Counsels on Stewardship


Chapter 47—Unwise Investments

A few weeks ago, while I was attending the camp meeting at San Jose [1905], some of our brethren presented before me what they considered wonderful opportunities to invest means in mining and railroad stock, that would bring large returns. They seemed confident of success, and spoke of the good they would do with the profits they expected to receive. CS 242.1

Others were present, and seemed interested to see how I would receive their proposition. I told them that such investments were very uncertain. They could not be sure that these enterprises would succeed. I spoke to them of the everlasting reward that is assured to those who lay up their treasures in heaven; but in these uncertain ventures, I begged them, for Christ's sake, to stop right where they were. CS 242.2

In the night season I was instructed to tell God's people that it is not according to His will that those who believe in His near coming should invest their means in mining stock. This would be burying our Lord's talent in the earth. I will read a copy of a letter I wrote to one of the brethren I have mentioned: CS 242.3

“San Jose, California,

July 2, 1905.

“Dear Brother,

“You have presented before me a proposition to invest in mining stock. You feel confident that such an investment would prove successful, and you think that in this way you will be able greatly to help the cause of God. CS 242.4

“The Lord has given me instruction that at the meetings I would attend I would find men encouraging our people to invest their money to work mines. I am bidden to say that this is a device of the enemy to consume or to tie up means that is greatly needed to carry on the work of God. It is a snare of the last days, to involve God's people in loss of their Lord's entrusted capital, that should be used wisely in the work of winning souls. Because so much money is invested in these very uncertain enterprises, the work of God is sadly crippled for lack of the talent that will win souls to Christ.... CS 243.1

“Last night in vision, I was raising my voice in warning against worldly speculations. I said, ‘I invite you to take shares in the greatest mine that has ever been worked.’ CS 243.2

“‘The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.’... CS 243.3

“If we will invest in God's mining stock, the return is sure. He says, ‘Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.’... CS 243.4

“‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.’ CS 243.5

“My brother, will you make an investment to secure the heavenly pearl of great price? ... This is mining stock, in which you may invest without running a risk of disappointment. But, my dear friend, we have not a dollar of the Lord's money to invest in mining enterprises in this world.” CS 243.6

I am exceedingly sorry that any of our people have made the mistake of burying their God-given capital in mining stock, thinking thereby to increase their revenue. The prospect may seem flattering, but many will be sadly disappointed. CS 244.1

I recall the case of a brother who was once interested in the work and cause of God. Some years ago, when I was in Australia, this brother wrote to me, saying that he had purchased a mine from which he expected to receive great profits. He said that he would give me a portion of what he would receive. Occasionally he would write to me, saying: “Now the prospects are good. Soon we shall receive returns.” But the returns did not materialize; and after sinking many thousands of dollars, his ventures proved to be an entire loss. CS 244.2

This is one of many similar cases that have come to my attention. Many have expressed to me their sorrow that they had ever encouraged anyone to invest their means in mining stock. If there is one here who has received money from a brother or sister for any such investment, it is his duty to return it, if the one who gave it so desires. CS 244.3

I warn you to be careful what you do with your Lord's goods. By placing it in God's treasury you may ensure for yourselves a revenue from the inexhaustible treasures of His kingdom. CS 244.4

The people of God have been too easily satisfied with mere surface truths. We should search diligently for the deep, eternal, far-reaching truths of God's word. Having found them, we shall joyfully sell all, that we may buy the field.—Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 17a, 8-13. CS 244.5