Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 177, 1901

Brethren and Sisters of the Iowa Conference

Des Moines, Iowa

May 7, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in CD 364; 7BC 986; TDG 136; 8MR 384; 5Bio 116. +Note

To the brethren and sisters who compose the Iowa Conference

My dear Brethren and Sisters,—

I am carrying a burden for the Iowa Conference. The Lord has shown me that as a conference you are living far beneath your privileges. Although as a people you have been greatly blessed with a knowledge of the truth, yet you have not realized that it is your duty to give this light to others. In the judgment God will call upon you to give an account of the way in which you have used the light given you. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 1

Let every member of the churches in Iowa carefully read the words of instruction in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah and in the third and fourth chapters of Malachi. Will my brethren consider these Scriptures? In the fifty-eighth of Isaiah there is light for those who rejoice in the hope of the soon-coming morning. The Lord desires to send us the reviving, healing beams of His sunshine. “The fashion of this world passeth away,” but the fashion of the world to come will endure forever. [1 Corinthians 7:31.] With what infinite bliss will the righteous be rewarded! What boundless joys will be theirs! 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 2

Christ has gone to prepare mansions for all who are faithful. Those who love God and keep His commandments have a clear title to the immortal inheritance—a title that will never be questioned. All who by faith take God at His word have an everlasting life-insurance policy. Those who now by faith enter the kingdom of God, <and hold fast their profession of faith,> will possess the kingdom forever and ever. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 3

To the brethren and sisters of Iowa I would say, You claim to believe that Jesus is your personal Saviour. I beseech you to consider your responsibility. Remember that you are not your own; you are “bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] In view of all that you are to receive and enjoy, why, O why do you not rise above the sordid influences of this world and put away all earthliness? 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 4

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.” [1 John 2:1-7.] 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 5

The church is the bride, the Lamb’s wife. She should keep herself pure, sanctified, holy. Never should she indulge in any foolishness, for she is the bride of a King. Yet she does not realize her exalted position. If she understood this, she would be all-glorious within. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 6

The world knows not that Jesus Christ has purchased all of its possessions. He has a just claim to every human being. By creation and by redemption they are His. The deed of possession has been given to the Redeemer of the fallen race. “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” [John 1:10-12.] 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 7

The Lord is ready to do a great work for every church in the Iowa Conference. Will those who have named the name of Christ be as clay in the hands of a potter? Will they submit to be molded and fashioned into vessels of honor? Thus they may be qualified to stand in their lot and in their place. By their unselfish lives they may give to the world an example of practical Christianity. In order that the world may be left without excuse, the Lord desires His representatives properly to bear witness of Him. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 8

The churches in this Conference have a work to do. Plans should be made to advance the cause of the Lord. The clear light of truth should shine forth from the churches. Every church should be as a city set upon a hill, the light of which cannot be hid. The Lord is calling for men who will do His work with humility of heart. He works through those who have a contrite spirit. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 9

The psalmist says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” [Psalm 119:105.] If we walk in this light, we shall never go astray. In these days of trial and test, we should take the Bible as our counselor and our guide, that we may make straight paths for our feet. The beautiful, glorious light of heaven is shining from the precepts of the law, clearly lighting up the pathway leading to the gates of the New Jerusalem. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 10

The Lord’s people should often come together to engage in earnest supplication for divine blessing, that they may better understand where and how to work. Let no selfishness or jealousy be manifested. Unitedly should the laborers exercise all their powers in doing genuine, advance work, taking to others the light of present truth. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 11

The states in which institutions are now erected are not the only states in which memorials should be established to glorify God. The third angel’s message is worldwide. Too large a proportion of means contributed for the proclamation of the truth should not be absorbed in buildings in a few cities <as has been done in Battle Creek>. No building should be erected until careful, prayerful consideration is given to the needs of the work elsewhere. First count the cost. It is not advisable to invest too largely in any one place. The Lord is dishonored by an exhibition of pride, ambition, and extravagance. In one place there is an abundance, in another place nothing. This condition should be changed. More means should be spent in destitute fields. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 12

It was a mistake to invest so large an amount in buildings at College View. God is not pleased with so great an outlay of means in one place, while in many large cities there is nothing to give character to the work. The cities have been left unworked. Smaller institutions should have been established in many places. The world must hear the warning message <that all who will receive the truth may be saved. All who reject the Bible instruction because it is inconvenient to obey will be lost.>. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 13

The same work that has been carried forward in a few places should be begun in many places. The same truth will be carried to many cities. Many schools should be established. More sanitariums should be erected. These will result in much good if all those connected with the institutions ever keep in view the glory of God. Advancement will be made in many places. The plants established will grow from smaller into larger institutions, and the helpers will gradually acquire greater mental and moral powers. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 14

Many should be laboring in new fields. Let none work for notoriety. The minds of the laborers must be sanctified by wisdom from above. It is better to make a small beginning, and allow the providence of God to indicate how rapidly the facilities should be increased. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 15

If many small beginnings are made there is a distribution of responsibilities. Those who strive to do their duty conscientiously and intelligently will receive wisdom from God. Under His blessing the small institution with which they are connected will grow into larger proportions. Thus many may become faithful burden-bearers. In answer to earnest prayer the Lord will give wisdom. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 16

We must not move presumptuously. The laborers who go to new territory to raise up churches must not create difficulties by attempting in their ignorance to make prominent the question of diet. Preach the Word as it is in Christ Jesus. Carry with you books that give instruction in regard to healthful living. The “Good Health” journal will help you to learn not only how to give treatments, but also how to teach others to give them. Without first receiving instruction, no man or woman can excel in knowledge. Those who have a quick, ready mind can easily catch sufficient to begin experimenting for themselves in healthful cookery. <This will have to be done in different localities. “Forbid them not.”> 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 17

Let all be careful not to draw the lines too closely. Impediments would thus be thrown on the path. Do not drive the people. Lead them. The Lord designs to reach many through the agency of those who have a knowledge of medical missionary work. Workers in this line must put forth resolute, persevering effort. They must be filled with a fixed determination to accomplish the work of educating men and women, restoring in them the moral image of God. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 18

The Lord desires every physician and every minister to be careful not to urge those who are ignorant of our faith to make sudden changes in diet, thus bringing them to a premature test. Hold up the principles of health reform, and let the Lord lead the honest in heart. They will hear and believe. Even in praising a good thing, do not be too enthusiastic, lest you turn out of the way those who come to hear. The Lord does not require His messengers to present the beautiful truths of health reform in a way that will prejudice the minds of others. Let no one place stumbling blocks in the way of those who are in the darkness of ignorance. Present the principles of temperance in their most attractive form. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 19

Let all who advocate health reform strive earnestly to make it all that they claim it is. Let them discard everything that is detrimental to health. Tea, coffee, and flesh meat should not be used. Place in the Lord’s treasury the amount that the use of these things would cost you. Let those who have neglected this good work repent of their backslidings. All who live in these last days need to be fully established in the principles of health reform. They need to recognize that the medical missionary work is ordained of God. Because the avenues of the soul have been sealed by the tyrant Prejudice, many are painfully ignorant of the principles of healthful living. In their religious life they have become sour and uncongenial. May God forgive them. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 20

The question of diet should be patiently studied. We need knowledge and wise judgment in order to move wisely in this matter. Nature’s laws should not be resisted, but obeyed. The health should receive careful attention. Some conscientiously abstain from eating improper food, and at the same time fail to eat food that supplies the elements necessary for the proper sustenance of the body. Never bear a testimony against health reform by failing to supply wholesome, palatable food to take the place of the harmful articles of diet we have discarded. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 21

Much tact and discretion should be employed in preparing foods to take the place of that which has constituted the diet of many families. This work requires both faith, earnestness of purpose, and united effort on the part of all, else reproach will be brought upon the cause of health reform. We are all mortal, and must furnish ourselves with palatable, wholesome foods. Those who do not know how to cook hygienically should learn to put good ingredients together in such a way as to make appetizing dishes. Let those who desire to gain knowledge in this line subscribe for our health journals. They will find information on this point in them, especially in the “Good Health.” 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 22

Concerning flesh meat, we can all say, Let it alone. And all should bear a clear testimony against tea and coffee, never using them. They are narcotics, and are injurious to the brain. <And they clog the whole human machinery.> It is also well to discard desserts. But we have not come to the time when I can say that the use of milk and eggs should be wholly discontinued. Milk and eggs should not be classed with flesh meat. In some ailments the use of eggs is necessary. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 23

Much time should be spent in learning how to prepare nut foods. But care should be taken not to reduce the bill of fare to a few articles, using little else than the nut foods. The majority of our people cannot obtain the nut preparations; few know how to prepare them properly for use, even if they could buy them. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 24

Let us make intelligent advancement in simplifying our diet. In the providence of God, every country produces foods that contain the necessary nourishment for the upbuilding of the system. These may be made into healthful, appetizing dishes. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 25

Without continually exercising ingenuity, no one can ever excel in healthful cookery. But all whose hearts are open to impressions and suggestions from the great Teacher will grow in knowledge and in skill. They will learn many things, and will also be able to teach others, <for Christ will give skill and understanding.> 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 26

My dear brethren and sisters in Iowa, you have been rebelling against health reform. You have been warring against Dr. Kellogg, as though he were the one who originated the principles of health reform. In treating these principles as something that you should resist, how foolishly you have acted! In doing this you have not been rejecting Dr. Kellogg, but rather the One who is supporting <the principles of health reform.> The Lord Himself has been sending you line upon line, precept upon precept. You need to practice health reform just as conscientiously as does Dr. Kellogg. It will lead to the restoration of both physical and spiritual health. When you place yourselves in right relation to God you will accept the medical missionary work as a work to which you have been appointed by the great Master Worker. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 27

God is calling upon you to come into line. The day is far spent. The night is at hand. The judgments of God are already seen, both on land and on sea. No second probation will be granted you. This is no time for making false moves. Let everyone thank God that he still has an opportunity to form a character for the future, eternal life. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 28

I have a message to bear in regard to the Southern field. We shall have to work this field. Its present condition is a continual rebuke to all who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. The outlook is not pleasant. In some localities the nominal churches have done a good work in gospel ministry and by establishing schools for educating the people. But as a whole, the field has scarcely been touched. If the words of the gospel commission had been studied and obeyed, the South would have received its proportionate share of ministry. If those who have received light had walked in the light given them, they would have seen and realized that they should cultivate this long-neglected vineyard. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 29

Many of the Southern cities have never been worked. Look at the destitution of this field. Consider the ignorance, the poverty, the misery, the distress of the people. What do they know in regard to the Bible? They are not acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ. And yet this field lies at your door! How selfish and inattentive you have been to your neighbors! You have heartlessly passed by them, doing nothing to relieve their suffering. The condition of this field is a condemnation of your professed Christianity. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 30

It is now too late to cling to worldly treasures. Soon houses and lands will be of no benefit to anyone, for the curse of God will rest more and more heavily upon the earth. The call comes, “Sell that ye have, and give alms.” [Luke 12:33.] This message should be faithfully borne—urged home to the hearts of the people, that God’s own property may be passed on in offerings to advance His work in the world. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 31

God calls for men who will educate. During the time that has passed into eternity, many should have been in the South, laboring together with God by doing personal work and by giving of their means to sustain themselves and other workers in that field. Let the members of our churches deny every selfish appetite. Spend no more money for flesh meat. Every penny expended for tea, coffee, and meats is worse than wasted; for these things injure the physical, mental, and moral powers, greatly clogging and impeding the delicate, living machinery which God has given us for the advancement of His appointed work. To indulge appetite is to work against God. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 32

Let married men and women who know the truth go forth to enlighten others. Follow the example of Brother Shireman. Wisely work in places where you can best labor. Teach yourselves the principles of health reform. By reading and studying the various books and periodicals on the subject of health, educate yourselves to give treatment to the sick and to do better work for the Master. Many who now rest in their graves because they lived in wilful ignorance of the laws of their being would today be alive had they been careful to improve precious moments in seeking to obtain a knowledge of the light that God has given for their benefit. Wilfully ignorant, they died for lack of knowledge. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 33

Brethren and sisters of the Iowa Conference, you have lost a rich experience. There seems to be but little grace in your hearts. You are not bound together by the cords of Christian fellowship. You do not bring pleasantness into your religious life. Selfishness, springing from self-love, separates you one from another. To many of you Christ could not now say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: ... enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” [Matthew 25:21.] 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 34

The Lord is calling upon you to come to your senses. Awaken to a realization of your responsibilities. You have a most earnest work to do. You may live a life of usefulness. Learn all that you can, and then be a blessing to others by imparting a knowledge of truth. God has given to every man his work. Let each one do according to his several ability, willingly sharing in the bearing of burdens. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 35

In running the race for eternal life, let us in the name of the Lord press perseveringly forward. We have a great work to do in enlightening <our own> souls, in raising the standard of righteousness <higher, and> in seeking to save the lost. We need to keep our minds continually uplifted in prayer for divine guidance. <Look not to men. Fix your eye of faith upon Jesus.> Many, many are losing their spirituality. Christ desires His people to be greatly revived by the Holy Spirit. Let us place a proper estimate on the preciousness of a knowledge of the truth. Then we shall have a clearer understanding in regard to God’s goodness to us and our obligations to others. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 36

Although we are now passing through the night of tribulation, yet we need not be discouraged by the surrounding darkness. The Lord desires us to exercise faith, and with spiritual eyesight pierce through the gloom to the scenes of the morning so soon to dawn. With faith and hope we may confidently say, The morning cometh, when there will be no more night. Soon we shall see the dawn of the eternal day in all its splendor and glorious beauty. 16LtMs, Lt 177, 1901, par. 37