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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Lt 63, 1902

    Shireman, Brother and Sister [D. T.]

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    April 22, 1902

    Portions of this letter are published in RY 75-78.

    Dear Brother and Sister Shireman,—

    A few days ago I wrote you a short letter, but was unable to give you all the counsel that the Lord instructed me to give. I now wish to complete this letter.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 1

    The One who was instructing you for your present and eternal good said: The Lord has been very merciful and kind to both of you. He has given you the privilege of beginning a work for Him. When the school that you opened grew larger and required more helpers, you were not set aside, but were permitted to remain connected with the institution.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 2

    Addressing Sister Shireman, the heavenly Instructor continued: Notwithstanding the Lord’s goodness, you have opened your heart to Satan’s suggestions. You have allowed evil-surmising to take possession of your mind. But it is not yet too late for you to make matters right. You have the intercessory advocacy of One who knows the end from the beginning. He has encouraged all to entrust their cases to Him. You have had many trials to bear. Now, my sister, help has come, and you need no longer engage in school work. You need wisdom to discern the necessity for persons of educational ability who can still further advance the interests of the school.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 3

    Sister Shireman, the Lord has given you a part to act in beginning a good work in His cause. But the time has come when He does not desire you to carry a heavy burden in connection with the school work. The Comforter will come to you and help you; but you must not be placed where heavy responsibilities would rest upon you or upon your husband; for you could not carry them. When difficulties arise, you have not clear judgment to make the wrongs right. You are tempted to think that it is impossible for others to do the work that you are not qualified to do.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 4

    Brother and Sister Shireman, you cannot complete the work that you have so well begun. You have carried the school as far as your capabilities enable you to carry it successfully. Those who have broader ideas should now bear the heavier responsibilities, advancing step by step as others have advanced in the past.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 5

    In the work you have been carrying forward, One infinite in capabilities and resources, the divine Educator, has been your efficiency. Never could a human being excel the Lord Jesus Christ in any line of work. He it is who has given men and women the commission: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.]17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 6

    The Lord is directing His work. To every man He has given a work. Each one can go only so far as he has the ability to go. Some are able to teach only the primary lessons. It is then essential for others to teach the lessons studied in the higher grades. Thus the church is perfected.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 7

    Brother and Sister Shireman, for some time it would have been far better if you had discovered that you were not fully capable of carrying the work that you were attempting to carry. The eye of the Lord has been upon you. He has desired to open before you a way to do the work that you are capable of doing. Sister Shireman, the Lord will give you the power of comprehending that in your own strength you cannot control yourself. You have the idea that everything must be done in your way. When you see others in active service, you are tempted to think that you are left out; and for this reason you easily become impatient.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 8

    The love of Christ must be an abiding principle in the soul. At your age, after your life of toil, can anything be more desirable than quietude—love, peace, restfulness, and time in which to prepare to meet your Lord in peace when He shall come? You are worn and do not view things aright. To ask you to remain in the position of a trainer of the youth would be to bring upon you too great a burden. It would be a mistake to place you, with tired nerves, in a position full of perplexity. In the management of children you often manifest a species of severity. Can there be any power so great as the power of love? Love to God and love to your neighbor—this is the whole duty that God requires of you. Do not spoil the good work that you have done. Withdraw from the turmoil of battle, and seek rest and peace in following God’s way. Doors of usefulness will open to you. Brother Shireman, take up the work that God has given you as an evangelist.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 9

    Brother and Sister Shireman, the testing question now comes to you, Will you seek for rest and peace, cultivating all your powers for the future, immortal life? The Lord regards you with the greatest tenderness. Both of you need to have less responsibility in the school work. The Lord desires both of you to stand free from the burdens that you have hitherto carried. He desires both of you to cherish tenderness and love for your brethren and sisters. Pray for the unity that Christ prayed might exist among His disciples as it existed between the Father and the Son. As members of a family born again through the Spirit of truth, God’s people should be united to one another by the truth, cherishing every principle of truth as an evidence of their unity with the Spirit of truth that works by love, refining and sanctifying the soul.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 10

    Speaking to Sister Shireman, the Instructor continued: You have become suspicious of your best friends, your feelings have been harassed, and you have spoken unadvisedly. Instead of exerting a healing influence, your words have created strife and perplexity. How much more peace you would have enjoyed, if you had loved God with the whole heart, and refused to cherish feelings of envy and jealousy toward your brethren and sisters—feelings that create discord and spoil your own experience. Are you not bringing a strange element into sacred work? May the Lord help you to cultivate a different spirit. Pleasantness of disposition and the thinking of pleasant thoughts create a heavenly atmosphere.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 11

    Neither of you is to feel as if you were divorced from the work. As it progresses, you should feel an interest in it, and be thankful that there are others who can carry it forward successfully. One laborer is adapted to one line of work, and another laborer to another line; all are to move forward together, advancing the work harmoniously. A Paul may plant, an Apollos water, but God gives the increase. The Lord uses some men to plow the field and to sow the seed, and others to reap; and He causes both those who sow and those who reap to rejoice together in the time of harvest. This is the way the Lord has always worked. He has given to every man his work. Let us do our best. If the Lord is with us, we shall be prospered.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 12

    Brother and Sister Shireman, can you not see that each one has a distinctive work? that from the lowliest worker to the most highly educated, the most efficient, each has his place in the work of soul-saving? “He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:11-13.]17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 13

    As you read this letter, I desire you to regard me as your best friend. I respect you both for your past faithfulness. You have a work to do for the Lord. But you are to bear less responsibility than you have borne in the past. The reason for my speaking especially of Sister Shireman’s being released from the work of teaching, is that she may have opportunity constantly to cultivate sweetness of disposition. My Sister, never cherish unhappy thoughts, or think that you are not treated right. You have become childish. You may not recognize this, nevertheless it is so. You need quietude and rest. You have strong likes and dislikes. Beware of hindering the work of God. Because I speak to you on these points, do not for a moment suppose that I wish to do you an injury.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 14

    My son Edson has labored untiringly to have both of you sustain the right relation to the school interest. Let God work out His infinite plans. Co-operate with Him as His helping hand in working out these plans. Stand not as hindrances; for thus you would cause things to be said and done that would hinder the work which you have called in wise helpers to advance.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 15

    My dear Sister, I beseech you to put away all feelings of suspicion and jealousy. God’s eye is over both of you. I am pained because I fear that this letter may possibly be misunderstood; but I am instructed to say to you, Know who your friends are, and appreciate them. When it is necessary for a work to be done in order to reform abuses that have crept into the church, thank the Lord that He has spoken. And when the Lord speaks to you, thank Him for saving you from future sorrow.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 16

    I am instructed to warn you to be careful what manner of spirit you manifest in regard to enlarging and perfecting the school work; for you are not to suppose that, unaided, you are equal to the task of carrying forward the increasing work that you have begun. Create no dissension by unadvised words of criticism in regard to the course of others, even if some things which displease you may seem to have been unnecessarily done. It makes me sad to think that you have become discontented over trivial matters.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 17

    I am sure the hand of the Lord was in the purchasing of property near the Hildebran School. That field is white already to harvest and should be worked most earnestly.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 18

    If you appeal to your own sympathies, or receive the impression that you are treated unjustly and misused, you have no one but yourselves to blame for such impressions. No course of action has been designedly pursued toward you that needs adjustment. Do not disturb the peace of mind of the few believers near the school by suggestions that my words are severe.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 19

    The Lord first gave me words of encouragement to speak to you in regard to opening up work in new fields and preparing the way for other workers possessing varied talents to come in and to carry forward that which you are able to begin. The Lord has not qualified you to do school work successfully without the aid of others who have ability to plan, devise, and advance in God’s appointed way. While you were starting your school at Hildebran, those who did not show you proper respect were reproved. There were imperfections in the manner in which some things were done; but the Lord commended you for doing the best that you could do.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 20

    The time came when it was advisable for you to be relieved of your heavy burdens in connection with the school. The Lord saw that the work to be done by and through His grace required a variety of talents. In His mercy, laborers possessing other talents have been brought into the school. This was in accordance with your earnest desire. Do not now block the wheels by criticism.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 21

    It is often the case that the talents of some workers do not enable them to harmonize well with other workers. The laborers are to advance steadily, carefully pondering at every step, else there will be marked failure.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 22

    I hope, Brother Shireman, that you will not be turned from your purpose of visiting many places to obtain means for carrying forward the work at Hildebran. I believe that the Lord will bless this effort, and that, so far as possible, He will move upon the hearts of the people to give you the gifts that you desire. At this time, means are greatly needed to advance the work.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 23

    I hope that in your effort to secure means for the support of the work, you will go forth full of faith, hope, and love. By becoming acquainted with the people and their necessities, and by finding openings where the truth will gain a ready entrance into honest hearts, you can be of much service to the cause of God. If you do this work, you will not only accomplish good and gain valuable experience, but the Lord will teach you what He desires you to do. He wishes you to do the work that He has fitted you to do. His Holy Spirit will move upon the hearts of other persons to come in and carry on the work in the school—persons who have had experience in caring for and instructing children.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 24

    Brother and Sister Shireman, I am interested in you, and for your present and eternal good I must write to you plainly. Because I write to you as I have written, do not conclude that I am not your friend. Although that which often I must speak is proper and right, yet it causes me great pain of heart to send such words to those whom I love and respect. How I wish that my brethren and sisters would always walk and work in humility! If they would remain humble, I should not need to speak so plainly to them.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 25

    It pained me to send my first message to you. And I am pained as I finish writing out the message that the Lord has given me for you. It makes me sad to think of the pain that this will cause you, Brother and Sister Shireman. I am afflicted in your affliction. But although it is painful for me to write this message to you, yet saving and happy results will come to you, if you take it as the Lord desires you to take it. God’s message cannot be withheld. It is a painful duty to me to do the work that it is right and necessary for me to do.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 26

    Brother Shireman, we are all in danger of forgetting God. Only by letting the Lord work out His will through us can we learn the lessons He desires us to learn. Temptations will come to us, but if we make God our trust, we shall be taught of Him.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 27

    My Brother, my Sister, come into harmony with the will of the Lord. Look to Jesus. Do not spoil your record by giving way to envy and distrust. I hope you will see these things in a true light. May the Lord bless you, and keep you in hope and grace and peace, is my prayer.17LtMs, Lt 63, 1902, par. 28

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