President’s Message

given through Elbert A. Smith
November 4, 1917
Lamoni, Iowa

The feeling that is with me today is one of humility. As I reached forth to take the emblems I said to myself, “I am not worthy to partake of this sacrament.” I wonder who is worthy to eat with God. For this ordinance is not only to remind us of the sacrifice of Christ, it is also prophecy that we shall presently eat with him in his kingdom.
Yet God does give us the privilege to partake, under certain conditions. And this is one of the most sacred and important of the sacraments. One that we do well to observe at this time.
The Spirit has opened my vision to an extent and indicates to me that two forces are at work in the world. The one is the spirit of hate. That is the spirit which entered into Cain when he slew his brother. And many men today desire to slay their fellow man.
The spirit of hate increases as it is gratified. The more it is glutted with vengeance the greater become its inordinate desires for vengeance.
The other force is the spirit of love. It too increases as it is gratified and becomes bigger and better upon the deeds of kindness and mercy. The Apostle John most fully entered upon this spirit. And standing in the midst of the people he uttered these words: “See to it, little children, that ye love one another.”
The Spirit of God, which bridges time, and to whom yesterday is as today, brings that injunction also to us, and is laid upon this people. Yea, saith the Lord, I desire many evangelists of love to preach the gospel of love, not only in word but also in deed. If there is any man here who has not been baptized with the spirit of love, he has not been baptized of me, saith the Lord.
Again, at this time, you are admonished that you be not unduly concerned because you are few in number as compared with the world. That is not your concern but be concerned only that your righteousness shall be very great. For a few righteous men can accomplish very much, and a little leaven leaveneth a great lump.
I have many forces at work in the world, saith the Lord. I have many spiritual forces at work that ye know not of. You see but the smaller part of my work, and the world perceives it not at all.
Therefore, be not concerned because you are few in number, but let each one look to himself, and to the condition of his own heart and life. Be humble and full of love, casting out the spirit of hatred, that you may stand in holy places and receive the blessings of the Lord.
This council, though given in 1917 is very appropriate for this day and the times we are in. Let us remember Mat 6:38 “Wherefore, seek not things of this world but first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness.”

President Woodrow Howell
December 10, 2020