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contended that the study of these books is not essential as a preparation for missionary labor. Without going into all of the reasons for urging our elders to become thoroughly acquainted with these books, the writer will say: The elder who gets his information direct from the revelations of the Lord always feels sure of his position, for he speaks of that which God has revealed, not merely of what some one "believes" or has taught, and his teaching is accompanied by a power that comes from knowledge gained first-handed.

A study of Church history is a very important part of this preparation of the missionary. Every missionary should be able to relate interestingly, and with proper attention to detail, the story of Joseph's first vision, the visits of the angel Moroni, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the restoration of the priesthood, the organization of the Church, the migration of the Saints, the manner of laying out their cities and towns, their educational system and that provided for taking care or the poor, and many other subjects of history and practice of his people. What elder when speaking upon these events has not seen the apathy of his congregation give way to interest, coldness to cordiality, resentment to sympathy?

Having laid the foundation of his knowledge in the revelations of the Lord, the prospective missionary should explore other fields-science, literature, philosophy, history of nations, etc. The plan given by revelation is most broad and comprehensive. The writer cannot do better than quote it here:

"And I give unto you a commandment, that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom;

"Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

"Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and perplexity of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land, and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms.”—Doc. & Cov., 88:77-79.

Now the object of this extensive course of study?

"That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you."-Verse 80.

The missionary should not lose sight of the fact that he goes out as a commissioned ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ. His life, therefore, should be such as to maintain the dignity of His life. He, also, should not forget that the manner in which he conducts himself will be, to a very great extent, the mesaure

by which his people will be judged by those whom he meets during his labors abroad. His language should be chaste, his expressions temperate, but he should be fearless in meeting the opposition of those who oppose and misrepresent the great work of which he is a representative, and in presenting the truths of which he has prepared himself to be an advocate.

In closing, a few extracts from a letter by the writer to one of his sons performing missionary labor, might be of some interest to the elders in the "field":

January 22, 1911.

MY DEAR SON: Your letter of recent date was received in today's mail, and as I shall leave tomorrow morning to be absent from home a few days on business, I am taking this evening to write you.

Your position is right in not trying, in any manner, to mislead any one concerning the doctrines of the Church, and in not making any misrepresentations concerning the faith and teachings of the Latter-day Saints. Nor should any elder resort to subterfuge to meet opposition to the principles the Lord has revealed for the salvation of his children. Nothing of this kind is necessary in the work of our missionaries.

There may be times when it would not be wise to present advanced principles of the gospel to people who have not fully investigated our teachings, but this would not justify any elder in telling untruths concerning them. Why should any elder feel it necessary to tell untruths concerning that which God has revealed, forsooth, there are some who will not accept his revelations, and therefore oppose them. We do not expect all men to accept this gospel, any more than the farmer expects all seed that he plants to germinate and produce a crop. Truths must be taught as seeds must be planted before they can take root. This is our work, the responsibility of receiving or rejecting is upon those to whom the testimony is given.

I wish to impress upon you that in all of your work among the people, you should be frank and open if you will retain their confidence and good will. I am not afraid but that you will do this, but I write in this way, if possible, to make deeper the impression upon your mind the fact that nothing is to be gained by resorting to sophistry in presenting the things of God to our fellows or in the defense of them.

You write with regard to magazine articles with which the country has been flooded, about our people. Magazine articles do not always state our position correctly. More often it is mis-stated by them. I suggest, therefore, before you attempt to make any explantations of things published about our people or their faith, where you feel that you ought to do so to meet misrepresentation, that you first state the attitude of our people from our point of view. By taking this course you will be enabled to get the truth before the people and do much more good than by trying to explain away the garbled statements of vicious, or misinformed, or uninformed writers, as the case might be.

PROVO, UTAH

The Parable of the Unwise Bee

BY DR. JAMES E. TALMAGE

Sometimes I find myself under obligations of work requiring quiet and seclusion such as neither my comfortable office nor the cozy study at home insures. My favorite retreat is an upper room in the tower of a large building, well removed from the noise and confusion of the city streets. The room is somewhat difficult of access, and relatively secure against human intrusion. Therein. I have spent many peaceful and busy hours with books and pen.

I am not always without visitors, however, especially in summertime; for, when I sit with windows open, flying insects occasionally find entrance and share the place with me. These selfinvited guests are not unwelcome. Many a time I have laid down the pen, and, forgetful of my theme, have watched with interest the activities of these winged visitants, with an after-thought that the time so spent had not been wasted, for, is it not true, that even a butterfly, a beetle, or a bee, may be a bearer of lessons to the :eceptive student?

A wild bee from the neighboring hills once flew into the room; and at intervals during an hour or more I caught the pleasing hum of its flight.* The little creature realized that it was a prisoner, yet all its efforts to find the exit through the partly opened casement failed. When ready to close up the room an leave, I threw the window wide, and tried at first to guide and then to drive the bee to liberty and safety, knowing well that if left in the room it would die as other insects there entrapped had perished in the dry atmosphere of the enclosure. The more I tried to drive it out, the more determinedly did it oppose and resist my efforts. Its erstwhile peaceful hum developed into an angry roar; its darting flight became hostile and threatening.

Then it caught me off my guard and stung my hand.-t'r hand that would have guided it to freedom. At last it alighted on a pendant attached to the ceiling, beyond my reach of help or injury. The sharp pain of its unkind sting aroused in me rath r pity than anger. I knew the inevitable penalty of its mistaken opposition and defiance; and I had to leave the creature to its fate. Three days later I returned to the room and found the

*For an earlier and briefer reference to this incident of the unwise bee, see the author's article "Lord of All" in the IMPROVEMENT ERA, Vol. XI, No. 10, August, 1908.

dried, lifeless body of the bee on the writing table. It had paid for its stubbornness with its life.

To the bee's short-sightedness and selfish misunderstanding I was a foe, a persistent persecutor, a mortal enemy bent on its destruction; while in truth I was its friend, offering it ransom of the life it had put in forfeit through its own error, striving to redeem it, in spite of itself, from the prison-house of death and restore it to the outer air of liberty.

Are we so much wiser than the bee that no analogy lies between its unwise course and our lives? We are prone to contend, sometimes with vehemence and anger, against the adversity which after all may be the manifestation of superior wisdom and loving care, directed against our temporary comfort for our permanent blessing. In the tribulations and sufferings of mortality there is a divine ministry which only the godless soul can wholly fail to discern. To many the loss of wealth has been a boon, a providential means of leading or driving them from the confines of selfish indulgence to the sunshine and the open, where boundless opportunity waits on effort. Disappointment, sorrow, and affliction may be the expression of an all-wise Father's kindness.

Consider the lesson of the unwise bee!

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

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A Righteous Woman's Recompense

BY LELLA MARLER HOGGAN

I-The Divine Touch

"Ay, thou art welcome, heaven's delicious breath!
When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,

And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief,
And the year smiles as it draws near its death.”

"And you're really going away, Willard, to be gone all winter?" asked Ethel, for the third time.

"Yes," he laughed, "aren't you sorry to see me go?"

"Yes," hesitated Ethel, "I'm sorry, and I'm glad. We shall all miss you, of course; but a year at school will mean so much to you, that we are willing to forego the pleasure of your society for the winter."

"A year isn't much," he meditated. "Just enough to rub a little of the rust off that's been accumulating for the past four years. I had hoped to be able to go last year, but Jim left for his mission in the spring and father was sick all fall, and that put us late with the crops. We are fortunate this fall in getting through so early."

"More good management, than good luck, I guess," laughed Ethel. "You've certainly earned a vacation. But, Willard, what have you been doing, you don't look just like yourself?"

"Had a hair cut-the first one this summer," he said quietly. "Oh, you foolish fellow! I'm in earnest. You really do look different, tonight."

"It's the moon," he said nonsensically. "Things always look different in the moonlight."

"Always," she reiterated, catching the note of humor in his voice. "Such a night as this is capable of almost any transformation. I feel like a child of ten, myself."

"I can't tell you how I feel, Ethel. My heart is so full of joy tonight, that I can't find words to express my feelings."

"I believe your joy is contagious," she smiled, "even the night birds are calling jokes to each other.'

"That hoot owl, for instance," he retorted. "Poor, melancholy, old fellow! He has caught your spirit of ridicule, and is trying to jeer me out of my joy. But you're both failing utterly. I feel more joyous every moment. If I were only a boy of ten," he mused, "only a boy of ten."

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