Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 17, 1864

Kellogg, Brother and Sister J. P.



See variant Lt 17a, 1864. Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 385-386.

Dear Bro. and Sister Kellogg:

I was shown some things in vision one year ago last June in regard to your family. At the same time [I] was shown that you were not then prepared to understand and receive it, that events would transpire which would then make it necessary to relate to you the things shown me. I feel that the time has come. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 1

I was shown Brother Kellogg in a state of discouragement of mind, suffering anxiety and almost constant gloom. I was pointed back some time in the past, [and] shown that there had been some erroneous moves in religious things which had lessened Brother Kellogg’s confidence in himself. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 2

I was shown that God had prospered you, Brother Kellogg, that you have gained property; but there are dangers ever attending the one who is prospered, for Satan is ever ready to turn their prosperity to a bad account and make that which might be a blessing, soul destroying. After you commenced to keep grocery, you did not watch closely enough and did not realize the necessity of double grace and did not guard yourself on every hand lest you should give place to the devil. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 3

You suffered your mind to become too much engrossed in business and your desire was too strong to make money fast, which had an influence on you to a greater or less degree to overreach. You were not as careful for your brethren’s interest as you should have been. The business connected with your grocery and the company it necessarily brought was very injurious to the younger members of your family. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 4

Since that time your engaging in business was not wrong unless you suffer your business to lead you to neglect more important things. As you have engaged in business you have been prospered from a worldly point of view and you have let the desire to accumulate make you selfish and cause you to neglect the interest of your poorer and unfortunate brethren. In this thing you have erred, which has injured your spirituality. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 5

Bro. Kellogg, I saw that your increasing family demanded more of your time and attention. It is wrong for you to increase your family and bring upon your wife heavy burdens unless you can devote more time to the care and instruction of these children. It is a sin to bring up children undisciplined; when children are young is the time to devote to the formation of character. It is wrong to bury yourself up in your business and neglect a matter of such vital importance. A heavy weight of care—constant, unceasing care—has come upon Sister Kellogg, and no one has helped her share this burden. Business and an accumulation of property have been made of more account than the religious education and the formation of the character of the children. They are coming up undisciplined. Your influence, Brother Kellogg, should be united with that of your wife to train your children for God and heaven. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 6

This duty rests upon you both. You have brought these children into the world, and now you should let nothing divert you from their cultivation. Teach them the lessons of obedience, of self-denial, self-control, of love for each other, to yield to each other, to respect each other, to be gentle and affectionate to each other. Restrain your children, let not their wrong habits or acts go uncorrected or unnoticed. Reason with them and teach them to do right. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 7

Laura has been very remiss in her duty in the family. She has been very selfish because it did not just suit her mind to act a faithful part in taking burdens upon her to care for the children. She has shunned to do this important duty. It was to her a disagreeable task which she would not bring her mind to. Yet God does not excuse her. Next to her parents she should manifest a care, an interest, a degree of solicitude which is only equalled by the parental anxiety of the parents and which belongs alone to them. With strength from God and strong resolution should she engage in the work of caring for her brothers and sisters. She has not exerted a good influence over them. Selfish considerations have swallowed up more important duties. She could unite her efforts with her parents, take the responsibility which rests upon her and engage her whole interest with that of her parents in strong efforts to make things happy in the family. She can do this by taking special care and burdens upon her in regard to the children which a Christian sister should. Laura manifests but little deep interest for the future well-being or rather for the eternal interest of her brothers and sisters. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 8

I was shown that Laura’s life had been spared when she was very near the grave in answer to the earnest, persevering prayers of her parents. God is proving and testing Laura whether she will devote her life to usefulness and glorify God in her body and spirit which are His or spend her time foolishly like the careless world, selfishly wrapped up in herself, caring for her own interest. Angels are watching you, Laura, to see what character you develop. You have been spared a little longer to see if you will bear fruit to God’s glory. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 9

You have been given very much to vanity and pride. You have a haughty spirit which needs to be subdued by heavenly grace. You have been bewitched, Laura, with a desire to gain, to make money. You have loved to dress and you have had too strong an influence over your mother. She has yielded to your wishes to your own hurt. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 10

God has given Laura a lease of life and health as a trial to see if she will use the strength lent her for her own selfish purposes. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 11

Laura has overlooked higher considerations. As the eldest daughter at home, it is a duty which God has enjoined on her to care for her brothers and sisters. For this was her life spared, that she might, if she would, exert a sisterly influence in the family, patiently, tenderly and lovingly instruct them, not send them from her if they come to her, not turn from them, not pass them by unnoticed; but come right down from that self-important, high mindedness of the lover of the world and be interested in their wants. If they are impatient, teach them the wrong of indulging such a spirit; gently, lovingly get into their affections; let them know you are their true, Christian, sympathizing, loving sister. Patiently, perseveringly, instruct them to do right. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 12

Your mind has been directed in a wrong channel. Laura, you have not been accommodating and caretaking. Your pride, Laura, must be overcome. You have drunk in the spirit of the world. Your father’s example has not been, in this respect, worthy of imitation. His children have partaken of his spirit of getting gain, making money. This spirit has carried you all too far and every one of you will lose heaven unless there is a greater value placed upon things of more importance—the salvation of the soul and the approbation of God. Pride has filled your heart, Laura, more than true godliness. The appearance is studied, but things of vital importance neglected. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 13

You have much to learn now, Laura, in regard to disciplining yourself, lessons which you must learn if you ever enter the kingdom of heaven. You must study to show yourself approved unto God. This will be a lesson of more importance than any lesson you have ever learned. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 14

You have not learned to deny self, to work healthily, dress healthily, and eat healthily. Your appetite, your desires, and [your] pride control reason to the injury of health. You should exert an influence over the younger members of the family after you have practiced the important lesson yourself. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 15

I saw that it was very hard, Laura, for you to deny self, deny the appetite, the taste. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 16

Brother and Sister Kellogg, there is a work of reform to be carried on in your family. Your children need to be taught lessons of self-denial. They are feeble children. They have not much constitution to draw upon; therefore the greatest pains should be taken with their diet. They should eat the simplest food at regular intervals. Their appetites and taste should not be consulted to the injury of their stomachs. This has been done too much and they have been made more nervous and have had less patience and self-control. Their stomachs should be consulted instead of their taste. Digestive organs should not be overtaxed, for they have but little force of constitution to draw upon. Nature should be left unburdened to carry on her work. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 17

Laura consults the taste, the appetite, more than the stomach, the digestive organs. A simple, wholesome diet should be allowed the children and that only at regular intervals—not oftener than three times a day, and less would be better. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 18

Your family need reform. Until this is done there will be a great lack. Their eating and habits of living affect their dispositions. Laura should not have a great amount of labor laid out so that the younger members of the family shall not be benefited with her influence. The children’s wants, their sorrows and joys, she should not make of but little account. She should not consider things beneath her notice. The most important position she can fill in this world, is to come right down to the hourly wants of her brothers and sisters. That, Laura, which may seem to you of but little importance is regarded of God and noticed by angels and in no case should be neglected by you. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 19

Can you divert the mind of your brothers and sisters by the right kind of instruction? You have, by so doing, done a noble work which will be noticed of heaven. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 20

Laura, pride in you must die. You must study your appearance less and let your study be to show yourself approved unto God. Seek the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great worth. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 21

When you all take hold unitedly of this work of reform, then can the blessing of God rest upon your family—and not till then. Worldlymindedness has swallowed up true godliness. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 22

Brother Kellogg can be free when he comes into the position God would have him. There is light and freedom and joy for him if all will take hold unitedly for the blessing of God. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 23

It is not wrong for Brother Kellogg to engage in business but that business must not control him and destroy his spirituality. He must control his business and make it secondary. He must gain back his love to care for the interest of those who are poorer than himself. He must not seek to advantage himself to the disadvantage of his poorer brethren. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 24

It would be an easy matter for God to put in His hand to scatter what has been accumulated. If Brother Kellogg’s thoughts are too much taken up with benefiting himself and not having a care for his brethren, God will bring reverses. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 25

The course your sons have taken has been a great grief. Smith is naturally dishonest and needs to be constantly guarded or he will prove dishonest and sell his soul for gain. Albert has not heeded the testimony given him. He has been too independent, too self-important, and has despised the counsels and advice of his father. He has not been under the influence of the Spirit of God and he has not manifested that respect for his father which the Word of God requires. He has not honored his father. His desire to accumulate has eaten out of his soul true godliness. Self and self-interest have come first and the truth and the kingdom of heaven next. Albert has cared but little for his father’s interest and Brother Kellogg’s increasing love for gain has made him feel Albert’s lack of interest for him more sensibly. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 26

Albert has scarcely any influence of the saving truth in his heart. Heaven and eternal things are made of less value, of less study, of less consideration than the accumulation of property. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 27

Beware that your prosperity does not prove to you a snare. You may obtain gain, and to your eternal loss. What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? There is a work for you all to do. God help you to do it. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 28

In love. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1864, par. 29