Archive for the ‘G. B. Starr’ Category

Storytelling in the Home

December 23, 2008

The Church Officers’ Gazette, June, 1944

Storytelling in the Home

BY DOROTHY WHITE CHRISTIAN

Storytelling is the oldest and most important of arts. God made us to en- joy stories, and set His seal of approval on the art by being the first storyteller and by putting into His Book many, many stories. About one half of the Bible is in story form, and that half is the best known and most often read. , Stories are important because of their great influence. They stimulate us to emulate the characters in the story. They appeal to the emotions, which are levers that move us to action. They are a highway to the heart of the world. They appeal to us in such a’ way that they arc easy to remember.

In our school a number of years ago was the son of the man who gave to our pioneer among the Indians, Brother Stahl, the money to establish the Broken Stone Mission. This boy was only seven years old, but every night he repeated to his mother the story of the day’s Bible lesson: a story of the second advent, or of the signs of Christ’s coming or the events that would follow, or maybe a story from the life of Mrs. White or some Bible character, or perchance a mission story. In wonder and delight that mother listened to him as he repeated the story, realizing that deep and good impressions were made. I repeat, the story is an easy and happy form by which children receive facts and ideas and ideals.

In Judges the second chapter and the seventh verse we read: “And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that He did for Israel.” We are likely to think, Wonderful! But see what God did for them. How could they be anything but true?

Now read verse ten and the first part of verse twelve: “There arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which He had done for Israel. . . . And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers.” If loyalty to God came as the result of knowing the great works of the Lord, and lack of loyalty came as the result of the ignorance of the generation which knew not the works of the Lord, is there not a lesson in this that we dare not ignore? The second generation did not have the privilege of seeing the works of the Lord with their own physical eyes, but they should not have been denied the privilege of seeing them through the eyes of others. The mothers and fathers failed in their duty of Storytelling. Seventh-day Adventist parents should not fail. The children should know the stories of God’s providences and guidance in our early denominational history, as well as Bible stories, that they too may “serve the Lord all the days of the elders” who have outlived our pioneers.

Seventh-day Adventist history is rich in stories of God’s providences. There is the story of the establishment of our sanitariums. Think of what Mrs. White told us about properties on the West Coast that could be bought for a fraction of their value. Think of the direct pointing to the Paradise Valley Sanitarium property, which was finally secured for one fifth of its value because the original owners could not find water after, a short time” of operating. “But,” said Mrs. White, “there is water there.” Our people purchased the property, drilled for water, and found it. Paradise Valley Sanitarium is a monument to God’s leading of this people. Shouldn’t our children know that story?

Think of what has been done for our publishing work. In the early days of the establishment of one of our plants, the loss was $12,000 from the first year’s operation. It had been built at the urgent appeal of Mrs. White. Greatly troubled, the men in charge went to her, wishing to close it up. She said, “Study your methods.” The second year the balance showed another loss of $12,000. Again they went to Mrs. White. Again she said, “Study your methods.” Again the third year they had the same experience. In desperation they were determined to close the plant. But the same counsel obtained again—”Study your methods.” The fourth year showed a net gain of $36,000, balancing their three years’ losses. Today that institution is one of our largest printing plants. Will such a story help to establish the children’s faith in God’s leading of this people.

Think of our schools. Think of the providential establishment of our Australian school. The Lord picked out the identical farm and marked it by three unmistakable signs. Against the advice of government experts that land was purchased, against which Mrs. White said, “False witness has been borne.” The first year that crops were planted, such an excellent harvest was obtained that the people met for special thanksgiving and called in the government expert, who said, “I cannot understand it.” Don’t you think our children ought to know that story?

I repeat, one great source of stories for our children is found in the providential leadings of this people. Some of these will be found in such books as F. C. Gilbert’s Divine Predictions, J. N. Loughborongh’s Great Second Advent Movement, Ellen G. White’s Early Writings and Life Sketches, A. W. Spalding’s Pioneer Stories, W. A. Spicer’s Pioneer Days, and others.

Then there are personal stories that our children should know—stories of leaders who have been influenced at the right moment by the words of Mrs. White. I am reminded of a story told us by the late G. B. Starr regarding Elder Olsen, then president of the General Conference. Elder Olsen was sitting at the table in his dining room; his elbows were resting on the table, his head in his hands. He was discouraged. He had too much to do, and could not do his work well. So he turned his burdened heart to the Lord and said, “I am bringing back to you the presidency of the General Conference. I am not fitted for it. Another man can do the work better.” After he had unburdened his heart he felt better and retired for the night.

Early next morning he went to the conference office, where a letter was handed him, written by Mrs. White in Australia over a month before. In it Mrs. White said, “Dear Elder Olsen: I was shown you sitting in your dining room, at your table; your elbows were resting on the table, your head was in your hands. You were praying, and you said, ‘Dear Lord, I am bringing back to you the presidency of the General Conference. I am not fitted for it; another can do the work better.’ Now Brother Olsen,” Mrs. White continued, “the Lord says, ‘Who made you chairman of the sanitarium board? I did not. Who made you one of the leaders on the Review and Herald board? I did not. But I have made you the president of the General Conference. Do the work that I have given you to do, and you will find that My yoke is easy and My burden is light.’ ”

How can you account for such a letter? Only one way; the Lord showed to Mrs. White, away over in Australia, a month before, what Elder Olsen was going to do in his home in Battle Creek. She wrote this out in a letter and sent it to him, in order that he might not give up the work that the Lord had given him to do. It arrived the morning after he had this experience. Could anyone but God have foreseen this?

Then there is the story of Mrs. S. M. I. Henry, who was very ill at her home in the Middle West. She was scheduled to go to the West Coast to speak at a large W. C. T. U. gathering. She was so ill that her children felt she should not go on the trip. But she felt the Lord had called her. She stayed in bed on the train all the way across the continent, and felt better when she arrived. However, she was so frail that her hostess insisted on her going into a private home and not to a hotel. One of the wealthy ladies of the city opened her home, and Mrs, Henry was made very comfortable. The morning after she arrived she received a letter from Mrs. White, written several weeks before, in Australia, with her name and address on the envelope. Not her home address, not the W. C. T. U. address, but the address of the home where she was staying in that city, a home that would not have been opened to her if she had not been ill. How did Mrs. White know that Mrs. Henry was going to stay at that home? No one had known it until the day before. And yet the letter was written several weeks before. Isn’t that a story you would like to have the children know, to help fasten in their minds the thought that God through His angels revealed to Mrs. White the things of the future?

It seems to me that no one who believes absolutely the truthfulness of the Spirit of prophecy can ever leave this denomination. And it seems to me further that we should not hesitate to impress upon our children and young people the stories that will bring this belief to their hearts, a belief that will serve as an anchor in times of stress.

Another source of stories for our children is mission experiences. Elder Spicer’s story of Celia, the little black girl who gave her all when she gave her earrings, raised thousands of dollars for the mission work of this denomination. And how many children have been inspired to be more true to their convictions by the story of the two little children in Czechoslovakia who refused to obey the man who took them after their mother’s death, when he told them they must not keep the Sabbath. Though he punished them every Sabbath for their disobedience, yet he was finally won over and became an ardent Seventh-day Adventist himself. Mission, stories should not be confined to dramatic incidents only. Should they not rather be built upon the principle of trial and triumph, letting the hearers know that mission work is not just one grand lark or series of exciting adventures, but, like work anywhere else, is made successful by building steadily, earnestly, thoughtfully, prayerfully, even routinely, day by day and year by year?

(To be continued in August)

http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/TCOG/TCOG1944-06/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=22

A FORM FOR RECORDING CHURCH BUSINESS

December 22, 2008

Review and Herald, May 9, 1878, page 7

A FORM FOR RECORDING CHURCH BUSINESS.

As many of the clerks of our churches have had but little experience in recording business meetings, they are frequently embarrassed to know how to go to work. This article is written to assist such persons. If they will study it carefully, and preserve it for reference, they can soon learn to record a meeting properly in the clerk’s book.

I was much pleased and edified by the “Business School” held at this place (Sigourney, Iowa) by Elds. Canright and Farnsworth. I am fully satisfied that every church, as well as our scattered brethren throughout the land, would be greatly benefited by such a course of training on the organization and business transactions of our churches. But as a great majority cannot avail themselves of the benefits of such instruction, it has occurred to me that a concise statement of the workings and business transactions of this school, published through the REVIEW, might be of service to many.

At the suggestion of those who had charge of the school, I will try to furnish a chapter.

There were about fifty persons convened in a comfortable meeting-house, and the exercises were conducted much after the style of a teachers’ institute, Elds. Canright and Farnsworth having charge. Each person was expected to keep a record of all business transacted, and in turn these records were examined, criticised, and corrected by the managers.

We had a church organized and business transacted by it, the object being to learn the art of doing church business and keeping church records. It is very evident that the business of our churches is often bunglingly done, and the records are sadly deficient. The following is supposed to be a form of business that might occur at and after the organization of a church society:—

A company of believers in the Bible doctrines held by S. D. Adventists, located at Sigourney, Iowa, convened in their church house, April 1, 1878, at 10 o’clock A. M.

After singing and prayer, Eld. D. M. Canright was called to the chair, and L. McCoy was chosen secretary.

The chairman stated the object of the meeting to be the organization of a church of Seventh-day Adventists, and requested those desiring to participate in the said organization to give their names to the secretary.

Whereupon the following named persons responded, to wit, L. McCoy, C. E. Moser, G. B. Starr, Rachel Buck, and Carrie Dalbey.

The chairman then asked each of this company if they had any objections to any one of the others, and there being no objection, he then asked them if they could freely and cheerfully fellowship one another. This being answered in the affirmative, they all, by a rising vote, united in the following covenant:—

“We hereby associate ourselves together, taking the name of Seventh-day Adventists, and covenanting to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” This constituted them a church.

On motion of Bro. Starr, supported by Bro. Moser, Bro. L. McCoy was elected church clerk.

On motion of Bro. Moser, supported by Bro. Starr, the church adjourned to call of the chair. L. McCoy, Sec.

Sigourney, April 6, 1878, 9 A. M., the church convened for a business meeting, all the members having had notice of the same. Prayer by Bro. Starr.

On motion of Bro. McCoy, supported by sister Dalbey, sister Jessie P. Moser was received as a member of the church, subject to baptism.

Bro. Henry Nicola, bearing a letter of commendation from the church of S. D. Adventists at Richmond, Iowa, was, by motion of Bro. Starr, supported by Bro McCoy, duly received as a member of this church.

Bro. Asa Ruloff, a member of the Baptist church, having embraced our views, and desiring to be identified with our people, presented himself for membership. There being no objections.

On motion of Bro. Starr. supported by sister Buck, Bro. Ruloff was received.

On motion of Bro. Moser, supported by Bro. Nicola, the church adjourned to call of the chair. L. McCoy, Clerk.

Aug. 12, 1878, at 10 A.M., the church convened for business.

Meeting opened by singing and prayer, Eld. Canright in the chair.

Bro. C. E. Moser asked for a letter of commendation.

On motion of Bro. Asa Ruloff, supported by Bro. Starr, the clerk was instructed to give Bro. Moser a letter.

By unanimous vote of the church, all being present, Bro. H. Nicola was selected elder of the church, and was duly ordained as such by Eld. Canright.

Bro. McCoy at this meeting preferred charge against Bro. Asa Ruloff for immorality, alleging that Bro. R. had violated the fourth commandment, in that he had sold coal and otherwise permitted labor to be done in his mine on the Sabbath day, the third of August, 1878.

Bro. R. being present demanded an investigation, and the case was heard, Bro. R. having opportunity for defense.

On motion of Bro. Starr, supported by Bro. McCoy, Bro. R. was placed under censure by a unanimous vote of the church.

On motion, adjourned until 2 o’clock P. M.

Aug. 12, 1878, at 2 P. M., the church convened pursuant to adjournment, for the transaction of business, Eld. Nicola in the chair.

Bro. Starr presented resolutions expressive of the sorrow occasioned by the death of our beloved sister Jones, which occured on the 8th inst, who by her Christian deportment and faithfulness in the discharge of every duty, had won for herself a place in the hearts of all. Although her loss is a severe trial to this little band, yet we bow in meek submission to the will of Him who doeth all things well.

The resolutions were ordered placed upon the record, and a copy of same furnished to the bereaved family.

On motion of Bro. M., supported by Bro. B., the church adjourned.

L. McCoy, Clerk.

NOTE.—”Will the clerks of our churches please preserve the above article for reference? It gives the proper form of conducting and recording business meetings. Notice, (1.) The first thing to do in making a record of a meeting is to give the date, thus: April 1, 1878, 10 A. M.; or July 5, 1878, 2 P. M.; (2.) if a vote is taken upon any question, the clerk should state who made the motion and who seconded it, as it is sometimes very important to know; (3.) The clerk should always sign his name at the close of the record of each meeting.
If further instruction is desired, it will be given any time.

http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH18780509-V51-19/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=7

Notes by Newsman777:

This 1878 document:

1) Demonstrates secretary procedure of that era.
2) Illustrates role playing as an effective teaching method.
3) Provides leadership to the many church clerks.
4) Illustrates the role of a teaching institute.
5) Provides examples both of joining by baptism and by profession of faith.
6) Cites only two doctrinal points upon which the church formed.

Have You Read Them

December 21, 2008

By G. B. Starr

Seventh-day Adventists, the remnant people of God, are the possessors of the rarest and richest publications ever presented to the world’s readers.

No preceding religious movement in the history of the world has ever given such a vast amount of high-class comments upon the entire Bible, and presented the plan of redemption in such clear and convincing and appealing language. This statement is proven by the comparison of the writings of the Spirit of prophecy with the publications of all former generations and of the present one.

A well-informed teacher of literature, not a Seventh-day Adventist, who had traveled in all parts of the world, made a significant statement to her class of forty- eight adult students. She had requested the class to bring in three excerpts from their favorite authors, and the class were to tell from hearing them read, who the authors were. One member brought three paragraphs from “Desire of Ages.” The class approved of the writing as very fine, but were unable to name the writer.

The teacher, Miss E. McMillan, then stated that the excerpts were from the pen of Mrs. E. G. White, and that she felt it was a great pity that her writings were not better known. She told the class she was going to make a bold, strong statement, and that she meant every word of it. She then said; “Of all writings, ancient, medieval, or modern, there are no writings so full of beauty, so perfect in every way, so pure, and yet so simple, outside the Bible, as the writings of Mrs. E. G. White.”

The report of this statement is signed by two members of the class; namely, Harold N. Williams, St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Roy O. Williams, D.D.S., Loma Linda, California.

These writings unveil the future movements of nations, religious bodies, and individuals. The writings are here in the possession of God’s people, and they cannot be set aside or talked out of existence. They have led the way to the erection of monumental sanitariums, publishing houses, schools, colleges, and a unique medical college, for the training of medical evangelists, the only one of its kind in the world. Thus they exhibit the soundness of their teaching and the inspired type of instruction.

Where did Ellen G. White obtain the instruction contained in “Early Writings,” “Patriarchs and Prophets,” “Great Controversy,” “Education,” “Ministry of Healing,” and the many volumes of “Testimonies to the Church?” She was not tutored in the world’s colleges. They possess no such information. Eight years before her death in July, 1915, she wrote: “Abundant light has been given to our people in these last days. Whether or not my life is spared, my writings will constantly speak, and their work will go forward as long as time shall last. My writings are kept on file in the office, and even though I should not live, these words, given me by the Lord, will still have life and will speak to the people.”—”Writing and Sending Out of the Testimonies,” pp. 13, 14.

The Lord Jesus, the Prince of the universe, informs men and angels as to just how He came in- to possession of all these treasures of knowledge which He reveals. His opening words of the book of Revelation clearly state it:

“The revelation of Jesus Christ, WHICH GOD GAVE UNTO HIM, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST, and of all things that he saw.”

Having had the privilege of knowing Ellen G. White for more than a quarter of a century, and also being called to travel with her and her family in this country and Australasia, it is a pleasure for me to respond to the invitation to relate to those newly embracing the faith, some personal experiences and observations of her life and work.

My first acquaintance with her was at a camp meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1882. Here she exhorted us all to use our influence by “voice and pen and vote,” to forward the movement for prohibition. She related a dream, which she had six months previous, in which an angel had instructed her along those lines. I was pleased to witness how effectually her testimony unified the sentiment of the conference and led to a unanimous vote favoring such action. The influence of that counsel continues to guide our people in all lands.

My next experience was at a camp meeting in Nebraska, the same year. There she presented the life experience of a young minister, whom she had never seen before. He later testified, at a General Conference session, to the absolute truthfulness of the message she gave him, and said it had led him into an entire change of life, which we were all able to see.

In 1891, at Petoskey, Mich., where we were all residing at the time, Sister White handed me a roll of manuscript to read, stating that it had been compiled from her various writings with the view of producing a small booklet on practical religious experience. It had not then been named. It certainly was a great privilege to read in this manuscript, what a little later was named “Steps to Christ,” and which has since been translated into more than fifty languages. The various presses have printed hundreds of thousands of copies, which have gone forth on their blessed ministry of pointing souls to Christ, step by step leading the readers into a definite religious experience. Its influence leads to the word of God and to faith in Jesus Christ as the only Saviour. It also cheers and steadies the faith of Christians. Many will testify of personal help received from its pages. It also leads to the reading of other volumes written by the same writer. Once one has tasted of the fine flavor of the writings and recognized the voice of Jesus speaking in them, he must continue to read until all are devoured.

Evidence of Inspiration

At a general Conference at Battle Creek, Mich., in 1883, the entire delegation had the experience of witnessing her prophetic gift. She was speaking at the closing Sunday night’s service, which was unusual, as she seldom spoke in the evening. Stopping in the midst of her address, she pointed up to the gallery, straight at the clock, behind which three of us delegates from Nebraska were seated, and in a clear distinct voice, easily heard by the more than three thousand persons present, she said: “Elder Cudney, open your heart and take Elder Johnson in; he wants a place in your heart. Do not leave this Tabernacle tonight until you are reconciled to each other. Elder Cudney, open your heart and take Elder Johnson in.” This she repeated several times.

As I was seated between these two brethren, I endeavored to move out, but was prevented for a time by Elder Cudney. Succeeding, however, the way was opened for them to get nearer together. For a time Elder Cudney hesitated. He had misinterpreted Elder Johnson’s advances toward him, and thought he was aspiring to the office of conference president. But the Spirit of God gained the victory, and Elder Cudney threw his arms about Elder Johnson. As they thus embraced as brethren, the influence affected the entire delegation, and many wept. This unusual scene at a General Conference seemed a fitting influence for these delegates to carry to their people in all parts of the world.

Elder Cudney wrote Sister White from Nebraska a short time afterwards, stating that they had followed her counsel, and before leaving the Tabernacle that night had retired to a smaller room, and with Elders George I. Butler and S. N. Haskell and the writer, had come to a perfect understanding, and that they were then laboring together among the churches, to their comfort and edification.

Faces Recognized

Upon our arrival in Melbourne, Australia, and in attendance at the first conference meeting, Sister White asked me who that tall gentleman was, seated at the extreme left of the room. I replied, “That is Lawyer. . . , one of the first persons to embrace the truth in the city of Melbourne.” “And who is that lady, seated at the right of the room?” Sister White asked, as she pointed toward the person indicated. I replied, “That is the Lawyer’s wife.” “And who is that young man at the end of the middle row?” she asked, “He is the lawyer’s nephew,” I answered. “Well that is interesting,” Sister White said. “I saw those three persons, in a vision given me in Switzerland, six years ago. They were then all in one room together, in a private home, praying for light on the book of Daniel. I thought they lived together, and could not understand why they were so separated in this meeting.” I informed her that they did all live together and their being separated so was unusual. But I feel sure the readers will join me in thanksgiving that they were so separated, as it proved clearly that Sister White assuredly recognized them as those seen in the vision, whom she had never seen in person before. She had written in “Testimonies,” Vol. V, page 67: “As the Lord has manifested Himself through the Spirit of prophecy, past, present, and future have passed before me. I have been shown faces that I had never seen, and years afterward, I knew them when I saw them.”

Here we had a perfectly clear fulfilment of this statement. This man was the first to purchase one of the one thousand copies of the book “Daniel and the Revelation,” which William Arnold had carried with him to Australia, and thus had the answer to their prayers for light on those books.

In closing we will let Sister White speak: “Never have testimonies been more clearly brought before the people than those that have been recently traced by my pen. God bids me urge upon the attention of our people the importance of their study. Let this work begin now. Then whether I am permitted to labor, or laid away to rest until Jesus comes, these messages are immortalized.”

The Far Eastern Division Outlook, October 15, 1937, pages 2, 3