Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 9, 1883

Andrews, J. N.

Healdsburg, California

March 17, 1883

Portions of this letter are published in TSB 34; 3Bio 215.

Dear Brother Andrews:

I received your letter in due time and have commenced several times to write to you but have not felt justly free to send the letters written. Still I attempt to write you again, hoping to have better success. I have not been able to write many letters on account of the effort I am making to get off Volume Four. I am making good headway on this book, and four weeks, I think, will complete it. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 1

I have not been able to visit at all with Brother Gardner since his return from Europe because I left Oakland at once on account of my health and have continued in Healdsburg since he came upon the coast. I have been anxious to see someone from Europe who had recently visited you. Elder [S. N.] Haskell is coming in a few weeks; then in all probability he will visit Healdsburg and tell me particulars of your health. He has written me once since his return, but forgot to make any mention of you. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 2

I wish to state some things that I shall not feel free until I do write [them]. I advised you to marry before you returned the last time to Europe for these reasons. First, you needed a wife to care for you and [you] should not have taken your family to Europe without a good companion to be a mother to your children, that these children might not in all things bear the stamp of your mind and be moulded according to your ideas. Your mind is not equally balanced. You need another element brought into your labors that you do not possess and that you do not understand is really essential. Your children are deficient in some things where they should be strong. Your taking the entire charge of the education of your children in some respects has been a success, in others, a failure. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 3

Charlie has come up with only half-developed powers because you have given him no opportunity to become a man in ability as well as in years. He could now have been able to have taken the work and been efficient in all its branches had he received his education fully and thoroughly; and even now if he were placed where he could have a different mold than you have given him, his education and his usefulness would have been far in advance of what it now is. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 4

You have tried to do your duty to be kind, patient, and to bring up your children with good morals, with right views of Christian character, but Charles is not a man of experience, only a child, because you have made him so. You have also carried the same plans of management into your labors in the cause and work of God. You have, in educating your children, been mind for them. You have not taught them to work independent of yourself. You have chosen to do things yourself that you should have educated them to do and given them, in so doing, individual responsibility. You should have taught Charles how to work, how to do business in the place of doing work and performing business yourself. For his good, this was essential. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 5

Charles is deficient in education in regard to practical life. He does what you tell him. He does not rely on his own judgment and assume responsibilities himself, but relies on his father’s mind and follows his father’s directions. You should have taught him to have lifted responsibilities with you, and when you were absent and feeble, he would know by experience just what to do and be growing all the time in talent by improving what talent he had. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 6

Charles has been educated to have no individuality of his own, separate from his father’s. In this you have wronged your child. You have been a one-sided man in development yourself and were not fitted to place the proper mould of character upon your children. Books and study and minutious aiming to perfection have retarded your work and crippled your efforts from the beginning of your life. You have been fearful that Charles would not do things as well as you would do them [and this] has led you to do the work essential for him to do in order for him to accomplish that which is expected for one of his years. He is ignorant where he should be wise, especially is this the case in regard to duties of practical life. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 7

I have been shown our children should be tasked to bear responsibilities, to think and to act for themselves with parental direction. They should early learn to rely upon themselves, to lift responsibilities [while] young else their talents will not be brought into exercise and will become dwarfed rather than developed and strengthened. There has been opportunities that your son could have learned much in regard to helping his father, but you would not place the responsibility upon him. The result has been you have done the very things which your son ought to have been educated to do. You could have been relieved of responsibilities and been satisfied and proud in seeing your son fitted to bear these burdens in life. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 8

Your ideas have been erroneous to preserve your life as [a] widower, but on this point I will say no more. The influence of a noble Christian woman of proper capabilities would have served to counteract the tendencies of your mind. The ability of concentrativeness, the intense light in which you view everything of a religious character connected with the cause and work of God, has brought upon you depression of spirits, a weight of anxiety that has weakened you physically and mentally. If you had been connected with one who would have opposite feelings, who would have ability to turn your thoughts away from gloomy subjects, who would not have yielded her individuality, but have preserved her identity and had a moulding influence upon your mind, you would today have had physical strength and power to resist disease. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 9

You see that your brethren do not do as you think they should do. Well, after you have done your duty to them, then you should go on your way doing your work, leaving them in the hands of God, not allowing your spirit to grieve and be depressed because others do not meet the standard of perfection. You have dwelt upon these cases until you have had intense feelings and mistaken views of them and of yourself in relation to them. You have become as it were a martyr. You have not, as was your duty to do, thrown off the burden, risen above depression, and looked on the cheerful, happy side [so] that your health and life might be preserved for future labor and future effort for other souls. This object you concentrated your mind upon must be gained—your brethren in Switzerland must see their wrongs before you would have health. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 10

All those imaginings are not of God but proceed from a diseased imagination which should be studiously resisted by working in all your efforts in an opposite direction. God never designed [that] you should die a martyr to your brethren’s errors and failure to meet the standard of perfection. You see all these things in an exaggerated light. Your imagination becomes acute; in dwelling upon these things you deem wrong in others, you sacrifice your own happiness. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 11

You talk of these things which you have suffered. You [go] over the ground again and again. You magnify the difficulties in dwelling upon them. Cease to speak of unpleasant subjects; cease to think upon them; turn away from them. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 12

You have made yourself very miserable and wretched in dwelling upon your griefs and the trials others have cost you, when you should turn away from these and think of Jesus, His matchless love for sinners, His grace given freely, and the rich reward for the faithful. Think on pleasant subjects. Your health and life depend on your doing this. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 13

It has been no virtue on your part to endure privation and be content to be in uncomfortable situations. You should not have been in your mission alone for it is impossible, with your turn of mind, your strong traits of character, and your weak traits of character, to bring about results which that mission has stood greatly in need of. But this could only be accomplished by another or others connecting with you in your work that were strong on the points where you are deficient. Such laborers would not, with your views and ideas, harmonize with all your plans, and any difference, any plans you did not see and devise would be most painful to you. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 14

You have done work God did not lay upon you to perform. You have not been willing [that] any one should do the common business labor in connection with the work. You keep it all shut up to your own efforts. What you could do was done; what you could not do, you would trust no other one to do. Now God did [not] want it thus. It was a weakness of character in you which you have cultivated in the place [of] depressing and overcoming it. God never designed [that] the work in Switzerland should bear the stamp of one man’s mind. God did not design [that] your labors should be so narrow and circumscribed. He would have had two or several engaged with you in the work, one supplying the deficiencies of the other, all consulting together, but none of them waiting for your mind to plan and devise and they in every particular following the path you would mark out, however perfect that path may have appeared to you. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 15

It has been the case that no one could connect with you in your labor, not because they were not qualified to do this, but because they did not do the work exactly as you would have it done. Had there been with you broader plans and more extended efforts, had other men engaged with you in the missionary labor, the work would now be self-sustaining. Your too great caution, your fears have led you to not bring up the people in Switzerland [who] believe the truth to act the part they ought to have acted in sustaining the cause and forwarding the work. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 16

You have by your manner of labor taught them to rely on their American brethren when you should have taught them to have relied upon their own self-denying, beneficent efforts to carry forward the work in their own country. You have been so afraid that someone would regret their gifts and offerings. You have not educated in this direction to bear their own weight, and for this very reason many have done so little [compared] to what they should have done, they feel no spirit of self-sacrifice and no burden of the work and no blessing in doing the very work that they ought to do. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 17

If anyone labored with you or there was an opportunity for you to have help, you have thought of the expense of an additional worker, and you have also feared greatly he would not have understood [how] to do the work just as you thought it should be done. You would much rather do it all yourself and leave undone that which you could not do. Much time has been lost through the peculiar traits of your character. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 18

Jesus sent out the disciples two and two; for this very reason that one would supply the deficiencies of the other. Christ did not design [that] either of these disciples should seek to mould the other to his exact plans of labor, but [that] each preserve his individuality and work according to his several abilities. Here is where Elder [J. N.] Loughborough makes a great mistake and Elder [J. G.] Matteson makes the same mistake, encircling the work in their own finite, limited arms and doing that which can only bear the stamp or mould they put upon it. Each one of these is wrong in his manner of working. God linked together a bold, impetuous Peter with the mild and loving John that the defect of one might be supplied by the efficiency of the other. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 19

You have made a mistake in giving means to this one and that one and the other—the very means you needed and the very means you ought to have had. Some of these have not used this means wisely—some have not needed it half as much as yourself. As a financier, you have not the qualities to make a success. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 20

Elder [D. T.] Bourdeau made grave errors in Europe and caused you trials. Elder Bourdeau should not in any way connect with you, but if he will learn the lessons God would have him to learn, he would be qualified to put his ability to a good use in Europe. He could labor in France and supply as a missionary a place there we have no one to fill. 4LtMs, Lt 9, 1883, par. 21