Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Lt 318, 1908

Underwood, R. A.

St. Helena, California

October 21, 1908

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 47. +Note

Elder R. A. Underwood
2718 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dear Brother Underwood:

I have read your letter, and I have no hesitancy in advising you to secure the property at Chamberlain, South Dakota, if you can yet obtain it. Such advantages as are to be gained there should be secured. I have had presented to me similar properties in various places. These will be offered to us almost as a gift, and if suitably managed, it will be a blessing to have such properties to use just now to be a help in extending our work in missionary lines. We can use them in giving the last warning message to the world. The light given me is that there will be similar buildings to those you mention offered for sale for a trifling soul, and it is best to secure possession of them. Thus we shall be able to divide the working forces and extend the light into new places, rather than be in large numbers in one locality. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 1

Our Saviour’s work was to warn the cities, and to ordain workers to go out of the cities to places where the light had never yet been given, and to lift up the standard of truth in new localities. Thus the message of warning would reach souls who had not been where they could hear it. We are not to crowd into a few localities and make them centers, leaving places unworked that had had no opportunity to become acquainted with our faith. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 2

The Lord has a world-wide message; and as you have described this place, it looks to me as one of the very agencies through which to extend the message to those who should hear. The location would be, according to the light given me, a very favorable and advantageous place from which to branch out in sowing the gospel seed, and in extending the message of warning to those who have not heard it. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 3

The light is given me that we must not have special anxiety to crowd too many interests into one locality, but should look for places in out-of-the-way districts, and work in new places. Thus people may be reached and converted who know nothing of the precious, testing truths for this time. The last call should be made just as important in new places in this country as in distant lands. This word was spoken concerning some localities that have not had the message brought to them. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 4

The seeds of truth are to be sown in uncultivated centers. I should advise our brethren to secure this property. When such places are offered, it is that our people may divide and subdivide the people hovering about and settling in favored centers, as has been done in Battle Creek, Oakland, Healdsburg, and similar places. There are places where a new work can be begun and a new center established for the strengthening of our work. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 5

While such great expense is incurred to enlighten the people of foreign tongues, we are all to be just as wide-awake to reach, if possible, the foreigners and the unconverted in our own land. It will cultivate a missionary spirit to work in new localities. Selfishness, in respect to keeping large companies together, is not the Lord’s plan. Enter every new place possible, and begin the work of educating in vicinities that have not heard the truth. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 6

Why did our Saviour labor to sow the seed in out-of-the-way places? Why did He travel slowly away from the villages which had been His places for communicating light by opening the Scriptures?—There was a world to hear, and some souls would accept the truth who had not yet heard it. Christ travelled slowly and opened the Scriptures in their simplicity to minds that would receive the truth. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 7

On one occasion five thousand people gathered to hear the strange things brought to them by the great Teacher. Some were faint for want of food, and He led them to a grass plot and bade them be seated. Then He worked the miracle of feeding the multitude, as recorded in Matthew 14:14-21. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 8

“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick. And when it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, Thus is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they said unto Him, We have here but five loaves and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to Me. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 9

“And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, He blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand, besides woman and children.” 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 10

All these circumstances are for us to understand. Christ would make His work known to those who, after His crucifixion and resurrection, would be His disciples. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 11

There is missionary work to be done in many unpromising places. The missionary spirit needs to take hold of our souls, inspiring us to reach classes for whom we had not planned to labor, and in ways and places that we had no idea of working. The Lord has His plan for the sowing of the gospel seed. In sowing according to His will, we shall so multiply the seed that His word may reach thousands who have never heard the truth. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 12

Opportunities are opening on every side; press unto every providential opening. Eyes need to be anointed with the heavenly eyesalve to see and sense these opportunities. God calls now for wide-awake missionaries. There are ways that will be presented before us; we are to see and understand these providential opportunities. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 13

The fourth chapter of Matthew is very important. Beginning with the thirteenth verse, we read, “And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 14

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Verses 13-17.] He chose as His missionary field places which others did not discern as being a special advantage. 23LtMs, Lt 318, 1908, par. 15