Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 17, 1862

Russell, Sister

Battle Creek, Michigan

December 7, 1862

Portions of this letter are published in HP 119.

Dear Sister Russell,

I have been meaning to write to you for some time, but will delay no longer. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1862, par. 1

While in Dartmouth I was shown some things in regard to the desponding, despairing ones. I saw that you felt miserable and forsaken. Satan had led you to cast away your confidence. I saw that God had not forsaken you. You were suffering under disease, but God’s loving kindness changeth not. He pitied you and wished to save you, but Satan was holding up before you your unworthiness and whispering in your ears to torment you, “You are lost, lost. It is no use for you to hope. You must perish.” And it has seemed to you that you could read the wrath of God written upon everything around you. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1862, par. 2

I saw that a soul whom God had forsaken would never feel as you have felt, and would never love the truth and salvation as you have loved it. Oh, if God’s Spirit ceases to strive with a soul it is left in an indifferent state, and all the time thinks that it is well enough off. I saw that God loved you and that He wished to save you and your family. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1862, par. 3

Last November 5th I was taken off in vision and shown how powerfully Satan was working to lead trembling souls to cast away their confidence in God. I saw that we should meet with souls who thought that God had left them, when they were precious in His sight. Among these feeble, desponding ones I saw you—sad and dejected, mourning over yourself. I saw that God’s love was still toward you and that He would receive you in His loving, sheltering arms if you would only come to Him believing. I saw that God pitied your dear family. They need your care. Your husband needs your help to bring up his children. I saw you must not gratify the enemy in the least by doubting and casting away your confidence. Said the angel, “God leaves not His people, even if they err. He turns not from them in wrath for any light thing. If they sin they have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1862, par. 4

Yes, I saw that this Advocate pleads for sinners and the Father accepts His prayer. He turns not away the request of His beloved Son. I saw that He who so loved you as to give His own life for you will not turn you off and forsake you unless you willfully, determinedly forsake Him to serve the world and Satan. Jesus loves to have you come to Him just as you are, hopeless and helpless, and cast yourself upon His all-abundant mercy, and believe that He will receive you just as you are. You dwell upon the dark side. You must turn your mind away, and instead of thinking all the time upon the wrath of God think of His abundant mercy, His willingness to save poor sinners, and then believe He saves you. You must in the name of God break this spell that is upon you. You must cry out, “I will, I do believe!” I saw that Jesus retained your name upon His breastplate and pleaded for you before His Father, and that if your eyes could be opened you would see heavenly angels ministering unto you, hovering about and driving back the evil angels that they should not utterly destroy. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1862, par. 5

Brother Russell, trust in God. Believe on Him by living faith. Present your afflicted wife to the Great Physician. Jesus will pity and send a soothing balm from glory to heal her torn and wounded spirit. Sister Russell, God calls upon you to believe. Heed His voice. Cease talking of the wrath of God and talk of His compassion and His abundant mercy. Jesus sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. The furnace in which you may be placed may be very hot, yet you will come forth as gold seven times purified, reflecting the image of Jesus. Have courage. Look up, believe, and you shall see of the salvation of God. 1LtMs, Lt 17, 1862, par. 6