A Prophet Among You


A Good Place to Live

(This is the incident referred to under point 8, on page 385.) APAY 480.3

It happened in New Zealand years ago. At the conference office we received a brief note from a faithful sister who for years had been an isolated Sabbathkeeper. She had been ill, and felt that she had not much longer to live. However, she made no plea for anyone to visit her to comfort or encourage her. The blessed hope to her was something real and substantial. What she asked was that for the sake of her neighbors and friends we would be sure that when she died one of our ministers would come to conduct the funeral service. She would see to it, she said, that when the end drew near one of the neighbors would send us word in time. APAY 480.4

A few months later the telegram came. The sister was dying. We asked Pastor J. Hookings, who was then the conference Missionary Volunteer secretary, to go to her town. APAY 480.5

Upon his arrival, Brother Hookings found that the dear sister had lapsed into unconsciousness. He was introduced to her physician, and as they sat quietly in a dimly lighted adjoining room, the doctor, who was quietly turning the pages of a book he had taken from the table, said in an undertone to Brother Hookings, “These are wonderful books, Mr. Hookings.” APAY 480.6

Brother Hookings assented to the remark, but was inclined to think that the doctor had perhaps mistaken the volume of the Testimonies for the Church for some other similarly bound volume. After a brief interval the doctor said again, “Mr. Hookings, I think these are very wonderful books.” APAY 481.1

He spoke with such positiveness that Brother Hookings replied, “I agree with you, doctor. But may I ask, what do you know about them?” APAY 481.2

The doctor said that over a period of months he had been visiting the home as the sister’s physician. “Whenever I have had to wait awhile in this room,” he said, “I have taken the opportunity of reading in these red-covered volumes.” APAY 481.3

He went on. “Mr. Hookings, I have a large library of my own, and I read a great deal. I have read much concerning Christianity and the Christian religion, for though I am a Roman Catholic I have been interested also in the writings of Protestant authors. I would like to say to you that in all my reading I have never found the gospel in so beautiful a setting as I find it in these books of yours. Tell me, Mr. Hookings, do your people believe the things that are written in these books? Do they live according to the wonderful instruction that is given here? I notice that the messages are called Testimonies for the Church. To me they seem to be so practical and at the same time so comprehensive. They deal with home problems and family life and business affairs, as well as with church relationships and missionary work. I want to ask you, Mr. Hookings, do your people live according to the instruction that is given here?” APAY 481.4

Brother Hookings was impressed by the physician’s earnest inquiry. He replied, “Doctor, we believe that this is indeed wonderful instruction, that it is given of the Lord to the church for these times. We teach it to our people, and we and they do try to order our lives according to it.” APAY 481.5

The doctor answered, “I am so glad to hear that. I will tell you why I ask that question. You see, Mr. Hookings, I am getting on in years. Soon I will have to ask some younger man to take over my practice. As I have contemplated retirement, do you know I have felt that it would be a wonderful thing for a man in his declining years to be able to go and settle down in a community of Christian people who believe in the kind of Christianity that is taught in these books and who shape their lives accordingly. I can think of no outlook that would be more attractive, that would be likely to be more restful and satisfying. I feel that that is what I would like to do.” APAY 482.1

—A. W. Cormack. APAY 482.2