Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 20, 1867

Morrell, Brother

Enosburg, Vermont

December 28, 1867

Portions of this letter are published in UL 376; 5MR 298-299.

Dear Brother Morrell:

I feel it to be my duty to write you a few lines. Your case was presented before me. I had never seen you with my natural eyes, but I knew you the moment I looked upon you in meeting. I knew that you were the man that had been shown me in vision. I saw that you were among the first to welcome the light brought to Athens. You commenced to keep the Sabbath. And then the enemy began to trouble you in a special manner. He was determined if he could not devour you to annoy you in every way possible. You have large conscientiousness, small self-esteem. Satan came in this way to trouble you by taking advantage of your conscientiousness in this matter. He drove you nearly to insanity. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 1

After four days’ business was done, Satan whispers, “Did you tell such a thing correctly? Did you not waver from the exact truth, and in your deal, did you not act dishonestly? Did you not say one word or two that were not all correct? In dealing with your children, you were irritable, harsh, severe. You are no Christian. You cannot live a Christian. You did this and that on the Sabbath that you ought not to have done. You broke the Sabbath. You can’t keep the Sabbath. You are a hypocrite. You pretend to believe the truth but your heart is not in it.” Thus will Satan suggest, and very many other things will he trouble Brother Morrell’s mind with. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 2

Brother Morrell’s nervous system is greatly affected and he ponders over these things, dwelling upon them. His imagination is diseased. It is a morbid imagination. The mind has suffered beyond expression. Sleep was driven from him. The mind was so distressed that Satan said you will become insane unless you let these things alone. His relatives opposed his faith. Opposition of unbelieving children, most bitter opposition from some of his relatives in his own house, has been a discouragement. His wife believing, hoping, praying. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 3

Satan telling him just as soon as he gave up all to God and received the truth fully, he would afterward see cause to repent [of] it, that the Sabbath would stand directly in the way of his business. His friends would think him a fanatic, crazy. These suggestions would force themselves upon him until the conflict seemed unendurable and he yielded to Satan’s suggestions, gave up the Sabbath. Yet I saw that the Lord still loved him and pitied him and His arms were open to receive him again, as soon as he would return unto Him in the way of humble obedience. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 4

I saw that Brother Morrell was a nervous dyspeptic. Should he adopt the health reform, his health would improve. Everything of a stimulating nature as tea, coffee, or flesh meats, he should avoid. These are all too stimulating, too great a tax to the nervous system. They do not impart strength as he supposes, to the nerves but take the strength from the nerves and use his reserve force, vital force. They have an exhilarating influence at first, but in the end let him just as much below the medium, as through their influence he was raised above the medium. These things are an injury, and he should by degrees leave all stimulating, irritating causes and eat food that will not stimulate and draw upon the strength of the nerves, thus having an influence to debilitate the nervous system. He will for a time feel the need of these hurtful brain and nerve-weakening indulgences, but in time he will recover as much by their disuse [as] he has lost through their use. Then can the brain think more calmly, sleep will not be so uncertain. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 5

I saw, Brother Morrell, you must cast away your fears. Leave consequences with the Lord and let go. You try too hard to save yourself, to do some great thing yourself which will commend you to God. All God requires of you, dear brother, is entire submission of yourself to him with all the consequences that your acceptance of the whole truth involves. Satan says, what if it is error after all, can you afford to run the risk? Jesus loves you, and if you will consecrate yourself and all that you have to Him, He will accept you and will be your Burden-bearer, your never failing Friend. You have looked with terror and alarm at the cross of Christ. The yoke has appeared to you galling. Satan has made it appear thus. Jesus has invited you to come to Him. “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 6

This yoke you are afraid [to] put upon your neck because you fear it will gall. Jesus says [it] is easy. The burden you dare not touch; it is light. All that is required on your part is to resolutely lay hold upon it, and you will find it a support rather than a grievous burden. That cross which seems to you so inconvenient an instrument to lift, which seems too heavy to be raised, when you cheerfully lay hold upon it and lift it, it will lift you and be a support and strength to you. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 7

Dear brother, you have not dared to venture to give all your name, your influence, all that you have and are to God and to receive unpopular truth. The inconveniences of doing this, Satan presents before you and magnifies things which appear to you to be hindrances mountain high. All you need is to decide upon the weight of influence and venture something for the truth’s sake, for your faith is too small. Christ made Himself of no reputation. He left His majesty, His splendor and glory and all His riches and came to this earth to die for sinful men. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 8

Dear brother, you must possess a willingness to obey the truth, to keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, if you would have a part in the better life and become an heir of immortality. You must educate yourself to believe, to take your stand on the elevated platform of eternal truth, and welcome reproach and trial for Christ’s sake. Jesus will help you, angels of God will help you resist the devil and he will flee from you; draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 9

“Believe that God is, and that he is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek him.” [Hebrews 11:6.] Believe Jesus loves you and in your efforts to obey the truth, if you err, don’t feel that you must worry and worry, give up your confidence in God and think that God is your enemy. We are erring mortals. If we sin, “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” [1 John 2:1.] You cannot cleanse yourself from impurities; carry all your burden to Jesus. He will help you. He wants you to not wait and expect through your good deeds to make atonement for sin or to make yourself righteous. Trust in the merits of the blood of a crucified, risen Saviour. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 10

Endeavor to place yourself in the very best relation to health and life, that you may think calmly, rationally, and be able to comprehend the truth and appreciate its rich value. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 11

I was shown that God has claims upon you higher and more sacred than any earthly relative or friend can have. Jesus has paid the price of His own life to redeem you. In view of this great sacrifice, Paul exhorts his brethren by the mercies of God that they present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is their reasonable service. [Romans 12:1.] This God requires of you. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 12

Your help is needed. Your influence is wanted. The whole weight of it should be thrown on the Lord’s side. Let nothing prevent you from answering the design of God in this great work, to aid what you can to help forward the work. Entire letting go is what is required in order for you to have peace with God,—entire consecration, a full surrender of your entire being. Jesus loves you. You must believe it, and lay the wealth of your affections at His feet. Like a faithful soldier of the cross of Christ, endure hardness; gird on every piece of the armor and fight manfully the battles of the Lord. Let not opposing forces lessen your courage and bring you into despondency. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 13

You will have a healthy mind if you are temperate in eating and drinking and in labor. Temperance in all things is required. Make a decided move. God requires it of you. Adopt strict temperance in all your habits. Leave off stimulating, hurtful indulgences. God loves your wife. She has tried to obey the truth, although she was placed in discouraging circumstances. Angels will aid her in her persevering efforts to be an overcomer. She must not tire, but look steadily forward to the Author of her salvation who endured the cross, despised the shame and is forever set down on the right hand of God. Your children are in the broad road to death; let your example be a light to shed its rays upon the narrow pathway that they may be induced to leave the pleasures of sin, the rocks of Satan, and choose the narrow path of holiness and purity. Adopt the truth, Brother Morrell, yourself, and may your life recommend it to your children. 1LtMs, Lt 20, 1867, par. 14