Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 82a, 1896

Olsen, O. A.


[September 1896]

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Olsen:

I have just placed in the hands of my type writer a message to you and to our people. I feel deeply over this matter. I have been shown that many are venturing to rob God, and the result is, His work cannot advance in this country or in any missionary field as it should. The work of God is hindered; the treasuries are empty; heavy debts lie upon the conferences, not because of extravagant expenditure of means in buildings, for I am sure the strictest economy is practiced by us all. But I have advanced and advanced in appropriation of means, until I am at loss to know how to meet the demands. 11LtMs, Lt 82a, 1896, par. 1

I am keeping five men in employment on my grounds, at the lowest wages, one pound per week, and their dinner; but they had nothing for their families, to supply food and clothing. In the place of giving them money, I give them something to do. These all believe the truth but one, a carpenter, I employed [for] a few days. He has [had] no work all winter. Now I broke the spell by hiring him. He is deciding to keep the Sabbath. Several have embraced the truth since we came here. Well, we must do all we can to help the suffering [and] needy. They are all intelligent, good workmen. Mr. Matthews worked for me one week, and now he has found work from outside parties for two weeks to come, and perhaps a way may open before him for more work. He was a wealth man, but lost all in an investment and the breaking of the banks. Still another has told me his story. The banks have left him utterly poor, and no work to be had. But I cannot begin to write all. 11LtMs, Lt 82a, 1896, par. 2

The school lands cannot be worked. No man can be hired, for there is no money to pay. The pressure is tremendous everywhere; it is growing worse in the place of growing better. What shall we do? We cannot tell. I must close this; but I say to you, Do not be discouraged, but hope thou in God. While I am compelled to tell you how things are as presented to me, I have nought but love in my heart, and deepest sympathy. Cling to God, cling firmly; hold fast, and do not shun to declare the whole counsel of God. I dare not smooth things over; you have occupied a middle ground long enough, and tied your own hands and crippled your own influence, in your middle-ground position. Now, for Christ’s sake, heed the testimony God has given you. Do not read them to others and then walk directly contrary to the counsels and warnings given, as you have done. Take your position on the right side. All there is of you, let it be on the Lord’s side. 11LtMs, Lt 82a, 1896, par. 3

In love. 11LtMs, Lt 82a, 1896, par. 4