Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)


Lt 160, 1909

Cottrell, H. W.

St. Helena, California

December 6, 1909

Previously unpublished.

Elder H. W. Cottrell

Dear Brother:

Shortly after the Fruitvale camp-meeting, Elder Haskell stated that when his present term of office expires, he would be glad to withdraw from the presidency of this conference. He added that he wanted to see one take his place who would hold every advance step that has been taken during the past year. He expressed his mind quite freely to me. I said to him in reply, “I greatly fear from the present outlook, that it would be a serious mistake for you to withdraw from the presidency of this conference. I know of no one else who would carry things evenly. There are difficulties to be faced that a man unacquainted with the past would be unprepared to meet.” 24LtMs, Lt 160, 1909, par. 1

There have been those occupying leading positions in the churches whose influence has been constantly working against the testimonies and the work which the Lord has given me to do for this time. Dr. Maxson has stood in this position. For years, not openly, but under cover, Dr. Maxson has stood against the work of the testimonies. 24LtMs, Lt 160, 1909, par. 2

He was not retained as head physician at the Health Retreat at St. Helena, because he was determined to carry things his way, and his way was not in all things according to the instruction of the Lord. Light was given me that Dr. Maxson was not a thorough health reformer. I was shown that strange things were being done at the sanitarium. The guests were sometimes entertained as though the principles of health reform were not of vital importance. Drugs were being administered in many cases. Since his separation from the sanitarium, Dr. Maxson’s attitude toward the testimonies has been that of questioning and doubt. He is not a converted man. And those who have acted a prominent part in this conference have not come out firmly in the fear of God and taken a decided stand against his influence. 24LtMs, Lt 160, 1909, par. 3

At the same time, leading men in the conference were exercising an authority which they supposed their position gave them to control the work according to their own disposition and judgment. The work was becoming confused, and the Lord gave me a message regarding the movements that should be made. 24LtMs, Lt 160, 1909, par. 4

It was because of such conditions in the conference that Elder Haskell was appointed to take the presidency. Elder Haskell and his wife have been engaged in the work for years, and their faith in the truth and in the testimonies given by the Holy Spirit is strong. They have unitedly served according to the Lord’s appointment, and we have sought to sustain them in their work. Conditions in the churches have changed decidedly, but the Lord has shown me that some in responsible positions are not yet converted; and without this experience they cannot conduct the work in right lines. Some who have been reproved and warned are not established and settled and fully yielded to the guiding power of the Holy Spirit. Satan is not yet fully cast out of the minds of some, and it would take very little to create the same conditions that existed two years ago. 24LtMs, Lt 160, 1909, par. 5

Great success in the publishing work may be so interpreted that some will remain unconverted and lose their souls. I have been instructed that some connected with this work need to be thoroughly converted, or the enemy will create a condition of things that they do not now dream of. Men and women need to be converted in heart before they can be safe advisers. We are admonished to make straight paths for our feet lest the lame be turned out of the way. 24LtMs, Lt 160, 1909, par. 6

The cause of God in Oakland, San Francisco, and the surrounding places needs men of solid, Christian character, or believers will be misled by those who attach themselves to the work and who desire to guide and control according to human judgment and plans. The Lord desires to work through men of clean purpose and decided experience, men who will learn from the testimonies of His Spirit where they have not been in harmony with the Lord’s will and who will be converted. Then decided changes will be made. The perils threatening the work will be seen, conversions will be experienced, and our people will be preparing to stand firmly and unitedly with God to build up His kingdom in the earth. 24LtMs, Lt 160, 1909, par. 7

Men who repudiate the teachings of the Spirit of God are not the proper persons to be placed in office as leaders in the church. There is danger that the teachings of men who are not soundly converted may lead others into by and forbidden paths. In our efforts to secure consecrated leadership, we may expect to encounter opposition; for the enemy is seeking through unconverted men in positions of trust to mold the work, and he has too much at stake lightly to lose their influence. 24LtMs, Lt 160, 1909, par. 8

Many have refused to see and accept the light because they would not humble themselves before God and be daily converted to Christ. Yet this must be the experience of all who overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. When men humble their hearts, and are daily converted, following the example of the meek and lowly Jesus, then there is hope that they will become wise in their religious experience. 24LtMs, Lt 160, 1909, par. 9