Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14

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Lt 137, 1899

White, J. E.

Strathfield, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

September 8, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in PM 219.

Dear Son Edson:

About a week before your letters came, I seemed to be in an assembly where many things were being considered. By several who were present the question was asked, Why is there so little prosperity attending our institutions? Why is there such a great dearth of means? 14LtMs, Lt 137, 1899, par. 1

Many resolutions had been made which had never been carried out, and there seemed to be a heavy burden upon us all. Then a voice said to us, “You have not obeyed the voice of God. In Leviticus you have Christ’s words recorded for your direction in various lines of work, but the principles of God’s Word have been disregarded.” 14LtMs, Lt 137, 1899, par. 2

To the ancient Israelites God said, “If thou make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not make it of hewn stones; for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.” [Exodus 20:25.] We are not to make things to represent heavenly things, for by so doing we mingle the sacred with the common. The Lord is not pleased with these things. An extravagant outlay of means has been made for illustrations. Thousands of dollars have been expended which has not tended to glorify God. A large number of illustrations in a book will cause some persons to purchase it who would otherwise not take it; but the benefit derived is not equal to the disadvantages. God can make pictures upon the mind’s eye more beautiful and correct than can be made by the greatest artist who has ever presented to the world a representation of heavenly things. 14LtMs, Lt 137, 1899, par. 3

A strife for supremacy has come in the line of picture making. Men have crowded into books the productions of the human fancy which is of little worth. This state of things has been largely brought about by the canvassers’ representations. These many illustrations do not serve to convert souls but to feed the imagination with food that gives no real spirituality or life. Thousands of dollars have been expended for that which is not bread. 14LtMs, Lt 137, 1899, par. 4

Christ said, “He that eateth the flesh and drinketh the blood of the Son of God, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.” [John 6:54, 44-46.] 14LtMs, Lt 137, 1899, par. 5