Ms 4, 1865

Ms 4, 1865

Testimony for the Church at Convis, Michigan



Previously unpublished.

In the last vision given me, the church of Convis was presented before me. I was shown that they were not prospering spiritually, as God would have them. The love of the world has crowded out the love of the truth and true godliness until there is a spiritual dearth. I was pointed back and shown that there had been a time when there was more love, harmony, and drawing in even cords than at the present time. I was shown that Satan has for some time been insinuating himself among the little few in Convis through various temptations. He is determined to overthrow the faith of all, and without strict watchfulness some will be overcome. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 1

Brother [Stephen] Smith has great need of strict watchfulness and prayer. As he has tried to overcome his unnatural and depraved appetite he has failed, then lost confidence in himself. He has sometimes been excitable and again bound about with an insensibility which has been almost impossible to shake off. As he has endeavored to overcome his use of tobacco, he has been assailed with powerful temptations that he could not survive the removal of this false prop, that nature would never rally. He has braved the matter for a while, then given up the struggle and fallen back to his old habit. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 2

In this matter of leaving hurtful indulgence, which wars against the soul, he has not felt the necessity of going to the stronghold for strength. He has not added faith to his works. He has not felt that God is, and that He is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek Him. He has made his efforts too much in his own strength. He must believe that he can and will do all things through Christ strengthening him; believe that he will not die but live to declare the works of the Lord. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 3

He has never taken hold of the reform, believing that God required it of him. He has felt that God would bear with him in the use of tobacco but his brethren would not. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 4

In regard to health reform, Brother Smith has never realized its importance, its necessity. He has not felt its beneficial results because he has not moved in faith. The health reform is a part of present truth, closely connected with the third angel’s message. Those who are benefited by this reform must receive it in faith and act upon it in faith, as they have other important points of present truth. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 5

Force of habit is very strong upon Brother Smith. It seems like taking life to change from his old, accustomed habits to new, although the change might be highly necessary and important for his health. While making the change inconveniences and some suffering must necessarily be borne; but after the change is made, benefits resulting from the change will be fully realized. Thus it was in regard to present truth. It was hard for him to receive it, to change from old, established habits, doctrines, and customs. But the change once made, the sanctifying influence of the truth enjoyed, and it would be as hard to change him from truth to his former views as it was to convert him to the truth. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 6

As Brother Smith shall endeavor to cleanse himself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, he must do all in faith. He will have a hard struggle until abused nature rallies and comes to his aid and acts her part to supply the place of the false prop which has been removed, which has usurped the place of nature. Brother Smith has tried to overcome the use of tobacco gradually, but this cannot be done. The vile and poisonous weed must be let alone entirely. Total abstinence is the only safe course to be pursued. The vile weed should not be tampered with. Let nature have a chance to recover her abused powers and gather up her forces which have been debilitated by the introduction into the system of a foreign substance which has had a paralyzing influence upon all the forces of nature. Especially has it benumbed the sensibilities of mind. Infirmities of the body have affected the mind. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 7

The brethren and sisters should exercise a kind forbearance to Brother Smith, and should realize the infirmities he labors under. The insensibility, a benumbing of the powers of the mind, comes upon him like an armed man. Nature has been crippled in her efforts, and while she is recovering her powers he should not overtax his strength but should give nature time to build up. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 8

Brother Smith and Sister Smith need to arouse, to love the truth more earnestly. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” [1 John 2:15.] They should have change; get out to meetings where there are new gifts. In this way they will obtain new and increasing light. Brother Smith has too much independence of mind, is afraid of being burdensome, a trouble. This is in his way [to keep him] from enjoying the privileges of meetings away from home as he might. He is a lover of hospitality himself and enjoys the visits of his friends in the truth, and he should freely receive without embarrassment the attentions of his brethren, for the kind acts and attentions among brethren tend to unite their hearts in closer, stronger bonds of love and union. Disinterested benevolence should mark the course of every believer in present truth. Those who are recipients of the grace of God, of His bounties, of His liberal mercies, should feel it a privilege to be courteous, to use hospitality without grudging. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 9

Brother Smith must look to God for strength, believe in Him, trust in Him, and expect help from God in his efforts to overcome; cast all his care upon Him, for He careth for him. God is inviting His son Stephen to make Him his trust, to choose the path of righteousness that He may be the Guide of his youth. Christ is saying to him, “My son, give Me thy heart that I may wash it from pollution, cleanse it from the stains of sin, and prepare it for pure, sacred, and elevated pleasures in My heavenly kingdom.” 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 10

Things will arise to make your son wish to defer the day when he shall identify himself with God’s chosen, truth-believing people. He has not the promise of tomorrow. “While it is called Today; ... if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 3:13-15. I saw that angels of God were seeking to attract, to draw your son to the truth. He was turning partly away saying, “Not yet. I cannot yet yield to the restraint of life religion imposes. Many profess to be Christians who do no better than I.” Again I heard the solemn invitation, “My son, give Me thy heart. Seek for purer, holier joys than earth can give. Seek for honor that comes from above which is durable, glory which is never-fading, life which will continue when the world with its glory and honor shall pass away.” 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 11

Christ invites Stephen [Smith] to come. Will he yield? Will he be saved in God’s own way and in His own time? or will he continue to find some pleasure in the things which perish, which yield no real pure joy, no abiding good, no lasting happiness? Will he flit away the precious moments of probation and at last find he has made an eternal mistake? May God help him to seek for those things which make for his peace. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 12


I was shown that several in the Convis church have been growing less spiritual but more and more worldly-minded, loving the things of this world, losing a love for the heavenly but increasing their love for earthly treasure. There has not been that advance in health reform that God requires them to make. Satan does not mean to cease his efforts or to be less vigilant. He is at war with the government of heaven, and will annoy if he cannot destroy the subjects of Christ’s kingdom. God calls upon the church to arouse and be sanctified by the truth which they profess. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 13

Brother Thomas Lane has been growing spiritually dead. Self and self-interest have eclipsed his duty to God and blinded his eyes to God’s requirements. Selfishness, penuriousness, will surely eat out true godliness. The love of the world and Christ cannot live in the same heart. Sister Thomas Lane has sought to live for God and maintain a close walk with God. She has sought to hold up her husband. In this she has done well. But she cannot save him. He must save his own soul by his own righteousness. He must be sanctified through the truth by obeying all its claims. He must abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. He must practice temperance in all things if he would win the crown of immortality. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 14

Brother and Sister Sellars, God calls upon you for greater devotedness to His cause. Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind. The love of the things of this world is a hindrance to your growth in grace. The church as a whole have much to do to get out of their lukewarm condition and come into an acceptable state before God. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 15

Had the church in Convis considered their eternal interest paramount to their earthly interest, they would ere this have erected a house for God. This would have said plainly to unbelievers, We believe what we profess. The kingdom of heaven and His righteousness first. We want you to hear and believe to the saving of the soul. Said the angel to you in Convis, “Your faith must be made perfect by works before you can grow in grace and flourish in the Lord.” Satan is not opposed to your believing the truth while at the same time your works are not in accordance with it. It causes him no terror for you to say “I believe” while your works do not justify your faith and you remain spiritually dead. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 16

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 17

There are souls to be saved in and about Convis, but if the truth is presented to them efforts must be made by those who believe. The standard of truth should be elevated. All who believe should manifest a zeal and devotion to the cause of truth which they profess to love. How easily can God bless all that they put their hand unto. But if they withhold from God, and rob Him, His curse will be upon themselves, their families, their fields, their cattle. God can scatter that which is so highly valued by them, and instead of plenty send a scarcity. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 18

The people of Convis have felt too much that what they return to God of that which He requires, which He has lent them, is lost. Just so much, they consider, is taken from them of their own, when it is not theirs. God has given them strength and wisdom to obtain that which they possess, and when He calls for His own it is for them to cheerfully obey. Selfishness and closeness and covetousness must die in Convis, or those who do not overcome these evils will die to the truth. They cannot serve God and Mammon. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1865, par. 19