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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Lt 27, 1902

    Butler, G. I.

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    February 26, 1902

    Portions of this letter are published in HFM 57-58; 5Bio 145.

    Elder G. I. Butler

    Dear brother in Christ,—

    Yesterday, I received your letter of February 15. Thank you for writing such a long, interesting epistle.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 1

    I was surprised and shocked to hear of your sister’s death. I least expected, when talking with her at Nashville, that I was holding my last conversation with her. I am glad that I saw her. I should indeed have felt sad had she died and I had not seen her.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 2

    I can write only a short letter this evening, and I shall come at once to the point. I have sent you copies of letters that I have been writing regarding the work in the Southern field. I wish you to understand how I regard the situation at Nashville. For weeks before the Union Conference, Edson had been doing the work of three men. Brother Palmer, too, had strained every nerve to get the building ready for the meeting. I was on the ground, and I know whereof I speak. Edson had not taken his meals regularly, and he had not had enough sleep. The meeting was a terrible strain upon him.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 3

    I had a very hard experience while I was in Nashville, but the morning that we had our season of prayer, the assurance of peace and comfort and hope was given me by the Lord, and this assurance was fulfilled on our homeward journey. I was sick all the way home, and could only taste food; but I was at rest, for the peace and comfort and love of God were with me the whole way.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 4

    An automobile met us at the station in Chicago and took us to the Sanitarium. I was weak, and the changing exhausted me; and when Dr. Paulson saw my condition, he gave me a most decided scolding for venturing to make the trip to New York in the middle of winter. But I dare not say it was a mistake. I leave it all with the Lord. Certainly, I should not have gone to New York had I seen the end from the beginning. But I did not, and therefore I went in response to the call of Elder Haskell—and in obedience, I thought, to the impression of the Spirit of God. I am so glad to be at home again.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 5

    I need not repeat what you have already read in the copies of letters sent you. But I wish to say that special efforts should be put forth to perfect the work in the places in the South where schools have been established—Graysville, Huntsville, and Hildebran. The schools are to be sustained by the starting of various industries.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 6

    The time will come when those who embrace the truth in the cities will have to take their families away from the cities, and these industries will help to provide them with homes and employment.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 7

    A sanitarium is to be established in Nashville. The site for this institution should not be right in the city, but outside the city limits, where land can be purchased for a reasonable sum. Nashville is to be a center for the work in the South, and a few miles from Nashville a school and a sanitarium should be established. Land should be secured, and believers should be encouraged to settle on it.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 8

    In establishing schools, the important thing is to find a location where industries can be started that will enable the students to be self-supporting. The work should be carried on with as little outlay of means as possible. In connection with a school there should be enough land to raise sufficient crops for the school consumption and also some to sell for the benefit of the school.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 9

    Nashville, Graysville, Huntsville, and Hildebran have been presented to me as places favorable for raising crops for the use of the schools and for marketing.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 10

    At Nashville a sanitarium should be established, not an immense building, but one larger than can be established in a smaller place.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 11

    The students should learn to cultivate the soil and to raise whatever the land will produce. No one can tell what can be done with the soil till he has experimented—planting seeds and setting out fruit frees and vines.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 12

    The young men attending our schools should be taught how to build houses plainly and inexpensively, yet substantially. They are to be taught that God will not accept any haphazard, slipshod work. From whatever work they do—building, sowing, planting, or reaping, they are to learn the lesson, “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] They are to learn that which will prepare them to act their part in teaching others trades. Some are to learn one trade, some another. Some are specially adapted for the work of printing. Such can be prepared to connect with the publishing work.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 13

    The publishing work at Nashville is a very important interest, and if rightly managed, will be the means of reaching many, nigh and afar off. May the Lord guide at every step, is my prayer. Edson has an excellent class of workers connected with him, and I am anxious that in the printing office at Nashville, apprentices shall be trained for office work.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 14

    I have the deepest interest in the work in the South, and I greatly desire that it shall make advancement in every line. I have been clearly instructed that it would not be wisdom for Edson and Brother Palmer, with their present responsibilities, to take up the food work. Neither of them has the physical strength to endure the strain that would certainly come upon them with such a responsibility. They must guard against taxing their health so heavily that sickness will come upon them. And the mind must not be overtaxed. In the publishing work and the work of the ministry, they have all the responsibilities they can carry. The work of the gospel is of first importance.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 15

    The food business, if entered into largely, is going to be most perplexing and soul-harrowing. Those who take it up, whatever talent the Lord may give them, will meet with many perplexities. I do not want my children to have this trial to contend with. I have been instructed that the production of health foods is of the Lord’s devising and is not to be regarded as the special property of any one man. But no one should take what I say as giving liberty to infringe on Dr. Kellogg’s patents or the patents of any man.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 16

    The Lord will most surely impress minds in every place to devise means for the maintenance of the interests which are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and teach the ignorant, educating them in simple lines of book learning and in agriculture. He will give them wisdom to manufacture necessary, wholesome foods, which will be more needed in the Southern states than in any other part of America. He who feeds the ravens and cares for the wild beasts will give wisdom and skill, talent and ingenuity, for the production of wholesome foods, which are to be sold to the poor at as low a rate as possible.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 17

    There is much at stake in this work. The wholesome productions of the earth must be experimented upon in an effort to make wholesome, inexpensive foods.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 18

    The food business is to be made the subject of earnest prayer. Let the people ask God for wisdom to prepare wholesome foods. He who fed the five thousand with five loaves and two small fishes will supply the needs of His children today. After Christ had performed this wonderful miracle, He gave a lesson on economy. After the hunger of the multitude had been satisfied, He said, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” “And they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.” [John 6:12, 13.]17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 19

    The Lord is our God, and He will be for us as long as we will be with Him. But when we are self-confident, the Lord will not, cannot exercise His great favor toward us. He expects every one to carry out the principles of His kingdom in this world, that He may be prepared to reveal His attributes in the royal family above. We must expect large things of our heavenly Father.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 20

    I must speak to you on the point of your doing so much work. You are not to do so much as to exhaust your strength. Husband the strength God has given you. I am giving warnings from the Lord to His people, especially to old, experienced men like yourself, that there must not be prodigality in expending strength; for we shall have to meet important issues, and all the strength of mind and body will be required to endure the strain.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 21

    We know that the end of all things is at hand. The Lord God of Israel will be our shield and defense if we will put our whole trust in Him and have the faith that works by love and purifies the soul.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 22

    I am so glad that at this time you can come in to bear the living testimony that is so much needed. Be of good courage in the Lord, and do not be presumptuous in using your strength. The Lord will give wisdom and light and knowledge. May His rich blessing rest upon you, is my prayer. I have firm trust in the Lord and shall not worry about unimportant matters.17LtMs, Lt 27, 1902, par. 23

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