Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 6a, 1860

Loughborough, Brother and Sister

Battle Creek, Michigan

April 17, 1860

Variant of Lt 6, 1860. Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother John and Sister Mary [Loughborough]:

While at Knoxville some things were shown me in regard to the cause of God and especially in regard to the messengers and their wives. I was shown your connection with Carrie [Carpenter]. I was pointed back to the time when you went to Ohio and then sent for Mary and Carrie to come. George, Carrie and Mary’s going to Ohio together did not have a good influence. This journey was an injury to Carrie. It exalted her and she has not been as humble as she was before. That journey tried the church in Ohio and other [places]. They were troubled over the matter. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 1

I saw that messengers should use the greatest caution. Look ahead and study the effect of every move, for the course they pursue does not affect themselves merely, but the whole church. I saw that it was a wrong move, Carrie’s going to Ohio. She was where God did not want her to be. Such moves destroy the confidence of the church in the judgment of those [in whom] they should have perfect confidence. And when doubt once enters the mind concerning a messenger’s judgment, Satan takes the greatest advantage of it and they also look with suspicion upon other messengers who are laboring for the good of souls. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 2

Then Brother Cornell’s course in spending the means raised by the church in publishing those worthless charts completely discouraged the church. Their donations have been drying up. Means which they have dedicated to God for the advancement of His cause they have not seen wisely appropriated, and it has caused them to look upon all their ministering brethren with jealousy and suspicion that they are not careful of means put in their hands. And they have some cause for these feelings. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 3

Friends in Ohio have lost confidence in James because he said so much concerning your expenses there. They thought his judgment not good, for they thought he sanctioned Carrie’s going to Ohio, and as they seldom took part in meeting, the church was disappointed and did not feel reconciled to such things. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 4

I was shown that you both regard Carrie in a light that is not warrantable. Her judgment is relied upon and she influences you too much. You have not let her occupy her proper place, but have injured her by your esteeming her more highly than she deserves. Mary and Carrie are too closely linked together. The close intimacy between Mary and Drusilla God did not approbate. It was a curse to both and an injury to the cause. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 5

Neither of you have yet realized the miserable effects and influence upon the cause, of that foolish, senseless linking together. The link existing now between Mary and Carrie, God does not approbate. There is a union hurtful to both. I saw that you were not calculated to be a benefit to each other. Mary has a firm, unyielding will which has proved a grief to herself and a sorrow to others. Carrie has a set will, more set and stubborn than Mary’s at times, and this will is not governed by reason as readily as Mary’s. It is a blind will. She loves to dictate and has an overbearing, domineering spirit where she can exercise it. Her propositions and suggestions have been heeded by you both. You have yielded to her almost every wish. These things must be seen for they make John a weak man. He has been too much influenced by others’ notions and wishes. Brother John’s usefulness is crippled. Mary’s lack of consecration makes him a weak man and destroys the usefulness of his labors. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 6

Mary should have an influence with her to correct her errors and set notions, but it has been far otherwise. Mary and Carrie have shut themselves away from the church, and rather complained of the church, and have not felt union with them generally; and they have encouraged this feeling in each other, and it has withered their love and sympathy and union for the church, and in its place has come a listless, restless, lonesome feeling. They forget that we are one body, and every one members one of another, every one of us has a part to act, an individual experience to obtain, a character to form for heaven; yet while doing this, we are dependent on each other. We are members one of another. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 7

If Mary and Carrie had made efforts to overcome their notions, and associated more with the church and exerted a good influence when with them, they would have been more spiritual. But there is a disposition with both to throw off everything calculated to bring the least weight or burden upon them and to shun any position where responsibility has to be felt and borne. Such a course has been pursued. The fruit is barrenness, and they have had isolated feelings as though alone, lonely. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 8

Mary, you have lacked greatly in making yourself useful. Your life is but a cipher, and that often tells on the wrong side. The weight is thrown in the wrong scale instead of bearing burden to burden. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 9

When in the society of others you should lead out on religious subjects, not wait for them. What kind of a reward can you expect if you shun responsibility and burdens and fail to make yourself useful? You may mourn over this lack but this will never remedy the matter. It is for you to act, to work in earnest. You can do it, but you don’t love to take the trouble. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 10

I can point you to the consequences of this dependent feeling upon each other—these set notions to have your own will and way, this childish submitting to each other’s whims merely to please, regardless of consequences. I must speak this matter all out. I dare not withhold [it]. I was shown the time and occasion when Teresa, that frail flower, received disease when it might have been avoided as well as not. You all three sleeping in the room and in the same bed, when Carrie was much diseased! O, Mary, you violated the laws of health! Your reason and judgment should have taught you better. Your little plant breathed in a feverish, poisonous atmosphere. The consequences were, it suffered! It withered! It died! I saw that this sickly dependence upon each other is a sin. We, as children of God, should possess a noble independence mixed with kindness, courtesy and gentleness. But these set notions are no fruit of religion and [are] despicable in the sight of heaven. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 11

Again I saw, as the Lord answered prayer, the progress of disease was stayed. Without consulting duty, reason, or consequences, you all followed another notion and went to Moscow. Exposure again brought on disease which had not been eradicated from the system, and it took a deeper hold of the vitals; the consequence was fatal. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 12

There must be a work accomplished for Carrie or she will surely fail of eternal life. Her will is set but it must die. That domineering must be subdued or God will not own her as His child. You have injured Carrie—both of you. You have felt under obligation to her when it was not due. You have been asleep to these things. These things have led to unhappy results and you will fall into the same snare unless you have a true sense of them. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 13

Mary has felt that Carrie’s wishes must be gratified at all events. Brother John was called from Indiana (when he should not have left that field of labor) to gratify Carrie’s desire to go home. There was nothing urgent or pressing in this but a desire and set will she was unwilling to yield. She did not study the glory of God and have her will submissive to the will of God. She was unwilling to deny herself. Mary thought Carrie’s wish must be gratified, and the wants of God’s cause were made secondary. Carrie’s will was gratified. John left the very field in which the Lord had placed him, and which He wished him to remain in. It was just the time that angels were moving on hearts; and the truth needed to be enforced home to lead some minds to make a decision. But they were left. Some were not thoroughly convinced. Other influences came in, opposed to the truth. They decided on the wrong side. Who is accountable for these souls? 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 14

I saw [that] unless Brother John can rise above these hindering influences and shake himself from them, devote himself fully to the work and shake off these trammels, it would be better for him to cease laboring in the gospel field. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 15

There is a work to be done. Things that look of but little consequence must be seen in their true light. I was shown a restlessness with Mary and an idea that she can only enjoy the society of a very few select friends. This is not right. This is caused by a lack of religion. Carrie has been no help to Mary. She has encouraged this and [has] been more at fault than Mary; more set, more notional. Unless they exactly suited her turn of mind, [she] could have no pleasure in their society. There has been a constant desire for the society of a few whom Mary and Carrie choose to associate with, and when alone there was a restless, homesick, loneliness of feeling which made both unhappy. This is not the fruit of the religion of Jesus Christ. It is a withering, sickly influence caused by lack of the Spirit of God. A peaceful, contented mind is the fruit of pure religion. Pure religious enjoyment will overcome timidity, fear, loneliness and these weak, set notions. God does not approbate those who possess these things. The graces of the Spirit will overcome them. And where they still exist it shows a great lack of faith and confidence in God—lack of religion, a lack of the purifying influence of the truth. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 16

Again I saw that Carrie uses too much freedom to the other sex,—[is] too free in conversation. She should be more reserved and not so fond of their society. Her mind is restless and unsatisfied and she is often unhappy and makes others so. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 17

I have written this in the fear of God. I will close hoping you will receive it and make straight paths for your feet. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 18

In love. 1LtMs, Lt 6a, 1860, par. 19