am growing old, but I do not feel the weight of years. I have always been afflicted, ever since I was nine years old. And at seventy-eight I suffer less pain than I suffered in my earlier years. But I am now determined to take care of my strength, and I shall not weary others by long talking. I want you, as one of the old hands and the experienced workers, to live to be able to bear your testimony, as did John [the Revelator]. RY 123.2

We are personally under the training of God. Let us trust in God, for we need His help constantly. You do too much talking at one time, and so do I. It is not best to put this extra strain upon ourselves that is unnecessary. We need to hold more testimony meetings. Please consider the words I bear to you. Save your strength. I am afraid for so old a man to bear such heavy burdens. We do want you to have a clear testimony to bear just at this period of the earth's history. We want you to have a clear mind, that you may counsel together with those of like precious faith. RY 123.3

Let us do our best to bring about unity. I am in a position where I cannot change the past experience if I would; for the Lord has led me and has given me such evidence of His power in every advance movement of our work, that I have assurance, made doubly sure, as [to] every position we now hold as truth. We cannot distrust such manifestations of the Lord's power in defining what is truth. I am charged that we are to hold the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. We now need clearly to define what is truth, and let not the enemy steal a march on us. RY 124.1

We know, and Elder Haskell and Elder Loughborough know also, of the earlier history of this work. There are few now alive who passed through the experience of 1843 and 1844. Let us be careful of our life power. Do not work too hard.—Letter 88, 1906. RY 124.2