Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Ms 3, 1869

Importance of Consecration at the “Great Heart” of the Church



This manuscript is published in entirety in PH011 71-75.

I was shown one year ago last June, 1868, the responsible and important position the men and women in the office occupied. Brethren Smith, Aldrich, Walker, Amadon, and Gage especially had the most to do in molding everything in connection with the office, and of molding the church. They could, if consecrated to God, glorify Him in the office and in the church. Their light could so shine that others, by seeing their good works, would glorify our Father in heaven, or they could so conduct themselves as to encourage self-love, selfish interest, love of the world and a relish for its exciting pleasure. 2LtMs, Ms 3, 1869, par. 1

I saw that great changes must be wrought in the heart and life of these men before God could work in them by His power to the salvation of others. They must be renewed after the image of God in righteousness and true holiness. Then the love of the world, the love of self, and every ambition of life calculated to exalt self will be changed by the grace of God and employed in the special work of saving souls for whom Christ died. Humility will take the place of pride, haughty self-esteem will be exchanged for meekness. Every power of their being will be turned into disinterested love for all mankind. 2LtMs, Ms 3, 1869, par. 2

Satan, I saw, would arouse himself when they in earnest commenced the work of reformation in themselves. He knows that these men, if consecrated to God, could prove the strength of the promises of God, and realize a power working with them that their adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. They would realize the life of God in the soul. In Battle Creek, especially the office, there in the great heart of the work, every pulsation was felt all through the entire body. If the heart was sound it would impart health and vigor to the entire body. If the heart was unsound, if the heart itself was paralyzed, how could its motions be vigorous and a healthful current be sent to the entire body, to every branch of the work? The spiritual respiration of the heart and lungs of the cause must be deep and full. The life of God must sustain the heart and through it vitalize the body until it comes to the full measure of the stature of Christ. 2LtMs, Ms 3, 1869, par. 3

I saw that none of these men had force of brain or muscle that they could do their duty in the office as God required it to be done, and yet have a separate interest outside of the office; that none of these should, while engaged in labor in the office, introduce business in that office of their own not connected especially with the work there of the publication of the truth; that all merchandise should be abolished; that when these men devoted that strength of brain and muscle that a devotion to the work would call forth from them, they would not have a reserve of strength to successfully carry forward any other enterprise. 2LtMs, Ms 3, 1869, par. 4

The office has been made common by men visiting, taking up time in doing business with those employed exclusively for the sacred work of God. It was, I saw, impossible to serve God and Mammon. The exalted character of the work has never been understood. The eye of the understanding has been closed. Their self-will and stubbornness has hidden from them the sacred, holy character of the work, the high standard God calls them to come up to. Selfish interests are consulted. The love of the work, the deep interest in the work of God, has not existed. 2LtMs, Ms 3, 1869, par. 5

I have borne a plain testimony. I felt the burden of soul that I never expect to feel again for the church and Battle Creek. God had let His Spirit drop upon me right in their midst. I was exhorting the youth. My spirit was stirred within me as I saw by their course of action how little they understood of true Christian religion—professing Christ, yet in their work denying Him—given up to vanity, pride, love of pleasure, love of self—idolaters in the sight of God. The intercourse of some with the world was such as to justify the sinner in his unbelief. There was not seen in their life the graces of the Spirit of God. Moral courage they did not possess. They lured on souls to death. Souls had gone into the grave unready who might have had a fitness for heaven, had all those who professed Christ walked even as He walked. 2LtMs, Ms 3, 1869, par. 6