The following was addressed to two brethren at -----; but being applicable to many, it is here given for the benefit of the church:
Dear Brethren: In the vision given at your place, I was shown something concerning you both. The angel pointed to you, and repeated these words: "Take heed to yourselves, lest at anytime your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares."
I saw that you both have a great conflict before you; you will have a constant warfare to keep this world out of your hearts, for you love it. The great study with you now must be how to love Jesus and His service better than the world. If you love the world most, your works will testify to the fact. If you love Jesus and His service most, your works will testify to that fact also. I saw that the gaze of many in this world is upon you. Many would exult in your downfall, others rejoice in your advancement. Satan and evil angels will present to you the glory of the kingdoms of this world. If you will worship him, or worship a worldly treasure, he will hold it up in every light to attract and lead you to love and worship.
Jesus and your guardian angels are pointing you above your farms, your cattle, and your earthly treasure, to the
kingdom of heaven, to an immortal inheritance, an eternal substance in the kingdom of glory. Said the angel: "You must die to this world." "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
I saw that if, in the providence of God, wealth has been acquired, there is no sin in possessing it; and if no opportunities present themselves to use this means to advance the cause of God, there is no sin in still possessing it. But if opportunities are presented to the brethren to use their property to the glory of God and the advancement of His cause, and they withhold it, it will be a cause of stumbling to them. In the day of trouble that which was their hoarded treasure will be an offense unto them. Then all opportunities will be past for using their substance to the glory of God, and in anguish of spirit they will cast it from them to the moles and to the bats. Their gold and their silver cannot save them in that day. It falls upon them with crushing weight, that an account must be given of their stewardship, what use they have made of their Lord's money. Self-love made them believe that it was all their own, and that they might want it all; but they then feel, bitterly feel and understand, that their means was only lent them of God, to be freely returned by being used to advance His cause. Their riches deceived them. They felt poor and lived for themselves, and at last they will find that the portion they might have used for God's cause is a terrible burden.
Said the angel of God: "Lay all upon the altar, a living, consuming sacrifice. Bind it with cords, if you cannot keep it there. Give yourselves to prayer. Live at the altar. Strengthen your purposes by the promises of God." "Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth." "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust
doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven."
I saw that if God had given you wealth above the plainest and poorest, it should humble you, for it lays you under greater obligations. Where much is given, even of a worldly substance, much will be required. Upon this principle you are bound to possess noble, generous dispositions. Seek for opportunities to do good with what you have. "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven."
I saw that the least that has been required of Christians in past days, is to possess a spirit of liberality, and to consecrate to the Lord a portion of all their increase. Every true Christian has considered this a privilege, but some who have borne the name only, have considered it a task; the grace and love of God had never wrought in them the good work, or they would gladly have advanced the cause of their Redeemer. But Christians who are living in the last days, and who are waiting for their Lord, are required to do even more than this. God requires them to sacrifice.
Said the angel: "Jesus left a bright track for you to follow. Tread closely in His footsteps. Share His life of self-denial, His self-sacrificing life, and inherit with Him the crown of glory."