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The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress

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    The Tract and Missionary Society

    About the year 1870 the idea of a tract and missionary society was first suggested by the course of a few devoted sisters at South Lancaster, Mass. These sisters tried, for a time, the plan of mailing our denominational papers and tracts to different persons outside of our faith, afterward writing them letters. This resulted in several individuals accepting the truth, which brought to the mind of Elder S. N. Haskell the question, “Why may not all our people engage in doing what a few sisters have done?” During the year 1871, especially, this subject was agitated more or less through the columns of the Review. At the special session of the General Conference held Dec. 29, 1871, Elder Haskell being present and setting forth the practical utility of the movement, a resolution was passed recommending the formation of tract societies. Elders S. N. Haskell, W. H. Littlejohn, J. N. Andrews, J. H. Waggoner, and I. D. Van Horn were appointed as a committee to perfect plans for the formation of such societies.GSAM 442.3

    This movement introduced a new era in the prosecution of the work of the message. Hitherto the teaching of the truth had been confined almost exclusively to efforts put forth by the living preacher. For several years Elder Haskell labored very assiduously in studying up and introducing plans for making the tract and missionary society a success. It is only doing justice to him to state that he was really the pioneer in that line. This is not only true in the matter of the State tract and missionary societies, but it was he who, in 1878 introduced to the General Conference assembled in Battle Creek the plan for a general (since called International) Tract Society, whose field of labor is the territory outside of our conferences, not only in America, but also in foreign countries.GSAM 443.1

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