Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 81, 1901

Talk/To Board of Directors of Pacific Press


August 21, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in PM 61, 91-94, 195-196; 9MR 95. +Note

Talk given by Mrs. E. G. White to Board of Directors of Pacific Press. August 21, 1901.

I will take up the last question first. For the past fifteen years much has been presented to me regarding the special work which should be done for apprentices by those who occupy positions of responsibility in our publishing houses. The Lord will lead us onward and upward if we are willing to be led. He wants us to reach a higher standard of spirituality than we have reached in the past. Those carrying responsibilities in our publishing houses have under their charge apprentices, who will be influenced by their words and actions. Those who have any part to act in the education of these apprentices should reveal Christ in their lives. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 1

I have seen for a long time that the apprentices in our publishing houses have not received sufficient attention. It is not enough to see that they work the stated number of hours in the office. Connected with their work there should be hours for education. Studies should be taken up and lessons given at appointed times. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 2

The workers in the office should be as one family. Tell the apprentices that they are members of God’s family, and that He desires them to co-operate with Him. Tell them that they have been bought with a price, and that to each one of them God has given His work. To those who are faithful God will give capabilities, enabling them to rise higher and higher. They gain a knowledge of God’s will, and when temptation comes, they recognize it as such, and with God’s help resist it. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 3

The suggestion which has been made regarding the forming of classes for the education of the youth in the office is an excellent one. Bring pleasantness, encouragement, and hopefulness into this work. Reveal the truth that our heavenly Father has a close connection with us and that He wants us to stand where we can commune with Him. When we stand in this position, the salvation of the Lord will be revealed, for He says, “Them that honor me I will honor.” [1 Samuel 2:30.] 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 4

The apprentices should be given instruction in bookkeeping. A knowledge of how to keep accounts will be a great help to them personally and a great advantage in their work. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 5

The publication of our literature is a great work, a work which is to elevate and ennoble those connected with it, bringing before them their relation to God and God’s relation to them, and the great work that is to be done in the sanctification of body, soul, and spirit. Keep this before minds as a living question, and the Lord will surely make you instrumental in the salvation of souls. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 6

The youth in all our institutions are to be molded and fashioned and disciplined for God, and in this work the Lord’s mercy and love and tenderness are ever to be revealed. This is not to degenerate into weakness and sentimentality. We are to be kind, yet firm. God wants us to demonstrate His love by showing a living interest in the youth in our care. Hold them up before the Lord, and ask Him to do for them what you cannot do. Let them see that you realize your need of divine help. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 7

“Let him take hold of my strength that he may make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] God desires this spirit to pervade the office. When last winter I spoke to the office hands in the chapel, I knew that angels were in the room and that the mighty power of God was there. Such a demonstration as this should be the greatest encouragement to those connected with the office; for it shows that we are not working alone, that we have beside us One who is able and willing to help us to overcome. He says, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” And He adds, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18, 20.] 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 8

The conversation carried on in the office should be elevating, far removed from all trifling and nonsense. There is so much common conversation. The Lord desires everything connected with His service to stand on an elevated plane. Remember that angels are walking through the office. The workers should be weighted down with the importance of the work, for the time is short. We have only a little time in which to work. We should be preparing to move to the city which hath foundations, whose maker and builder is God. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 9

It is God’s desire that discipline and order shall be maintained, but no arbitrary authority is to be shown. Loud-toned commands, harsh, dictatorial orders, harden the spirit, while words which show that the heart is filled with the milk of human kindness have a great influence for good. Keep before the minds of the workers the fact that they are in the presence of God, and that it is His desire that they shall be sanctified through the truth. If in their work they seem to receive no benefit, if they are only hardened by their connection with God’s service, show them the danger of making their connection with the office a light matter, the danger of maintaining an attitude of indifference in regard to the influence they exert. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 10

Before a worker is admitted to the office, he should be examined in regard to his capabilities and his spiritual condition. This examination should not be conducted in an arbitrary manner, but in the love of Christ, not after the regular order, but after Christ’s order. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 11

You are to feel the same interest in the youth under your care that a minister feels in those for whom he is working. You are to feel even a deeper interest, because the youth in our institutions are being trained to fill positions of responsibility. You do not know where the youth now in your care may be called to go in the future. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 12

If familiarity is seen between the boys and the girls, take those in the wrong apart, and tell them that the course of action they have been following cannot be allowed in the office. Tell them that God is to be honored and glorified. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 13

You cannot in your own power do the work required of you. God will aid you. Angels will be with you as you work in the fear of the Lord. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 14

The light I have is that the ministers of Christ should take a deep interest in the spiritual welfare of those in all our institutions—our sanitariums, publishing houses, and schools. This is the instruction I have always tried to present. Again and again I have told our ministers that when they visit the office, they should make it a point to show their interest in the helpers by speaking to them of spiritual things. Show them that you have an interest in them. Ask them if they are making progress in the Christian life, if they delight in the study of God’s Word. If they are discouraged, pray with them. Never scold. Five minutes of prayer is worth more than half an hour’s scolding. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 15

The work done for the spiritual interest of the workers in the office should be done with cheerfulness. It is not to be looked upon as a burden, but as a privilege. Those who do this work are not to wear long faces, as though they were going to a funeral. Their countenances should be lighted up with the joy of serving Christ. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 16

Keep this idea uppermost. Make the social meeting as interesting as possible. Let each one feel that he has a duty to perform in the meeting. This will help the workers. Co-operate with the heavenly angels who are trying to make a right impression on every worker. They are sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 17

In reference to the establishment of a branch office in Mexico, I cannot see why this work should not be entered upon. I cannot see why, when we are the helping hand of God, when we have been given instruction in regard to the part the publishing work is to act in carrying the message of present truth, this opportunity should not be improved. It is through the publication of our literature that light is to shine forth to many places. Our books and tracts and papers will go where we cannot go. As these messengers are sent on their way, they will give their message. No one can enter into controversy with them, for they cannot answer back. They stand as dumb, but powerful witnesses for the truth. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 18

Matters have been presented to me in this way. In some places where there are those who have been kept in one position for years, a change is frequently necessary. We read in God’s Word, “Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity; therefore his taste remaineth in him, and his scent is not changed.” [Jeremiah 48:11.] 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 19

Those connected with our publishing houses should take an active interest in missionary work. As I look through the rooms of this office, and see the advantages you have, I wonder whether you realize the disadvantages against which those who are starting the work in new fields must contend. God has blessed you, and when a call is made for help by those who are endeavoring to establish another publishing house, He wants you to be ready to respond, just as He wants the sanitariums to respond when a call for help is made by those who are starting a new sanitarium. Those connected with our institutions which have been long established should overcome the inclination to add to their already abundant facilities, realizing that they have one hundredfold more than a newly established institution. Instead of investing money unnecessarily to make their own work more convenient, they should help in those places where the workers have nothing upon which to draw. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 20

Attention has been called to the Southern field. All ought to feel a living interest in this work. They should do all they can to help, and God will return to them double for all they do. This is God’s work and the money is His. When His workers obey His directions by establishing the work in a new field, it is not His purpose that they shall be left to struggle along without help. When they pray to Him for aid, He has some way of answering their prayers, someone whom He desires to use as His helping hand in sending them assistance. And He will give them spiritual perception, so that the help sent them will be multiplied by wise use. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 21

This instruction has been repeated to me no less than fifty times. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 22

I am glad to hear Brother Jones speaking of Mexico. I am sure that God has a work to do in that field. It may be hard to see that much advancement is being made, but as in faith you sow the seeds of truth, you will reap a harvest. It is in God’s order that the work should be started in Mexico. Let this work advance. The Lord desires His people to reach out into new fields. They are not to say, “The work is established where we are, and we need make no further efforts.” Christ says, “Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are ripe already to harvest.” [John 4:35.] When doors are opened to us, God wants us to enter at once. Be prepared to improve the opportunity. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 23

It is highly proper for those working at established centers to ask themselves, “What would I do were I in the position of those who are trying to start the work?” Let them practice self-denial, that they may make less taxing the work of those who are laboring in hard places. This is the purpose of God. When He tells you to help the work in such a place, take hold willingly to help. As this is done, God helps you, separating from your life that which He calls idolatry. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 24

God wants everyone to represent Christ. We are to work as He worked. He did not confine His efforts to one place. When the people of one city pressed Him to remain with them, He said, “I must preach the kingdom of God in other cities also; for therefore am I sent.” [Luke 4:43.] God wants us to show in the work in all parts of the world an interest like the interest of Christ. He wants us to do all in our power to bring prosperity to His work, that He may be represented. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 25

We have failed to study from cause to effect. We have not understood that we must be producers as well as consumers. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 26

At one time I was instructed to say to the ministers in Oakland, “Why do you remain here, treading on one another’s heels? Why do you not go to new fields?” They said, “Most of the places in California have been worked.” But what if they have? Go to the people with a new message, a new gift. An interest will be awakened in the minds of many, and they will accept the truth. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 27

But this is not all. Go to fields where the people have never heard the truth. There are such fields all around you, and every gift is needed. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 28

In regard to the management of this office, there are points which God desires you always to remember. Never say as <some have> said, “Business is business, and religion is religion.” God desires the spirit of liberality, generosity, and tenderness to control in the office. Do not allow this spirit to be quenched. Do not allow a spirit of harshness to rule. Be sensitive to the necessities of others. God wants us to respond to the calls for help, for His work is one. Do all you can to relieve the necessities that arise. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 29

Tell the workers in the office of the needs of the work. Tell them of the education God wants them to obtain, that they may serve Him acceptably. Tell them that if they do all in their power to form a character which He can approve, their work will bear His endorsement, and although they may feel very weak, yet if they give themselves and all their interests to God, He will use them as His helping hand. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 30

Those who improve their opportunities for gaining a knowledge of God, walking in the light and doing faithfully the work given them, will be used by the Lord. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” [Luke 16:10.] If small things are done with God’s glory in view, the larger things will also be done in this way. This is the instruction the apprentices need, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 31

These are some of the things which have been presented to me as matters of which you should take notice. Those in positions of responsibility in our publishing houses should not allow themselves to be pressed beyond measure with their work, so that they have no time to give to the spiritual interests which should ever be a living power in the office. When this interest is kept alive in the office, it will exert a powerful influence in the church, and when it is kept alive in the church, it will exert a powerful influence in the office. God’s blessing will rest on the work when it is carried on in such a way that souls are won to Christ. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 32

Sometime ago I was instructed that there are in the office things that are underhand and covered up. Were Christ on this earth, He would cleanse the office as He cleansed the temple. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 33

Here is another point. Some one was looking over an order of job work which had come in. The inquiry was made, “How much do you receive for such work?” On hearing the reply, the question was asked, “Will it pay? Will it pay? This work occupies the hands and minds of many of your workers. Will it pay?” 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 34

Let your outside work go when it interferes with the spirituality of the office. Keep up the denominational work. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 35

Teach the apprentices to do their work with exactitude. This is the instruction God desires you to give. To give the apprentices the education they need will require time. It may seem that you cannot afford so much time. But the time expended in this work will bring splendid interest; O, it will bring splendid interest! As you strive to give the youth in your care a perfect education, your work will be approved by God. You are working with Christ. Those for whom you work may be faulty. They may have inherited from their parents tendencies to wrong. Be kind to them. God wants us to stand where we can say, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” [Psalm 18:35.] 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 36

While we are to be gentle, we are never to cover up an error. We are to strive earnestly to lead those who sin to see the sinfulness of sin. When God sees that we are trying to work for the ignorant and those who are out of the way, He will help us. When one offends, do not turn him off without laboring earnestly for him. Give him another trial. Urge him to reform. If he is turned away without repenting, he will continue to do as he has done in the past. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 37

Win the confidence of the youth. I have always said, “Give me the confidence of a child, and I can do anything with him.” In dealing with one another in business lines, be sure not to do anything that will cause others to lose confidence in you. Stand on the side of liberality and mercy. Let all you do and say leave the impression that you are striving to reveal God’s love. In His directions to the children of Israel, the Lord told them that they were not to gather all the fruit from their vineyards and that they were to leave the corners of their fields unreaped, that the needy might thereby find sustenance. Today He desires us to help those who are struggling to find standing room. Never are we to look upon it as a virtue to make their work as hard as possible. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 38

God is rich. He can afford to be liberal. He desires His servants to work in lines that will inspire confidence. Every one is to be liberally dealt with. Yet the fragments are to be gathered up, that nothing be lost. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 39

In dealing with minds, be very careful to reveal Christ. Make your apprentices understand that they are a part of the firm. Say to them, “We want you to co-operate with Christ. As you do this, you will work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God will work in you, to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Do nothing that will lead the apprentices to feel that they have not been treated right. This feeling corrodes in the mind, and the impression is never lost. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 40

May the Lord give us tender hearts, hearts of flesh, not hearts of steel. Remember that as you judge, so you will be judged. To those who show mercy, God will show mercy. Remember that to you has been given the privilege of helping Christ in the person of His saints. When you use this privilege aright, you are giving glory to the Saviour. Your work will bring you rich returns. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 41

I speak of these things because I want you to study them. God desires you to give these matters special attention. If we raise the standard high and keep it high, God will give us for our hire souls who will rightly represent His truth. This is better than money. When in this institution God’s work is done in His way, rich blessings will come to the workers. 16LtMs, Ms 81, 1901, par. 42