Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)

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Lt 28, 1909

Rasmussan, Anna

St. Helena, California

January 15, 1909

Portions of this letter are published in 11MR 166. +Note

My dear Sister Rasmussan:

I have not heard from you for some time, and I would be glad to know how you are. I would be pleased to have you make some report of yourself frequently, that we may know how you are prospering. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 1

We have had almost continuous rains for weeks. Perhaps we have had four days of sunshine in three weeks, and the rain is still gently falling. We have had some wind, though not much. The land needs these gentle rains we are having, and we thank the Lord that He gives the blessing of rain in its season. Yet we will be glad to see the sunshine once more. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 2

In Portland, Oregon, there have been snow storms, making it impossible to travel in some parts. Some serious accidents have happened, but so far as we know, the Lord has not permitted harm to come to any of our people. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 3

We are now seeking to raise means to establish at Buena Vista, near the town of Sonoma, our conference school which has heretofore been conducted at Healdsburg. For about a year before we found this place, we had been looking for a location where we could have land to cultivate, and where the students could get the manual training necessary to an all-round education. In the Buena Vista estate, which is about two miles from the town of Sonoma, and about thirty-five miles from St. Helena, we have a location which is in every way adapted for a site for our school. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 4

The Buena Vista property is a very fine one. There is an abundance of clear water, which is piped from the hills, and pipes convey water to all parts of the building and to the grounds surrounding the house. The building itself has three stories with twelve spacious rooms on each floor, with a large basement, and a large cupola. Those who designed the place evidently had an abundance of money, for no means seem to have been spared in making this an ideal dwelling place. The death of the original owners has left it in the hands of those who wish to dispose of it. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 5

The town of Sonoma is surrounded with orchard lands, and the fruit here is said to be superior. There are some fruit trees on the Buena Vista property; and in the care of these and in the cultivation of the soil, we hope to give the students a practical education, which, combined with their mental studies, will fit them for useful service when they shall go forth to labor in other fields. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 6

For years I have had in view just such a place as the Buena Vista estate as a location for our school. When I saw this property I felt at once that this was the place we should have. And others who have seen it realize that we will have great advantages here. There are about 2,900 acres in the estate. We have entered into negotiations to secure the property, and in the meantime the brethren are doing all in their power to raise the means necessary to complete the purchase, which is fifty thousand dollars. We want to take possession as soon as the papers are made out, giving us a legal right to the property. When the title is ready for us, we want to have the money on hand. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 7

Now, my sister, I do not ask you for means, for you have already loaned me means; but I ask you to interest those whom you can to help us in this matter. I have written you some of the particulars regarding the property, and I hope you will present the case to those whom you think will help. It may be that some can make gifts, and others can loan money at a low rate of interest. Ask them to use their means in helping us to purchase this property. Here is a field for missionary effort just as verily as in far-off lands. About two miles from Buena Vista, in the town of Sonoma, there is a work to be done in giving the people the message of warning. I ask you to read this letter to the church, and ask the brethren and sisters if they will not help in this emergency. I have hired fifteen hundred dollars from the bank in order to purchase some land in connection with the estate, upon which, it is possible, we may erect a modest house of worship in the future. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 8

For many years we have been shown the need of establishing our schools away from the cities. This place is in a retired locality, belted by mountains and hills. Here we will have opportunity to train the muscles to work as well as the brain to think. For years the light has been presented to us, out of the cities. Our students must be taught how to plant, how to build, how to harvest, how to become acceptable missionary workers. By their knowledge of practical industries, they will often be enabled to break down prejudice; often they will be able to make themselves so useful that the truth will be recommended by the knowledge they have and which they can impart to those who are ignorant. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 9

This school is not to be a place where book learning merely is imparted, but where an all-round education may be obtained. Our ministers are to be trained to use the physical as well as the mental powers. Then they will have various positions of trust assigned them, as had Joseph in Egypt. The education received is to be after the order of that received in the schools of the prophets. Certain books which have been brought into our schools as textbooks, because teachers deemed these essential to a complete education, are to be exchanged for those books that will educate the students in lines that will fit them to graduate to the higher school of the courts above, where Christ will lead His people and instruct them in a deeper knowledge of His Word. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 10

True education means a great deal to every human being. Christ usually began His instruction to the few who collected to hear Him, and then, journeying to some retired place, He would continue His lessons from the Word. Those who gathered to hear Him were astonished at His doctrine. To many, but not to all, it was something new and strange. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 11

Study the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of Matthew. Here is an example of Christ’s teachings and the manner of His work. His lessons have been faithfully reported by His believing disciples. They should leave their impression on the hearts of all believers to the end of time. Let all who believe the truth for these last days follow the teachings of Christ, study His instructions, and bring into their ministry of the Word those teachings that Christ recognized as essential to higher education. I am pained as I see books presented for the study of the students that will not impart the higher education. I have been shown that One chosen of God and precious has given in His teachings the principles that underlie true education. There cannot proceed from human minds or lips instruction higher than His. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 12

Read the twenty-first to the twenty-eighth verses of the fifteenth chapter of Matthew. Here Christ taught His disciples a needed lesson by acting out for a time the ideas and sentiments that controlled the lives of many who were then following Him. “Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And behold a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto Him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and besought Him, saying, Send her away, for she crieth after us. But He answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshiped Him, saying, Lord, help me. But He answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their Master’s table. Then Jesus answered and said, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that hour. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 13

“And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain and sat there. And great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them all; insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 14

“Then Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue now with Me three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. And the disciples said unto Him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude? And Jesus said unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven basketsful. And they that did eat were four thousand men besides women and children.” [Verses 21-38.] 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 15

Here Jesus gave a lesson for His people today. The work He performed in healing the sick and ministering to the wants of the needy, we are to have a part in. The work of healing the sick we are to do in connection with our health institutions. We did not have these institutions in the early days of the message, but now a change has come. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 16

The disciple John writes, concerning the mission of Christ, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ... All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” [John 1:1, 3-5.] Read this first chapter of the gospel of John. There are wonderful lessons presented here for our thought and study. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 17

I am instructed to tell, in every way possible, how to discern the meaning of true higher education. Many of our teachers talk of higher education, but they do not realize what higher education really comprehends. This is the only education that is of saving value. The first chapter of John, with the third chapter, plainly defines higher education. Take these words of inspiration and read them carefully. Read them verse by verse thoughtfully and prayerfully. The instruction here given is only feebly comprehended by us; and no man can understand its full import until he is born again. Said Christ to Nicodemus, “Verily I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot see the kingdom of God.” [John 3:5, 3.] Christ has given us definite instruction regarding the nature of true education, but we can only receive this instruction through sanctification of the Spirit of God. Christ declared, “Verily, verily I say unto you, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe them not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up into heaven, but He that came down out of heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” [Verses 11-13.] 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 18

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so also must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 19

“He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not, is condemned already; because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light; lest his deeds shall be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God.” [Verses 14-21.] 24LtMs, Lt 28, 1909, par. 20