Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 19, 1860

Russ, Sister



Previously unpublished.

Sister Russ,

I have been shown some things in regard to you, which I will write you. I saw that you had not heeded the testimony borne to you some time ago. You have not reformed. Had you taken the course a wife should have taken, your husband would be a far different man than he is. You have nearly ruined him. His disposition is hurt and almost spoiled. He becomes jealous of his brethren. So do you if you do not receive all the attention you think you should. Your brethren and sisters have not the time or disposition to take extra trouble upon themselves to entertain you who bear no burdens yourselves in the cause of God, and who are rather a detriment than a benefit. Your conversation is such as to benefit no one. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 1

Sister Russ, you do not know the first principles of truth. You have always been stubborn and rebellious, [and] always did raise a storm if you could not carry out your own desires. You have not treated your husband with respect and reverence. Your strong spirit has always borne rule. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 2

Your husband deserves the pity of his brethren. He is constantly dragged down by you, his life embittered by you who should be a blessing and comfort to him. God’s Word talks out your duty as plain as language can express it: 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 3

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.” “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” [Ephesians 5:22, 23, 25.] “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” [Colossians 3:18.] 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 4

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” [1 Peter 3:1, 2.] 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 5

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another ... Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” [Verses 7-9.] 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 6

Paul instructs Timothy [Titus] to instruct the aged women that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed. [Titus 2:3-5.] 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 7

I saw that when Sister Russ should be at home seeking to make that home orderly, comfortable, and happy for her husband and children, she is away visiting, burdening somebody else with her conversation, presence, and children. It is not the duty of the brethren and sisters to be waiting upon her, when she should be at home, diligent there in doing her duty to her husband and children. I saw in her an amazing lack of fortitude and courage. She is lonesome when alone, afraid. It would not be thus if she would act as she should. She acts so passionately, with so little self-control, [that] she has not the least confidence and faith in God. She has not a trust in Him, and is in continual fear when alone evenings. This infirmity has kept her husband in complete bondage. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 8

It is time for him to begin to act with some independence. If his wife chooses to storm, let her storm alone. He should leave the house when she begins to fret and storm. He should not abuse himself so much as to listen to her passionate words. He has too often answered her back, and then both have sinned and manifested a bitter hatred to each other. You have driven angels of God from your dwelling, and encouraged evil angels in crowds into your dwelling. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 9

No wonder you dislike to stay alone. Your thoughts cannot be very happy. Your meditations are not divine but of a very dark nature. You fly at your children in blind passion like a tiger, and punish them severely for a very small offense, just because you feel like it. You are out of patience with yourself and with them and everybody else. The demon in you makes you do just as he wants you to, and all who come near you must suffer. At other times you pass over wrongs that need correction. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 10

The children are taking lessons from their parents. Every day their mother is sowing seeds—[seeds that] will spring up, bear fruit, and yield her an abundant harvest. Instead of teaching the children patience, forbearance, and kindly regard for each other, she sets them an example which the children will never forget. It would have been better for her if she had never been born than to pursue the course she is pursuing. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 11

She does no good to the cause of God. She is, rather, a burden. She makes her home miserable for herself and for her husband and children. And God cannot take to heaven such a spirit as she has, for the peace of that heavenly place would be marred with fretting, faultfinding, envy, jealousy, and self-justification. The case is hopeless without an entire reform. And she has so long done as she pleased, [and] talked as she pleased, that the evil spirit clings to her like the leprosy. In order for her to overcome, it will require constant watchfulness and unceasing prayer for heavenly aid. When God sees that she is earnest, persevering in her desires to overcome, then He will send her aid. Merely observing the Sabbath and attending meeting is no sign of being a Christian. Every privilege that you have of listening to the truth [and yet you] do not improve the light given, [and] do not act upon what you hear from God’s servants, tells fearfully in the scale against you and will bring upon you heavier punishment in the end. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 12

I saw that it was the duty of Brother Russ to arise, to manifest more industry and ambition in temporal matters and spiritual matters. Also, he too often shuns hardships, [and] takes things too easy. His wife has had a most discouraging influence upon him to destroy his ambition and courage. It is his duty to manifest more industry, more zeal in his business and in the cause of God, and not only sustain his family but have the privilege of giving more freely to the cause of Truth, that the great Master may at last say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:23.] 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 13

You need the salvation of God. Every day you need His power to save. Be faithful. Let this be your motto in temporal things and in spiritual things. God help you to take hold of this work in earnest. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 14

In love. 1LtMs, Lt 19, 1860, par. 15