Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 39, 1879

NA [Regarding Elder Cornell and James Cornell]



Previously unpublished.

[First part missing.] ... He in this developed the true traits of his character. The whole train of circumstances was presented before me, the true state of the cause at the time we visited Boulder, the influence of our testimony upon hearts that brought, in some cases, to a decision. Elder Cornell injured his influence very seriously in Colorado by his injudicious movements. Had he connected with God he would have wrought patiently in the meekness of the Pattern, and through his consecrated labors, more would have embraced the truth. 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1879, par. 1

But Elder Cornell has not given credit to the labors of others. Colorado has been abused. The influence of Brother Olmstead has been a reproach to the cause of truth. His scheming and dishonesty in deal make his influence a curse rather than a blessing. We felt such interest in the cause and work in Colorado that we had Elder Corliss go there to work. We thought he could help you, and if Elder Cornell had united his interest with Elder Corliss unselfishly, a much greater work might have been done. As we saw ourselves the course Elder Cornell was pursuing, we had no courage for him to go to Denver. We advised Corliss to go there, but did not dare to have them go together because of the attitude of Brother Cornell. 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1879, par. 2

In my last vision I was shown the spirit and influence which James Cornell and family brought into Boulder. They had better have remained where they were in Texas than to have entered Boulder as they did. The things which took place in Texas were unfortunate, but there was nothing connected with James’ sickness and my husband’s effort but that was straightforward. Brother McDearmon manifested a self-willed, selfish, passionate spirit. He does not and has not seen himself. He could not appreciate my husband’s position. The feelings gotten up in Texas and brought away by parties from Texas were inconsistent and all wrong. James Cornell’s feelings and those of his family were cruel. The feelings of Brother McDearmon in reference to John Corliss were wrong. He imagined many things that had no foundation. 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1879, par. 3

Elder Corliss was the only man who had interest in and care for our interest on the journey across the plains. Because he had this care, he was misjudged and despised. Had it not been for him, we should have been placed in a pitiful position. But Will Cornell and his family manifested such marked selfishness on the route that we became disgusted. Our efforts to help others out of Texas were all wrong. They had better got away some other way or died there; the cause of God would have suffered less injury than it has done and than it will suffer by their influence. 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1879, par. 4

I was shown the feelings that existed after they came to Colorado. The stories reported were not true. Selfishness and imagination were the foundation of the difficulties. When the family, relatives of Cornells, met, there was a mutual relation of grievances, and the eager drinking down of this envy and jealousy from James Cornell and family developed that dependence could not be placed in Merritt or Angeline, in James, his son Willie, or in any member of the family. They are all wrong together, and the church will have trouble. The unconsecrated actions on the route showed that Will Cornell and his sisters were not in possession of experimental godliness. They are not in a position to withstand temptation. 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1879, par. 5

Brother Olmstead had his own plans and purposes. He did not favor Brother Corliss’ coming to Colorado. He sought to prejudice Merritt Cornell against Brother Corliss. Then, after Brother Corliss came, he tried to prejudice him against Cornell. This was a contemptible business. 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1879, par. 6