Lt 65a, 1878
Lt 65a, 1878
White, J. E.
December 5, 1878
This letter is published in entirety in ST 12/19/1878.
Dear Son [Edson]:
We received your letter in reference to the Oakland church. I am glad you wrote us in regard to the situation of things there. I am sure that the meetinghouse in Oakland was built none too soon. Among the believers were some who were poor, but had willing hearts. These persons made great sacrifices in order to raise means to invest in the Oakland church. Their zeal and self-sacrifice shall not be in vain. 3LtMs, Lt 65a, 1878, par. 1
That meetinghouse shall not be sold. The building of the house was of God. I hope our brethren and sisters will not murmur as did the children of Israel when brought to the Red Sea, the Egyptians behind them, and impassable mountains shutting them in. It was at this crisis that the Lord said to Moses, “Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward.” [Exodus 14:15.] As they obeyed, the Red Sea parted before them, and they went through it in the path God had prepared for them. 3LtMs, Lt 65a, 1878, par. 2
We say to you in Oakland, Believe, and do all you can, and you will see the salvation of God. Let all murmurings and questioning doubts cease. Let your complaints be turned to prayer, and faith, and works. I repeat, That the house must not be sold. We will first sell our house on the corner of Castro and Eleventh Streets and put every dollar of the avails into the church to clear it of debt. Sell our house? Yes, yes, indeed, rather than the house which has been dedicated to God. 3LtMs, Lt 65a, 1878, par. 3
Wait, work, and pray. We will exert our influence and do what we can. Every foot of room in that house will be needed yet. Oakland is a missionary field and always will be. The truth will prevail in Oakland. It may take time, but it will take hold of hearts there. Believe, work, hope, and pray. Cling to God with all your might. 3LtMs, Lt 65a, 1878, par. 4
Let all in the office and in the church at Oakland show a still greater spirit of self-sacrifice than has been manifested, and God will work with your efforts. Lift the burdens willingly, and we will not let the matter rest until we see you free from embarrassment. Help shall come. If we cannot sell our property, we will use our influence to interest others to do all they can. Sell that church? Never, never; too many prayers have been offered while it was being erected. 3LtMs, Lt 65a, 1878, par. 5
“Be not faithless, but believing.” [John 20:27.] There are those upon the Pacific Coast who have money; let them come up and make the offering to God. Some in California have shown that they had greater confidence in unbelievers than in those whom God has honored by connecting them with His cause. 3LtMs, Lt 65a, 1878, par. 6
These have trusted their money to men of no principle, while the cause of God was greatly straitened for the want of means. If any appeal is made to them, they respond by presenting their narrow ideas and selfish views. Too much money, they say, has been expended in buildings and in facilities for the spread of the truth. They are afraid that they shall lose the money if entrusted to the treasury of God. But the Lord has shown that He is displeased with their course in suffering losses to occur. They have not saving faith. Money is their god. The Lord has entrusted to them means to be used in the advancement of His cause, but their covetous spirit grasps it and will not let it go back to Him to whom it belongs. 3LtMs, Lt 65a, 1878, par. 7
Sister Rowland has made most earnest efforts to help when and where she could. May the Lord open ways before her that she may be able to dispose of her property and invest a portion of it in the cause of God. At the greatest inconvenience to herself, she mortgaged her home property, and raised two thousand dollars to help in the Signs office when the money was most needed. This noble act on her part is an expression of her confidence in the work and cause of God. She will not lose her reward. If others would show similar commendable zeal and faith, the cause of truth would not be embarrassed as it now is. 3LtMs, Lt 65a, 1878, par. 8
We hope that those who have means trusted out to strangers will see that God’s cause may be benefited by its use. It was placed in their hands by the Lord to test them and prove them, to see if they will render back to the Master His own, when He shall call for it. Means were given them not to hoard or to use for themselves. Those who are murmuring and complaining at the outlay of means in the publishing house and in the meetinghouse had better be at work to act their part, lest they shall be found wanting, by acting the part of Meroz. God gave command, “Curse ye Meroz, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof, because they came not up to the help of the Lord, to the help the Lord, against the mighty.” [Judges 5:23.] 3LtMs, Lt 65a, 1878, par. 9
Let not your offerings to advance the cause of God be stinted. If there is any stint and meager arrangements and inferior work to be seen and felt anywhere, let it be in your own houses and in your own dress, and not in the house of God and in the facilities which are needed to push forward the work of God. 3LtMs, Lt 65a, 1878, par. 10