Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 56, 1897

Hare, Brother

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August 17, 1897

This letter is published in entirety in 13MR 355-358.

Dear Brother Hare:

I must speak to you, Brother Haskell, Brother Hughes, Brother Wilson, and Brother Daniells. When we parted with you last evening, I said, We will not hasten the building of the meetinghouse, but last night has changed my ideas materially. I received instruction which I cannot now put on paper fully. The instruction given me was to give to the people the words of the prophet Haggai, “Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built. Then came the word of the Lord from the prophet saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste,” be left without attention, without coming [into] your calculation? “Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. ... Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.” [Haggai 1:2-5, 8.] 12LtMs, Lt 56, 1897, par. 1

The question was asked, Shall the house of the Lord be left as the last consideration? Read this chapter of inspiration, and take heed unto it. The first and second chapters contain lessons for us. I received instruction to speak to the people, and tell them that we are not to leave the house of the Lord until the last consideration. There is no place of worship we can secure in which to assemble. In the cities, halls can be obtained, but the place in which we worship is becoming too small for us. This is not according to the will of God. Our first consideration should be to build a house for the Lord. 12LtMs, Lt 56, 1897, par. 2

Again I was instructed that our place of worship should be easy of access, and that the most precious portion of the land should be selected as a place on which to build for God. The question was asked, Have you shown proper respect for the Master? Have you shown the eloquence of true politeness toward God? He is the one from whom all your blessings flow. You have not any good thing but that comes from God. You cannot worship God in a correct manner where you are now. You cannot bow before Him in a suitable position. Build a house for God without delay. Secure the most favorable location. Prepare seats that will be proper for a house of God. 12LtMs, Lt 56, 1897, par. 3

I repeat the light given me by God again and again. Bring to God no mean offering. Let all bring their ability and devising and tact into the work, for it is to stand as a symbol of the respect due to God, the politeness we should ever show before the people to the Lord of heaven. 12LtMs, Lt 56, 1897, par. 4

Our first consideration should have been to erect a house of worship. The words were spoken with emphasis, show politeness toward God. Give decided preference to Him. We will reveal that we honor our God by preparing a place where we may conduct religious services that will harmonize in every possible way with the sacred, elevated character of the truth we advocate. In everything we should show our faith toward God by our works. We cannot see God with the natural eye, but we can reveal Him in the deference and respect and Christian politeness we manifest in our works. Thus we show that we honor God. 12LtMs, Lt 56, 1897, par. 5

I cannot now present all the matter as it was given me. But one thing I am determined upon—that we shall show that we honor and glorify God by building a house for Him. Time is short, but this is necessary. The further it is removed from the school buildings calling the students to go to and from the place of meeting, the better will be the influence. They should not pair off ladies with gentlemen, but ladies with ladies, and gentlemen with gentlemen. Orderly movements should be maintained by all who are making their home in the school buildings. 12LtMs, Lt 56, 1897, par. 6

I will write no more now, but this work must come first of everything. Those who occupy the room in the school building should have a place in which to meet and worship God. The work of God would have been largely advanced if in the place of occupying the room above the mill, we had shown our respect and our view of the holiness of God by building a house of worship. When Abraham was sojourning in his own country, the Lord told him he must leave his kindred, and go into a strange land, and that wherever he pitched his tent his first work was to build an altar for God, where he could worship God with those who were accompanying [him] as pilgrims and strangers. 12LtMs, Lt 56, 1897, par. 7

The Lord would have wrought for us if we had shown our faith by our works, if we had considered the greatness and glory of our God and our obligations to Him. This would have testified to the character of our work as nothing else could have done. We have this neglect to repent of, and if the Lord will forgive our neglect and our stupidity, we will never repeat this mistake, but will make God first, and exalt His service in everything we do. 12LtMs, Lt 56, 1897, par. 8

We will honor God, and show Him true politeness by building a place where He can be our honored guest, to come in and meet with us, where all the association will be of a character that will show that we reverence God, and make Him our first consideration. Has not the Lord given light to his people upon this subject? Have you not had a testimony to bear on this point? Why has this matter been left for the very last? It should have been the very first work done on the school grounds. This would have revealed an altogether different aspect of the work, and would have met the approval of God. 12LtMs, Lt 56, 1897, par. 9