Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Lt 224, 1908

Prescott, W. W.

St. Helena, California

June 24, 1908

Portions of this letter are published in 10MR 358-359; 6Bio 248-249. +Note

Elder W. W. Prescott
Takoma Park, Washington, D.C.

Dear Brother:

I have been shown your peril during the time of your connecting with Dr. E. J. Waggoner. You both came to the conference of 1901 enthused with what you supposed to be precious spiritual light. You were desirous of presenting this light to me, but I was shown that much of that which you supposed to be precious light was dangerous, misleading fables, and that I must have no conversation with you regarding these ideas that were filling your minds. 23LtMs, Lt 224, 1908, par. 1

The theories held by Ellet Waggoner were similar in character to those we had met and rebuked in several places where we met fanatical movements after the passing of the time in 1844. Dr. Waggoner was then departing from the faith in the doctrine he held regarding spiritual affinities. 23LtMs, Lt 224, 1908, par. 2

You have many times escaped from the snare of the enemy. But you are not beyond the danger of making mistakes. You sometimes allow your mind to center upon a certain train of thought, and you are in danger of making a mountain out of a molehill. Brother Prescott, there has been a serious weakness in your work of ministry. It is a tendency to sway from clearly defined truth and give undue attention to some items which seem to require hours of argument to prove, when in reality they do not need to be handled at all. It will be wise for you to say, when tempted to do this work, We cannot afford to arouse arguments upon points that are not essential for the salvation of the soul. 23LtMs, Lt 224, 1908, par. 3

You are now in danger of occupying time and energy with certain points upon which you seem to have clear light. But I am charged to say to you that it will be better for you to keep silent regarding this subject. To devote so much attention to the jots and tittles will open the way for controversy regarding the truth we hold dear and bring in a large amount of criticism which need not exist. 23LtMs, Lt 224, 1908, par. 4

I write this to caution you. Keep to the simplicity of the Word. Consider the great work that needs to be done. 23LtMs, Lt 224, 1908, par. 5

There is a work to be done in Washington in following the light the Lord has given on the subject of health reform, upon temperance in eating and drinking. When the brethren there work to become health reformers, they will have clearer minds to discern what does and does not affect the salvation of the soul. Our ministers are to understand that health reform means much to each one of them. 23LtMs, Lt 224, 1908, par. 6

Manna from heaven was given the children of Israel in their journeying in the wilderness. They “did eat angels’ food.” [Psalm 78:25.] But this did not satisfy them. They longed for flesh meats; and they mourned and murmured because they could not have their desire. Then the Lord granted their request, and that vast multitude was given quails in abundance. When the people reaped the result of their transgression, the Lord did not work a miracle to preserve life. While yet the flesh was between their teeth, the plague came upon them, destroying thousands of their number. 23LtMs, Lt 224, 1908, par. 7

The Lord gave to Moses for Israel plain directions as to the way His name should be respected and His requirements met. No careless, haphazard work was to be done. From the pillar of cloud the Lord directed when they should pitch their camp and when they should move on. “When the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in their journeys; but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not until the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.” [Exodus 40:36-38.] 23LtMs, Lt 224, 1908, par. 8

The Lord is soon coming with power and great glory. Should not those who profess to believe in His coming be giving to the cause of the coming King the power of a right example? We are to evidence for our neighbors the same interest that we manifest for ourselves. Our love for God must be supreme. 23LtMs, Lt 224, 1908, par. 9

Elder E. J. Hibbard has suggested to me that if Elder A. T. Jones were wisely labored for, he might come back into our ranks. The night after his letter came, a presentation was given to me showing me that we must be careful not to open the way for anyone to spoil the flock of God. Elder Jones has done a work that has destroyed the confidence of many of his brethren in him. He has been persistent in following out his erratic course. He has gone from place to place with falsehoods and misrepresentations, which have had to be followed up and refuted by Elder Daniells and others of our ministers. I was shown that it was by such work as this that Satan seeks to deceive if possible the very elect. When Elder Jones will humble himself before God, and do a thorough work of repentance, there will be something for us as a people to do. But until that time shall come, it is our duty to let him alone. 23LtMs, Lt 224, 1908, par. 10

The Lord calls upon us individually to strive to reach the highest point of consecration to Him. Let us not, by a mistaken zeal, lead any poor soul off the track, placing him where Satan can ruin his experience. We need to come up on higher ground. We need to purify the soul by humble obedience. We are now deciding our own destiny, whether or not we will be sanctified and give to the world a correct representation of Christ’s holy character. 23LtMs, Lt 224, 1908, par. 11