Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 58, 1894

Olsen, O. A.

“Norfolk Villa,” Prospect St., Granville, New South Wales, Asutralia

November 26, 1894

This letter is published in entirety in 1888 1316-1321.

Dear Brother,

Of late I have not addressed so many communications to you as heretofore, fearing to lay upon you responsibilities that would be a task. When we left Michigan, I placed in your hands testimonies in regard to matters in the office. They were important and explicit, and I enjoined upon you to have a most faithful work done in reading the testimonies to those concerned, in order to correct the existing evils. But you did not follow the directions, and the same things went on accumulating in their objectionable features until the matter was again presented to me in an aggravated character, with these words for those in responsible positions: “Neither will I serve with your sins, or be with you any more, unless you put away the wrongs from among you.” 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 1

I learned from letters received from you that you did not read the testimonies to those concerned and decidedly point out their errors. Here you failed to do your duty as president of the General Conference. You were presented to me in Council meetings, listening to the statement and decisions of strong-minded and hard-hearted men who were not under the controlling influence of the Spirit of God. You knew that these decisions were not according to God’s order, yet you did not protest against them, and thus suffered them to pass as having received your sanction. Thus things have been going according to the will and impulse of men who are opposed to God’s will and are bringing in an order of things that God cannot accept or sanction. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 2

You thought that you would deal with these matters in your discourses by dwelling upon general principles, and hoped that this would prove the best method of correcting the wrongs. But you should have spoken in the board and council meetings. The wrong principles advanced should not have been permitted to take form in wrong practice because you held your peace or gave such a feeble protest that those who were pursuing the wrong course thought you were with them. The sanction which you gave by your silence strengthened their hands in an evil work. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 3

You yourself have not been able to discern clearly the right and justice, the tenderness and mercy and strict integrity, which should have been maintained in all your decisions. These matters have several times been presented before me, and I dare not withhold them. You might better have done far less preaching and reserved your energies to take your stand personally against the wrong—in spirit, in mind, in judgment—that has struggled for the mastery, and in a large degree obtained it, leading to a wrong course of action. Had you thus taken your stand, your discernment would have been sharper, and you would have been able to give your decision against the slightest act of injustice toward God’s heritage. Those who are working contrary to the will of God and misrepresenting His character would have been given to understand distinctly that you could not permit these things to go on; you could not let them pass in heaven as your action. It was your duty to speak decidedly, but you kept silent. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 4

I send this to you because I do not wish you to feel that I am in harmony with your course in these things. I beseech you to serve God with your mind, might, and strength, and make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. I have deep, earnest interest and love for you, and I am so anxious that you shall not in any case give your endorsement to wrong doing. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 5

I have recently sent very earnest, decided testimonies to men in responsible positions that they should not have occupied up to this time without evidence of a thorough transformation of character. Whatever their business tact, these men who have so long been evidently resisting light and evidence [and] fighting against God should have been separated from the work, both for their own souls’ sakes and for the sake of the cause. For while they are kept in positions of trust, their voice and influence sway many things in the wrong direction. When matters of the greatest importance have come up for decision, their judgment on the questions have depended on the state of mind they chanced to be in. The mind and heart are not under the influence of the Spirit of God. They are men of strong temperament, decided preferences, and much force of character, and their will and influence have decided matters under the control of another spirit than the Spirit of God. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 6

If these men had a sense of what they have been doing, of what they must meet in that great day when all shall see as they are seen, and know as they are known, they would feel an anguish of heart, an agony of soul, that would be somewhat proportionate to the harm they have done the cause of God. At times temptations come into such minds with overpowering force, for Satan never sleeps, and never takes a vacation. He is always watching his chance to crowd into your important meetings, to reveal his own attributes through the workers, and make of no effect the spirit of testimony that has been appealing to them in reproof and warnings for many years. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 7

The only hope of these men of iron will and hearts of stone is to fall on the Rock and be broken. Contact with Christ bring currents of divine power into the soul, so that the old, cherished, natural tendencies, habits, and practices, are changed by the Spirit of God. What they need is a genuine conversion. When they have this experience, these weak, tempted souls will look unto Jesus and say, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” [Philippians 4:13.] They need to appreciate every ray of light that comes from the throne of God into their pathway. They need to catch the Spirit and principle of the holy law of God, and conform their life to the character of Christ. A new power takes possession of the new heart. Man can never work out this change for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into weak and wicked human nature. This power will cast out the devils that possessed the mind and will, and whose power has been revealed even in the words and works of those who claim to be children of God. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 8

The truth of God has been resisted and trampled down by men who hated its pure and heavenly principles. Men have walked in the fire of the sparks of their own kindling. God wants every man who is connected with His sacred work to be a man with whom he can communicate, a man of humble, teachable spirit, and contrite heart. Workers who possess this character will not creep and grovel in earthliness, they will not be in bondage to men nor to satanic agencies. They will quit themselves like men and be strong. They will turn their faces to the Sun of Righteousness, rising above all baser things into an atmosphere pure from all spiritual and moral defilement. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 9

He who has become a partaker of the divine nature knows that his citizenship is above. He catches the inspiration from the Spirit of Christ. His soul is hid with Christ in God. Such a man Satan can no longer employ as his instrumentality to insinuate himself into the very sanctuary of God, to defile the temple of God. He gains victories at every step. He is filled with ennobling thoughts. He regards every human being as precious, because Christ has died for every soul. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 10

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” [Isaiah 40:31.] The man who waits upon the Lord is strong in His strength, strong enough to hold firm under great pressure. Yet he is easy to be entreated on the side of mercy and compassion, which is the side of Christ. The soul that is submissive to God is ready to do the will of God; he diligently and humbly seeks to know that will. He accepts discipline, and is afraid to walk according to his own finite judgment. He communes with God, and his conversation is in heaven. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 11

O, how much evil has been committed by placing a high estimate on human talent, when the possessor was unconsecrated, unsanctified. All human talent is valueless before God until the superscription of Jesus is placed upon it. Then in and through Christ the possessor becomes an efficient agent for good, because he has a living connection with God. When truth gets full possession of a man’s conscience, it sanctifies the soul. All his sensibilities are aroused, his sympathies are not fitful. The light from the Sun of Righteousness shines into his heart, and he becomes an earnest, living representative of truth. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 12

It is not the most eloquent men or the so-called great men in business matters that are essential, but men who may be looked upon as having little talent, yet who are true, simple, humble, great-hearted men; these may attain to wide usefulness, blessing humanity everywhere. Jesus says, “Ye are the salt of the earth.” [Matthew 5:13.] Would that every man in the office of publication would practice the lesson taught by this symbol and represent the saving salt. God is not deceived; He knows every grain of pure salt. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 13

Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. The Lord would have us walk with Him. If He directs the work, it will move in His way, and will bear His impress. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 14

I write you this because I dare not do otherwise. I do not want you to bear all the responsibility, therefore I will send this to others who should understand the situation, and help you. We are praying for you that God will give you His supporting grace. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 15

With sincere desire that you may be wholly and ever on the Lord’s side, I will wait and watch and pray. 9LtMs, Lt 58, 1894, par. 16