Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 69, 1899

Words of Counsel in Regard to the Publishing Work


May 8, 1899

Previously unpublished.

Some matters have been presented to me, of which I will speak. The question of restitution has been brought before my mind. My attention was called to The Gospel Primer, which was prepared for the benefit of the people and work in the Southern Field. The management of this little book has not been carried on in correct lines, and those whose eyes are opened can better understand the curious way in which the work has been done. The Gospel Primer was a cheap, simple book, prepared for a special object. Its large sale has proved that many others, besides the people in the Southern Field, have desired to possess it. The profits from these sales should have been given to the work in the Southern Field, for the beginning of the work in that field needs all the profits that can be brought in from this source. 14LtMs, Ms 69, 1899, par. 1

In the management of The Gospel Primer justice and righteousness were confused. Another book was brought in, but it could not take the place of The Gospel Primer, which was the ABC of gospel instruction to ignorant, benighted souls. A strange work has been done in regard to this little book, and this work stands recorded in the books of heaven, revealing the character of those who turned from its rightful place the means which should have been used for the advancement of the work. 14LtMs, Ms 69, 1899, par. 2

Another book, The Coming King was published, in the hope that the means received from its sale would help in upbuilding the work in the Southern Field. But scarcely had it begun its work when another book from the Pacific Press was brought in, calling the attention of the people from The Coming King. I have not seen this book, but from the light given me, I know that it will cut directly across the path of the book preceding it, because it will cover almost the same ground and speak almost the same things. I have been shown that evils which have existed in the past will come in. This book will get in the way of the other book. These strange movements have not in them one thread of the Spirit of God. They plainly reveal the devising of men. 14LtMs, Ms 69, 1899, par. 3

The publishers should have foresight, if the author has not, and weigh the result of such a course of action upon a brother’s prospects. There has been much of this work done, and there needs now to be a careful consideration of the matter, else the publishing work will call for the appointment of men whose principles enable them to discriminate between right and wrong, justice and injustice, who can appreciate equality and fair dealing. These things are not regarded as they should be. Matters are not managed with discretion as they should be and as they must be, else God will not be glorified. Means which should have been used to sustain the work in the Southern Field has been diverted to other channels. 14LtMs, Ms 69, 1899, par. 4

Will our brethren now follow the principles of the law of God, and give others a chance to do the work God designs them to do? I feel sorry to see books crowded on the market, without a thought of what reference they have to books that have preceded them. Will Brother Tait and other brethren study the cause and effect of every movement made? The publishing of books is a matter that can be so treated that God will look upon it with a frown instead of a blessing. 14LtMs, Ms 69, 1899, par. 5

I have not heard a word in regard to this matter from Edson. Things have happened in connection with the publishing of his books that have been trying to mind and spirit; but we have great hope that the Lord will strengthen Edson to do His will in the hard field he is in, which is fraught with many dangers and perils. If Edson could be connected with me in my work of bookmaking, it would be a great blessing to me; but this cannot be. 14LtMs, Ms 69, 1899, par. 6

I desire that in the publishing work my brethren shall not move in a haphazard manner, and thus do injustice to their brother, who has worked hard, and who borrowed money to invest in his book, The Coming King. This book has only been on the market a short time, and now the attention of the canvassers is diverted to another book, before The Coming King has had a fair chance. 14LtMs, Ms 69, 1899, par. 7

Fairness must be observed in the publishing work. Edson has not said one word to me in regard to this matter; but I see danger ahead. A recklessness is coming into the publishing work which will place this work where it will need adjustment. The rule should be observed that one book is not to be crowded into the market before the book preceding it has had a fair chance. I leave these words with you. 14LtMs, Ms 69, 1899, par. 8