Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 10, 1867

Sanborn, Brother and Sister

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

October 4, 1867

This letter is published in entirety in 1T 707-710.

Dear Brother and Sister Sanborn:

I have a few words which I feel it to be my duty to write to you. While you were giving me the fomentation and speaking in regard to Brother Wood, some things came to my mind that I had been shown in regard to his case and yours. I merely made a suggestion to you that probably it was the wrong course pursued by Brother Wood which had caused these brethren to stumble. This I am now confident was the case. 1LtMs, Lt 10, 1867, par. 1

While speaking in meeting Sunday afternoon I could scarcely refrain from calling your names and relating some things I had been shown. I was shown, Brother Sanborn, that you do not occupy the position in your family that God would have you. Sister Sanborn possesses a strong will, which has never been subdued as God requires. God used you, Brother Sanborn, when you first engaged in the work of teaching the truth to others. When you were little in your own eyes, God used you as His instrument, but I saw that for some time in the past you have been growing weaker and weaker. Your labors have not been as wisely directed as formerly. Your moves have not borne the certain mark of the impress of God. 1LtMs, Lt 10, 1867, par. 2

Your wife has been a good manager in temporal matters, and in your absence has borne burdens which were too heavy for her to bear. This has excited your sympathy for her, and you have placed too high an estimate upon her qualifications because of her capabilities in managing matters during your absence. I saw that Satan was watching for an opportunity to take advantage of the confidence you had in your wife, also the confidence she had in her own capabilities, to destroy you both. 1LtMs, Lt 10, 1867, par. 3

Your wife has thought that God had instructed her in a special sense. You and she have believed and acted accordingly. This impression and discernment she has thought she possessed in a special sense is a deception of the enemy. She is quick to see, quick to understand and anticipate. Satan has taken advantage of these traits of character, and you have both been lifted up and both been led astray. The Lord has not especially instructed Sister Sanborn, yet you have been a bound man for quite a length of time, and you will both finally make shipwreck of faith unless there is an entire change. 1LtMs, Lt 10, 1867, par. 4

You have thrown off your responsibility as God’s steward, yet you are not excused. You have been stumbling in darkness and you will never be strengthened, stablished, and settled until you allow your wife to occupy the position a wife should, and act for yourself in the fear of God as head of your own family. 1LtMs, Lt 10, 1867, par. 5

In the case of Lardener Bostwich, you committed a great error, and God’s cause was wounded through your wrong course of action. You greatly erred in moving forth without consulting your brethren and moving in unison with their judgment. You trusted to the judgment of your wife. You believed, and in a degree followed, her light and it has caused you to make many mismoves and has had an influence to unsettle you and cause your brethren to lose confidence in your judgment. You were shown me as a man without an anchor. When God especially calls your wife to engage in the work of teaching the truth, then should you consult with her and confide in the instructions God may give you both as possessing an equal interest in the work, having equal qualifications to act a prominent part in the most solemn work of saving souls. But the great work which your wife at present has to perform is closely to watch herself. The work of watching others has not been assigned you. 1LtMs, Lt 10, 1867, par. 6