Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 18, 1868

King, Seneca

Orleans, Michigan

July 1868

Portions of this letter are published in 4MR 258.

Dear Brother Seneca King:

I was shown June 12 some things in reference to you. My dear brother, I saw that Satan has twice made an especial attack upon your life. But God’s angels had been commissioned to defeat the plans of Satan. I was shown that Satan had laid his plans to enshroud you with darkness, to bring his agents about you to annoy, perplex, and dishearten you. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 1

It is the pleasure of God that you be surrounded with a more holy atmosphere than the present company can bring you. God does not require you to retain with you such malignant spirits as that possessed by your wife’s sister. The poison of asps is under her tongue. She has a fire burning beneath the surface constantly, which is ready to burst forth upon any occasion where she has an opportunity. Her tongue is set on fire of hell. She hears all she can, and reports, placing her own construction upon matters, and falsehoods are very handy for her to utter. An influence is constantly going out from your house detrimental to the family, and to our faith. She is in her element when she can be instigating a quarrel with someone connected with the family. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 2

These corrupting influences bring darkness, and encourage evil angels in your dwelling and around about you. They bring evil influences too near. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 3

I was shown that there is no prospect of Maria’s receiving the truth. She hates everything that savors the truth. Free yourself from these dark spirits. The mother has not the spirit possessed by the daughter. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 4

Brother King, the Lord has blessed you with means, and you have felt the sanctifying influence of the truth upon your heart. But you do not invest all that you should in benevolent enterprises. You are now steward of your property. How long you may remain so is uncertain. God wishes you to devote your life to doing good, being rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for yourself a good foundation against the time to come, that you may lay hold on eternal life. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 5

You may not retain your stewardship until Jesus comes. You may be released. It is safe for you to see to the disposition of your means yourself while you can do so. You have left things too much at loose ends. Satan wished to take your life while everything remains in such confusion, that there would be contention over your possessions, and quarrels, which it is impossible for you now to realize. Have everything in regard to your business transactions thoroughly arranged, that you may not rob God but render to God the things which are God’s. Cast not your property out of your hands into the hands of your disobedient, unfaithful children, who have pursued a course to cause you confusion and great trouble of mind. God would have you move very cautiously, very discreetly. Unless you do, Satan will out-general you. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 6

I was shown that Sister King has made some improvement in patience. She is less fretful, yet her penurious spirit is exercised greatly to your and her disadvantage. I was shown her standing, hesitating whether to put upon the table certain foods or fruits prepared, casting in her mind if they could not possibly pass that meal and save it for the next, which would be a gain. What a mistake! The food or fruit that is prepared is frequently left until nearly spoiled, the freshness and flavor gone; when these things are placed in the stomach they do not nourish the system, but lie there and ferment. If the food, after being properly cooked, and the fruit after being prepared, were eaten while sweet and fresh and good, the system would receive benefit from them. Nothing at all is saved by this economy, but much is lost. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 7

This close, penurious spirit is disgusting in the sight of the Lord. Sister King should learn that what is received in the stomach is not lost. Brother King needs a nourishing diet, food prepared in a wholesome, hygienic manner, and an abundance of it. Not the same dishes over and over, but a change, a variety, some things new and then placed unstintedly upon the table; then it can be eaten with a relish. If this plan had been followed, Brother King would have improved in flesh. Had his house been free from the dark influences which have been brought there, his mind would have been more at rest. Satan has purposed to overwhelm him with his dark spirit. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 8

Brother King has reasoned and tried to get his wife to do differently, but her set, notional habits have been clung to and have been as difficult for her to yield as for the leopard to change his spots or an Ethiopian his skin. I was shown that Sister King must overcome her selfishness. God will help her. He has helped her. She cannot do this work in her own strength. Brother King, this selfish, avaricious spirit has affected you, and you have not done all that you might, and all that you ought in the advancement of the cause of God. Your wife would hold you back, but God has committed to your trust His goods, which He will require at your hand again. It belongs not to your wife, neither to your children. It is the Lord’s. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 9

Had your sons served you faithfully until they were of age, you would have a duty to do to aid them liberally in starting in life. But they have been disobedient, ungrateful, disrespectful. They would injure you if they could. All the interest they have is to share your means. Selah is more moral than the other two. But he has steeled his heart against the truth. You should in no case neglect the claims Heaven has upon you, supposing that you have unfulfilled duties to help your children. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 10

Your wife must divest herself of her closeness, her selfishness, or God will remove His Spirit from her. You, my dear brother, are governed too much by this spirit. You must, as God’s free man, act independently, as one having an individual responsibility. The world has too large a place in your heart. You think you are willing to lay the sacrifice upon the altar, while at the same time you hold it off at arm’s length. It may as well be a mile from the altar as within reach, if the surrender is not made. The offering is not sanctified until it touches the altar. Oh how many, when called upon to render an account of their stewardship, will then feel the sin of withholding. Their deficiencies are then before them unveiled, living realities. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 11

If men who have property could see the causes, during their lives, of their spiritual leanness as God sees them, they would discover in the sin of covetousness the chief obstacle to their religious prosperity. He that soweth sparingly shall also reap sparingly. God loveth the cheerful giver. God designs that we be workers together with Him, and possessing the ability to bestow should make us humble. With David we might say, “Who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to give so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine have we given thee.” 1 Chronicles 29:14. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 12

Brother King, you are beloved of God, and He will make you a pillar in the church, a father to His people, a counselor, and an advisor; for this reason Satan is continually seeking to block up your way to usefulness and becloud your clear intellect that his deceptions may affect you, and he keep from God’s cause that which He requires—talents or work and of influence, talents of money. Your entire being He requires—all of you and yours. Will you give it to Him unreservedly? May God let the clear light of truth shine upon your pathway with beautiful distinctness that every step may be taken in God, and you walk in the light of His countenance. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 13

It has been almost impossible for you to live amid the spirit of closeness, and listen to the words upon the subject you do, without it affecting you. The leaven works, and it is most difficult for you to stand entirely clear from being affected by it. You have stood nobly where many would have made shipwreck. You have moved out where you felt it to be clear duty irrespective of the influence surrounding you, while many in your situation would have done nothing at all, but yielded to the force of circumstances and been swayed by the frequent pressures about them. God has marked your desire to do His will, your integrity of heart. And now He wishes to bring you still closer to Himself where the divine rays of light from His presence shall remove the lingering mist of darkness around you. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 14

Last winter when you were coming to visit us Satan met you in the way to destroy you. He saw that he did not succeed in his efforts through the agents about you. You still held your head above the wave, that the waters did not quite overflow you. He came a little closer, and as you lay bruised and bleeding upon the ground, Satan exulted, his evil angels triumphed around you. God directed our course to bring you to our house. Had you remained where you were taken after your injury, you would have died in a few weeks. The Lord heard the prayers offered in your behalf, and blessed the watchful care bestowed upon you. It would have needed but a little bad management of your case to have placed you beyond hope. Had a fever ensued through the diet you would have had among unbelievers, or even at your own home, you could not have lived. You needed the most simple diet, and a judicious use of water, and an unstinted amount of air. Had you been at your own home, the wrong views of your wife in regard to diet and air, would have been carried out so far as to result in your death. Your case has been a marvel to physicians in Greenville. But oh how easy to have turned the scale upon the wrong side and have brought death! 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 15

I saw that God has given you a new lease of your life, and requires you, in a special sense, to devote your life to Him. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 16

After the vision was given in regard to your wife’s wrongs, she could not see it and did not receive it. Then if those in whom she had confidence could have, with kindness and tenderness, helped Sister King by manifesting an interest in her salvation, it would have been beneficial to her. But the course pursued by those who had been her friends in standing away from her and treating her coldly as though her case was incurable, left her to feel that it was no use to try, for no one would have confidence in her. Sister Mother Wilson has been highly esteemed in your family, and no one could have helped you, especially Sister King, better than she. But she took strong positions, said strong things in a decided, unfeeling manner, and held off Sister King at arm’s length, saying by her course of action that hers was a hopeless case, beyond the reach of mercy. Her decided, positive course cut her entirely loose from Sister King where she could never had that influence as a counselor she previously had. The Lord did not lead Sister Wilson to manifest that harsh, unfeeling spirit, and she has a work to do as far as lies in her power, by confession, to remove the oppressive hand she has laid upon her. The wrong may be healed and union restored. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 17

Was Sister King greatly at fault? Had she pursued a very grievous course? She had done this, and she was in darkness and great blindness of mind. She could not see her great sin. She turned to the right and left to justify herself, or excuse herself in some way. This led her brethren and sisters to despair of there ever being any change wrought in her, which would redeem the past. Just at this time of great pressure, Sister King needed friends of patient forbearance and kindness, for she was in such gross darkness that she was unable to see herself. God gave her a chance for her life in reproving her wrongs, and entreating her to reform. The brethren and sisters should have been more hopeful, and tried to help her, instead of leaving her to battle with Satan alone. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 18

Sister King has much to do yet to correct her erroneous life. A great work is before her and she should be surrounded with favorable influences which would aid her in the performance of this work. Sister King has no time to lose if she would win eternal life. She loves this world, loves herself, and must be transformed by the renewing of the mind before she can come up to the measurement of God. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 19

I was shown that it would have been better if brethren and sisters believing the truth had remained clear from the difficulties existing in the family connection. Yet I saw that Sister Wilson’s feelings in regard to the matter were all wrong. She has felt hard toward Brother King. Has felt much stirred, and said much which was displeasing to God. Undue sympathy for her son led to this. These hard speeches must be taken back by confession, and those who are united in church capacity should remain free from the difficulty on both sides. There is no special, grievous sin resting upon Brother King or Brother and Sister Fargo in reference to the part they acted in the difficulty. Yet it would have been better had they kept free and clear from it. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 20

Sister Wilson’s feelings did not spring from her zeal lest the cause of God should be stigmatized, but more from a sympathetic feeling for her son. He has no control of his own spirit. He becomes excited, inflamed, and in agitation pours out his bitter, ungodly feelings to his mother, who pities him as none but a mother can. She listens to his words of reproach and blame heaped upon Brethren King and Fargo, and a spirit of sympathy kindles in her own heart in favor of her son, and before she is aware of it, she is thinking very much as he thinks, and is affected with the spirit he has, and it produces hardness toward these brethren. Sister Wilson should not lend her ear to these complaints, which are instigated by Satan. It only brings her into bondage and causes an unhappy feeling toward her brethren, which separates her sympathy from them. Her son is not a sane man. He has a diseased imagination, and he imagines things just as Satan would have him. His mother cannot help him by her sympathy. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 21

Brother King should guard himself and not allow his sympathy to affect his judgment in favor of his sister. If he does, he will surely be brought into bondage. His relatives are an impulsive, excitable people, very set, possessing vivid imaginations. They are well skilled in stirring up strife, and creating trouble where none would exist if they would let it alone. They would not receive the love of the truth, and a number of them have become special mediums of Satan. They have filled your children’s minds, Brother King, with bitterness against you and the truth by their deceptive wiles. Their words are frequently as smooth as oil, but the poison of asps is under their tongues. They impart a venom, which poisons their feelings, and creates roots of bitterness, which spring up, whereby many are defiled. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 22

Brother King, the visit your wife’s relatives made at your house some years ago was an unfortunate one. The influence was bad upon your children and did much to their injury. The mind of Selah became unsettled and confused, which resulted in giving himself up to follow the imagination of his own heart. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1868, par. 23