Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 6, 1886

Talk/Beginnings of Work in Scandinavia

Orebro, Sweden

June 23, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 420-421; 11MR 76-77. +Note

Wednesday afternoon, June 23, 1886

(Talk before the Scandinavian Conference at Orebro,)

I have felt a very great interest in this meeting which shall be held in Sweden. These are meetings of very great importance to those who attend them. These are to give a mold and fashion to the work which shall be done in these kingdoms. And as the condition of the people in these kingdoms who have embraced the truth has been presented before me, I feel it a duty to say some things to you. The time has come when there must be a reaching a higher standard than you have had in the past. While quite a number have embraced the truth as it has been presented to them, they have not had sufficient labor in the churches to carry them along to an advanced stage. But our heavenly Father wants that His people here shall be harnessed for the work before them. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1886, par. 1

I was among the first in the organization of our people in America and came right up with the work from its very infancy. We met together in a room about one third as large as this house for our first conference, and here the Lord has been revealing to us from time to time the advanced steps we must make in the work. We were at that time almost destitute of means, and there were only a very few who had money to carry forward the work. When in these sessions of conference we made it a special subject of prayer, we did have the special blessing and presence of God with us. We there pledged ourselves that every one of us would give a part in the work, and as soon as we made this decision the blessing of God rested upon us in great measure. Every one of us there agreed that we should have a season of prayer that God would bless us and open the way so that we might know how to work. We had then preparations made to bring the Lord our offering just as they should be proportioned to us. And a portion of every dollar we should earn should be invested in the work. And there were a few who came up nobly to assist in the work in our distress. As soon as any one began to show an interest in the work, they were blessed, and at the next conference we had the most precious meeting we were ever in. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1886, par. 2

Now I was shown in America that there must be here the very same growing in the work as there was there; that every one should feel that they were under obligations to God to help in the work, and then these individuals would feel that the cause of God was a part of them. I was shown that there should be additional laborers in the field to carry forward the work. Brother Matteson has had upon him a tremendous load; he has not only been laboring in the field, but has been doing a great amount of writing. Now Brother Olsen has come here to your conference, and he can take hold with Brother Matteson, and Brother Matteson with him, and they can thus help each other in carrying forward this work. There are few of our brethren who have taken hold of the truth who have no idea what it will accomplish. But what it needs is a more thorough conversion to the truth of God. There needs to be an education of the people up to the standard; they need organized, systematic effort for every church; and if every one here feels that it is the great and solemn work of God, and that they are individually to be a light that is to be reflected to the world, then we shall see that the cause and work of God will advance more rapidly than it has done in the past. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1886, par. 3

There has been altogether too much fear and trembling to bring the people up to a high standard for fear they will draw back. They cannot understand that they must take this position to reach a high standard and advance, but I tell you what you want, brethren, is to be endowed by the Holy Spirit of God. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1886, par. 4

You have not had the advantage that they have had in America; and the publications which have been presented to you have been much more limited than those of America. But Brother Matteson has been straining every nerve to bring the truth before you, and you may depend [upon it] that greater efforts will be put forth to present the truth to the people than ever have been made. These conference meetings should be conducted in such a manner that they will be a school to those present, to train them to move carefully at every step. Brethren, you want to pray more. That God of wisdom that connected with Him the humble fishermen to be His disciples will help you in the work. And, my brethren, you must not feel that you are doing everything that you can do; you must put the whole armor on and stand as faithful soldiers to the work. All heaven is interested in you who have embraced the truth under difficulties. You want in every one of your churches to let the light shine brighter. You want to organize your Sabbath schools and there train your children in Bible study. You want to have the missionary spirit to convert other children who will come in; you may possibly reach the parents through the children. Our Sabbath schools are the great instrumentalities of God to bring the truth to the parents through the children. You want to go from this meeting with new zeal, and every one should feel that he is a missionary for God, that there is a work to be done right in your own home and in your own neighborhood. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1886, par. 5

If the people come into your meetings, you want these meetings full of life and earnestness, that they may know that you believe the things you profess. You want faith in God to believe that He will do just as He has promised. You may meet and have your prayers and testimonies ascend to God; but if you have not faith, these profit nothing. I would rather have two in these meetings that had living faith in God than I would have one hundred that had no faith in the truth. You are to feel individually that you are a representative for Christ; and although many of you are pressed with poverty, yet it is your privilege to feel that God will help you to invest means in this work. You must go to work here just as we did in America, have your tract societies and other facilities; and although it may seem at times that the publications in some places do not accomplish much, you must go right on; we had just such experiences in America. But we kept to the point in sending out these publications to different classes, and it was some time before we could make any advancement. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1886, par. 6

I have been shown that there must be a different mold put upon the work here in these kingdoms, and there must be a power from the God of heaven to inspire you to work in a different way; and while Brethren Matteson and Olsen will help you in this work here, I wish to throw this out to you now so that you can begin to think in a different strain. Why, you can do tenfold more than you think you can; but unbelief stands right here to say you cannot do anything in this line or that; but you can, brethren! 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1886, par. 7

Habits and customs are different here from what they are in America, but human nature is the same here as there; and the brethren who have taken hold of the truth in the heart are willing to work, if they are only educated up to the point to know how to work. Why, brethren, I have not slept night after night more than three hours thinking of the work in Europe, and it seems to me that I can hardly contain myself in the body when I realize these things. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1886, par. 8

I have seen what God is willing to do for you; but it is just according to your faith what God will do for you, and therefore we want to arouse your faith and to get your ideas broadened; and may the Lord roll the burden of the work upon every one of you who believes the truth. Why, Jesus loves you, brethren, or He never would have presented the truth to you as He has done; and there are just as precious souls as you all through these kingdoms that are hungering and thirsting for something they have not. But it must be by steady effort that they will be brought into the light. When you consider that Jesus will stand right by your side to make the impression upon the heart of the people, then you should be encouraged to work valiantly for God; you must also humble your heart before Him, open the door, and let Jesus in. We may have a precious blessing from God in this conference. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1886, par. 9

Will our brethren go to God as did Moses? His petition was, “Show me Thy glory.” He said, Why, I cannot go before the people unless the Lord goes with me. And the Lord said, “I will go with thee.” [Exodus 33:12-17.] And yet he was not satisfied. He said, “Show me Thy glory.” [Verse 18.] And the Lord hid him in a cleft of the rock and put His hand over the rock, then revealed to him His glory. Well, now, we must have just such a faith. We must feel that we stand right upon the borders of the eternal world, and we must gather rays of light from divine glory and press back the darkness that is enshrouding souls. Let us seek God, my brethren and sisters, here. Be determined that you will know more of God when you go away than when you came here. He will walk through your midst with power if you will only have faith. Then let us wake up to our responsibilities and holy privileges. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1886, par. 10