Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 39a, 1874

Temple, Sister

Battle Creek, Michigan

July 6, 1874

Drawn from Lt 39, 1874. Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Sister Temple:

In looking through one of my boxes, I have found several pages of foolscap that were written for you soon after I returned from my journey East. This manuscript has never been sent to you. I will not now send you all that I have written, but will tell you briefly the substance of the manuscript. 2LtMs, Lt 39a, 1874, par. 1

I was shown that you have not borne well the test of prosperity. Often you have said, “If I had that man’s property, I would help the cause of God; I would not let the needy suffer.” And now God has tested you. When, to prove you, He placed means in your hands, you allowed yourself and your children to use for your own pleasure and theirs that money which He permitted you to have. God in His mercy sent you help when you were in darkness, giving you another trial, to see if you would acknowledge His claims upon you or if you would allow the claims of your children to come first. 2LtMs, Lt 39a, 1874, par. 2

I was pointed to the testimonies of reproof and warning that God had sent you, and I saw that you were disregarding them. You were robbing God in tithes and in offerings. You were investing means in those things from which you would realize no returns. Your devotion to your children was far greater than your faithfulness in meeting the claims of God. You have not been laying up treasure in heaven and becoming rich toward God. 2LtMs, Lt 39a, 1874, par. 3

God promised ancient Israel that He would make their blessings proportionate to their benevolence. According to their obedience or disobedience to His requirements, He multiplied or straitened the increase of their substance. When they honored Him with the first-fruits of all their increase, their barns were filled with plenty; but when they robbed Him in tithes and in offerings, they also robbed themselves, for they were brought to poverty and want. Thus God sought to impress on His people the lesson that He desired them to learn—that they should make liberal returns to Him for the bounties that He lavished on them. 2LtMs, Lt 39a, 1874, par. 4

Will you, my sister, take heed to this lesson of warning? Your children will not be blessed if you place them first, and the Lord’s claims second. Nor will they honor God by returning to Him His goods. If you do not heed this warning, you yourself will become poor, and your treasure, misappropriated, misspent, will do an injury to your children. And by giving them your means, you enable them to engage in amusements and to indulge perverted appetite, thus not only destroying their own spirituality, but injuring the souls of others. 2LtMs, Lt 39a, 1874, par. 5

My sister, will you not henceforth make God’s claims first? Will you return to Him His own? You have allowed your children to waste much of your God-given means in doing as they pleased. Will you not now use the remaining portion in doing the work that God gives you the privilege of doing—returning to Him His own? He will bless you for so doing. 2LtMs, Lt 39a, 1874, par. 6

O that the Lord might open your eyes, so that you could see that you are wasting His entrusted talents upon those who will rob Him of the means that He has given to them! God forbid that you should continue to do this. Will you not now make a will, providing for your means to be used in the Lord’s cause, in order that He may receive His own with usury? 2LtMs, Lt 39a, 1874, par. 7