Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 13, 1884

Butler, George I.

Healdsburg, California

January 2, 1884

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Butler:

I received a letter yesterday from Sister Addie Bowen stating that Sister Whitney’s health was failing, and they desired her or Sister Philips to come with you to Switzerland. 4LtMs, Lt 13, 1884, par. 1

Now, as my advise has been asked, I do not feel free to remain silent. I do not feel that the move would be in God’s order. Sister Bowen and Sister Philips have important branches of the work. It has taken quite a lengthy experience to fit them to do the work they are now engaged in. Brother Buel Whitney’s absence is keenly felt, and to remove Sister Bowen does not to me seem to be in the order of God. The same in regard to Sister Philips. I think both these Sisters should not be removed from their station or position of trust. 4LtMs, Lt 13, 1884, par. 2

I know from what the Lord has shown me that there is quite a number of excellent girls, working girls in Europe, who cannot keep the Sabbath and work with unbelievers. Why not bring in and set to work some one or more of these girls? Why take away one or two who are doing acceptable work in the cause? If some girl must go let it be someone not filling important positions of trust. I cannot, with my present light, advise either of these to go. It is not as if there were no one from America there. There are Sister Martha Andrews, Mother Andrews, Edith Andrews; these, with the help that can be secured in England or Switzerland will supply them. 4LtMs, Lt 13, 1884, par. 3

Even if Sister Whitney is sick, with needed help, this is how the matter looks to me. I do not feel that the cause of God should suffer for the gratification of peculiar preferences or notions. I would not tear away one from the work of God to supply any lack of mine or through any selfish feelings of my own. The enemy is watching every opportunity to hinder the work in any department, and we must be prepared to not let the work suffer for any reason. I can see no need of Sister Whitney’s calling for help from America. I know those who are sick should be tenderly cared for, but we must not carry our sympathies too far and lead us to extremes in these things. Will you carefully and prayerfully consider this matter and work to the point with an eye single to the glory of God? I see no special duty for these, either of them, to go, unless Brother [B. L.] Whitney needs some one to help him in the work. If this is the case, would not one in Europe who could translate, help him more than one from [America]? 4LtMs, Lt 13, 1884, par. 4

All these things require prayerful consideration. We must not be too slow in our deliberations; while at the same time, we must not move impulsively, and in so doing, throw the work out of gear and perhaps introduce new, raw hands to do a work that they have not experience in. Let us consider all of these things with a single eye to the glory of God. We want to move just as God would have us. And we want His counsel and His presence in all our movements. I feel deeply our great need of workers, whichever way I may turn. 4LtMs, Lt 13, 1884, par. 5

I know that a constant, wiley foe is on our track, and he will improve every advantage we may give him to do his work of hindering, blocking the wheels, and tearing down. 4LtMs, Lt 13, 1884, par. 6

If you see good reasons that Addie Bowen should go, I will not say anything to hinder it. You may see reasons that I do not. 4LtMs, Lt 13, 1884, par. 7

I will write no more on this point now. I am very much engaged in completing an article in regard to South Lancaster and Nehemiah. 4LtMs, Lt 13, 1884, par. 8

I took cold on my journey and have been suffering with congestion of the lungs. It comes on about midnight. My lungs are very sore. They hurt me at every breath, but I am not discouraged. 4LtMs, Lt 13, 1884, par. 9

Brother and Sister Butler, I wish you a happy New Year. I wish Willie and Hiland a happy New Year. May you, my dear boys, at the commencement of this year, feel indeed that you are sons of God, adopted into the royal family, children of the heavenly King. Jesus loves you and will bless you if you will be obedient. It is well for you at the commencement of the year to examine closely the history of the year past. What advancement have you made? What portion of your character is defective? Wherein are you weakest? To what extent are you able to bear burdens, to deny self, to take up your God-given responsibilities and go forward with manly courage and help these upon whom you lean and who may lean upon you? Take time to review the life calmly, critically. Self-cultivation by direct effort will be of the highest value to you. You may master difficulties. You may become strong in purpose and in principle like Joseph and like Daniel. May your character be like theirs, you cultivating a lofty, noble purpose. Let not the ruling power of your heart be vanity, pride, and love of approbation, but let it be to be good and do good. 4LtMs, Lt 13, 1884, par. 10

The love of Jesus in the soul will be seen in the life in properly discharging your duty in this life, which will give you a fitness for the future life. Your power for usefulness, you can scarcely grasp. If you are seeking earnestly to establish a character which Jesus shall approve, you will be doing good to others. All your plans will probably fail unless you are sustained by motives higher than any which can be drawn from earth. To do and to suffer for Christ’s sake softens every trial, sanctifies every pursuit, and gives peace and rest in Jesus Christ. Cultivate simplicity in Jesus and that piety which springs from faith in Jesus. 4LtMs, Lt 13, 1884, par. 11

And again I wish you a happy New Year. 4LtMs, Lt 13, 1884, par. 12