Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 4, 1881

Bourdeau, D. T.

Battle Creek, Michigan

May 14, 1881

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Daniel Bourdeau:

I have heard you anticipated going to Europe erelong. I hope this is not so, for I am confident any such move on your part would be entirely wrong. The cause in Europe is suffering today from the result of your course of action when you were there; and I would, in the name of the Lord, entreat you to work where you are until your brethren feel the burden in regard to your visiting Europe. In this case, of all others, your judgment and impressions alone are not sufficient evidence that you should go. 3LtMs, Lt 4, 1881, par. 1

In my last vision your case was shown me. The same dangers existed as have been in your temperament. You are not aware of the strength of your peculiarities, and at your age these traits seem dyed in the wool and will never be overcome unless you see them and sense them yourself and, without excuse, put them away. 3LtMs, Lt 4, 1881, par. 2

You are a man that needs the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ every moment. Your wife has been, to a large degree, moulded by your spirit, but not altogether. You are a man that will not bear to have your wife have an individuality of her own. You would force her mind and judgment to see things as you do, and if she does not, you become firmer and more positive in your position. 3LtMs, Lt 4, 1881, par. 3

You are not a kind father, but are critical, severe, and will make your children dislike you because you do not rule them in love. They will assuredly feel an earnest longing to get away from under your management, where they are controlled by fear rather than love. You do not see these things. 3LtMs, Lt 4, 1881, par. 4

I am sorry, but I hope you will not carry to Europe causes for greater stumbling than they have already. No, my brother, remain where you are, and I beg of you to change your course of discipline. You move impulsively, from feeling rather than reason. 3LtMs, Lt 4, 1881, par. 5

In the discipline of your children you need the softening, subduing influence of the grace of Christ on your heart. There never was a time when we should watch and guard self more than now. There never was a time when you and I and all should do battle with our own individual wrongs. 3LtMs, Lt 4, 1881, par. 6

Do not begin to concentrate your mind to distinguish just where and how you have been, and still are, and make it the theme of thought and conversation. But silently, prayerfully go to work. Talk less of self. Turn your thoughts and conversation upon something besides yourself. Keep yourself out of your thoughts and be kind, be courteous, have tender pity and love—these traits you should cherish. 3LtMs, Lt 4, 1881, par. 7

In consideration of your own defects, be humble, be meek and lowly. And on no account do not go to Europe. You would do good if you were a well-balanced man, but you are not. Your own self-will, your perverse spirit made you an insane man when you were in Europe before. If they had never had your influence, they would have stood today in greater union and strength in the truth. I should discourage your going to Europe with all my strength of influence. I do not think you will ever be that well-balanced [a] man that you would be a safe man to trust to any such mission. All I would desire would [be] that your course there, from beginning to end, would be held up before you just as it was in Europe. 3LtMs, Lt 4, 1881, par. 8

It was your course that brought intolerable burdens on Brother [J. N.] Andrews. It was your course that produced the nervous prostration of your wife. And then to think, after the course you pursued, of going back to the same field again without sufficient ... [remainder missing.] 3LtMs, Lt 4, 1881, par. 9