Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2

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Lt 2, 1872

Bates, Brother

Grand Rapids, Michigan

February 12, 1872

This letter is published in entirety in RY 126-127.

Dear Brother Bates:

I have been informed that you have taken but one meal a day for a period of time; but I know it to be wrong in your case, for I have been shown that you needed a nutritious diet, and that you were in danger of being too abstemious. Your strength would not admit of your severe discipline. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1872, par. 1

You should not carry the burden of leading the church in meetings. Younger hands should do this, and you should not bear the responsibility. You should not feel that you are required to hold meetings yourself, having the charge in different places, for your mind and your physical strength is not equal to the task. You are in danger of heaping responsibilities upon you and feeling that the Lord requires it of you, after He has released you from active, physical taxation. You should gracefully and honorably lay the burden down, and seek for quiet rest, fitting up for your last change. You feel much tried and grieved if your Advent brethren do not look to you to lead, when I have been shown it is wrong for them to let the leading of the church rest on you. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1872, par. 2

I think that you have erred in fasting two days. God did not require it of you. I beg of you to be cautious and eat freely [of] good wholesome food twice a day. You will surely decrease in strength and your mind become unbalanced unless you change your course of abstemious diet. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1872, par. 3

I have advised Brother Charles Jones to not encourage or allow you to go into different churches to labor. You are not in a condition of body and mind to labor. You must stop and rest and be happy and not worry your mind about the responsibilities of the work and cause of God. Be peaceful, calm and happy and trust yourself in the work and cause of God, feeling that you are now to soften, sweeten, ripen up for heaven. God loves you. But you will with your advanced age, and your strong peculiarities certainly mar the work of God more than you can help it. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1872, par. 4

You have simply to rest in the hands of God and feel that your work to preach the truth is done. Have no further responsibility in this direction. You can be free to bear your testimony to comfort yourself; this is your privilege; but to bear any church labor in word or doctrine, or to travel out among other churches to hold public meetings, God has released you. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1872, par. 5

In love. 2LtMs, Lt 2, 1872, par. 6