Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 3, 1849

Our Duty in View of the Time of Trouble

Topsham, Maine

January 18, 1849

Portions of this manuscript are published in 5MR 200. See also EW 56-58; Annotations.

Dear Brethren & Sisters:

The Lord has shown me in vision that it is contrary to the Bible to make any preparations for our temporal wants in the time of trouble. I saw that if the saints have food laid up by them, or in the fields in that time of trouble, when sword, famine and pestilence is in the land, it will be taken from them by violent hands. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1849, par. 1

Then will be the time for us to trust in God, and He will sustain us. I saw that our bread and water would be sure at that time and we shall not lack or suffer hunger. The Lord has shown me that some of His children would fear when they see the price of food rising, and they would buy food and lay it by for the time of trouble. Then in the time of need I saw them go to their food and look at it and it had bred worms, and was full of living creatures and not fit for use. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1849, par. 2

About one week since the Lord showed me in vision that houses and lands will be of no use in the time of trouble; and that in that time they could not be disposed of. I saw that it was the will of God that the saints should cut loose from every encumbrance, dispose of their houses and lands before the time of trouble comes, and thus make a covenant with God by sacrifice. I saw they would sell if they laid their property on the altar and earnestly inquired for duty. God will teach them when to dispose of these things. Then they will be free in the time of trouble and have no clogs to weigh them down. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1849, par. 3

I saw if any held on to their property and did not inquire duty of God, He would not make duty plain and they would be left to keep their property, and then in the time of trouble their property would come up before them like a mountain to crush them. Then they tried to get rid of it, but could not. I heard them mourn like this:—God’s people were suffering for truth, the cause was languishing; but we made no effort to supply the lack, and now our property is useless. Oh! that we had let it go, and laid up treasure in heaven. I saw that a sacrifice did not increase, but decreased, and was consumed. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1849, par. 4

I also saw that God had not required all of His people to dispose of their property at the same time, but in a time of need He would teach them, if they desired to be taught, when to sell, and how much to sell. I saw that some had been required to dispose of their property in past time to sustain the Advent cause; while He had permitted others to keep theirs until a time of need. Then as the cause needs it their duty is to sell. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1849, par. 5

To the church of God who keep the Sabbath—the seal of the living God. 1LtMs, Ms 3, 1849, par. 6