Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 6, 1870

Waggoner, J. H.

Battle Creek, Michigan

April 8, 1870

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother [J. H.] Waggoner:

I have felt for two weeks that I had ought to write to you or talk with you. I will do so now if I can put upon paper that which have burdened my mind. When your wife sat before me in the front slip in the meetinghouse, things came so forcibly to my mind in reference to some things I had been shown while at Adams Center, I could not free my mind from the burden. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 1

I was shown while at Adams Center [that] your wife had been a medium of Satan. Your ministerial labor had not been one-tenth part as useful as it might have been and as it ought to have been in consequence of the influence of your wife. She has made you a weak man. I was shown that she pursued stubbornly her own course until the Spirit of the Lord was withdrawn and she was left to be led captive by Satan at his will. The Lord permitted evil angels to counsel and guide her to take a course which would separate your sympathy and confidence from her that her influence should no more affect you. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 2

God’s providence had been at work for you to save your life and to preserve your influence to the cause and the work that He had chosen you to do. I was shown you were a man of high social qualities. You are sympathetic, and yet when you are upon the track of a person you believe to be in the wrong, you are in danger of being too severe and overbearing. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 3

I was shown that your wife has been one that has excited your sympathies to a great extent. If she was not well she would complain and fret and groan and appear to be very feeble, when two-thirds of it all was feigned to obtain your sympathy and pity. She has been the most deceptive person I have ever come across in my experience. Satan has helped on her efforts to deceive you, for she was not smart enough to do this work alone without his help. You have watched and waited upon and exhausted your strength almost times without number, when there was in reality nothing the matter with her at all. I saw that you had tried to help her to health, but from what I saw it was [a] job you never will accomplish. All your efforts will be ineffectual, for there will not be found in her a power to react to answer to the efforts put forth in her behalf. It is not in her. She will live on and others may die all around her; but these worrying, fretting, groaning burdens who lay their whole weight upon others, drawing upon their sympathies, will live to wear others’ lives out and to curse those who have the burden of them. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 4

Your wife is a finished, chronic complainer. She loves to be around among people that may hear her complaints and think her a dreadful sufferer. She can shed tears easily. This has affected you. You would feel it duty to talk plainly, yes, severely with her at times, and then she has given up to grief and wept, and you have taken back your work by over tenderness and great attention. She has understood how she can gain your sympathies. Your wife loves to be waited upon, loves to have a great deal of care, when if she would only go to work as other women, who are not half as able as she is have to do, she would forget her sickness, her aches, her pains which are so numerous. She nurses all her ailments and is a great tax upon the patience and strength of any where she may be, if they venture to take any burden of her case upon them. I saw that she would never get well through manifold sympathy, attention, care or treatment of any kind. The efforts in this direction might as well be saved and the strength preserved. If one or two should exhaust their strength and their lives to make your wife and persons of this class well, what is gained? Persons of worth are worn out and exhausted and perhaps life sacrificed to preserve what one or more who will be only a curse to others with their influence and unprofitable lives. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 5

Your wife has not a well-balanced mind. She has, I saw, so long served Satan that her intellect and all her powers are so thoroughly diseased that she can never have these restored. She has a mind diseased, her powers have been so long controlled by Satan that they will never come in healthy action. She will be desponding and mourning and weeping, or the opposite, light, chaffy, her talk without weight and she giving evidence of a shallow, superficial mind. Her moral powers have been so long perverted that she cannot control them. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 6

I saw that God had in His providence wrought to separate her influence from you, for He had a work for you to do which would be marred if you connected yourself with her influence or was much in her society. She had forfeited all right to your confidence. Her sin which was so aggravating to you was not the greatest crime and the greatest evil of her life or yours. Had her life otherwise during the period of your married life been even passable, tolerable, correct, and she through temptation or by an array of circumstances fallen, the sin of itself would not be as dreadful in the sight of God. It is not merely this sin but the bitter, determined course of rebellion, of falsehood, of deception, of artfulness, of jealousy, of envy, of hatred, and of every evil work, and last of all the crime of adultery. All these things together, which have operated upon your life, tearing down your strength, prostrating your energies, has made the sin against God and His Holy Spirit of great magnitude. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 7

When you separated yourself from the influence of your wife, God came to your aid. He blest you. He let His divine light shine upon you, and around you. Had your children been separated from her influence long before they were, they might have been saved the formation of the character they now possess; just as the twig is bent, the tree inclines. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 8

Deception is as natural with your eldest children as their breath, also gossip and frivolous talking, loving to visit and hear and talk. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 9

I saw that God did not design you to place yourself in any position where your bodily or mental powers shall be drawn upon and enfeebled by your wife, for if you should, God would release you from His work and from His cause. Your strength is to have your wife where you will be in her society as little as possible. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 10

Brother Waggoner, when you brought your wife to Battle Creek, I think you committed an error. Her presence will lessen your influence anywhere. I think you have duties to support her, to see that she does not suffer, but to have her with you and to travel with her from place to place, or for even yourself to be much in her society, I know is not in the order of God. You may try all your life to help her and to save her. She will destroy you and many others in the place of your saving her or benefiting her. She will ever be the same woman, a frown upon her face, complaining of aches and pains and calling out your sympathies, but that is all [that] will be gained. Your life is worth more to be preserved than a million of such persons as your wife. The less that there are of such ones in the world, the better. She will only be a cipher on the wrong side. The more retired she is, the better will it be for the cause of God. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 11

If your wife would be industrious, employ her time in useful labor, instead of her never ending complainings, she would lose sight of herself. She has not felt burdened to see if she could aid you and lessen your cares, but has demanded great care and attention herself. If she would forget herself in being useful to somebody around her, she would not have so much time to magnify her trials and the evils of her lot, which she has brought upon herself. She is a terrible tax, and it is impossible for her to feel that others have burdens to bear and she should cease her complaining and whining and groaning and forget herself. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 12

Brother Waggoner, I saw that God would make you a blessing to His cause if you will keep clear from every influence calculated to weaken you and pervert your judgment. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 13

May God help you to move in wisdom is the prayer of your sister. 2LtMs, Lt 6, 1870, par. 14