Upon The Water

     Some years ago I had a dream. I dreamed we were out upon the water. There were several in the boat besides myself, and there were other boats about us. The other boats were watching to see what course our boat would take. We had, every one of us, oars, and were rowing with all our might. While we were thus urging our boat along, I saw two or three of the other boats capsize, and the persons thrown from them began to sink. They had no power to save themselves or to get hold of the boat again.    

     I said, "Let us put about the boat and pick up these souls." The answer was, "Let them come to the boat; they can see the boat; let them come to us." I looked and saw them sinking and rising and struggling for life. I said, "We must put the boat about and pick them up." The answer again was, "Let them come to the boat, and then we will pull them in." After waiting a few minutes more, I said, "Give me the oars," and I began to row with all my might. Said I: "Help me; we must go to those individuals and save them where they are."    

     With that, the others took hold of the oars again and rowed with me to get to these individuals. "Now," said I, "take hold of me." Then I would reach down, even to the bottom, it seemed to me, exerting all my strength, and would pull one out of the water. Others followed the example. This we did repeatedly, taking them to the shore and leaving them there for others to work over, as some of them were nearly lifeless. Said I: "Work over them; every one will live." Then we would cry out to those in the boats, "Reach down your arms to them, and bring them up."   

     I then went to examine those who had been brought to the shore, and as I turned them over to look at their faces I recognized the face of my brother, my  sister, and my near friends. I kneeled down, and such thanksgiving as I raised to heaven that God had given us strength to save them, I cannot express.    

     I do not know whether this means that these were my natural brothers and sisters; I think it means those connected to us by still closer ties in the church. Said Jesus, "Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is My brother, and My sister, and mother."    

     I want to say, brethren and sisters, that we must labor for the wandering where they are. You need not expect those who have the chilling influence of the world upon them to manifest anxiety for their own souls. We must manifest it for them.    

     Do you appreciate salvation? Do you appreciate the great sacrifice that has been made for you? If you do, God help you to deny yourselves, and make this sacrifice for your fellow men. "Love one another, as I have loved you," said Christ. He left the glory and splendor which He enjoyed on high. None of these were sufficient to hold him there and prevent Him from coming down to elevate you. And now are you willing to engage in the work with all your energies, and help your fellow mortal around you? God give you a spirit of self-denial.    

     Love--how sweet it is! It is the bond of perfectness. What is the gold which the True Witness counsels us to buy of Him? It is faith and love combined. Faith leads us to act. And what is love? A tender care and solicitude for perishing souls. Faith and love go hand in hand. And, as a general thing, the church is almost entirely destitute of this love. And now shall we earnestly labor to win back this grace?    

     We have lost disinterested benevolence. As you enter into the houses of your brethren and sisters, do not be afraid to manifest your feeling of love and  sympathy. It is the little things of life that make up the sum of life's happiness or misery. It is the little things, if they are right, that are of the greatest service.   18MR 283, 284