Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Lt 140, 1906

Burden, J. A.

Mountain View, California

May 6, 1906

This letter is published in entirety in LLM 165-171.

Dear Brother Burden:

I must write you words of counsel. I am instructed to say, Move guardedly, and be careful not to take upon yourself too many responsibilities. Your mind is to be left as free as possible from matters of secondary importance. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 1

The Lord has instructed me that it would be a mistake for us to plan for the production of large quantities of health foods at Loma Linda, to be distributed through commercial channels. Loma Linda is a place that has been especially ordained of God to make a good impression upon the minds of many who have not had the light of present truth. Every phase of the work in this place, every movement made should be so fully in harmony with the sacred character of present truth as to create a deep spiritual impression. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 2

Everything connected with the institution at Loma Linda should, so far as possible, be unmingled with commercialism. Nothing should be allowed to come in that would in any wise lessen the favorable impression you are striving to make. If we manifest a genuine faith in eternal realities, this will have a far-reaching effect on the minds of others. We must allow nothing to hinder our efforts for the saving of souls. God requires us to leave impressions that will help awaken unbelievers to a realization of their duty. Let us use voice and pen in helping those who need clear discernment. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 3

Many are now inquiring, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” [Luke 18:18.] We cannot answer this question satisfactorily by connecting with our sanitariums the production of health foods for commercial gain. By our example we are to leave upon the minds of our patients the impression that we are sustained and guided by the grace of God and that we are keeping constantly in view the glory of the Lord. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 4

It is not rank, or wealth, or learning, or power that lends influence to a Christian, but a willing mind and a heart consecrated to the cause of Christ. In the service of God there is a place for every one; and He is glorified when every one is satisfied in filling the place appointed him. To His servants He imparts grace sufficient for every duty. However humble may be their sphere of service, they may by His grace reveal that they are Christian gentlemen and Christian ladies. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 5

In the visions of the night, these principles were presented to me in connection with the proposal for the establishment of a bakery at Loma Linda. I was shown a large building where many foods were made. There were also some smaller buildings near the bakery. As I stood by, I heard loud voices in dispute over the work that was being done. There was a lack of harmony among the workers, and confusion had come in. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 6

Then I saw Brother Burden approach. His countenance bore a look of anxiety and distress as he endeavored to reason with the workmen and bring them into harmony. The scene was repeated, and Brother Burden was often drawn away from his legitimate work as manager of the sanitarium to settle variances. He was carrying too heavy a load, and he looked careworn and perplexed. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 7

I then saw patients standing on the beautiful sanitarium grounds. They had heard the disputes between the workmen. The patients did not see me, but I could see them and hear them, and their remarks were brought to my ears. They were expressing words of regret that a food factory should be established on these beautiful grounds, in such close proximity to an institution for the care of the sick. Some were disgusted, and a most unfavorable impression was being made. How sorry I felt! All these buildings had cost money that should have been used in fitting up bathrooms, which would involve considerable expense. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 8

Then One appeared on the scene, and said: “All this has been caused to pass before you as an object lesson, that you might see the result of carrying out certain plans. Sanitariums must help those who come to them by calling attention to the gospel truth. Commercialism must not take the place of the vital work to be done. This beautiful place came to us in the providence of God, and it should be kept as a restful, desirable, healthful retreat, to which we may call the sick, where they shall be greatly blessed physically, and where they can hear the evidences of present truth and the reasons for our faith.” 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 9

And then, lo, the whole scene changed. The bakery building was not where we had planned it, but at a distance from the sanitarium buildings, on the road toward the railway. It was a humble building, and a small work was carried on there. The commercial idea was lost sight of, and in its stead, a strong spiritual influence pervaded the place. A suitable helper was given Brother Hansen at such times as he required help. The management of this small bakery did not bring a heavy responsibility upon Brother and Sister Burden. The patients were favorably impressed by what they saw. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 10

Brother and Sister Burden, you are to unite in being a blessing in spiritual lines. The Lord will bless you and make you a blessing. You must not be encouraged to take upon yourselves the responsibility of conducting a large business in the health food line. We must all fill our appointed places and become like-minded with God. Then we shall not fail nor be discouraged. The strength and power and influence of the Word will be revealed in Christlike tenderness, through the softening, subduing influence of the Holy Spirit of God. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 11

Nothing of a commercial nature, as a means of lessening the debt on the sanitarium, should be brought in to burden the mind. There are many considerations in connection with this matter that I fear I shall not be able to define plainly to you. Improvements on the Loma Linda property will need to be made; but your work is not to gather in perplexities that will tax brain and nerve. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 12

My brother, you and your wife are to be a special help to the sick and the afflicted. You can take them out to ride, and in many other ways show a genuine interest in their behalf while acting as manager of the sanitarium and as a religious instructor. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 13

The manager and the pastor have their appointed work to do. The Lord calls upon His servants to attain unto perfection of Christian character in every line of effort. We are to see that our hearts are under the control of the Holy Spirit—under the control of a power out of and above ourselves. Let every soul take hold of the work earnestly, because he is thoroughly converted; because he discerns the methods and ways of the Lord. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 14

The manager of a sanitarium bears important responsibilities. Let his associates who are engaged in continuous, hard labor in the various handicrafts keep their souls searched as with a lighted candle. Unity of action in diversity of labor must be maintained. The workers are to live out the prayer of Christ, who declares, “I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth.” [John 17:19.] Let them read the Word of the Lord, in order that they may have the wisdom that is unto salvation. The richest treasures are to be found by searching for them in the Word. Some minds will be so impressed to seek these hidden treasures as to sell all that they have in order to buy the field and come into possession of the priceless jewels of truth. Ofttimes the most lowly are in possession of the hidden treasure, which they may impart to others. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 15

The truths of the Word of God, applied to the heart and carried out with humility in the daily life practice, will make Christians strong in the strength of Jehovah and happy in His peace. Christian kindness and earnest consecration are constantly to be manifest in the life. We are not always engaged in special duties connected with sacred service; but the common, daily round of duties may be done in His Spirit, and such labor will commend itself to every man, even to the unconverted who know not the doctrine. We may let our light so shine in good works that the truth which we cherish shall be, to unbelievers, spirit and life. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 16

Loma Linda is to be not only a sanitarium, but an educational center. With the possession of this place comes the weighty responsibility of making the work of the institution educational in character. The school that is to be established at Loma Linda is to stand in the freedom of the truth. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 17

We shall have a work to do at Loma Linda in supplying health foods, in a limited way, to the surrounding cities; but it has been presented to me that in the establishment of a large food factory, you would be disappointed in your expectations. The influences connected with its management would not make a favorable impression upon the people. The Lord is able to make the proper impression upon human minds, when we co-operate with Him and follow the plans that He outlines. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 18

The light given me is that in a food business large enough to supply Southern California, it would be difficult to avoid commercialism; and if the perplexing details were not attended to most carefully, there would be more expense than income. You can ill afford to spend the time that would be required to make the business a success. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 19

The Lord calls upon us to ascend a higher platform. Our example must exert a decided influence in favor of the doctrines we profess. Let us cling close to the teaching of the Word. Let us make the Word our counselor. The truths of the Word, carried out in our daily lives, will keep the soul pure and refined, noble and elevated. Walking in the light of the truth, self will be hid in constant love and fear of God. Before the world, the truth is to become majestic; for it reveals God in word, in spirit, in character. The words were spoken by my Instructor: “The influence to be constantly going out is that which is created by the light shining forth with clear, convincing power from every soul who claims to believe the truth. The Lord would have you exalt the truth in language, in faith, in practice. Those who are connected with you are in no wise to be permitted to become deficient in tenderness, in mercy, in refinement of speech. The heart is ever to be obedient unto God. Cling to your heavenly Helper.” 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 20

Talk these things, Brother Burden, and you will be a laborer together with God. By beholding you become changed into the likeness of His image; through His grace you become a partaker of His divine nature. You can glorify God by writing helpful, encouraging letters; but engaging in conversation with the patients; and by placing select reading matter in the hands of those with whom you become acquainted. The life of Christ was a life of incessant labor to prepare human beings to be members of the royal family in the mansions above. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 21

How shall the people be convinced of their great need of a preparation for the future life, which measures with the life of God, except by wisely given appeals and warnings, as well as by the example of uprightness and of earnest, abiding faith which they see in the Christian life of believers? You and your helpers are laborers together with God to relieve the suffering sick and to reclaim the wandering. You are also to edify the believers in advice, in counsels, and in the daily workings of a training school. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 22

A word in season is to be spoken to every one in need. To the unbelievers, we must be as the light of the world, as a city set on a hill, which cannot be hid. Our time and our intelligence are to be spent in revealing the sanctification that comes through love and obedience. In this lower school the truth of the Word will prepare men for the heavenly school. All are to be learners and in the humble walks of life are to exemplify the mighty power of God. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 23

In humility all are to become living, eloquent commentaries on the words that God hath spoken: “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.” [1 Corinthians 1:27, 28.] There is power for all who will seek it. Let us yield our God-given faculties to Him who is our sanctification and our redemption. We shall have faith, if we have strong confidence in God. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 24

Our faith in eternal realities is to become stronger and firmer with exercise. In every sanitarium, in every school, an upward, spiritual influence needs to be exerted. I am instructed to say to all physicians, Awake, awake, and take hold of the real issues that are for the uplifting of men and the magnifying of present truth. Let not your sense of individual responsibility become feeble. Let not your mind grow weary, while there remain your talent of speech, your pen, and the privilege of service. Let the truth, eternal truth, be brought into action to impress, to convince, to convert minds. Let us proclaim that the day of the Lord is upon us. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 25

Many are now perishing for want of knowledge. Shall we not give mind and soul and voice to proclaiming the truth as it is in Christ Jesus? To every worker I would say, Show to unbelievers that there is strength in God. Communicate your ideas in regard to what is required, by the words of warning, “Prepare to meet thy God!” [Amos 4:12.] Sow the seeds of truth by all waters. Wake up the watchmen, and, with them, bear the message in words of power. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” [Isaiah 58:1.] The increase of your own experience will be proportionate to your individual trust and confidence in God. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 26

There are many, many to be converted through the instrumentality of men who will be taken from the plow and from the common vocations of life to engage in the great, grand work of giving soul-saving truth to the people. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 27

There are all classes to be reached. Those who have been called to labor in hygienic restaurants, where thousands are fed but are not given the bread of life, should inquire, What is the way of the Lord? There are some who are laboring in hygienic restaurants, who should be breaking away, and be giving themselves to the grand work of carrying the last gospel message to multitudes. They must make sure that the truth for this time is implanted within their own hearts by the Holy Spirit of God. Then with minds cleansed from all sin, they will be able to feed the flock of God with pure provender, thoroughly winnowed from all fanciful and fatal delusions. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 28

“Ye shall not surely die,” the enemy declared in the beginning; “ye shall be as gods.” [Genesis 3:4, 5.] Our first parents yielded to the sophistry of the tempter, and fell. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 29

We are now to awaken the men who have known the truth and have lost from their hearts the love of it. Let us cease not our warning, day nor night. With tenderness even unto tears and with prayers of faith, let us lay hold of souls for whom Christ has died. Let us not wait for some costly arrangement before we work out Christ’s plan. Some will be reached by the provisions the Lord has made to reach souls in the highways as well as in the byways. He has furnished us with buildings in which a good work may be done. There are dangers of consuming and not producing; but the evidence is given us that buildings have been provided that will enable us to reach the higher classes and present to them the truths of the Word. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 30

There is a large work to be done. Sanitariums are to be carried on in many lands. When facilities are added to sanitariums that have been set in operation, let the additions be most thoroughly and firmly constructed; but there should be no large expenditure of means to secure every advantage at the beginning. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 31

While at Loma Linda it is necessary to add some treatment rooms and other rooms, yet I would counsel you not to add anything that would greatly increase the labor and expense of operating the institution. Build no more than is positively necessary. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 32

To the managers of all our sanitariums, I would say, Let no large debts be created. Make no unnecessary move. Set aside your desire for full equipments at once. Let the best possible use be made of fewer facilities, rather than to increase debts. All that is needed may in time be obtained, but all the furnishings and facilities need not be provided at once. Let reason, calm thought, and wise calculation be the rule of action. If success attends our institutions established for the care of the sick, it will be because the managers have preferred to get along with the most essential things, rather than to pile up debts. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 33

The Lord calls upon us to do a work in many places. We shall have sanitariums that can be carried on without involving our cause heavily in debt. A word to the wise is sufficient. Let none think they must invest in the most costly conveniences. There is a more humble way of working successfully. Provide first the simpler appliances necessary for giving treatments. We need not now go to the expense of providing swimming pools and other costly facilities. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 34

Our sanitarium work at Loma Linda may be carried on with simplicity, without incurring a heavy debt. Let our people be wise and true, and do their work in a humble way, in order that means may be saved in every line possible. This will facilitate the establishment of sanitariums in other places. My brethren, study to show yourselves approved unto God. We are laborers together with God, to save the souls and the bodies of many, to the glory of Christ Jesus. 21LtMs, Lt 140, 1906, par. 35