Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 112, 1886

Bourdeau, A. C.; Bourdeau, D. T.



Previously unpublished.

I was shown that Brother [D. T.] Bourdeau has suffered deprivation in Europe, but he has shown that he was unacquainted with affliction brought close home to himself by the way he has received it. He has felt such unreconciliation that he will receive no reward for his endurance of trials because he has not endured them. God has from time to time reproved Elder Bourdeau and given him an opportunity to turn and reform. 4LtMs, Lt 112, 1886, par. 1

A change must take place in your character, and all that others might say would make no impression on your mind. Even the testimonies of reproof borne to you did not weigh with you long, because you could not see your defects. Your relatives and friends have ever talked as though you were chosen of God for a great work. You have been petted and praised and flattered by your relatives. And the most dangerous thing in your case is that you have placed a high estimate upon yourself. You have thought yourself a great man, possessing extraordinary abilities. You felt ready to engage in a great work, but the smaller duties that make fragrant the Christian life have been sadly neglected. 4LtMs, Lt 112, 1886, par. 2

You have overestimated yourself; so also has your brother Augustin. The value you have placed upon your own labors is much higher than your brethren ever have or ever can estimate you. This point you must see and view in a more rational light, or there will never be harmony between you and your brethren. The more highly you estimate yourselves, the less value will your brethren place upon you; therefore the gulf will widen in the place of being bridged. You must come to the Bible injunction to esteem others better than yourselves. You have exalted views of yourselves. 4LtMs, Lt 112, 1886, par. 3

It is this idea that leads Daniel to talk of himself, his experience, his views, his impressions, his feelings. He is impulsive, childish. He has not self-control. He is controlled to a very great extent by his feelings. He does not seem to consider that impressions are dangerous guides and that feelings are no criterion. If they are followed, he will be led in a strangely fanatical course. Satan will give impressions and feelings that will tangle him up where it will be impossible for him to extricate himself. We must move from principle. 4LtMs, Lt 112, 1886, par. 4

To think as much as you do of self is the worst form of selfishness. You have but little courage. Whatever you feel or think you do not have it to yourself, but talk it out. Your wife has heard your talk upon disagreeable subjects in reference to your poor self until her nervous system is seriously deranged. It is impossible, Brother Daniel Bourdeau, for anyone to be connected with you and listen to your continuous talk about yourself, and upon your sufferings and your trials, without becoming exceedingly wearied and feeling relieved when out of your company. 4LtMs, Lt 112, 1886, par. 5

You have no idea how strongly all you say savors of the order of yourself. Self is mingled and mixed with all you do. You have been the cause of your wife’s nervous disorder, and that which you have originated you have increased by your unceasing talk, your murmuring and complaints. She will never improve unless entirely separated from you, and for a time, while she is being treated, has no communication savoring of discontent, telling your troubles or your trials. It shall cost her nothing for her treatment. You do not know that you are not only imperiling the health and life of your wife, but your own health. No man can have the thoughts you have had and the feelings you have cherished without destroying himself and those who are connected with him. 4LtMs, Lt 112, 1886, par. 6

But the worst feature in this case is that you have murmured against God because of the very work of destruction you have caused. You have felt your hearts rise in rebellion against God because of the affliction of your wife, when your own state of mind made you a captive of Satan, and insane. You cannot bear trouble. You have not an heroic spirit. You have been mad against God because you were troubled. All this arises from your determination to have your own way. You would inquire of God, Why doest Thou thus? But will God answer you? His ways are hid from man. And you would enter into a controversy with the Lord of hosts rather than to bow in submission to His will and humble your heart before God. 4LtMs, Lt 112, 1886, par. 7

This terrible extreme state of feelings has not come all of a sudden. It has more fully developed itself within a few months. This has been the effect of the state of mind indulged for years. 4LtMs, Lt 112, 1886, par. 8

You have been cautioned to avoid long speaking and long praying, for it would exhaust you. You have written too much. [Remainder missing.] 4LtMs, Lt 112, 1886, par. 9