Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 15, 1884

Rue, Brother and Sister

Healdsburg, California

January 20, 1884

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Rue:

I am much troubled in regard to you both because there is serious danger of misconceived opinions that will lead to great unhappiness. You are both at fault. You need to cultivate love for each other. Brother Rue, you are too closely bound up in yourself. Those little attentions that a woman prizes, it is not natural for you to give. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 1

Your mother sees nought but perfection in you and will be much inclined to be sharp and critical of your wife, and be strict to mark any want of devotion and attention from her to you. But she will not, in her selfish love, be as ready to see those things that need to be corrected in your own course of action. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 2

Your wife’s taste and inclinations, her education and training, are different from Brother Rue’s. She has inclinations and preferences of her own. Although she should be ready to yield them to the husband, he should, in turn, yield his preferences to her. There should be a constant effort to be of one mind and of one soul. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 3

Brother Rue, give your wife words of tenderness and love. Do not be exacting. You speak and act at times in an unreasonable manner calculated to wean the affections of your wife from you. You cannot, either of you, put down the will of the other by firmness or unkindness. All this had better be avoided. The wife appreciates sympathy and love expressed, love demonstrated. Self-will will not bring to you the firm affections of your wife. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 4

You each have a tendency to love yourselves. Hulda has a wealth of affection but it is difficult for this affection to live in an uncongenial atmosphere. It is in your power, Brother Rue, to change the atmosphere. Hereditary traits of selfishness may overbear other excellent qualities and therefore should be watched and corrected. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 5

This is not the work of a moment but that of a whole lifetime. The selfishness of one or both will show itself. It may be in small matters which are a grief to the other—but this close relationship with each other should make them mutually forbearing toward each other. Love will die a natural death unless it is cultivated. It is not a small matter for two minds to be brought into such close relationship with each other by the most sacred vows. You both claim to be Christians. You are then to be governed by religious principles in all your conduct toward each other. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 6

Brother Rue, you are too cold and reserved in your affections. If you want to keep the love of your wife alive for you, you must keep your love, both by expression and deeds, alive for her, else you will drift apart in your sympathies and in your tastes and habits. You need to think less of yourself and appreciate your wife, who has superior qualities but is not free from vanity and self-love. You are bound to each other, and your two dear children strengthen and treble the bands that unite you together. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 7

How few realize these responsibilities of so weighty a character. Put religion into your life. Live it daily. Breathe in the atmosphere of unselfish love for the sake of your little ones. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 8

Be earnestly mild, kindly courteous to each other; diligently perform your everyday duties as in the sight of God. You will then love each other and you will be forgetful of self in seeking to make each other happy. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 9

Let not your mother exalt your virtues. Let not yourself think that there is nothing for you in the way of reform. You have habits to correct you have changes to make to bring pleasantness, praise of your wife, into your daily life and exalt her virtues, and not in any way cultivate a cold, harsh, unloveable spirit. Shun the evil of self-love. There is no way of retaining the love of God and the love of your wife except by ceasing to make yourself a center. Deny yourself. Cultivate pleasantness. Act from high and holy motives. You two will certainly drift apart unless you change your course of action towards each other and have deference and respect for one another. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 10

Seek to be heavenly minded, to be pure, circumspect. Brother Rue, you need more warmth of love. May the Lord bind your hearts together in the sacred bonds of His holy love. If you love God supremely, you will love each other. You will in thoughts, words, and actions show respect and love for each other and express it. And let no one have the least influence over you to dim or to chill this love of heavenly origin. You must be at agreement. “If two of you agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done of my heavenly Father.” [Matthew 18:19.] Precious promise! 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 11

Your children, you are to guide in the path of righteousness. You are to correct them if they are wrong and help them with unselfish interest to overcome, yourselves appreciating the words of Jesus, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8.] Sin hath no dominion over the pure in heart. They have laid aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset them. They love God with all the heart. I will not write further to you now, but I entreat of you to make yourselves a necessity to each other. If you would be happy, bind your hearts together by the silken cords of love, and the Lord will bless you. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 12

Brother Rue, you need encouragement to love your wife, to cherish her. Unless you shall be less selfish and more tender and affectionate, your wife, who is naturally affectionate, will be constantly in danger of seeking that love and appreciation that you do not give her. If you want to quench out of her heart the last spark of love, then be cold and silent. Give her no words of praise. Just let your heart be open to tenderness, to love; this will be no sign of weakness. If your mother should be less critical, if you should be less critical and praise more, it will be for the happiness of you all. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 13

You have been made aware of your wife’s danger. Help her to overcome all that has bewildered her senses and perverted her ideas. I know that you need more tender love in order to save your wife from imperiling her soul. The wife should cultivate devotion to her husband, and the husband should cultivate devotion to his wife, both acting your part nobly. Will you be faithful to the holy trust you have taken upon yourselves, and will you bring in all that fine grain of gentleness and protecting love that a woman’s heart requires? 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 14

Will you cherish her happiness as a sacred jewel? “Believeth all things, hopeth all things, beareth all things.” [1 Corinthians 13:7.] Help her study how you can help her to build up herself in her God-given womanhood. Encourage her confiding love. Be all and all to each other. Give endearing attentions to each other. Speak no sharp, cold, unsympathizing words that sting like an arrow. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 15

God wants you both to make improvements. You are both under the most solemn obligations to take a sacred interest in each other and make personal sacrifices for each other. You must love as Christ loved His church when He gave Himself for it. This love implies the utmost gentleness in all your associations. One may be faithful and true to the marriage vows, and yet each love—and he may have love—and fail to express affection in words and deeds. Such cannot satisfy the heart of a loving woman. Let there be no display of fretfulness or impatience under any circumstances. Let the sweetness of Christ into the life and practice love. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 16

I leave these words with you, for I love and respect you both. Make your life fragrant with good works. Let there be calm deliberation in the control and government of your children. Decide that no one shall in the least manner interfere in this solemn, sacred responsibility. Never repulse your wife’s affections. Never allow yourself to seem cold and unimpressible when she would be affectionate. And may the dear Jesus make your path very plain is my most earnest desire. 4LtMs, Lt 15, 1884, par. 17