Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 3, 1867

Higley, Brother

Wright, Michigan

January 29, 1867

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Higley:

When Brother Loughborough came to this place he inquired of me if I had been shown anything in regard to Lapeer. I told him that I had, and related to him what had been shown me. He wished me to write the matter out and I will do so. 1LtMs, Lt 3, 1867, par. 1

I was shown that the cause in Lapeer was in a very discouraging condition. 1LtMs, Lt 3, 1867, par. 2

I was shown that you, Brother Higley, have been at fault, although you were ignorant of it. You have not the most pleasing, happy, winning temperament to gain the affection and confidence of God’s people. You have been too severe. You have marked out a course which you thought the church should pursue, and if they have not come up to your measurement you have censured them, borne down upon them. This they cannot bear and will not submit to. You, I saw, had marked out your own course, taken it for granted that you were all right, when your management was questionable. You have stood back too much upon your dignity, have not come right down to your brethren. Come, let us reason together. Your brethren have not been permitted to have that voice in matters wherein they were particularly concerned and wherein they should have a voice. 1LtMs, Lt 3, 1867, par. 3

You, my dear brother, have moved presumptuously in taking upon yourself so heavy burdens, embarrassing yourself and the brethren. 1LtMs, Lt 3, 1867, par. 4

In the vision given previously in regard to you, I saw a lack in regard to your business matters, wherein you failed, and that the cause of God was in danger of being reproached thereby. In the last vision given, I was shown that you make calculations, laying you under obligations which you fail to meet, and this causes you to be looked upon suspiciously and your faith is brought into disrepute. Dear brother, here is where the warning applies, which was given some years since. I saw that you had brought perplexity and cares upon yourself, and have made sacrifices which were uncalled for, to accomplish an object you had in view, when, had you taken the course the elder of every church should take and which every brother in Christ should pursue with such an enterprise before him, you would have had others to share your burdens and these burdens need not necessarily have been half as heavy. 1LtMs, Lt 3, 1867, par. 5

Such an enterprise as has been entered into in Lapeer was laid out and carried through too largely for the condition of the people. Brother Higley should have consulted with ministers and men of experience before making the calculations he has done. Here has been his failure. His zeal has carried him beyond wisdom and beyond what the real wants of the people required. The brethren have felt exceedingly tried as they have seen their judgment set aside, and a burden forced upon them which they did not heartily engage in, because they could not see the way to meet such heavy expenses. The house of worship is none too good to worship God in, were the brethren able to carry through such heavy burdens unembarrassed. 1LtMs, Lt 3, 1867, par. 6

The brethren have not felt right toward Brother Higley. They have felt annoyed, and as though they were abused. Brother Higley had no such design. He considered he had a zeal for the Lord in doing as he has done in building the meetinghouse, but his calculations were not wise. His brethren have felt and talked too strongly, and the union which should exist with brethren has been lacking. The enemies of our faith see this lack of love, of union, and strengthen themselves against the truth. Brother Higley has designed to do the will of God and has not been aware that some of self was mixed with his efforts. 1LtMs, Lt 3, 1867, par. 7

Deep humility is required on the part of all. A worldly spirit has taken possession of the people of God. Seek for true humility before God, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. 1LtMs, Lt 3, 1867, par. 8

Satan has been determined to put out the light of truth in Lapeer. God wants His people there to rally around the standard and disentangle themselves from the spirit of the world and act like men waiting for our Lord. All hard speeches should cease and brother should strive to get near to brother. Selfish interests and opinions should die, and all manifest zeal in repenting of errors, wrong, lukewarmness, and indifference, and seek for true holiness and godliness. Brother Higley should get close to his brethren and his brethren close to him, and like true yoke-fellows seek Christ’s glory. 1LtMs, Lt 3, 1867, par. 9