Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 32, 1861

Ingraham, Brother

Battle Creek, Michigan


See variant Lt 32a, 1861. Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Ingraham:

I fear that I shall not see you, therefore I write you. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 1

In the last vision it was a marvel to me that your feelings in regard to my husband had not been shown before. I inquired why these wrongs were not corrected back there. Then I was shown that God had given light but it had not been followed, and you had been suffered to take your own course and follow your own judgment in many things, which was not good. It was not a sanctified judgment. Self had too much to do with it. And notwithstanding the stand you took at Crane’s Grove, and the influence you exerted, which was carried to different places, and the lack of sympathy you manifested for my husband (which has been a source of the deepest grief to him ever since), yet he tried to do you good and to interest others in your behalf to help you to secure a home. You had every evidence you could ask that my husband’s course was an unselfish one and that he would do his duty regardless of his feelings; that he would not follow impulse but be governed by reason and judgment. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 2

In the vision given at Brother Newton’s at the time I was healed, I saw that your feelings in regard to Brother White were wrong. Then you should have carefully studied your course and sought to counteract the influence you exerted on Brother Sanborn’s mind, also on the minds of others who were eagerly waiting for an occasion against Brother White. God noticed the lack of sympathy you had for one you knew, one who had borne and was still bearing a heavy burden in the work God had assigned him, one whom you knew had suffered extremely through the injustice of others. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 3

Because of these things, the prospering hand of God has not been with you and you have not been guided by a sanctified judgment. Your false sympathy strengthened the hands of Brother Ferrin and the work God designed to have accomplished for him proved a failure. He did not reform and his course has been evil since that time. Then again, the Bates family’s suspicions were excited in regard to Brother White’s manner of dealing. Doubts which were expressed by you and Brother Bates others carried to their homes. When the vision reproving their wrongs was sent to them they rose up against it, declared it to be false and untrue. They contradicted what had been shown me, spread prejudice all around against us, and did not keep it from unbelievers. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 4

And when they had done all the mischief that they could in this line, then Satan was willing that they should take another stand, for he had accomplished his purpose through them. They then came out and acknowledged their wrong and declared the visions to be correct and confessed things which confirmed others in the truthfulness of the visions, and after they had confessed two of them united with the church. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 5

I saw that after you moved to Monroe there was a lack on your part. The people chose you to be their helper, but when they most needed help, when they needed to be instructed as to the principles of our faith, you were somewhere else and for some time they were left alone, and those who should have been strengthened were scattered. They were cruelly disappointed in you, and censure from God rests upon you in regard to your course. You left them to perish when they needed your help. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 6

Then, to finish the matter, the special interest and sympathy manifested for a man whose character and life you knew, destroyed the confidence of the brethren in your judgment. You had no regard for others’ feelings or views in regard to the case of H. C., but blindly persisted in following your own course and gave to him that sympathy which you would not give Brother White—a fellow laborer whose experience and life were all interwoven with the work of God and the advancement of the cause of present truth. Your sympathy was much more for H. C. than for Brother White. You had all the evidence you needed that God had chosen my husband and myself to bear burdens, to reprove individual wrongs, and to act a prominent part in the cause of God. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 7

Your course has destroyed your own influence and made you a weak man. Your time and labor have not been exercised to the best advantage or when they could accomplish the most good. You have visited surrounding towns, raised an interest, and have not followed it up. Souls have been left to perish. You have a powerful testimony but it has been of but little use for some time past. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 8

You indulge in childish feelings. You should strike out in new places to labor, even if you have to go alone, but rather than do this you encourage someone to accompany you who can be no help to you in advocating the truth. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 9

Brother Ingraham, how could you suffer your children to do as they please, have their own head, come up without restraint, when the Word of God is so plain upon that point, and when the example of Eli is before you? God’s curse was upon him because he restrained not his children. And you and your wife have suffered your children to have their own way and their evil course is a reproach to the cause of present truth; and unless you and your wife take hold of the governing of your family immediately, your labors will be worse than lost. Your children do wrong and in almost every case if anyone speaks to you of your children’s wrong course, and you are admonished in regard to them, your feelings have risen up against them and your union with them is broken. Here are your weak points. Here is where you must reform. May the Lord open your eyes to see this matter as it is. We want to help you by assisting you to see things as they are. If you lack government, firmness, and decision in training your children, should you not be in earnest and in haste to reform and obtain that which you lack? While you are bringing children into the world, should you not learn your duty in regard to them? 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 10

We hope that you will understand your duty and do it. I do not write this because we are dissatisfied with your piece in the paper. It is all that we could ask. But these things which I have written have troubled me and I want you to see and realize the matter as it is. We hope and pray that you may have strength to discharge every duty. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 11

I never saw my husband in the condition he is now in. Hope has died within him. I cannot make him hope and his confidence in his brethren is so shaken I fear sometimes he will become insane. Nothing but the power of God can help him now. He is down, and none but God can lift him up. I dare not dwell on the dark side for a moment. I must be where I can help my husband. I will not despond. God will not leave us to perish. My husband’s health is poor and my cry is unto God for His deliverance. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 12

Dear Brother and Sister, I beg of you to make sure work for eternity. I should not have written this if I did not feel it my duty to do so. We have loved you and love you still, and I would say, Let not feeling govern you now, but judgment and reason. Brother Holt is done. Brother Rhodes is done. Their labors are finished. The shaking time has, I believe, come. Those who will not come up to the gospel standard must be shaken off. We are fitting for translation, forming characters for heaven. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 13

I beg of you to give yourself wholly to the work. God has not released you from your calling. Satan may seek to lead you to say, It’s of no use. I know the influence he has upon minds, but your duty is between you and God. You are not to please yourself but to ascertain what God requires of you. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 14

I must close. In haste, 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 15

(Signed) Ellen G. White.

Please return this to me at Battle Creek as soon as convenient. 1LtMs, Lt 32, 1861, par. 16