Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 225, 1899

Jones, C. H.; Sisley, W. C.; Tait, A. O.; Belden, F. E.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 8, 1899

Previously unpublished.

Brethren Jones and Sisley, Tait and Belden:

Some matters have been presented to me of which I will speak. The question regarding the duty of the publishing houses has been brought before my mind. My attention was called to The Gospel Primer, which was prepared for the benefit of the people and the work in the Southern Field. The management of that little book has not been on correct lines, and those whose eyes are opened can better understand, now, the curious ways in which it has been handled. 14LtMs, Lt 225, 1899, par. 1

The Gospel Primer was a cheap, simple book, which was prepared for a special purpose. Its large sale has proved that it is acceptable to many besides the people in the Southern Field. The profits from these sales should have been given to the work in the Southern Field. The work in that field needs all that can be brought to it from this source. 14LtMs, Lt 225, 1899, par. 2

In the dealings with The Gospel Primer, justice and righteousness were disregarded, and the judgment of men was confused. Another book was brought in to crowd out the Primer, but it could not take its place, for the Primer had the A B C of gospel instruction to ignorant, benighted souls. A strange work has been done in regard to this little book, and this work stands recorded in the books of heaven, revealing the character of those who turned from its rightful place the means which should have gone to the South for the advancement of a worthy and needy work. 14LtMs, Lt 225, 1899, par. 3

Another book has been published, in the hope that its sale would furnish means to help in the upbuilding of the work among the colored people of the South. But hardly had its work begun, when another book was brought out by Pacific Press, which will call the attention of the people away from The Coming King. I have not seen this new book, but from the light given me, I know that it will cut directly across the path of the book preceding it, because it covers almost the same ground and speaks almost the same things. I have been shown that evils which have existed in the past will press themselves into the work again. This new book cannot fail to get in the way of the other book which it is so much like. 14LtMs, Lt 225, 1899, par. 4

These movements bear not the marks of the Spirit of God. They plainly reveal the devisings of men. Both authors and publishers should have foresight, and carefully weigh the results upon other books and other enterprises, before bringing out new works. These things are not regarded as they should be. Greater discretion is required in the management of these matters, if our work shall redound to the glory of God. Those appointed to responsible positions in the publishing work must now give careful consideration to these important matters. They must carefully discriminate between right and wrong, justice and injustice, that they may discern what is equality and fair dealing. Means which should have been used in the Southern Field have been diverted to other channels. 14LtMs, Lt 225, 1899, par. 5

Fairness must be observed in the publishing work. Our brethren must not move in a haphazard manner, else they may do injustice to a brother who has worked hard and borrowed money to invest in a book. 14LtMs, Lt 225, 1899, par. 6

There is danger of a recklessness coming into the publishing work, which will place it where it requires readjustment. The rule should be followed that a second book on any subject is not to be crowded into the market till the one preceding it has had a fair chance. I now leave with you these words of admonition and caution. 14LtMs, Lt 225, 1899, par. 7