Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Ms 40a, 1904

Diary/Shall We Colonize Around Our Institutions?

St. Helena, California

March 1904

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ms 40, 1904.

I cannot sleep after one o’clock. My mind is weighted with perplexities. I was in the Signs office. Many letters are coming in from many localities in regard to their securing land in places where our institutions are being located. Some are so poor they have not money to pay their fare to these places. I have been receiving instruction from the Lord. I have had to say to those who in the past who were desirous of changing their location, Have you advised with the Lord in this matter, or are you desirous of a change where you suppose you can get a living without perplexities and hard work? Wherever you are located, whatever situation you are in, be sure that you bring the Bible instruction in your home into your own life. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 1

Fathers and mothers, see that you seek God as your light and strength and the way, and then consider that to every man God has given talents to be worked. First learn your lessons at the feet of Jesus and become meek and lowly in heart, and then work in the humble spirit of Christ for souls that are close around you. Make the inside of the four walls of your house, by thorough obedience to all the commandments, a place where God’s honor shall love to dwell. Read the declaration in Isaiah 57:15: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the spirit of the contrite ones.” 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 2

We each have an individual work to do in consecration of soul, body, and spirit unto God. As God as given to every man his work, in talents differing in numbers, each man, if he has become a child of God, has something to do to His name’s glory. Right where he is he may be a blessing. If there is a very poor chance to obtain a livelihood, study plans and put to use every ability God has given you. Do your duty to your individual self, improving in understanding and adaptability to turn to account all the mind and physical power God has given to make you a success in being a blessing, first in your own home life, in becoming well-acquainted with your wife and children. Unitedly help to have a little church in your own house. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 3

If you have neighbors, have you done all in your power to be kindly, to be courteous, to be among the humble and contrite ones? Thus in good works you are letting your light shine amid the moral darkness. If you are true Christians, fathers and mothers, you are to educate yourselves to become more and more understanding of what the will of the Lord is and to walk step by step in His light, in the law of the Lord. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 4

There should be no glowing reports going forth from any place where our institutions are located. Private letters may, if essential, have to come to some places, but there are restless elements in every place who are longing to get in some place where they will do better. But many of these restless elements do not consider that those places are to be surrounded with elements of talents that can be producers as well as consumers. Those who would drift in to crowd as close as possible to our important institutions frequently are dissatisfied where they are because the elements of disaffection are in themselves. Their own religious character has not been improved and refined. Spiritual education is of a great necessity with them [in order] to abide with themselves in contentment. They do not study from cause to effect the suggested Bible tests of character essential to be cultivated. They do not put themselves to the task. Read the life of Christ and then practice His pattern that He has given to the world in His own life. In the very place where you are, see if you have done your whole duty to neighbors and even in your church in your own house. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 5

Fathers and mothers, have you been faithful to teach your own children Christian politeness to their parents—a grace which will, if practiced, be recognized everywhere? There are many improvements to be made in the family church in your own house. Do not neglect your children, parents. The father is to cultivate the trade of discipline himself, that he can be worthy of the respect his children shall give him. If Christ is not abiding in his own character, how can he correctly educate and discipline the members of his own family in patience and kindness, yet be firm in requiring of his children obedience in everything, being sure he himself is keeping the way of the Lord? 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 6

If the father has become thoroughly acquainted with the Word of the Lord to obey God’s law, then he will be prepared to be a priest and houseband in his own family. There is a life education to be carried on the individual self and then studying how to have perfect self-control, prepared to exercise the grace of patience and kindness, dealing justly and keeping his own spirit free from the guile of passion. If the father has not been converted from his churlish outbreaks of temper and brings the same into his religious life, he needs to consider he is reproducing his own faults and sins in his management of his children. Fathers and mothers, take heed. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 7

There are many who are desirous of change, to find employment they like or to obtain advantages that they suppose are in some other locality, but consider that every move is a lessening of your facilities if you do not improve yourself to be kind, courteous, and patient in your home life. Just take up your own case in the light of the Word of God and then work to the point. At this present time the home church needs to be reformed and converted. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 8

We will say, Let every man and every family who are proposing to change their location, looking toward Mountain View, because it may be a favorable location, look to other portions of our world that need the light you have kindled from the divine instruction in the light Christ has given. Bear in mind, to every man God has given his work. Your unformed, faulty religious characters are not wanted in Mountain View. Large responsibilities are to be carried by men who first learn their lessons of Jesus Christ and we entreat of you to select some locality where there is a chance for you. Let your light shine forth amid the moral darkness, as one individual or as a family of individuals. But if you, fathers and mothers, cannot be happy among yourselves, serving the Lord with all humility of soul and contrition of spirit, then do not bring your burden of defection where it seems to be the place to locate our institutions. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 9

We need some wise men who shall feel the solemn obligations they are under to God to keep their own spirits sweet and clean and pure and holy, that they may prepare themselves to represent the Lord Jesus in life and character. I listened to the words spoken by One who knew and who understands the past, the present, and the future. Several representations were given in the most solemn words of the perils of these last days, and delineating Christian characters that should be accepted as true yoke fellow helpers in our institutions, especially in the Office of Publication, where each man has his variety of work in lines that need temperate men in the full acceptation of the term. Men who are passionate, who are neglecting their own characters to try to fix up others to their modes and plans, should take themselves in hand. God forbid there shall be any place for those who have departed from the faith and are disregarding the warnings given. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 10

Where the seeds of truth are being sown, there needs to be ever among all the workers those who hearken to the blessed Son of Man and heed His words of instruction. When the truth is abiding in the heart, receiving the light from the servants of Christ Jesus in the religious line, then there will be special seasons where the apprentices shall want to better understand the meaning in the words spoken to large numbers. Give the limited number of hearers who want [it] a more full explanation. In the quiet room enclosed with walls, Christ explained His lessons in parables. This is the work that will need to be done with the apprentices who need teaching and saving. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 11

Now is the time to lay our foundation sure upon the Word. We have had special light in regard to moving our printing establishments, institutions, and sanitariums out of the cities and into special, favorable locations where the city life will not have influence upon our institutions to retard the work and especially our schools; for education should be out of the cities. The Lord has given instruction that it is not for the spiritual interest of our institutions to remain in the cities, where temptations are constantly around the workers. Many families are desirous to locate themselves about these institutions, which we cannot encourage. Thus it has been with Battle Creek, and in Oakland and in the sanitarium at St. Helena in some degree. The light given has been that the Signs Office should be moved from Oakland. As years have passed and these cities have grown and spread, there is a need now for a change to places which are rural and where land can be secured to move and locate their buildings, where they shall have more advantages in land, and that the families who shall be connected with the Office of Publication should be separated from the crowded centers. Land should be secured, and the land should be improved to support, as far as possible, those who have families, that they can live without requiring so large wages, because everything must be done that can be done to lift the standard of truth in new localities. Economy must be practiced in the use of means. Every place that can be worked is a blessing to the families, to the members who are not working in the institution. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 12

Fewer workers will be required as the commercial work is not brought into the Office. There is to be given special instruction in mechanical work, but more especially to the decided trades of education in the varied branches connected with the printing business. The apprentices are to have every advantage in being instructed in the Bible requirements to become missionaries and [to know] what is comprehended in being a sincere follower of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For the time is nigh when believers will be scattered in many places. Pretenders will only be decoys to evil. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 13

Many souls have been left unguarded and not educated as to the true science of godliness, for not all the overmen bearing responsibilities have been living the Christian life. A pure, holy atmosphere shall be secured in the office as far as possible by having the workers connected with God, the Owner of every soul with whom they come into connection. This may be accounted as religion in the home family of workers. And as this class of work has been neglected, now it is to be taken up most earnestly. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 14

Our people, settling upon the new ground of location, should make their purchase with a view to other buildings, sanitariums, and school buildings. No one shall feel at liberty to take up the sites for buildings, and bring in their special ideas of building to carry our sanitariums and schools as under their own control. The land sites must be secured, for if the speculative ideas are prevalent for institutions to be erected and controlled by individuals and to be managed by themselves, then the situation would be spoiled and made hard for those who would preserve the spiritual and holy principles of our faith—to become a monument to the honor and glory of God. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 15

Letters are being written by many proposing to locate in Mountain View. Will they please consider that this is not wisdom? The world is large. Go make your own centers in places where there is need of light and not crowd into one place to do as they did in Battle Creek. There are hundreds of centers that might now be in favorable positions with accumulated numbers to work in. 19LtMs, Ms 40a, 1904, par. 16