Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 20, 1890

Olsen, O. A.

Battle Creek, Michigan

October 7, 1890

This letter is published in entirety in 1888 714-719.

Dear Brother Olsen,

My mind has been troubled over the things in Michigan and other conferences. But Michigan is the great heart of the work; here are the working powers that have a decided influence upon the work in all its movements throughout all our conferences. As matters have been presented to me again and again in reference to the spiritual condition of the publishing house in Battle Creek, I see a very sad picture. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 1

Responsibilities are borne by men who have had no living experience in the rise and progress of the work. Brother Amadon and Elder Smith have had this experience, but Elder Smith is ensnared by the enemy and cannot in his present state give the trumpet a certain sound. Elder Butler is in the same condition. They are both unable to help just where the help is needed. They have by their course made of none effect, with a large number of others, the messages of communication which the Lord has been giving his people the last forty-five years. The displeasure of God is upon them both, yet Elder Smith is placed in positions as teacher to mold and fashion the minds of students when it is a well known fact that he is not standing in the light; he is not working in God’s order. He is sowing seeds of unbelief that spring up and bear fruit for some souls to harvest. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 2

I know of not one man who has length of experience from the rise of the message to make his voice heard, or influence to tell [for] the cause of God at this time. With the exception of Brother Lunt nearly all are sleeping in their graves. Those who are living, who have had an experience in the work which the Lord has been pleased to give me are Elder Smith, Brother Amadon, and Elder Loughborough. Elder Smith will not receive the light God has given to correct him; he has not a spirit to correct by confession any wrong course he has pursued in the past and thus put up the bars behind him which lead into dangerous paths. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 3

I hear everywhere I go objections to the testimonies, quoting Elders Smith and Butler. They do not believe the testimonies; they do not accept that which Sister White has had in reproof of their course. Are not these good men? Have they not stood high in the work and cause of God? Then the seed of doubt and unbelief is sown in minds by those who have been themselves reproved. These men are, and have been for years, counteracting the work the Lord would have done to keep clear eyesight in the church and purge them from wrongs. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 4

There are great responsibilities placed on unconsecrated, inexperienced men in our councils, in interest connected with the great heart of the work—their decisions are not all sound, healthy, and consistent. A class have the molding and fashioning that know nothing of my work from the rise of the message. If Elder Smith stood where God would have him, if he had stood in the clear light from years back, his influence would be a power for good. But blindness is upon him and he senses it not. I have been shown that as he now stands Satan has prepared his temptations to close about his soul, that if he is not rescued the banner of truth will not be held aloft by him. Other hands will carry forward the sacred work to its close. Elder Butler will be left in the same position. This was shown me clearly in years past. They are unfaithful; they do not work with the Captain of our salvation and keep step with the providence of God. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 5

The work is onward; truth will triumph; but if these men do not receive the reproofs given them of God, and take their stand firmly on the right side after having so great light, they will be left in darkness corresponding with the light that God would have them receive and walk in, which they refused to accept because it did not meet their ideas. Human feelings, human prejudices, false ideas, have been corrupting the gold of character; the most fine gold has become dim. The part that they might act in the work and cause of God to its very close, they do not act, because they will not be set right by the light God has flashed upon their pathway. They have caused the lame in faith to wander and to stumble on the dark mountains of unbelief, and they themselves are so blinded that the angel of the Lord says of them, “and knowest not.” [Revelation 3:17.] 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 6

There are those who are officiating in the great work who are not walking in the light; some are fashioned and molded in their experience by these men who ought to guide them and stand as faithful watchmen to give the trumpet a certain sound, but have been, in place of doing this, confusing minds and quenching the faith of God’s people in the messages He has sent to them in reproof and warnings. The testimonies of His Spirit that would correct the erring are treated by them in such a manner as to leave many minds shrouded in uncertainty in regard to their true origin, and the voice of God is disregarded just as Satan wanted it should be. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 7

Now I come to the point. Elder Loughborough has stood firmly for the testimonies, and should not he who dares to be true be especially cared for? Should not he be placed in a position where he can do the most good? Why should he be required to occupy a position in Nebraska? Why should he be called to that hard and trying field? I see no light in it, and I wish to have you reconsider this matter. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 8

The influence of Elder Loughborough is valuable in our churches. Just such a man is needed, one who has stood unwaveringly for the light that God has given to His people, while many have been changing their attitude toward this work of God. I say let Elder Loughborough do a work that is suffering to be done in the churches. The Lord would have his voice heard as was John’s, telling the things he has seen, and that which he has heard, which he himself has experienced in the rise and progress of the third angel’s message. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 9

I consider the position and work of Elders Butler, Farnsworth, Smith, and numerous others, is to unsettle the faith of the people of God by things which they say but which they ought not to say, and things left unsaid which they ought to say. And this state of things—unbelief, prejudice, and Pharisaism—is leavening the church. God has spoken, but they hear not His voice. They have had all the evidence that will ever be given them in the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit of God attending the messages given, but they have closed their eyes lest they shall see and hardened their hearts lest they shall feel. The Spirit of God has been grieved, and they are so dull of comprehension that they know it not. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 10

Now, Brother Olsen, find some one else for Nebraska and let Elder Loughborough stand in his right place, as a Caleb, coming to the front and bearing a decided testimony in the face of unbelief and doubts and skepticism. We are well able to go up and possess the goodly land. God said of him, “My servant Caleb ... hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land.” [Numbers 14:24.] Calebs are most needed in the churches today. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 11

Something must be brought into our churches to overcome this unsettled state of unbelief in order to make them vigorous and successful. We need to follow Christ with the whole heart. I ask you to prayerfully consider the situation. Do not fasten Elder Loughborough in a corner anywhere; do not bind him down to any one special conference. If he has strength for Nebraska, he has the same capability for California. What we need now is to cherish Elder Loughborough to make as far as possible his experience serve the cause of God in a wider sphere. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 12

There is much loose work done everywhere, and the efforts that have been made for the few years past tend to put out the eyes that Israel shall not discern their defections, and God withholds His Spirit from them and darkness envelopes them as it did the Jewish nation. What we want most is not learning and eloquence and the mastery in debating, but heart power, prayer to God in faith for His converting power, thoroughgoing piety. Half-way converts abound; singleness in love for Jesus is rare. It is not brain power or purse power, but heart power that the people need now. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 13

I say, give Elder Loughborough men to work with him and let his efforts be put forth in Michigan from church to church. Let his experience, with the help that God shall give him, settle the wavering faith of the people who are losing their bearings because of the watchmen giving the trumpet an uncertain sound. Let everything be done that can be done for the churches in Michigan to strengthen the things that remain that are ready to die. Why not encourage Elder Loughborough and Brother Lunt to come to Michigan and work in this state? Both can do a similar work; they can bear a testimony of the things they have seen and heard, felt and handled. They will do more good in this kind of labor than the whole season of camp meetings, for what the people need is personal effort, and words and influence to settle the faith of those who are now in uncertainty. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 14

May the Lord give you wisdom in this matter; but I cannot feel that you are moving wisely in calling Brother Loughborough to Nebraska. Something in line of decided testimony must be heard in vindication of the testimonies of the Spirit of God in our churches. Shall the people have it? Think of these things. May the Lord help you in your decisions, is my prayer. 6LtMs, Lt 20, 1890, par. 15