Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 6, 1866

Surmisings at Battle Creek (Based on a Vision Given in 1865)



This manuscript is published in entirety in 1T 526-528.

Some have felt at liberty, through envious feelings, to speak out lightly of Battle Creek. Some look suspiciously on all that is going on there, and seem to exult if they can get hold of anything to take advantage of what comes from Battle Creek. But God is displeased with such a spirit, such a course of action. From what source do churches abroad obtain their light and knowledge concerning the truth? It has been from the means which God has ordained, which centers at Battle Creek. Who have the burdens of the cause? It is those who are zealously laboring at Battle Creek. And while churches that are scattered abroad are relieved from the burdens and heavy trials which necessarily come upon those who stand in the forefront of the battle, and while they are excused from the perplexities and wearing thought attendant upon those who engage in making important decisions in connection with the work to be accomplished for the remnant people of God, they should feel thankful and praise God that they are thus favored, and should be the last to be envious, jealous, faultfinding, occupying a position, “Report, and we will report it.” 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1866, par. 1

The church at Battle Creek has borne the burdens of the conferences which have been, upon many, or nearly all, a severe tax. Many, in consequence of the extra labors borne, have brought upon themselves debility which has lasted for many months. They have borne the burden cheerfully, but have felt saddened and disheartened by the heartless indifference of some, and the cruel jealousy of others, after they have returned to the several churches from whence they came. Speeches are thoughtlessly made by some, designedly by others, concerning the burdenbearers there, and concerning those who stand at the head of the work. God has marked all these speeches, all these jealousies, all these envious feelings, and a faithful record is kept of it all. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1866, par. 2

Men and women thank God for the truth and then turn around and question and find fault with the very means Heaven has ordained to make them what they are, or what they ought to be. How much more pleasing to God for them to act the part of Aaron and Hur and hold up the hands of those who are bearing the great and heavy burdens of this work in connection with the cause of God. Murmurers and complainers should remain at home where they will be out of the way of temptation, where they cannot find food for their jealousies, evil surmisings, and faultfinding, for the presence of such is only a burden to the meetings—clouds without water. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1866, par. 3

All who feel at liberty to censure and find fault with those whom God has chosen to act an important part in this last great work had better be converted and obtain the mind of Christ. Let them remember those of the children of Israel who were ready to find fault with Moses, whom God had ordained to lead His people to Canaan, and to murmur against even God Himself. They should remember that all these murmurers fell in the wilderness. It is so easy to rebel, so easy to give battle before considering matters rationally, calmly, and settling whether there is anything to war against. The children of Israel are our ensamples upon whom the ends of the world are come. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1866, par. 4

Brethren and sisters who have removed from Rome to this church are too excitable, too ready to decide, too ready to give battle when there is nothing to war against. They need to encourage a calm, reflective mind, reason from cause to effect, and not be in haste to make decisions. They must learn much in order to be a benefit to the church in Wright. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1866, par. 5

In regard to Battle Creek, it is easier with many to question and find fault than to tell what should be done. This responsibility some would even venture to take, but they would soon find themselves deficient in experience, for they would run the work into the ground. If these talkers, faultfinders, would themselves become burdenbearers and pray for the laborers they would be blessed themselves and bless others with their godly example, with their holy influence and example. It is easier for many to talk than to pray, and they lack spirituality and holiness, and their influence is an injury to the cause of God. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1866, par. 6

Instead of all feeling that the work at Battle Creek is their work, that they have an interest in its prosperity, they stand aside more as spectators to question and find fault. Those who do this are the very ones who lack experience in this work, and who have suffered but little for the truth’s sake. 1LtMs, Ms 6, 1866, par. 7