Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)


Lt 72, 1909

Those Buying and Selling Land Near Sonoma California

St. Helena, California

April 4, 1909

Portions of this letter are published in CS 240-241.

To those who are buying and selling land near Sonoma, California

Dear Brethren:

While we were at Buena Vista, I was informed that Brother Kellogg had purchased a piece of land. That night a warning was given me regarding the evils that might come in if our brethren engage in land speculation in the vicinity of our Sonoma school. I seemed to be in a room where a meeting was being held, and I asked the question, How much did Brother Kellogg pay for his land? Just then someone else claimed attention, and I received no answer to my question. 24LtMs, Lt 72, 1909, par. 1

Then I was instructed to bear a testimony to our brethren, telling them that they must guard themselves against unfair speculation in connection with the purchase and sale of land near the school property. Every transaction in buying and selling must be characterized by strictest integrity. Selfishness must not be indulged. The principles for which our school shall stand, and which are to be taught the students as part of their education, are to be cultivated and revealed by those who closely connect themselves with the school interest. They must not, by efforts for personal gain, counterwork the principles of Christian education for which this school is to be established. 24LtMs, Lt 72, 1909, par. 2

Day by day we are making our record for time and for eternity. Let every action be just and square, in selling as in buying. Let nothing of an overreaching character be brought in, for that would discourage our brethren and displease God. Large sacrifices have been made by the people in our churches in order that this property might be secured for our school. Let not those who secure advantages for themselves take unfair advantage of their brethren who may need to settle near the school. Some who have the spirit of speculation should be discouraged from coming to Sonoma, because they would not be a blessing to the school, but a hindrance. 24LtMs, Lt 72, 1909, par. 3

Let us remember that we are standing in review before God, and that every unfair action to serve self is recorded against us in the books of heaven. O I entreat our brethren to put away the spirit of commercialism. I pray that none may gather about the school whose chief purpose is to advantage self. Let all seek to excel in spiritual things, that the ambitious spirit may be changed to a spirit of unselfishness. This change must be wrought in us if we would be wholly approved of God. 24LtMs, Lt 72, 1909, par. 4

I pray that these words I have written may be faithfully considered, and acted upon, and that in every line of business transactions we may reveal the grace of God. 24LtMs, Lt 72, 1909, par. 5