Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Ms 104, 1904

“My mind is weighed down by perplexities ... ”

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

March 1904

Previously unpublished.

My mind is weighed down by perplexities. Those in charge of our institutions are receiving many letters from persons who desire to obtain homes near these institutions. Some who make these inquiries are so poor that they have not means enough to pay their fare from the place where they are living. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 1

I have received instruction from the Lord in regard to this matter. To those who desire to change their location, and to settle near one of our institutions, I would say, Have you counseled with the Lord in regard to this matter? Do you think that in settling near an institution you will be able to get a living without perplexities or hard work? 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 2

Those who are necessarily situated near our institutions should be careful how they send out glowing reports of the place where they are living. Everywhere there are people who are dissatisfied and who long to go to some place where they think that they will do better than in their present surroundings. They think that if they could be given work in connection with some one of our institutions, they could have a better chance to earn a living. These restless ones do not consider that our institutions need helpers who are producers as well as consumers. Were they to connect with an institution, they would still be dissatisfied, because the spirit of disaffection is in their hearts, and change of place does not bring a change of heart. Their characters have not been refined and ennobled by the Spirit of Christ. They need to learn the lesson of contentment. They do not study from cause to effect. They do not seek to understand the Bible tests of character, which are essential to true success. They do not put their minds to the task. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 3

There are many who are desirous of changing their employment. They wish to obtain advantages which they suppose they will find in some other place. Let them ask themselves of what benefit it would be to them to move if they have not learned how to be kind and patient and courteous in the home life. Let them look at themselves in the light of the Word of God and then work to the point where improvement is needed. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 4

It is always the case, when an institution is established in a place, that there are many families who desire to settle near it. Thus it has been in Battle Creek and in Oakland, and, to some extent, at the St. Helena Sanitarium. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 5

To those who desire to change their location, and who are looking toward Mountain View because it seems to be a favorable place in which to settle, I would say, Look to other parts of the world, which need the light that you have received in trust. Remember that God has given to every man his work. Choose some locality where you will have opportunity to let your light shine forth amidst the moral darkness. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 6

Fathers and mothers, if you cannot be happy where you are, with your children, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, do not bring your burden of defection to a place where one of the Lord’s institutions is to be established, and where tried, faithful Christians will be needed. Wise men are needed in such a place—men who have learned the lessons that Christ teaches, men who realize the importance of the obligations resting on them to keep the spirit sweet and pure and holy, that in life and character they may represent Christ. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 7

I listened to words spoken by one who understands the past, the present, and the future. A most solemn representation was given, delineating the characters that should be possessed by those who are accepted as yokefellows in our institutions. These institutions need men who are temperate, in the full acceptance of the term. God forbid that men who have not learned to control themselves, and who neglect their own character building in order to make plans for some one else, should be brought into our institutions. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 8

The workers in our institutions are to heed the instruction given by Christ. When the truth abides in the hearts of those in charge, when they receive the light shining from God’s Word, the apprentices will wish to understand better the words they hear in the assembly of God’s people. They will ask for fuller explanations, and there will be special seasons of seeking the Lord and studying His Word. It was in some quiet room or some retired spot outside that Christ explained to the disciples the parables that He had spoken before the multitude. This is the work that will need to be done for the apprentices in our publishing houses. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 9

Let those who are proposing to locate in Mountain View remember that this is not wisdom. The world is large. Go, make your own centers in places where there is need of light. Do not crowd into one place, making the same mistake that has been made in Battle Creek. There are hundreds of places that need the light which God has given you. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 10

Wherever you live, whatever your circumstances may be, be sure to bring the teachings of the Word of God into your homes, into the daily life. Seek God as your light, your strength, your way to heaven. Remember that to every man God has given talents to be used for Him. Learn at the feet of Jesus the lessons of meekness and lowliness, and then work in the spirit of the Saviour for those around you. By willing obedience to the commandments, make your home a place where God’s honor will love to dwell. “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 heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 11

We each have an individual work to do. We are to consecrate ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, to God. Each child of His has something to do for His name’s honor and glory. Wherever you are, you may be a blessing. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 12

If there seems to be but a slender chance of obtaining a livelihood where you are, make the most of every opportunity. Devise wise plans. Put to use every jot of ability that God has given you. Do your duty to yourself, improving in understanding and adaptability, daily becoming better able to turn to the best account the mental and physical powers that God has given you. He wants you to be a success. He wants you to be a blessing in your home and in the neighborhood in which you live. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 13

Parents, help your children to help you and to help each other. Be kindly and courteous to your neighbors. By good works let your light shine forth amidst the moral darkness. If you are true Christians, you will become more and more able to understand what the will of the Lord is, and you will move forward step by step in the light of His Word. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 14

Study the life of Christ, and strive to follow the pattern He has set. Ask yourselves if you have done your whole duty to the church in your own house and your duty to your neighbors. Have you been faithful in teaching your children lessons of Christian politeness? Are there not many improvements to be made in the government of your home? Do not neglect your children. Learn how to discipline yourselves, that you may be worthy of the respect of your children. If Christ is not abiding in your hearts, how can you teach your children the lessons of patience and kindness that they so much need? Be sure that you yourselves are keeping the way of the Lord, and then require obedience from your children in everything. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 15

The father who has become thoroughly acquainted with the Word of the Lord, and who renders willing obedience to God’s law, is prepared to be the priest and house-band of his family. As he strives for perfect self-control, he is enabled to reveal in his life the grace of patience. He deals justly and keeps his spirit free from anger. But the father who has not learned to restrain childish outbursts of temper is not prepared to discipline or train his children. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 16

*****

Special light has been given me in regard to moving our publishing houses and sanitariums and schools out of the cities into places more favorable for their work, where those connected with them will not be exposed to the temptations of city life. Especially should our schools be out of the cities. The Lord has given definite instruction that it is not for the spiritual good of our institutions for them to be in the cities, where the temptations of the enemy abound on every hand. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 17

Light has been given me that the Pacific Press should be moved from Oakland. As the years have passed by, the city has grown, and it is now necessary to establish the printing plant in some more rural place, where land can be secured. Those who are connected with our offices of publication should not be obliged to live in the crowded cities. They should have opportunity to obtain homes where they will be able to live without requiring high wages. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 18

The apprentices in our publishing houses are to be given a thorough drill in the different lines of the printing business; and they are also to be given every opportunity to gain a knowledge of the Bible; for the time is at hand when believers will be scattered into many lands. They are to be taught what is comprehended in being sincere followers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In the past, many souls have been left unguarded. They have not been taught what is comprehended in the science of godliness. Not all who have borne responsibilities have lived the Christian life. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 19

*****

Those of our people who settle at Mountain View should not forget, in purchasing land, that sites may be needed for other institutions. They should not feel at liberty to purchase the land that may be needed for these sites. Neither should they feel at liberty to establish interests for their personal advantage, to be carried on under their own control. If such interests are started, it will be difficult to preserve unsullied the pure, holy principles of our faith. 19LtMs, Ms 104, 1904, par. 20