Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 34a, 1885

Regarding Ministers’ Families

Healdsburg, California

February 15, 1885

Variant of Ms 34, 1885. See also Ms 34b, 1885. Previously unpublished.

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

Extracts From a Testimony [to Elder and Mrs. C. L. Boyd] 4LtMs, Ms 34a, 1885, par. 2

This is the burden of the message, that in accordance with our faith we are required to make any and every sacrifice for the truth’s sake; that at this time, when amid the trials of the last days, it was not in accordance with our faith or God’s will that our missionaries should fill their hands with cares and burdens which were not essential to the work, but which would eventually greatly lessen the ability to work. The message we have to bear requires much self-sacrifice; and if the workers make no change in their habits and in their practices than worldlings in general, they are not letting their works correspond with their faith. 4LtMs, Ms 34a, 1885, par. 3

I was shown that Brother and Sister Van Horn had departed from God’s counsel in bringing into the world children. God required all there was of them in His work, and both could have done a good work for the Master; but the enemy came in, and his counsel was followed, and the cause of God was robbed of the attention it should have had; and in the place of raising up many sons and daughters to God, they were doing a work which was bringing upon them cares and burdens and retarding the work that God had given them to do. God will say to them, “Who required this at your hands?” [Isaiah 1:12.] ... 4LtMs, Ms 34a, 1885, par. 4

When I learned that you were to soon have an increase in your family, I knew that you were not doing the will of God, but following your own inclination to please yourselves. I have special light in regard to these things, but hardly know how to present it before our people. The missionaries had better set the people an example in these things that correspond with our faith. God did not send Elder Van Horn here to engage in the work of raising up a family; neither has He sent you here to follow his example. 4LtMs, Ms 34a, 1885, par. 5

I am called to write testimonies to different ones in regard to the inconsistency of their going out into distant fields and at the same time bringing children into the world that will increase their cares and burdens in a large degree. I am distressed as I see the state of things among our workers. 4LtMs, Ms 34a, 1885, par. 6

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 upon how large a number of children they could bring into the world. ... How much better would have been their influence if they had not married, but both devoted their interests to God’s cause; and after they were married, how much better for them if they had thoughtfully considered the situation and decided that God should have all the powers He had given them in the work of saving precious souls. 4LtMs, Ms 34a, 1885, par. 7

Brother Cudney could have done a very 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 what it might have been. Then he must bring a child into the world, and now he can do one third what he might have done had he studied how he could best serve God who called him to be a soldier of the cross of Christ. 4LtMs, Ms 34a, 1885, par. 8

These cases will illustrate all. The expenses are increased largely, and without the real managing ability there will not be more than one third to the cause of God that might have been. And the time is, and has been for years, that the bringing of children into the world is more an occasion of grief than joy. The very atmosphere is polluted. Satan controls these children, and the Lord has but little to do with them. ... 4LtMs, Ms 34a, 1885, par. 9

If our workers were walking close 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 Sabbath, etc. Isaiah 56:3-5. 4LtMs, Ms 34a, 1885, par. 10

The time has come when, in one sense, they that have wives be as though they had none. God wants us to be consistent people, our works corresponding with our faith. ... 4LtMs, Ms 34a, 1885, par. 11

I am thoroughly disgusted with the course of our preachers and workers. They 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 required of them. We shall need a voice like John the Baptist, to show my people their transgressions and the house of Israel their sins. 4LtMs, Ms 34a, 1885, par. 12