Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 191, 1901

Hoover, W. L.

On board train for Ogden, Utah

May 16, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 135. +Note

Brother Hoover,—

We are nearing Ogden. Your case is burdening my mind. When I met you at Boulder, I knew that I had a message for you. I feel a great burden for you because of your self-deception and because of the danger of those who are influenced by your smooth words and fair speeches. I cannot rid myself of the burden until I write out the things that have been impressed on my mind with regard to you. By your misconceived opinions you are not only injuring yourself, but others. You are cherishing a confused science which you suppose will pass for superior wisdom. You have a high estimate of yourself. God has given you talent, but it is not properly used. It is a dangerous thing to be self-deceived. Had you a true estimate of yourself, you would see your need of a deeper, sanctified education. 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 1

The brethren have placed you in connection with our institutions, supposing you to be adapted to the work you were to do; but those with whom you have worked have come to understand that although you have an outside gloss, you have in many ways a lack of true, genuine experience. You have used your capabilities to exalt yourself. You need an understanding of self—the understanding all need who work for the Lord. The very first step you need to take is to bring your mind to a proper balance. You are to seek for, hunger for, Christian attainments. The invitation has been given, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.” [Matthew 11:29.] You are to come to Christ as one who feels that he must learn. You need to realize that learning of Him is necessary to the perfection of Christian character. 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 2

Christ says: “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.” [Verses 29, 30.] Precious is the experience of finding rest. He who does not, day by day, learn lessons from Christ, cannot appreciate the suggestions of the Spirit of God. But he who learns daily of Jesus, making use of every means of grace, grows in the knowledge of God. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the peace and comfort of hope fill his heart. He increases in faith and trust. His development in Christlikeness is apparent to all. 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 3

The striving to enter the strait gate which leads to life is the means by which Christ prepares men to enter. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” [John 1:12, 13.] Self-righteousness finds no credit in God’s sight. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” [Verse 14.] It is this beholding that the apostle Paul brings before us: “We all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory”—from character to character—“even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 3:18.] Our safety is in beholding Christ. When self is the object of worship, when men bow to their own image, when they lose sight of Christ, and are filled with self-exaltation at the thought of their own wisdom, they are in fearful danger. All such fail of reflecting the character of Christ. 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 4

“And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” [John 1:16.] The Lord desires every soul to come to the light. Christ is the light of the world. Study His words attentively. Keep your eyes fixed on His perfection. Thus you walk in heaven’s light. Turn your face from the Saviour, and you walk in spiritual darkness. 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 5

He who commanded the light to shine out of darkness sheds light into the mind of every one who will properly behold Him, loving Him supremely, showing unswerving faith and trust in Him. His light shines into the chambers of the mind and into the soul-temple. The heart is filled with the light of the knowledge of the glory that shines in the face of Jesus Christ. And with this light comes spiritual discernment. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” [2 Corinthians 4:6, 7.] 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 6

Yielding willingly to the evidence of truth, and walking in the light that shines in our pathway, we receive still greater light. Through the power of the manifestation of divine glory, we constantly advance in spiritual understanding. Christ’s knowledge of truth was direct, positive, without a shadow. The closer the acquaintance a man has with Jesus Christ, the more careful he will be to treat his fellow men respectfully, tenderly, courteously, righteously. He has learned of Christ, and he follows His example in word and action. By faith he is united with Christ. “We are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 7

Christ’s prayer for His disciples was, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” [John 17:20-23.] 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 8

Christ’s prayer was for unity among His followers. This unity is the evidence that is to convince the world that God sent His Son to save sinners. We serve Christ by revealing true, pure, holy love for one another. Those who are chosen to connect with the Lord’s institutions are to be devoted, self-denying, self-sacrificing men, living not to please themselves, but to please the Master. These are the men who will do honor to the Lord’s institutions. 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 9

A knowledge of God and of Christ is positively essential to salvation. We lose much every day that we do not learn more of the meekness and lowliness of Christ. Those who learn of Christ obtain the very highest class of education. Through faith and dependence on the saving grace of Christ, they increase in knowledge and wisdom. They love and praise the Saviour. The reception of the truth means much more than is shown in the practical life of the great majority of <professed> Christians. Those who are saved must in this life make it their daily business to receive grace from God, not to hoard in selfishness, but to impart for the blessing of those connected with them, to aid them in obtaining an education in spiritual things. 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 10

My brother, your Christian experience is a short pattern. Your desires must take a different turn. Your imagination has been deceived. You have not looked steadfastly to Jesus. You have not made His life the pattern for your life. Your course of action in regard to young women must change decidedly. Act sensibly in your married life. Let your affection flow to your wife in words and deeds of kindly thoughtfulness. 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 11

Study the Word of God, and practice its teachings. Thus you serve and honor Christ. And to serve Him is the most profitable thing that we can do. By this service we gain a knowledge of the highest order, a knowledge that is sanctified. Our spiritual perceptions are made keen. Christ is not ashamed to call us brethren. 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 12

The Lord Jesus will help you at each step of advance you take in following Him. 16LtMs, Lt 191, 1901, par. 13