Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)



Ms 1, 1863

Testimony Regarding James and Ellen White



Portions of this manuscript are published in 3SM 279-280; 10MR 23-24; 2Bio 18-20.

Sabbath, June 6th, 1863. I was shown some things in regard to my husband and myself. I saw that Satan was persevering in his efforts to destroy our usefulness. I saw that we neither understood the depth and keenness of the heart trials of the other. Each heart was peculiarly sensitive, therefore each should be especially careful not to cause the other one shade of sadness or trial. Trials [from] without will come, but strong in each other’s love, each deeply sympathizing with the other, united in the work of God, [we] can stand nobly, faithfully together, and every trial will only work for good if well borne. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 1

I saw my husband dwelling upon the past, every moment his face growing sadder; and his active memory was faithful in recounting the past. One act of thoughtlessness and neglect, which would cause him deep suffering, would open vividly before him. Satan would fasten his mind upon the injustice done him and it seemed as though he had no power to tear his mind from these unpleasant recollections where it seemed he had suffered needlessly. His mind seemed chained to these unpleasant memories and he seemed to delight to dwell upon them. Satan was pleased to have it thus, for he could trouble and perplex the mind and a hard, unforgiving spirit would come in, true peace and happiness of mind would be gone, and a heavy shadow hung upon the future. It is the deep love which he has borne the cause of God which has caused this unreconciled feeling toward those who have so grievously injured the cause of God and hurt themselves and wounded their own hearts. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 2

Through lack of consecration to God, ministers have moved in their own strength, self-confidently, have not been willing to bear responsibilities or burdens, and they have let the heavy burdens fall with crushing weight upon my husband. In these things they have hurt themselves. In trying to save their life they have come within a hairsbreadth of losing it. They have tried to shun responsibilities, fearing that they should receive censure, and have sought to be esteemed of others. They have come very near losing esteem and even respect. I saw that my husband has unjustly suffered. Yet those who have shunned the burdens and brought trials upon him will suffer loss. They have lost respect for themselves and will eventually be rewarded according as their works shall be. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 3

I saw an angel standing by the side of my husband pointing him upward, saying, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. The sin of those who have injured you has been against Him. You feel that it is against you. That which you have suffered for Christ and His cause you have not to regret. For you there is a reward. For those who have shunned burdens, a loss. They are the real sufferers. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 4

“Jesus forgives errors and mistakes and grievous sins. You do not have the spirit of forgiveness Jesus possessed. You think you forgive those who err, fail in judgment, and make mistakes and errors; but if they fail again upon another point, all their wrongs which have been confessed revive in your mind. This reveals that they were not forgiven. If Jesus should thus deal with you, you would perish. The Saviour passes over man’s transgressions, while others’ wrongs are allowed to fester in your mind and produce painful recollections. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 5

“God has a work for you to do. It is not yet finished. Ever look up, ever believe God. He is true. He is your everlasting Friend.” 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 6

Then the wings of the angel moved up and down to soothe and strengthen, and also to draw the mind from those things which caused so much discouragement. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 7

I saw that my husband had thought that his mind and my own were weakened and distracted by having to bear so many burdens and having such an amount of perplexing care. I saw that he had not viewed matters rightly. We have had a laborious position, but God has had a care, His hand has sustained, and that is why we have not been distracted and the mind injured. We are not as bad off as my husband feared. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 8

I saw that our testimony was still needed and was of use in the church. I saw that we should labor to save ourselves trials and cares, and we should preserve a devotional frame of mind. I saw that my husband took too much care of things in the Office, which occupied his time yet was of no vital importance; and by thus doing he has neglected things which another cannot do. My husband has it in his mind that things must be done thus and so, and he takes upon himself burdens which others should bear, fearing that mistakes will be made and matters will not go straight. By thus doing, he lifts responsibilities from those upon whom burdens and cares should rest. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 9

It is the duty of the hands in the Office to tax their brains more and my husband tax his less. Hours are spent by him upon this little matter and that, and the mind becomes wearied and confused and unfitted to study or write and let his light shine in the paper as it should. I saw that my husband’s mind should not be crowded and overtaxed; his mind must have rest, and he must be left free to write and attend to matters which others cannot attend to. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 10

Those engaged in the work in the Office should be dedicated to God, and feel a deep interest in the work. No selfish feelings should exist among them. It is the work of God in which they are engaged, and they are accountable for the motive and manner in which their work is performed. They must discipline their minds, and bring their minds to task. Forgetfulness and heedlessness are sin. Many feel that no blame should be attached to forgetfulness. There is a great mistake here, and this mistake leads to many blunders and much disorder and many wrongs. The mind must be tasked. Things which should be done should not be forgotten. The mind must be brought to task and disciplined until it will remember. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 11

I saw that my husband had expected others to carry out things just as they were in his mind, just as he would carry them out. When they fail to do this, it annoys him, his peace is destroyed. He can see and take in readily at a glance more than some can see or comprehend with some study. This has troubled him, because others could not carry out his mind and views of order and perfection in their work. Therefore he has felt he must see to this and that, fearing it will be done wrong. Even if it was done wrong a few times, he should not perplex his mind and take the burden of overseeing these things. Let those who labor in the Office learn, let them practice and study and perplex their own brains, make a failure, correct it, and try again, avoiding their former mistakes. In this way they will learn to bear burdens and responsibilities and take that care which it is their duty to take. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 12

My husband must take time to do those things which his judgment tells him will preserve his health. He has thought that he must throw off the burdens which were upon him and leave the Office and throw off responsibilities and cares, or his mind would be a wreck. I saw that when the Lord released him from his position, He would give him just as clear evidence of his release as He gave him when He laid the burden of the work upon him. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 13

But I saw that he had borne too many burdens and his ministering brethren have let him bear them. They have stood back and excused themselves while he was weighed down, crushed beneath censure until God vindicated his cause. If they had taken their share of the burdens it would have eased him greatly, but instead of this there have been more burdens caused by the course pursued by the ministers than by all the people. The shepherds have been unwise and the poor sheep have suffered from unwise as well as from false shepherds. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 14

I saw that now we should take special care of the health God has given us, for our work was not yet done. Our testimony must yet be borne and would have influence. I saw that I had spent too much time and strength in sewing and waiting upon and entertaining company. I saw that home cares should be thrown off. The preparing of garments is a snare; others can do that. God has not given me strength for such labor. We should preserve our strength to labor in His cause, and bear our testimony when it is needed. I saw that we should be careful of our strength and not take upon ourselves burdens that others can and should bear. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 15

I saw that we should encourage a cheerful, hopeful, peaceful frame of mind, for our health depends upon our doing this. I saw that it was duty for everyone to have a care for his health, but especially should we turn our attention to our health, and take time to devote to our health that we may in a degree recover from the effects of overdoing and overtaxing the mind. The work God requires of us will not shut us away from caring for our health. The more perfect our health, the more perfect will be our labor. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 16

I saw that when we tax our strength, overlabor and weary ourselves much, then we take colds and at such times are in danger of diseases taking a dangerous form. We must not leave the care of ourselves for God to see to and to take care of that which He has left for us to watch and care for. It is not safe nor pleasing to God to violate the laws of health and then ask Him to take care of our health and keep us from disease when we are living directly contrary to our prayers. I saw that it was a sacred duty to attend to our health, and arouse others to their duty, and yet not take the burden of their case upon us. Yet we have a duty to speak, to come out against intemperance of every kind—intemperance in working, in eating, in drinking, and in drugging—and then point them to God’s great medicine, water, pure soft water, for diseases, for health, for cleanliness, and for a luxury. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 17

I saw that my husband should not suffer his mind to dwell upon the wrong side—the dark, gloomy side. He should put from him saddening thoughts and saddening subjects, and be cheerful, happy, grateful, and should have a firm reliance upon God and an unshaken confidence and trust in Him. His health will be much better if he can control his mind. I saw that of all others my husband should have all the rest he can get Sabbath when not preaching. He should not carry into the Sabbath his weekly occupation, that writing he has been doing through the week. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 18

I saw that we should not be silent upon the subject of health but should wake up minds to the subject. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 19

I saw that our children should be instructed and we should take time to teach them, and to study their dispositions; that we should be firm and decided, but gain their love. It does them no good to be censured and talked to in an ordering tone. We should study what treatment would have the best influence on us, and then should pursue the same course to our children. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 20

They have our minds. They are sensitive, quick to feel. They do not mean to be wrong, but they have a great battle before them. They need the help of their parents, who have experience. None can help them as well as we. We should take special care to interest ourselves in all their pursuits. The time which belongs to our children, company has claimed. We should not rob our children of our society, but let them find their highest pleasure with us. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1863, par. 21