Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 12, 1863

Friends at Hanover

Battle Creek, Michigan

February 18, 1863

Portions of this letter are published in 2MCP 632-633; 15MR 125-126.

Read this to the church and to whom it may concern: 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 1

Dear Friends at Hanover:

I will write you what was shown me in regard to some things. I was pointed back and saw a time when meetings were held in your place preparatory to organization. I saw that some were in the background, were not in the place in which God required them to be. The Brothers Carpenter and their wives felt the necessity of arising and making thorough work. Some did not come up as they thought they should. They did not move fast enough, and did not view things as they viewed them, and they tried to arouse them but they were hard to be aroused. 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 2

Then I saw that a proper course was not taken with those who did not seem to come up to the work and were holding back. I saw that a hurried spirit had come in. Some did not consider their own weakness, their own failings, and how much patience had had to be exercised toward them; but forgetting this they were too exacting and watched for failings in those who were backward. There was a zeal manifested not according to knowledge. All were measured with an iron rule, and the visions were made an iron rule to bring others up to and measure them by. All the zeal manifested was not from God; it was a fanatical zeal. Feelings took the lead. Strong feelings governed and souls were pushed off, when a judicious, reasonable, patient, forbearing course would have brought them along. If God had dealt with Brother Daniel and Lorinda as rigidly as they have sometimes dealt with their brethren, if He had marked their words and acts as they have marked the words and acts of their brethren, they would have been cut off long ago. But a kind and compassionate Saviour has borne with them, and although Lorinda has often felt bitterly and been wrong, yet she has again felt that if we sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 3

We must bear with one another, remembering our failings. With some have compassion, making a difference; others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire. All cannot bear the same rigid discipline. All cannot be brought up to just another’s ideas of duty. Allowance must be made for different temperaments and different minds. God knows how to deal with us. But my heart has been sick as I have seen brother deal with brother and the disposition to catch another in his words, and to make a man an offender for a word. 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 4

I saw that nearly all of you who were trying to get right carried the matter a little too far, especially Lorinda. Brother Daniel and Lorinda had a strong spirit which controlled matters very much. 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 5

I was shown the case of Brother Brezee. A prudent, forbearing, patient course would have brought him right along into the church, and Brother Young would have come along also, and others who have been holding back. These persons had not had that experience in the visions Lorinda had had. They had not much acquaintance with me, and it was all wrong to make the visions an iron rule to measure them by. Such a course was injudicious and the influence has been bad. Others who have not united with the church have been looking on. They could not feel that all that was said and done was just right. They were suspicious. 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 6

Brother Young was suspicious and dared not trust himself to venture out, to wholly cast his interest with the church, for he feared all was not right. And Brother Young’s undecided position has caused him to grow weak and to falter. He has possessed a sweet Christian spirit. Satan has wrought to place obstacles in his way at home to hinder his advancement, and he has also wrought to cast his mind into doubt and perplexity in regard to the church. It has been his study to know whether the church was right. If he could have had perfect confidence there, the church would have proved as an anchor to have held him on the right foundation. God’s love is toward Brother Young yet. He wants him to be a soldier of the cross of Christ. 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 7

Brother Brezee has felt prejudiced and wrong, but a right course was not taken by the church to remove that prejudice and help him to see that he might act in unison with the church. A harsh, overbearing, exacting spirit was manifested all out of place and uncalled for. These mismoves must be righted lest souls perish. They have stumbled, but God is merciful and has borne with them while they have felt prejudiced and bitter and hard against us—my husband and myself—and against the visions. Pressing the visions upon them set them farther from the visions and led them to despise them. They received ideas that we were exalted and just as hard and severe as those were who pressed the visions upon them. These things cut off our influence from such, and the enemy presents matters to their minds in the worst possible light. But God is ready to break the snare and let these souls see clearly. They must not feel tried with those who tried to do them good, if in their zeal they went too far and were exacting, and now such should manifest just as much willingness to acknowledge these wrong moves as they were anxious others should come up to the mark. Right is right and wrong is wrong. 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 8

I saw that all should feel an interest in the cause of God and should move in union. These who have been watching and doubting should come forward and unite their interest with their brethren. Where there is union there is strength. One or two must not think that they can be prospered by keeping aloof from their brethren and think that they can go to heaven alone. 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 9

God is leading out a people. He is cleansing and fitting up a people for translation. These people must be one; their faith and interest must be one. I saw that all who profess the truth should unite together to walk in church capacity, to be a mutual strength and help to each other. None should seek or dare to lord it over God’s heritage, or dare to hold off and reject any one of their brethren without sufficient cause, but should labor with them and bear with them as long as Jesus has borne with them. This has not been done. God’s Spirit has been grieved and His work hindered. 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 10

I saw that the lack of union and love in the church and among those also who could not unite with the church has been known and marked in believers, and they have reproached the truth on account of these things. If all who profess the truth, who keep God’s commandments, would heed the prayer of Christ and carry it out, be one as He was one with the Father, the world would know that they had the truth and would be compelled to acknowledge it. 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 11

A work will be accomplished in your vicinity when you all take hold of the work unitedly and are one, and carry out the principles of truth and holiness. It is time for all to take hold of the work, not stop to measure off just the share of wrong belonging to another, but each search his own heart, confess his own wrongs, and leave his brethren with the Lord. One has only to answer for his or her wrongs; and while so narrowly watching to pull the weeds from the garden of his brethren, the poisonous weeds are growing strong and rank in his own. Let each labor to keep his own soul and to possess a happy, cheerful, forbearing spirit at home, and all will be well. 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 12

I exhort Brother Young to take hold. God loves him and wishes to save him, but he must come under the watchcare of his brethren. He has grievous trials at home, but God can preserve him pure amid all his troubles if he will comply with His requirements. 1LtMs, Lt 12, 1863, par. 13