Manuscript Releases, vol. 7 [Nos. 419-525]


MR No. 453—Mrs. S. M. I. Henry and the W.T.C.U.

I would be very much pleased could I be seated by your side and converse with you in regard to the incidents of our experience. I have an earnest desire to meet you. It is not impossible that, even in this life, we shall see each other face to face. When I learn of the gracious dealings of God with you, I feel very grateful to my heavenly Father that the light of the truth for this time is shining into the chambers of your mind and into the soul temple. Across the broad waters of the Pacific, we can clasp hands in faith and sweet fellowship. I rejoice with you in every opportunity you have of reaching the people. I praise the Lord that he has wrought for you, that the Great Physician who has never lost a case, has healed you, and given you access to the people, that you may set before many your experience of the loving kindness of a gracious Redeemer.—Letter 9, 1898, p. 1. (To Mrs. S. M. I. Henry, January 2, 1898.) 7MR 155.1

I am thankful that the Lord is leading you. Your letter was refreshing, the more so because your ideas are in harmony with my mind. I believe that the Lord has appointed you to do his work in his way. Let us in our work have faith in God and trust him. While we may take pleasure in counselling our brethren, an individual work is to be done which is beyond the power of any mind to comprehend.... I thank the Lord with heart, and soul, and voice that you have been a prominent and influential member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. In the providence of God you have been led to the light, to obtain a knowledge of the truth, and the education you have received in the grand temperance work, in connection with your sister workers, is the education you need to bring into the work with women whose hearts are softened by the Spirit of God, and who are searching for the truth as for hidden treasure. For twenty years I have seen that the light would come to the women workers in the temperance lines. But with sadness I have discerned that many of them are becoming politicians, and that against God. They enter into questions and debates and theories of many things that they have no need to touch. Christ said, I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. How can they walk in opposition to his holy law, in the footsteps of the great apostate, and yet have clear, sharp discernment? 7MR 155.2

The Lord, I fully believe, is leading you that you shall keep clear and distinct in all their purity the principles of temperance in connection with the truth for these last days. They that do his will shall know of the doctrine. The Lord designs that woman should learn of his meekness and lowliness of heart, and cooperate with the greatest teacher the world has ever known. When this is done, there will be no strife for the supremacy, no pride of opinion; for it will be realized that mind, voice, every jot of ability, are only lent talents, given by God to be used in his work, to accumulate for him, and to be returned to the Giver with all the increase. We are expected to grow in capability, in influence, and in power, ever looking unto Jesus. And by beholding, we shall become changed into his likeness. 7MR 156.1

The woman's work is a power in our world, but it is lost when with the word of God before her, she sees a “Thus saith the Lord,” and refuses to obey. You see the point. The great and difficult thing for the soul to do is to part with its own supposed righteousness, contending most earnestly against its own supposed works of merit. It is not an easy matter to understand what it means to refuse self the least place of honor in the service of God. All unconsciously we act out the attributes of our own character and the bias and freedom of our own mind in the very presence of God, in our prayer and worship, in our service, and fail to see that we are absolutely dependent upon the leading of the Holy Spirit. Self is expected to do a work that is simply out of its power to do. 7MR 156.2

This is the great peril of woman's work in Christian temperance lines. The Lord does not bid you separate from the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. They need all the light you can give them. You are not to learn of them, but of Jesus Christ. Flash all the light possible into their pathway. You can agree with them on the ground of the pure, elevating principles that first brought into existence the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. “I,” said Christ, “send you forth as lambs among wolves.” If he sends his disciples on such a mission, will he not work through you to open the Scriptures to those who are in error? Cherish the fragrance of that love that Christ has revealed for fallen humanity, and by precept and example teach the truth as it is in Jesus. 7MR 157.1

And please do not devote all your strength to those who have had the privilege of knowing the truth. Do not work without periods of rest. Corruption extends everywhere, and the self you will meet in those who have been devoted working women will cause sadness. But I fear we often give up too easily. Through Jesus Christ, giving up self and taking him, you will be enabled to reveal the spirit of pleasantness, joy, and love. 7MR 157.2

The Holy Spirit alone is able to develop in the human agent that which is acceptable in the sight of God. The Lord has given you capabilities and talents to be preserved uncorrupted in simplicity. Through Jesus Christ you may do a good work. As souls shall be converted to the truth, have them unite with you in teaching those women who are willing to be taught, to live and labor intelligently and unitedly.—Letter 118, 1898, pp. 1-4. (To Mrs. S. M. I. Henry, December 1, 1898.) 7MR 158.1

I am so pleased, and gratified, and thankful, that the Lord has raised you up from sickness to do his work. I am more rejoiced than I can express.... Through you, the human agency, He communicates His light, His truth; you are the frail instrument through whom the hidden power of God does work, that His strength may be perfected and made glorious in your weakness.—Letter 133, 1898, pp. 1, 2. (To Mrs. S. M. I. Henry, circa April 12, 1898.) 7MR 158.2

I awake at two o'clock a.m., and know that there is no more sleep for me tonight. Your letter was read with interest, and I am very grateful to my heavenly Father that if we cannot meet face to face to talk with each other, we still have the advantages of pen and ink. I have not an idea that these words I write to you will be copied.... 7MR 158.3

Every worker, whether a child, a youth, or a person of mature age, is to put on Christ, that is, seek him in prayer, and believe that the prayer is accepted by God. He has been charged to watch and pray without ceasing. Some pray during the week of prayer, and then suppose that their praying is to cease. They do not continue in prayer, and therefore they do not receive. They must continue to ask, that they may receive. “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Seek me, and ye shall find me close beside you, ready to shield, to help and bless you. I will lead the current of your thoughts away from cheap, frivolous things. I will open to you subjects the contemplation of which will bring you my peace, my joy, my consolation, and these will take away your worries. Our powers are not to be employed and worn out in bearing responsibilities which belong to God, which he has not given the human agent. Let us educate the soul not to chafe and irritate, weakening its powers unnecessarily, but to keep itself in calmness and peace.... 7MR 158.4

Those who follow in the footsteps of Christ will not seek for show and parade. Christ is not there. “He that will come after me,” he says, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” “Without me ye can do nothing to my name's glory.”—Letter 54, 1899, pp. 1, 4-6. (To Mrs. S. M. I. Henry, March 24, 1899.) 7MR 159.1

My sister, I love Jesus. I love the principles He taught, and I shall ever present them just as he has expressed them. If the opinions of those I love are crossed by them, so it must be; for I dare not turn to the right or to the left to express the mind of God. My life-work is too solemn a matter to be trifled with. I have learned that reproof and correction of erroneous ideas is a most serious business. The demand on any mind or soul is not that he is required to have skill or genius to create, but to have that humility that will be taught, to appreciate the care of God expressed in his behalf, and to step out of a wrong path into a right and safe path, for his own soul's interest and for the safety of other souls who will follow him in bringing in wrong principles. 7MR 159.2

My sister, it is our safety to keep Christ uplifted as the author and finisher of our faith, and then follow His example to do His will, irrespective of consequences. If there is first a willing mind, there will be no lack of light and help from the source of all power. The Lord will lead every one who will place his hand in His. He never lets go the hand of any one, unless it is withdrawn. 7MR 160.1

My sister, let your heart ever repose in confidence in God. The Lord will be to you a present help in every time of need. He does not need to work through other minds to lead His chosen ones. He is desirous of communicating through those who seek Him with all their heart. While we put our entire trust in our Redeemer we are perfectly safe. We have a large work to do, and we are to have respect unto the recompense of reward. And more than this, we are to use every God-given faculty that others through our influence and Christlike example may have the same respect that we have. 7MR 160.2

I hope, my sister, that you will have an influence in the Woman's Christian Temperance Association to draw many precious souls to the standard of truth. The Lord is drawing many to an examination of the truth, and you need not fail or be discouraged. Sow beside all waters. These are good waters in which you can sow the seeds of truth, even if you do not dwell publicly upon the prominent features of our faith. It would not be wise to be too definite. The oil of grace revealed in your conscious and unconscious influence will make known that you have the light of life. These will shine forth to others in your direct, positive testimony upon subjects on which you can all agree, and this will have a telling influence. 7MR 160.3

My heart is with you in this work of temperance. I speak most decidedly on this subject and it has a telling influence upon other minds. Often the testimony is borne, “I have not used any tobacco, wine, or any stimulant or narcotic since that discourse you gave upon temperance. Now,” they say, “I must furnish myself with enlightened principles for action; for I want others to know the benefits I have received. This reformation involves great consequences to me and all with whom I come in contact. I will choose the better part, to work with Christ with settled principles and aims, to win a crown of life as an overcomer.” 7MR 161.1

Be of good courage, my sister. The Lord is your helper. You ask me in reference to the publication of books on certain subjects of moral purity. I cannot now take time to write you as I would be pleased to, for the mail must leave this morning. I have had an experience in these lines that I would be pleased to write to you of, but I cannot do this today. In the talks you may have with women on this subject, give them all the light and help you can. But I would not advise the publication of pamphlets, for they would not be appreciated. The Lord will surely lead you to feel the intense interest in these matters that I do; but your words will just as surely be misconstrued, and this will cut off your influence to a certain degree, and create a state of things for which you are not prepared. If I could see you, I would communicate to you things which I cannot place upon paper. I now say, the Lord bless you, Sister Henry.—Letter 96, 1899, pp. 3-5. (To Mrs. S. M. I. Henry, June 21, 1899.) 7MR 161.2

Our faith and trust is in the Lord. The work is the Lord's. We are His servants to do His will. All seem to be of excellent courage. All seem to feel that all the attributes God has given them must become vocal, to communicate the precious things of truth. The Lord would have His entrusted talents multiplied and returned back to Him to awaken the rejoicing of angels round about the throne of God. Oh, if all only understood their accountability before God, what a revenue of thanksgiving and praise would go forth from human lips, proceeding from the heart of thanksgiving and praise.... 7MR 162.1

We need greater faith. We need now to be worked by the Holy Spirit. Believers themselves need to be reconverted, and understand what is comprehended in the Third Angel's Message. If we individually understood our privileges, and opportunities, when we assemble together each heart would have a living experience, and the Lord Jesus would be in our midst, and thick currents of His love would flow from heart to heart, and the petty, and also larger, difficulties would disappear. Brotherly love would tell its precious story, and there would be no discussion. Heart would blend with heart in a oneness with Christ Jesus, and bound up with Christ in God they see His face by faith. Then the standard of Truth is uplifted, the light from heaven is poured over the world.... 7MR 162.2

We need, my sister, greater benevolence, greater humility first, then the simplicity of Christ will appear; contention will cease, because it is an offensive thing and grieves the Holy Spirit of God. No one who truly enjoys the Spirit of Jesus Christ will be fractious, suspicious, criticizing, accusing. Why? Because Christ is abiding in the soul temple. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the whole multitude of them that believed were of “one heart and of one mind.” The Spirit of Christ animated the whole and became the whole heart of the whole community. Every pulse beat in concert. One subject of emulation swallowed up every other.... 7MR 162.3

Sister, work on in faith. Jesus loves you, and He would have you trustful, strong in His love, and you can be a blessing in many ways, at the right and left. Whatever you shall see inconsistent in practical godliness in those who claim to be children of God, be not discouraged at all. Stand, looking unto Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of your faith. The Holy One has given us rules for the guidance of all. These rules form the standard from which there can be no sinless swerving. By the combined influence of authority and affection we are to keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. We need not be weak and inefficient. In order to represent Christ we must be strong in His strength, pure as He is pure; truth as it is in Jesus is planted in the heart. 7MR 163.1

Jesus loves His people, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be. But when He shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory. Let us open mind and heart to receive the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and then we can but impart that which we have received. May the Lord bless and strengthen you to labor, for women workers are needed so much. There is a large field for women workers whose hearts are imbued with the Spirit of God. May the Lord bless you is my prayer.—Letter 96a, 1899, pp. 2-4. (To Mrs. S. M. I. Henry, July 19, 1899.) 7MR 163.2

The word continues to come, In the name of the Lord advance. The Lord will honor the faith of those who trust Him. God has called upon you to make your appeal, to show that you are worthy of the sacred trust which He has in His Providence conferred upon you. God is testing the principles that move His people to action. Having adopted a right principle of action, reverence and obey it. Let it appear that you make it the law of your life, from which no temptation can swerve you. It is the life of the people of God to proclaim and act out heavenly principles. God has given you wisdom, as a lamp for your feet in a dark path. Come what will though heaven and earth pass away, hold fast to the light given, that not one jot or tittle of the principles God has laid before you be marred or dishonored. 7MR 164.1

God accepts nothing less than absolute surrender of the mind, the heart, the will, the strength, the entire being, to His control. The Lord can guide. His voice will be heard in reproof, in warning, and in encouragement. Then there will be brought into the work a power which comes alone from God, simplifying all the movement of the life of the soul. This is as a thread of gold, binding man to God.... 7MR 164.2

Those who would command the very best resources must walk humbly with God, their hand clasped in the hand of Christ. He who would reach the highest standard of perfection in Christian character must penetrate deeper than habit. He must be afraid lest his natural traits of character, his habits of opinion and authority, shall mislead him. The only safety for the human agent who is striving for an immortal crown is to live in hourly contact, in conscious, loving communion with the highest principles God has set forth in His word. Truth and righteousness must be inscribed upon every action done for our fellowmen. Mercy must constantly flow forth from the soul, revealing an abiding Christ. Sanctified judgment and purified reasoning will give strength and solidity and spiritual power. Then every cause that asks for our sympathy and cooperation will receive careful consideration. There will be no spasmodic movements made.—Letter 138, 1899, pp. 2, 4. (To Mrs. S. M. I. Henry, September 13, 1899.) 7MR 164.3

I would not have any of our people so narrow that they should say to Sister Henry, Sever your connection with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Sister Henry can sow the seeds of truth in this society. Not that she needs to give all the knowledge she has obtained on subjects that are objectionable. She can tell the glad tidings of salvation. Then when hearts have become warmed by the Holy Spirit's working, and the walls of prejudice begin to give way, she can present the truth point by point. This work for the W.C.T.U. has a wearying and discouraging side, and we should unite in helping our sister. Only eternity will reveal what has been accomplished by this kind of ministry, how many souls, sick with doubt, and tired of worldliness and unrest have been brought to the Great Physician, who longs to save to the uttermost all who will come unto Him. Christ is a risen Saviour, and there is healing in His wings.—Manuscript 117, 1899, 2. (“Medical Missionary Work,” August 15, 1899.) 7MR 165.1

I am not able to write much, but I desire to say that I was greatly pleased with your letter, in which you give me the history of your experience with the W.C.T.U. When I read it, I said, “Thank the Lord. That is seed sowing which is of value.” I am pleased, so much pleased. The Lord has certainly opened your way. Keep it open if possible. A work can be accomplished by you. Preserve your strength for such efforts. Attend important gatherings when you can. These occasions will be very trying seasons, but when the Lord gives His loved ones a special work to do, he sends His angels to be round about them. 7MR 165.2

There are very many precious souls whom the Lord would have reached by the light of truth. Labor is to be put forth to help them to understand the Scriptures. I have felt an intense interest in the W.C.T.U. workers. These heroic women know what it means to have an individuality of their own. I desire so much that they shall triumph with the redeemed around the great white throne. My prayers shall rise in your behalf that you may be given special opportunities to attend their large gatherings, and that your voice may be heard in defense of the truth. 7MR 166.1

I dare not give you advice in this important matter. You are on the ground and Christ is on the ground. Be assured that he will work with you and through you and by you.... 7MR 166.2

The Saviour presents the virtue of His mediation before the Father, and pledges Himself to the office of personal Intercessor. By proclaiming Himself as our intercessor, He desires us to know that He places in the golden censer His merits and efficiency, that He may offer them with the sincere prayers of His people. How essential, then, that we pray much; for as our prayers ascend to the throne of God, they are mingled with the fragrance of Christ's righteousness. Our voice is not the only voice heard. Before it reaches the ear of God, it blends with the voice of Christ, whom the Father always hears. 7MR 166.3

Christ assures us that he is pledged to intercede in our behalf. Thus He would encourage our faith and our belief in success. He said to His disciples, and the word is for us, “If he shall ask anything in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. I am beloved by my Father, and for my sake he will refuse you nothing.” Let us not cease to pray. Let us believe the assurance of the word of God. Let us receive the promise, and say, “I thank thee, my heavenly Father, that I receive the things I ask of thee.”—Letter 231, 1899, pp. 1-3. (To Sister S. M. I. Henry, December, 1899.) 7MR 167.1

I feel very sad in regard to Sister Henry's death. The light given me by the Lord was that He had a work for her to do among the W.C.T.U, and that her strength must not be absorbed among our people. She could do for the W.C.T.U. that which no other one in our ranks could do, and she must not allow our people to lead her to use her God-given capabilities upon them. The Lord would go before her in her work. 7MR 167.2

Light has been given me that there are those with most precious talents and capabilities in the W.C.T.U. Much time and money has been absorbed among us in ways that bring no returns. Instead of this, some of our best talent should be set at work for the W.C.T.U., not as antagonists, but as those who fully appreciate the good that has been done by this body. We should seek to gain the confidence of the workers in the W.C.T.U., by harmonizing with them as far as possible. We are to let them see and understand that the foundation of the principles of our doctrine is the Word of God. 7MR 167.3

The necessity of working for the women of the W.C.T.U. has never been fairly and squarely met. The problem has never received the consideration it ought to have received. If the workers in the W.C.T.U. can obtain the true faith, and set their feet in the right path, what a work will be done! But there is to be no driving on our part, no warfare, no use of the two-edged sword, which cuts every way. This people have been rich in good works. They have understood in a large degree how to practice good works. When the light of present truth is given them through carefully prepared methods, when the golden oil is received into the willing hearts of our workers, the treasures of truth and grace will be communicated from one to another. By the women of the W.C.T.U. the law of God is misunderstood. If they can be enlightened in regard to this point, we shall see that their educated ability will do much more than it is now doing to create working forces for the advancement of truth and righteousness.... 7MR 168.1

The Lord asks us, my brother, to seek his face. The work of the Holy Spirit must be felt in our hearts. Many who are standing aloof from Seventh-day Adventists are living more in accordance with the light they have received than are many Seventh-day Adventists. This may seem strange to you, but strange things will have to be demonstrated to show the foolishness of the wisdom of those who judge others who have not seen the light. 7MR 168.2

Much good would be done if some of the W.C.T.U. women were invited to our camp meetings to take part in the meetings by teaching our sisters how to work. While at the meeting they would be hearing and receiving as well as imparting. There is a great work to be done, and instead of presenting the features of our faith which are objectionable to unbelievers, let us say to them as Philip said to Nathanael, “Come and see.” We have had great light, great knowledge, and continual instruction, yet the word is given me for many of our people, “You are weighed in the balances and found wanting.” 7MR 168.3

There are many ways in which we can work to reach those not of our faith. If the work of temperance were carried forward by us as it was commenced thirty years ago, if we at our camp meetings held up before the hundreds and thousands who assemble on the ground the evils of intemperance in eating and drinking, and especially the evil of liquor-drinking, if these truths were presented in connection with the evidences of Christ's soon coming, there would be a shaking among the people. If we showed a zeal proportionate to the importance of the truths we are handling we would reach hundreds. We need to trim our lamps and receive in them the holy oil from the two olive branches. When the power of the Spirit of God rests upon us, there will be an altogether different showing for our labors from that now seen. 7MR 169.1

My brother, do not represent truth and the situation of things as so formidable that those belonging to the W.C.T.U. will turn away in despair. There are vital truths upon which they have had very little light. They should be dealt with in tenderness, in love, and with respect for their good work. You ought not to handle them as you do. If you continue to do this, you will close doors whereby some, yes, many might be reached. Withhold your condemnation till you and our people have done all that can be done to reach them, not by the learned arguments of ministers, but through women of influence working as Sister Henry worked. 7MR 169.2

The Lord wants his people to follow other methods than to condemn wrong, even though their condemnation be just. He wants them to do something more than to hurl at their adversaries charges which do not convict, but only send those at whom they are made farther from the truth, charges which make those in error point to the words written, and say, “You see, it is impossible to have any union with Seventh-day Adventists; for they will give us no chance to connect with them unless we believe just as they believe.—Letter 59, 1900, pp. 1-5. (To A. T. Jones, April 18, 1900.) 7MR 169.3

Released November 10, 1975.