Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Lt 70, 1907

Haskell, S. N.

St. Helena, California

February 26, 1907

This letter is published in entirety in 1MR 168-170.

Elder S. N. Haskell
575 25th Street

Dear Brother:

Brother Walter Harper has been conversing with me about the need of greater effort for the sale of my books, and especially Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets. I encouraged him to [do] all he could to push the sale of these books, and I told him that if the publishing houses would not keep him supplied with my books, that I would supply them. But as I consider the matter, I see that at this time, when so much is being said against organization, we must be careful not to work for disorganization. We must not get out of line. I am fearful regarding any plan that would take the work out of the hands of our publishing houses; for this might lessen the confidence of our brethren in these important agencies for the dissemination of present truth. 22LtMs, Lt 70, 1907, par. 1

I believe that in the selling of your books you want to do just what is right. I believe the Lord will guide you with His counsel. Regarding my books, I feel that I cannot take them into my own hands, and thus weaken the work of the office of publication. It would not be wise for me to make a move that would look as if I did not have confidence in our leading publishing houses. We must do all things in a righteous way. We must not weaken the hearts and hands of those of whom we expect so much. 22LtMs, Lt 70, 1907, par. 2

Years ago, when I was in Battle Creek, I was much distressed that Great Controversy should lie idle on the shelf. For two years it was held back, that Bible Readings might have more attention. All that I could say did not change the course of those who had control of the canvassing work. They treated me as if I were a child. If at that time I had appealed to the people, asking for agents to handle my books, and promising to supply them, it would have been in the order of the Lord; but now things have changed. There is not now a studied, determined effort to hold back the books that are of the most importance. We are planning to bring out many books, and for the pioneer in our work to make any move now that would create confusion would not be wise. We must not bring any discouragement on our publishing houses at this critical period in their experience. 22LtMs, Lt 70, 1907, par. 3

We have advised Pacific Press to give up commercial work. This has been done. The Review and Herald also is giving its principal energies to our own work. The Nashville house is doing less outside work and is making great exertions to secure good agents and to sell our denominational books. To take my books into my own hands now would bring a great trial upon that work, and I cannot do it. I shall let the work go on as it has been going. We must press together and take no step that will bring confusion to our publishing work. 22LtMs, Lt 70, 1907, par. 4

You can do as you think best; but I have concluded to have my books handled just as they have been in the past. I shall encourage our brethren to scatter them like the leaves of autumn, but I shall leave my books to be handled by the publishing houses and shall prepare for larger sales in the future. 22LtMs, Lt 70, 1907, par. 5