The Publishing Ministry

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Chapter 35—Christ's Object Lessons and the Ministry of Healing

Ellen G. White “Relief Books.” [The royalties from the sale of Christ's Object Lessons (1900) and The Ministry of Healing (1905) were donated by Ellen White for the relief of indebtedness on our educational and medical institutions. Great success attended the initial drives to sell these books, and the spiritual and financial benefits were considerable.]—Many have never learned how to sell the books dedicated to the advancement of our institutional work. But such should not excuse themselves. They should study diligently how they may do their part faithfully in connection with the circulation of these precious books. Our schools and sanitariums must be conducted on a high plane of efficiency, and a solemn responsibility rests upon us all to help place these institutions on vantage ground by giving the relief books a wide circulation. God will be glorified by everyone who takes an active interest in the work of placing these books in the hands of the multitudes who are in need of the saving truths of the gospel. PM 362.1

The opportunity we have of doing good by striving to carry out the Lord's plan for the relief of our schools and sanitariums has been presented to me over and over again in connection with the Southern California Conference. The conditions there are unusually favorable for a long-continued effort to push the sale of Christ's Object Lessons and Ministry of Healing. Our brethren and sisters in Southern California should never weary of this plan for raising money to meet the debts that have accumulated. The students of the Fernando school, and the nurses of the three sanitariums that have been established, can ill afford to lose the precious experiences in missionary work that come to those who handle the relief books. And the conference can ill afford to lose the results, spiritual as well as financial, that would accompany a continued effort of this sort. PM 362.2

But years have passed, and students who should have been gaining rich experiences in actual missionary work have not been encouraged to launch out heartily in the sale of Christ's Object Lessons. Church members in many places have daily met with strangers—tourists, men and women of means and influence—and yet such opportunities as these for circulating Christ's Object Lessons and Ministry of Healing have been allowed to pass by unimproved. Many honesthearted persons who could have been reached by diligent, wholehearted effort have not been given the light of the third angel's message.—Testimonies for the Church 9:83, 84.(See Fundamentals of Christian Education, 521-524.) PM 363.1

Can Provide Aid for Sanitariums and Schools—God desired that the sale of Christ's Object Lessons shall be recognized by all our people as His method of relieving our schools from debt. It is because this plan has been neglected that we now feel so keenly our lack of means for the advancing work. Had the schools availed themselves of the provision thus made for them, there would be more money in the school treasuries, and more money in the hands of God's servants, with which to relieve the necessities of other needy departments of the cause; and, best of all, teachers and students would have received the very lessons that they needed to learn in the Master's service. PM 363.2

In the cities within easy reach of our sanitariums and training schools a mission field is open to us that we have as yet only touched with the tips of our fingers. In some of these places, a good beginning has been made. But it was God's purpose that by the sale of Ministry of Healing and Christ's Object Lessons much means should be raised for the work of our sanitariums and schools, and that our people might thereby be left more free to donate of their means for the opening of the work in new missionary fields. If our people will now engage in the sale of these books as they ought, we shall have much more means than we now have to carry the work in the way the Lord designed that it should be carried.—Testimonies for the Church 9:80. PM 363.3

Sale of Christ's Object Lessons to Assist Schools—The suggestion has come from our canvassers that after the Relief of the Schools Campaign is finished, Christ's Object Lessons be made a subscription book. They are sure that it would have a large sale all over the world. PM 364.1

When Willie [“Willie” was Ellen White's third son and for years after the death of James White (in 1881), her closest helper and counselor.] told me of this suggestion, the thought at once came into my mind that the plan suggested might perhaps be best. If it were carried out, my royalty on the copies sold would help to settle my debts. PM 364.2

While these thoughts were passing through my mind, it was distinctly represented to me that Object Lessons was, in the plan of God, given to help our schools to roll away the terrible burden of debt. I saw clearly that the way in which the book had been handled was the Lord's plan, and that it was accomplishing great good. PM 364.3

I turned to Willie, and said, “I made of that book an offering to the Lord, and I cannot take it off the altar of sacrifice. As long as I live, that book is to be handled as none of my other books have been handled. And when I am no longer with you, you must see that this book is kept on the altar of sacrifice. I will not change a plan that has already brought to the cause of God, for the relief of our schools, two hundred thousand dollars.” PM 364.4

Willie's lips quivered. Tears came into his eyes, and he said, “Yes, Mother, the matter is settled now, never to be changed.” PM 364.5

But I have written fully on this subject elsewhere, so I will not give you any more particulars, but will send you a copy of what I have written to our leading brethren. PM 364.6

Many schools, large and small, are to be established in country places, and the proceeds from the sale of Object Lessons will be needed in this work. The sale of this book is under the Lord's supervision. He will continue to make it a blessing.—Letter 243, 1903. PM 364.7

Let those who have had success in canvassing come up to the help of the Lord. As they handle this book [Christ's Object Lessons], let them in the name of the Lord work in faith. PM 365.1

The movement I have suggested will result in reconciliation. It will unify the churches. If all will help to lift the debts on our schools, the publishing house in Battle Creek will be strengthened to do its part. Therefore, it is for the interest of the school in Battle Creek to act a full part in helping to pay back the money that has been so long bound up in it.—Manuscript 10, 1900. PM 365.2

Church Members to Circulate Relief Books—Urge every Seventh-day Adventist family to awaken and to become the Lord's missionaries. Consider the books that the Lord has placed in your possession for the relief of our schools and sanitariums. Many opportunities have been given you to show that you appreciate the truths revealed in these books. If these precious volumes are appreciated as they should be, self-denying efforts will be made to bring them to the notice of the people. Let brethren and sisters encourage one another to become acquainted with their neighbors. Tell them the story of the gift of these books for the support of our institutions, and tell of your own interest in seeking to place them in the hands of acquaintances and friends. Tell the story to the wealthy. Men, women, and children can engage in this work. We have yet to learn of persons who, after reading the books, have expressed unfavorable opinions regarding them. PM 365.3

Golden opportunities for missionary labor are offered to those who will take hold of this work, and rich blessings will come to the people who purchase the books and study their teachings. PM 365.4

The sale of the book Ministry of Healing will bring in means for the help of our health institutions and for the aid of those sick ones who could not, unaided, get the benefits of sanitarium treatments. Now let those of our people who wish to help our schools and sanitariums unite in the work of circulating these books as far and as fast as possible. As the Lord's missionaries we may take a special interest in this work and help to get the precious light before the people. PM 365.5

Those who engage in this work should first give themselves unreservedly to God. They should place themselves where they can learn of Christ and follow His example. Angels are commissioned to go forth with those who take up this work in true humility.—Manuscript 81, 1908. PM 366.1

Wisdom of God in The Ministry of Healing—The book Ministry of Healing may do the same work for our sanitariums and health institutions that Christ's Object Lessons has done for our schools. This book contains the wisdom of the Great Physician. To me it has been a precious privilege to donate my work on these books to the cause of God. In the future there should be well-planned and persevering efforts made to increase their sale.—Testimonies for the Church 9:71. PM 366.2

Success Gained in Selling Experience—He [God] has given His people an opportunity to take to their friends and neighbors and to strangers a book containing the precious lessons of Christ. As those who have never tried to sell books have thought of going out with this book, a dread has come into their hearts. But the Lord has led and guided them as His little children. He has taught old and young, men and women, how to give the light of truth to those who know it not. PM 366.3

And the purchasers have been blessed. Their hearts have been softened as they have listened to the story of the self-denying effort to free our schools from debt. By the sale of this book many sermons have been preached. Those in the highways as well as those in the hedges have been reached. As men and women of every age have gone forth to sell Object Lessons, and in simple words have told what they were trying to do, a deep impression has been left on minds.—Letter 43, 1903. PM 366.4

Generous Cooperation of Publishing Houses—What may be accomplished by self-denying effort is shown by the result of the sale of Christ's Object Lessons. In giving us this book, the Lord gave us a great blessing. I praise Him with heart and soul that He put it into my heart to give this book for the relief of the schools. I praise Him that our publishing houses [The publishing houses produced the relief books at cost and passed them on without profit to the churches to be sold.] acted so generous a part in the work of preparing the book for sale. And I praise Him that our people have put their hand so nobly to the work of its circulation. The Lord has greatly blessed them. In the effort to sell this book, they have learned by practical experience what they can do for the advancement of the work. And they have learned also how to speak to strangers about the truth. Through the lessons contained in this book, sinners have been warned, convicted, and converted.—Letter 43, 1903. PM 366.5

To Help Support School Work in Germany—My German brethren and sisters in America, this message is given to me for you: God has His faithful ones in Germany and in all the other countries where Germans have scattered. Consider how much good you might do, how many people you might help, by selling the German edition of Christ's Object Lessons, doing all you can by your labor and by your means to share in the expense of establishing and carrying forward the school work in Germany.—Letter 121, 1902. PM 367.1