Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Lt 349, 1906

Burden, J. A.

St. Helena, California

November 2, 1906

This letter is published in entirety in PC 223-224.

Elder J. A. Burden

Dear Brother:

I have words to speak to you. The Lord has laid upon you responsibilities of no ordinary nature. At the time of the meeting held before you were settled at Loma Linda, when I was so sick, the Lord showed me what was to be your work as director of the sanitarium, and that if you would connect yourself with divine wisdom, you would be taught of God. You need a clear mind in order to settle wisely the many questions that come to you for decision. The Lord would have you taught of Him. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 1

My brother, do not allow men of limited experience to come in, as Elder Reaser has done, and assume a controlling power. Brother Reaser has placed himself as teacher and adviser and ruler in many matters; and unless you work and watch carefully, such an influence will retard the work. Brother Reaser should learn that he is not qualified to do the work he supposes he is to do. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 2

Brother Reaser supposes that if it were not for his watching of the finances, there would be serious losses; whereas if he had nothing to do and say in these matters, it would save many perplexities. He has taken upon himself burdens that the Lord has not laid upon him. He has learned some of his lessons of Elder Healey, who has done much to retard the work in the South. If he would attend to his work of ministry, and keep his hands off the work of directing, he would save himself and others many burdens. From the light that has been given me, I know that it is a mistake for him to be connected with our sanitariums; he should not be a manager. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 3

In regard to the health food business, I would urge you to move slowly. Dr. Kellogg’s proposition to sell the corn flake rights to our people for twenty years has just been considered by our brethren here; and I fear, if I had not been on the round, this matter would have been carried through to the loss of our food business. When a thing is exalted, as the corn flakes has been, it would be unwise for our people to have anything to do with it. It is not necessary that we make the corn flakes an article of food. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 4

I would advise you, my brother, to keep away from the influence of Dr. Kellogg’s ingenious plans. Let us use our own ingenuity to invent the best kinds of food possible. We are living in the closing days of this earth’s history; souls are starving for a knowledge of the Word of God and of healthful living. Let us seek to carry our work solidly, giving all possible instruction regarding the principles of health reform, praying with the sick, and teaching the people how to care for themselves in sickness and health. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 5

The Lord has sent us valuable help in Dr. White, who is studying to know and to follow the way of the Lord. Let there be much earnest prayer on the part of the workers, each depending on the great Physician to carry the work according to His purposes. “For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] In our efforts to build up the cause of God in the earth, we are to make sure work for eternity. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 6

Many of the workers who are bearing responsibilities are embracing too much authority; and they will certainly confuse the human judgment by their dictatorial authority. I must warn my brethren to be on their guard against this. The cause of God is imperiled when the workers become self-confident and seek to embrace more than the Lord has laid upon them. Hindrance instead of advancement is the result of such a spirit. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 7

Brother Burden, carry your work intelligently, ever consulting the Word of God; for this Word is very precious to the worker in the cause. Study the messages that God has sent to His people for the last sixty years through the Spirit of prophecy. Do not seek the counsel of men, but by earnest prayer seek the wisdom of God. A mistake has been made in the past by leaning upon the guidance of men. Seek to correct this mistake. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 8

November 25, 1906

Yesterday was a strange day for me. I was compelled to leave letters and other writings unfinished. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 9

The Lord has been working with Elder Simpson, teaching him how to give to the people this last warning message. His method of making the words of the Bible prove the truth for this time, and his use of the symbols presented in Revelation and Daniel, are effective. Let the young men learn as for their lives what is truth and how it should be presented. We are living in the last days of the great conflict; the truth alone will hold us securely in this time of trouble. The way should be prepared for Elder Simpson to give the message, and our young men should attend his evening meetings. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 10

Those who have considered themselves qualified to bear responsibilities in the churches should seek to obtain light and a knowledge of how to prosecute their work at this time in the cities, north and south, east and west, that are calling for a knowledge of the truth for this time. Our camp-meetings should do a more thorough work in preparing the laborers for the work that is to be done in every place. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 11

The camp-meetings which my husband attended were made special seasons of seeking the Lord. Every morning at an early hour the minister assembled in the large tent, where we sought to become of one mind. The question would be asked, Have we any personal difficulties to settle? If so, let us settle them. Let us not pass one day on this ground, cherishing hard feelings against a brother. Let there be no evil speaking one of another; for this will greatly dishonor God. Let us by every means in our power seek to remove the alienation and differences that exist. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 12

Then we would have a season of prayer, and these were times of confession and breaking of heart before God. Often the workers, and especially the ministers, would state their true feelings, relating their temptations and confessing their loss of confidence in their brethren. These confessions tended to clear away any ill feeling that existed and brought in a very different atmosphere. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 13

At these camp-meetings no one man carried the burden of deciding who should speak, but those were chosen who were experienced in the message and in conducting camp-meetings. We used then the very arguments that are now given why the young men should not be brought to the front while the aged workers were passed by. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 14

God speaks through the men who understand the guiding of the Holy Spirit. When thousands come out to attend our meetings, they desire to get the greatest possible benefit; and it is poor policy to place as speakers men who are not fully adapted to meet the needs of the situation. The word should be spoken by men who have felt the deep moving of the Spirit upon their hearts and who feel the burden of the message that God has given them for the people. The old soldiers of the cross are not to be passed by. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 15

Men who have been placed in office for the first time, and who are just gaining their experience, need to move carefully and in humility of mind; for often they are not able to judge wisely. When Elder Reaser was placed in a position of responsibility, he did not see his need to learn all that he could from the experience of others who had a knowledge of the history of the work in Southern California and who had burdens laid upon them for that work by the Lord. At the first assuming of his new responsibilities, Elder Reaser should have considered that these persons understood the situation better than he did. By his officious attitude, he has made the work much more perplexing than it otherwise would have been. If he will be taught, the Lord will teach Elder Reaser that He has men on the ground who are fully as capable, yea, much more capable of planning and devising for the interests of the work as himself. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 16

The Lord has given you your work, Brother Burden. He has not appointed Elder Reaser to tell you what your duty is. As superintendent of the sanitarium, your work is an important one. Elder Reaser is not to intrude himself upon that which God has given you to do. That there shall be no more money in the sanitarium until the institution shall have earned that amount required is not for Elder Reaser to decide. Hire money, if this is necessary in order to perfect the work. 21LtMs, Lt 349, 1906, par. 17