Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)




Lt 2, 1852

Brethren and Sisters in Jackson

Rochester, New York

June 2, 1852

This letter is published in entirety in 17MR 341-343. See also Annotations.

To the Brethren and Sisters in Jackson:

A few nights since the Lord gave me a vision and showed me the state of things in the West. I saw it was dark, dark, dark and that laborers were needed there. I saw that Brother Bowles had got out of his place and thought he had a great work to do when he had not. I also saw that he thought his work was of a great deal more importance than it really was. I saw that some fanciful views had been pressed by Brother Bowles that were of no special importance until some who would have received the truth have been pushed off. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1852, par. 1

I was pointed back and saw when the trouble arose in Jackson, much of it was caused by not following the Bible rule. There was too much talking over a brother’s or a sister’s faults among the band or church, and the brother that was thought to be wrong kept in ignorance that any trial was existing in the minds of others concerning him, until his (considered) faults had been talked over and over by nearly all the church, and he felt the coldness of his brothers and sisters and knew not the cause until it broke out all of a sudden, and he [was] made aware of what has been going on. Then the confidence that he has previously had in his brethren is shaken, his love for them has begun to be weakened, and a breach is made at once in the band that was previously united. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1852, par. 2

All this trouble can be saved if each one of the brethren and sisters are frank and open-hearted, and when they feel any brother errs, go to him and tell him your trials and fears; tell him in love, and perhaps he can make things that you have not understood plain, so that you will be relieved. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1852, par. 3

I saw there had been too much noticing little things in Jackson, that did not accord with your minds on such and such things. If Satan can get your minds off of the important work in the last days, upon little things that gender strife, his object is accomplished. All he wants is to weaken and overthrow you. I saw in the trial you had at Jackson [that] Brother Bowles saw many things in their true light, but he moved unadvisedly. He had no intention of moving wrong, but he did not look at things on every side and consider sufficiently what was the wisest course to take, but moved too much on the impulse of the moment, and then I saw all things in confusion. I saw that Brother Bowles had not that meek and childlike spirit that he ought to have. He is too much lifted up and exalted, and he must humble himself or God will humble him. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1852, par. 4

I saw that Brother Case had been doing what he could, but he had not moved judiciously at all times, and had given the enemies of the truth some cause to reproach him and those who believed the truth. It was impossible for him to reach some. His testimony would do them no good. But I saw that God had worked for Brother Case because he had received the admonitions and advice of his brethren and had acted upon it, and if he was humble, God would work for him still. But he must be very careful before unbelievers how he speaks, lest he gives the enemies of the truth cause to reproach Israel. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1852, par. 5

Dear brethren and sisters, keep self humble and in all things follow the Bible rule. Satan knows he can not make us doubt the truth. The arguments of our enemies are powerless and effect nothing against the truth. Satan knows that his only way now is to try to separate very near friends and thereby weaken the children of God. United you’ll stand. Divided you’ll fall. Oh, press together; grieve not the angels of God who are watching over you. Let them not bear the tidings upward that you are disunited, each one pulling apart. Remember now is the time that God is gathering His people into the unity of the faith. Will you not be co-workers with God, and press together? 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1852, par. 6

I beg of you to each one of you humble yourselves before God. Let your brother’s faults alone, go to God and beg of Him not to show you your brother’s heart but your own heart and your own wrongs, and when each one of you humble yourself before God, let self die. There will be no trouble. You can but love one another and be united by strong cords of love and fellowship. Finally, be at peace among yourselves, and may the God of peace sanctify you wholly, and preserve you blameless unto His appearing and kingdom. I would say I have written this to the church because it is public affairs. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1852, par. 7

Brother Bates is with us. He is coming to see you West. His duty is there for present. I never saw him as free as now. God is with him. James sends much love to all the church. Accept the same from me. Please write as soon as possible. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1852, par. 8