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Heavenly Visions

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    No Fancy Hotels

    He also avoided fancy hotels, always going to a simple one. He was really happy saving money for the cause. The last time I met him was in Mountain View, California, the home of the Pacific Press. At the close of the evening service, where he spoke to the Press workers and church members, the brethren concerned with hospitality matters spoke to him about a place that had been selected in which he would spend the night. He thanked them heartily and remarked that he had left his traveling bag at a hotel downtown as he walked up to the church, and since he was leaving on a train very early in the morning for San Francisco, he would carry out his plan. And he did. I knew where he stayed downtown. His room cost one dollar.HEVI 77.6

    Elder Spicer backed his faith in the Movement with liberal giving. He saved in every way he could, so as to give more. Sister Menkel says her father “would sit on a platform and pledge money which he did not have.” When the family would ask where he expected to get the money, his answer was, “The Lord will provide.” And the Lord did. The elder’s economical habits helped him to save money, and this helped him to be liberal.HEVI 77.7

    Many REVIEW readers will remember Elder Spicer’s sparkling letters. What a writer! Every letter he wrote was sprinkled with good cheer and helpful thoughts. When I was editor of Our Little Friend, from 1924 to 1949, he sent me stories for the paper, interesting stories of boys and girls he had met in faraway lands. His letters to me always emphasized the thought that our work for the children through their paper was important and far reaching, and his cheering words gave me a real lift. I have met others who remarked that Elder Spicer’s letters to them were responsible for holding them steady in the work and faithful to their trust.HEVI 78.1

    The Elder imitated the Lord Jesus in his preaching by his use of helpful and interesting illustrations. Throughout his career he collected stories of missionaries and their providential deliverances. Many of these he used in the books he wrote. And his sermons were well sprinkled with them. Small wonder that his listeners, young and old, were so deeply impressed when he was the speaker.HEVI 78.2

    In all his many and dangerous travels in all parts of the world, Elder Spicer was protected from sickness. His first physical examination was when he was down with neuritis in South America and not able to move. Later, when he arrived home at headquarters, in Takoma Park, D.C., he was put in the hospital and all his teeth and his tonsils were removed. He was sure then that he would need no more examinations! He never had malaria, although he traveled through infested areas many times.HEVI 78.3

    Born in 1865, Elder Spicer was 87 years of age when he died in 1952. Beginning at about 17 as an office secretary in Battle Creek, he worked for 70 years, almost 40 of which were spent in foreign mission service, including his years of travel. He retired at 75 years of age, and after that did considerable writing for the REVIEW, as our older readers will readily remember. He possessed a faith that reached into eternity. He entertained no doubts whatever regarding the triumph of the remnant church. Elder Spicer cultivated belief in God and in His prophets (2 Chronicles 20:20). The Book of God and the Spirit of Prophecy writings were his chief study. What an influence for good this remarkable man exerted throughout our ranks!HEVI 78.4

    We can do two things to honor the pioneers of our great work. We can show our appreciation in words of “passive sentiment” (and some can do this very admirably), or we can show our gratitude in deeds, thus projecting the spirit and faith and courage of the pioneers through our own lives into the lives of younger men and women who are to carry on for God and humanity.HEVI 78.5

    This cause is a continuing thing, as you know. It started with prophetic guidance aiding its development and growth and will continue to grow. God has set his hand to this work, and it is moving forward to certain and absolute triumph. His power envelops it, and it cannot fail. The nations of earth will go down in failure, and all else will pass away, but God’s remnant ones, gathered in from every land and race, will carry on until the day of victory and deliverance comes. Hasten on, glad day! The Review and Herald, March 7, 1963. picture Mrs. helen menkel, daughter of the late W.A. Spicer, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in the 1920s, presents library assistant Helen Parker with some pictures of her father when he was a young man. Also included in the gift were some historical papers about John H. Kellogg, MD, and historical papers about Pastor Spicer. The papers and photographs are located in the Heritage Room of the library. Loma Linda Observer, May 17, 1972.HEVI 78.6

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