Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 34b, 1885

Regarding Ministers’ Families

Kopparberg, Sweden

[October 22, 1885]

See Ms 34, 1885 and Ms 34a, 1885. Previously unpublished.

[This manuscript consists of unverified extracts copied from a document that is not known to be extant. The ellipses are found in the extracts.] 4LtMs, Ms 34b, 1885, par. 1

Your case has been troubling me as I am called to write out testimonies to different ones in regard to the inconsistency of their going out into distant fields as missionaries and at the same time bringing children into the world that will increase the cares and burdens in a large degree. The enclosed I should have sent you from Healdsburg, but it was overlooked, and with some additional words will send it now. 4LtMs, Ms 34b, 1885, par. 2

I am distressed as I see the state of things among our workers. Brother and Sister [Enoch] professedly gave themselves to the missionary work, but all the time have labored as faithfully as if the salvation of their souls depended on how large a number of children they could bring into the world. They have not been married many years, but they have five or six little children. Sister [Enoch] was one who could do a good work, if she could have time to improve her powers, but she has been kept carrying or nursing babies nearly all the time, and her personal appearance is neglected. Her habits are not tidy as they should be, and her strength is exhausted, so it would be better for them both to leave the field and take a piece of land and do their duty to their children they have brought into the world. As the case now stands, they have to leave their children here and there for others to take care of. This is not after God’s order. ... How much better would have been the influence of both if they had not married, but both have devoted their interests to God’s cause, and after they were married how much better for them to have thoroughly considered the situation and decided that God should have all the powers He had given them in the work of saving precious souls. Now their greatest care must be their family, or ought to be, now [that] they have brought them into the world. 4LtMs, Ms 34b, 1885, par. 3

Brother [Cudney] could have done a good work for the Master had he devoted himself to this work as the Lord’s servant. When married, his work has not been more than one half that which it might have been. Then he must bring a child into the family, and now he can do but one third what he might have done had he studied how he might best serve God who had called him to be a soldier of the cross of Christ. These cases will illustrate all. 4LtMs, Ms 34b, 1885, par. 4

The time is and has been for years that the bringing of children into the world is more an occasion of grief than of joy. The very atmosphere seems polluted. Satan controls these children, and the Lord has but little to do with them. Parents give but little attention to them, and in the near future they will be removed by death. “Woe unto them that be with child and give suck” [Luke 21:23] even in these days, and if our workers were walking closely with God, they would see the situation and would feel that it is no matter of rejoicing to bring a child into the world. A blessing is pronounced upon the eunuchs who keep the Lord’s Sabbath. He says He will give them a name, and a place better than of sons and daughters. [Isaiah 56:4, 5.] 4LtMs, Ms 34b, 1885, par. 5

The time has come when in all [one?] sense they that have wives be as they that have none. God wants us to be consistent people, our works corresponding with our faith. Since your going to ______, and your course in relation to these things, I have less confidence in your judgment and wise management and foresight than before. Because I know that in some things God has not been made your Counselor. ... I write these things because you need them. I shall write to Elder ______. 4LtMs, Ms 34b, 1885, par. 6

The Lord wants your physical, mental, and moral powers; and if you think it the best work you can do to bring babies into your family, God help you to have wisdom enough to place yourself in different relation to His cause and do the work that seems so important to you at this time. 4LtMs, Ms 34b, 1885, par. 7

Our preachers and our workers seem to think one of the important branches of the work [is] first to get as many children into the world as possible, then, if they can give the remnant of their thoughts and ability to the work, they are doing all God requires of them. We shall need a voice like John the Baptist lifted up to show my people their transgressions and the house of Israel their sins. 4LtMs, Ms 34b, 1885, par. 8