Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 79, 1898

Missionary Work a Means of Education


June 22, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 8MR 258.

The Week of Prayer is now in the past, and we see nothing to discourage in the results of the efforts we have made to get the people who are scattered all through this locality to the meetings. More and more we see that the hand of God directed us to this place. We see the wisdom of our being away from the cities where there is so much as it was in the days of Noah and Sodom. 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 1

The beautiful old world was corrupted by its inhabitants. “And the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” [Genesis 6:5-7.] 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 2

In his description of the earth in the last days, He said, “As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” [Matthew 24:37-39.] We see these things existing in this period of the earth’s history. Prophets have declared that which would take place in the latter days, and we see the fulfillment of prophesy. 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 3

We see the world in just such a condition as it was before its destruction by the flood. If we fully believed that the end is near, that Christ is soon to come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, we would realize that we have a work to do in lifting the standard of truth in the highways and byways. High and low alike are to hear the message of truth. 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 4

As Christians we have been slow to understand the work for this present time; but in the providence of God we have purchased land, and have erected three buildings for the accommodation of students. And as the number of students increases, we shall need still another building. An encouraging class of students are in attendance who are having the advantages of education. They are learning from nature’s book the lessons essential for them in their religious life. Most precious lessons are being given from the Word of God, and in this work we have the experience of Elder Haskell, whose teaching is highly appreciated. 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 5

During the Week of Prayer the Lord gave me an earnest of what He is prepared to do for all who call upon Him in faith. He will work in behalf of the youth, and all who come to the Avondale school to receive the benefits of an education in some respects different from all other schools. These students are to have an opportunity to obtain the “Higher education.” From the Word they are to learn of God and of Jesus Christ. They are to have not merely a theory of truth, but a knowledge that will make them wise unto salvation. They are to understand that the service of God is to be brought into every occupation of life. We are not to choose our place of duty. Service means work, and we can find work for the Master wherever God places us. 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 6

If the students would do faithfully the work God has given them, they will need all the instruction they are receiving. They will seek to understand the purpose of God, that they may communicate the precious lessons they have received. The instruction they are obtaining in the Word of God will make them diligent students in all lines of study, and fit them for service. 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 7

Much attention should be given to the practice of reading with full, clear, distinct voice, giving proper emphasis to each word. Students should be qualified to speak in an acceptable manner before congregations, and they are to drill themselves in regard to the best methods of speaking. They need also to learn to spell correctly, to write in a clear, fair hand, and to keep accounts. This last study has been strangely dropped out of our school work, but it should be considered an essential branch. Those studies that will make the student perfect in these lines will prepare them to stand in positions of trust. 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 8

The lessons given in Bible lines should be repeated over and over again in plain and simple language. The truths of God’s Word are to be fastened in the mind of all who hear, and nothing will do this so effectually as for them to engage in missionary labor, and [in] speaking to others of the truth that have made an impression on their own minds. If they seek the Lord in earnest prayer daily, they will understand how to meet the people where they are. There are truths which Christ gave in regard to His mission and work which all can communicate if they will. They can meet the people as Christ met them—where they are. They can illustrate the spiritual sowing and growth of the seed by the natural things with which their hearers are familiar. Thus the words of truth will be repeated again and again. 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 9

It is essential that the students seek the Lord in earnest prayer day by day, if they would obtain that strength and wisdom which they must have. God’s work in them can only be perfected by their placing themselves as wholly and entirely dependent upon the Lord for His sanctifying grace. This is the essential experience, combined with the ministry of the servants of God. 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 10

The change in the human heart none can effect but He who has created man. God alone can give the increase. Every teacher is to realize that he is to be worked by divine agencies. The human ideas and judgment of the most experienced are liable to be imperfect and faulty; and the frail instruments, subject to their own hereditary traits of character, have need to submit to the sanctification of the Holy Spirit every day, else self will gather the reins and want to drive. All human methods and plans and ideas must be brought to God for His correction and endorsement in the meek and lowly spirit of a learner, or the restless energy of Paul, the skilful logic of Apollos, will be useless as far as the conversion of souls is concerned. 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 11

The receiving and imparting of the truth is essential, but unless the heart of both the sower and the receiver are under the divine mold, unless they step in submissive obedience in the path that Christ has traveled, self will wrestle for the supremacy and will obtain it. The ministry of the divine Word is an important part of God’s plan, but every human being must have a teachable spirit, and yoke up with Christ. The frail instrument is nothing. “Without me,” Christ said, “ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 12

Teachers and students are to so unite with Christ that their mind will be brought into captivity to Him. We must let Christ be revealed in us. We must be His representatives to the world. Says the apostle, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” [Colossians 4:5.] Self-confidence is not an evidence of advancement in the knowledge of God. The great Teacher says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 13LtMs, Ms 79, 1898, par. 13