Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)
Lt 320, 1908
Underwood, R. A.
St. Helena, California
October 26, 1908
This letter is published in entirety in SpM 438-439.
Elder R. A. Underwood
2718 Third Avenue South
Dear Brother Underwood:
I am instructed to say to our people that when special advantages are offered for doing quickly and at small expense a work that it is time for us to do, such as were recently offered in the school buildings near Chamberlain, South Dakota, that those who meet in counsel and stand in positions of responsibility should be ready to accept them; for these are the Lord’s openings for the rapid advancement of His work. Here was an opportunity for a quick work that was neglected because of lack of faith and largeness of heart. I am more sorry for this than I can express. Such opportunities are given us that we may be enabled to carry out the commission Christ gave to His first disciples, “Go ye into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled.” [Luke 14:23.] This message which means so much to all people is to reach out to the highways and hedges. 23LtMs, Lt 320, 1908, par. 1
I fear that a door has been closed, an opportunity neglected, that will result in the loss of souls. 23LtMs, Lt 320, 1908, par. 2
The work at our camp-meetings should be conducted, not according to man’s devising, but after the manner of Christ’s working. The church members should be drawn out to labor. The light is to be taken from under the bushel, that it may reach to the many who need it. I am instructed to say that angels of God will direct in the opening of fields nigh as well as afar off, that the work of warning the world may be accomplished. God calls upon believers to obtain an experience in missionary work by branching out into new territory and working intelligently for the people in the byways. To those who will do this, openings for labor will come. The light of truth is to shine forth through the efforts of missionary workers. 23LtMs, Lt 320, 1908, par. 3
I have a message for the leaders in Minnesota and Iowa. They need to call their forces into exercise by engaging actively in missionary work. Our brethren need to go forth as the first disciples went, to the byways and the highways, teaching the message of truth. They need to become laborers in the Lord’s vineyard. God’s servants must not be idlers, but must work diligently to win souls. One soul saved is of more consequence than all the riches of the world. Let our church members ask themselves the question, Do I improve my opportunities? What fruit am I bearing to the glory of God? 23LtMs, Lt 320, 1908, par. 4
God forbid that there should be a large outlay of means in a few places, without considering the needs of the many fields that have scarcely any help. Self-denial exercised by the brethren in favored localities, in order that adequate help may be given to needy fields, will aid in accomplishing a work that will bring glory to God. None can afford to build a high tower of influence in one locality, while they leave other places unworked. The Lord grant that our senses may be sanctified, and that we may learn to measure our ideas by the work and the teachings of Christ. 23LtMs, Lt 320, 1908, par. 5
To every church the instruction is given to gather in the ignorant and those who need help. The candlestick is to be taken from under the bushel and light given to all that are in the house. The Lord has men of opportunity in the world, and these will embrace the truth if proper labor is bestowed in their behalf. The Lord says, I will open ways in the highway and in the desert. Let not large means be consumed in a few places while we begrudge the needed means to other localities. 23LtMs, Lt 320, 1908, par. 6
When opportunities arise such as have recently come to us, it is for us to see and understand that the Lord is opening the way that souls may be converted and become sowers of the truths of the gospel. I present this instruction to you as the servant of the Lord, and repeat, Take advantage of the providence of God. Then give the churches a chance to economize, in their homes, at their tables, in their church expenditure, and to follow Christ’s example of faithful, untiring labor. Again I say, Secure the Chamberlain place if you can. The Lord grant that you may not be too late. 23LtMs, Lt 320, 1908, par. 7