Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)
Lt 2, 1883
Whitney, B. L.
March 30, 1883
Portions of this letter are published in 10MR 8.
Dear Brother [B. L.] Whitney:
I have sent you a letter containing some things which the Lord has shown me in regard to Elder [J. N.] Andrews. You can see by reading this letter that our own people have made mistakes in regard to Elder Andrews. Much means has been sent to this mission that is controlled by Elder Andrews. I believe he is sincere but through disease views things in a perverted light. His imagination is at fault. 4LtMs, Lt 2, 1883, par. 1
At an early date in our Advent experience after the passing of the time in ’44, then Elder Andrews was greatly deceived. His imagination and impressions and feelings were his guide and nearly ruined him. Could I have an interview with you, I would talk in regard to some things I will not write. Now Elder Andrews I highly respect, but his feelings and his imaginations must not rule you. You must not go to Europe to have Elder Andrews’ head control your movements. He imagines things which have no foundation and in which there is no truth. 4LtMs, Lt 2, 1883, par. 2
He has given the impression of great sufferings when he has endured no more than ordinary laborers in their first experience in this work. Many things have been sent to him while there were those close by the donors who were overlooked and neglected, who needed means far more than Elder Andrews. But from his earliest years he has been drawing on others for sympathy and he has continued to the present time to be sustained by the sympathy of his brethren and all connected with him; he has a diseased imagination. Those who are prompt to send him means whenever he thinks he needs it are to him the elect—precious in the sight of the Lord, and those he imagines are not fully in sympathy with all his imaginations he regards are not favored of God. Now all the feelings are the product of a diseased mind. 4LtMs, Lt 2, 1883, par. 3
Many have asked, “Will Brother Andrews die?” I answer, “I think he will; and I could not pray for his life, for I consider he has held and is still holding the work in Switzerland.” It is most difficult to correct him and to change his plans or his course of action in anything. Should you propose to do this, as you will most surely have to do if God sends you to Europe, he will not regard you as his friend. If you pet all his ideas and sympathize with all his feelings, then you are the beloved of God, right in all respects. I tell you these things I know. 4LtMs, Lt 2, 1883, par. 4
But I would caution you, Do not confine yourself to Switzerland, neither settle down to learn the French language, but become acquainted first with the condition of the whole European mission. Do not consider you are to be dictated to by Elder Andrews, Elder [J. N.] Loughborough or Elder [J. G.] Matteson. You are God’s man of opportunity. You must look to God and trust in God and learn of God and obtain an experience in prayer and faith that you have not yet obtained. God will help you if you rely wholly upon Him. He is to be your Teacher and your Guide. 4LtMs, Lt 2, 1883, par. 5
After you have ascertained the situation of the field, then you will understand better how to labor and make your efforts tell at every stroke. But do not settle down to be molded by Elder A., Elder L., or Elder M. Not one of these is laboring to the best advantage. They carry out their ways and their plans, and their own peculiar traits of character are being conformed and strengthened and defects being reproduced in those who believe them to be perfect men. I have kept all the things written in my lengthy epistle to myself, and this is for your eyes and your wife’s eyes to trace alone. 4LtMs, Lt 2, 1883, par. 6
I would advise you not to go into Elder Andrews’ family. Your wife is not a strong woman and must have careful consideration if she keeps able to work and have the care of her family. You must see [that] more and extra care does not come upon her. 4LtMs, Lt 2, 1883, par. 7
A sympathy has been awakened for Elder Andrews that is not called for. The very ones who would make so great an excitement over him will permit those who are just as worthy to pass along without sympathy or pity. God is not in this great attention paid to one man. When I saw how the work had been held and the mold placed upon it in Switzerland, my heart was filled with anguish. While it is our duty to love and care for Elder Andrews, it is not our duty to deify him. It is not those who sympathize with him the most who are his best friends. It is not those who would concede to every proposition he may make that are being led and guided of the Lord. His sufferings have been very much of his own creating through his own course which he was determined to pursue. 4LtMs, Lt 2, 1883, par. 8
Now, Brother Whitney, no one knows of this but yourself and my Willie [White] and Brother and Sister I. I do not want Elder Andrews injured, neither do I want the cause of God to bear the hindrance and the mold of his diseased imagination. Move cautiously. Sister Oyen should have no connection with Elder Andrews. She is self-conceited, full of self-importance, and is no help to Elder Andrews. 4LtMs, Lt 2, 1883, par. 9
May God bless you and yours on your long journey and in your most difficult mission. 4LtMs, Lt 2, 1883, par. 10