Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Lt 278, 1907

Starr, Lillis Wood

St. Helena, California

September 5, 1907

Portions of this letter are published in LLM 262-264. +Note

Dr. Lillis Wood-Starr
Loma Linda, California

Dear Sister Starr:

Be of good courage in the Lord. I pray that you will look constantly to God and trust fully in Him. He will be your helper in every emergency. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 1

I am deeply interested in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. It is the Lord’s pleasure that you should feel free to act in consort with them. It is by uniting with them in their labors that we shall be able to bring to these people an understanding of the claims of the fourth commandment. I believe there are many honest souls in this organization, who, when they are convinced of the claims of the Bible Sabbath, will obey the dictates of conscience. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 2

In our earlier labors in the message, our camp-meetings were held in out-of-the way places. Of late years a change has been brought about in this respect; and for this I am grateful. In our labors together, my husband and I always felt that it was our duty to demonstrate in every place where we held meetings that we were fully in harmony with the workers in the temperance cause. We always laid this question before the people in plain lines. Invitations would come to us to speak in different places on the temperance question, and I always accepted these invitations if it was possible. This has been my experience not only in this country, but in Europe and Australia, and other places where I have labored. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 3

I am sorry that there has not been a more lively interest among our people of late years to magnify this branch of the Lord’s work. We cannot afford to lose one opportunity to unite with the temperance work in any place. Although the cause of temperance in foreign countries does not always advance as rapidly as we could wish, yet in some places decided success has attended the efforts of those who engaged in it. In Europe we found the people sound on this question. On one occasion, when I accepted an invitation to speak to a large audience on the subject of temperance, the people did me the honor of draping above the pulpit the American flag. My words were received with the deepest attention, and at the close of my talk a hearty vote of thanks was accorded me. I have never, in all my work on this question, had to accept one word of disrespect. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 4

We need at this time to show a decided interest in the workers of the W.C.T.U. None who claim to have a part in the work of God should lose interest in the grand object of this organization in temperance lines. I am not afraid that you will lose your interest or backslide from the truth because you interest yourself in this people who have taken such a noble stand for the temperance question; and I shall urge our people, and those not of our faith, to help us in carrying forward the work of Christian temperance. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 5

I am being aroused anew on this subject. We have a work to do along this line besides that of speaking in public. We must present our principles in pamphlets and in our papers. We must use every possible means of arousing our people to their duty to get into connection with those who know not the truth. The success we have had in missionary work has been fully proportionate to the self-denying, self-sacrificing efforts we have made. The Lord alone knows how much we might have accomplished if as a people we had humbled ourselves before Him and proclaimed the temperance truth in clear, straight lines. A large work of seed-sowing is yet to be done. The light of truth has flashed upon many minds who have not yet fully taken their stand, and these souls are waiting to see what next. The Lord’s workers are to draw nigh to Him, and He will give them keener perceptions and broader views of His purpose and of their individual duty. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 6

Look not to human agencies to learn your duty. Seek the Lord to know His will, and He will give you light. He is the One who can truly estimate character. Christ bids His workers, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think he shall receive anything of the Lord.” [James 1:5-7.] God bids us carry our difficulties and perplexities to Him. He presents for the acceptance of the believing soul the virtues of Christ’s character. A way is opened for him to receive the truth as it is in Jesus, and to have that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 7

It is seldom that the man who thinks he can be experience for another has a safe experience for himself; for he fails of forming a correct estimate of the character he should develop. Just as soon as a man who is placed in a responsible position supposes that he is to define the duty of his fellow men, and that the workers must obey his word without question, he proves that he is not worthy of his office. Such a man does not understand his own heart. We had far better have in our conference humble men whom God can accept and teach His way. God has given to every man his work, and this responsibility will not be taken from any soul; neither will it be given to another to tell him what that work is. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 8

We are living in an age when God’s servants need to examine earnestly their own hearts, to see where they stand. Men in responsible positions would change their ideas of self if they would faithfully look into God’s great looking glass and examine their hearts by the light of the Word. They would learn what manner of men they are; they would see themselves as Christ sees them, and how totally unable to do Christ’s work as guide and judge. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 9

When men would take upon themselves the responsibility of dictating to you, telling you to seek their advice and counsel, tell them that you have complied with the Lord’s direction to ask Him for wisdom, and that peace and rest have come to your soul in relying upon His promise. There are many who take the name of Christ and wear His sign who are not truly His. How then shall we know who are His? We shall know them because they point men to Christ. The man who has encouraged another to follow erring, human judgment has misled one who needed to be guided in safe paths. The worker who is truly humble in heart will never seek to control the actions and will of his fellow worker. To those who come to ask his counsel he will say, Do not seek of me to learn your duty; I cannot add this responsibility to my other burdens. You have an unerring Counselor upon whom you can always depend. Seek the Lord in earnest prayer. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 10

Sister Starr, look to Jesus, and make Him your Counselor. Go forward in faith with the work the Lord has pointed out to you. If wisely labored for, many of these women who have taken such a noble stand for the cause of temperance will go still further and will yield themselves to obedience to the commandments of God. A true missionary spirit will lead our workers to welcome these women to our meetings, that they may hear the truth for this time. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 11

We need to put away our narrowness of vision. We need to search the Scriptures, studying the works of Christ in His efforts to reach every class of people. Again and again Christ was charged with receiving sinners and eating with them. But He said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Mark 2:17.] This is the answer we may give to those who would criticize our works because they cannot reason from cause to effect. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 12

Be encouraged to continue your work for the W.C.T.U. Unite with them in their good work as far as you can do so without compromising any principle of truth. Lead them to see that there is more light for them in the Word of God. God has shown you that it is your privilege to unite with these workers, that you may give them a more intelligent understanding of the principles of His Word. 22LtMs, Lt 278, 1907, par. 13