Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 82, 1896

Olsen, O. A.

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, Australia

September 10, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in TM 305-308.

Dear Brother Olsen:

I cannot sleep after half past two o’clock a.m., so I rise and prepare to write. I am much impressed to write to you. Be assured that we feel very deeply over your case. We know that you have had many burdens to bear. Your only safety in lifting essential burdens, and doing justice to them, is in keeping yourself free from every burden that does not necessarily belong to you, to lift or carry. You are the Lord’s property; you are not your own. You have not right to accumulate so many burdens that matters of vital consequence are left half done. You have turned your attention to altogether large a variety of things and it has not been possible for you to accomplish the very work which your position requires you to do. 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 1

It is not best for you to feel that you must be present at the many camp meetings that are held. You cannot do this, and preserve vital force to do the thinking, the planning, the praying, and keep your heart open to hear the voice of God to you. It is to be understood the president of the General Conference is a mortal man, subject to weariness and temptation. When weary, you should not place yourself where you will be compelled to act so much. You should have connected with you the very best talent, the most reliable men, men who make God their fear and trust. 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 2

You have gathered burdens upon your own self that you were not required to bear. In consequence of this, presidents of conferences have allowed you to do the work which belonged to them, and which would have qualified them to be representative men. Your doing this work has been no blessing to them, but has taught them—men placed in responsible positions—to do their work negligently. It has been robbing them of the very experience they should have had. They do not feel their own weakness, their own inefficiency to manage the very work under their supervision. 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 3

If any trouble comes, many do not carry their perplexities to The Great Counselor who is their efficiency at all times, and in all places, but they unload their burdens upon the president of the General Conference, as though he was God. You are trying to respond to all their calls and lift all their responsibilities yourself. This is the thing that is making men deficient in experience. 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 4

If there are men in office who cannot fill their positions as presidents of state conferences, release them. Let all who serve understand that they are to do the work faithfully. If they do not know how to meet the demands that they should meet, but let everything go to loose ends, they are every year becoming less trustworthy, and a demoralized state of things will certainly come into the conference. 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 5

Many presidents of state conferences do not attend to that which is their work—to see that the elders and deacons of the churches do their work in the churches by seeing that a faithful tithe is brought into the treasury. Malachi has specified that the condition of prosperity is in bringing to God’s treasury that which is His own. This principle needs to be often brought before the men who are lax in their duty to God, who are neglectful and careless in bringing in their tithes, gifts, and offerings to God. “Will a man rob God?” “Wherein have we robbed thee?” Is the question asked by the unfaithful stewards. The answer comes plain and positive, “In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the store house, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” [Malachi 3:8-10.] Please read this whole chapter and see if words could be spoken that would be more plain and positive than these are. They are that positive that no one who desires to understand his whole duty to God needs to make any mistake in the matter. If men offer any excuse as to why they do not perform this duty, It is because they are selfish, and have not the love and fear of God in their heart. 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 6

The Lord has always required this response to His arrangements in carrying forward His work in our world. He has never changed His own devised plan. He lays claim to all as His own, but a portion of His entrusted talents He claims as His. “For I am the Lord. I change not. Therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Verses 6, 7.] 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 7

Those who plead that they cannot understand this plain and decisive statement, which, if they are obedient, means as much to them, in blessings which will be received, when even the window of heaven will be opened, and blessings poured out to overflowing, are not honest before God. There will be no excuse made for them in the great day of judgment, that they did not know the will of God. 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 8

Let the neglected tithes be now brought in. Let the new year open upon you as men honest in their deal with God. Let those that have withheld their tithes, send them in before the year 1896 shall close, that they may be right with God, and never, never again run any risk of being cursed of God. Presidents of our conferences, do your duty; speak not your own words, but a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” Elders of the churches do your duty. Labor from home to home, that the flock of God shall not be remiss in this great matter, which involves such a blessing or such a curse. 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 9

Let all who fear God come up to the help of the Lord, and show themselves faithful stewards. The truth must go to all parts of the world, and I have been shown that many in our churches are robbing God in tithes and offerings. God will execute upon them just that which He has declared. To the obedient He will give rich blessings; to the transgressor a curse. Every man who bears the message of truth to our churches must do his duty by warning, educating, rebuking. Any neglect of duty, which is a robbery toward God, means a curse upon the delinquent. 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 10

The Lord will not hold those guiltless who are deficient in doing the work that He requires at their hands—in seeing that the church is kept wholesome and healthy spiritually, and doing all their duty; in allowing no neglect which will bring the threatened curse upon His people. A curse is pronounced upon all who withhold their tithe from God. He says, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house.” [Verses 8-10.] 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 11

This is not a request of man; it is one of God’s ordinances, whereby His work may be sustained and carried on in the world. God help us to repent. “Return unto me,” He says, “and I will return unto you.” [Verse 7.] Men who have a desire to do their duty have it laid down in clear lines in this chapter. No one can excuse themselves from paying their tithes and offerings to the Lord. 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 12

The Lord bestows His gifts abundantly upon us. He “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Every blessing we have comes through Jesus Christ. Then shall we not arouse, and do our duty toward God, upon whom we are dependent for life and health for His blessing upon our crops and fields, our cattle, our herds, and our vineyards. We are assured if we give to the Lord’s treasury, we shall receive of Him again; but if we withhold our means, He will withhold His blessing from us, and send a curse upon the unfaithful. 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 13

God has said, “Prove me now herewith, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” What a wonderful presentation in promised blessings is He giving us. Who can venture to rob God in tithes and offerings with such a promise as this? “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruit of your grounds, neither shall your vines cast her fruit, before her time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Malachi 3:10-12.] 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 14

Another year has nearly passed into eternity with its burden of record. Let us look over the past year, and if we have not done our full duty, willingly, heartily unto the Lord, let us come up to the new year in making a faithful record to our God. 11LtMs, Lt 82, 1896, par. 15