Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 35, 1886

Bourdeau, D. T.

Basel, Switzerland

March 7, 1886

Portions of this letter are published in EGWE 171.

Dear Brother Daniel Bourdeau:

I have been reading over the letter written to you from Healdsburg, and I have inquired whether you have read it thoroughly so as to take in all that was written. I fear greatly that you have not done this, and that you will go on just as you have done in past times, feeling self-confident, that you know better than any one else how to labor, and that you shall continue to estimate your powers more than they will bear. 4LtMs, Lt 35, 1886, par. 1

You have an opportunity, now that you are engaged with others in labor, to see whether you will want to load on to yourself the whole burden of preaching, or whether you will esteem your brethren as you do yourself, and will give them room and opportunity to labor. If you do as you have done in the past, you will press yourself forward, grasp the opportunities which your brethren should have, and use the time yourself to your own injury and to the disappointment of the hearers. You flatter yourself that you can interest the hearers better than any of your brethren, and sometimes in this you deceive yourself. In the past you have done this and done the main part of the speaking with the idea that you could do better work than any of the brethren. 4LtMs, Lt 35, 1886, par. 2

Now, my brother, I write for your good. You have lessons to learn that are very hard for you to understand. That is not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, and not place yourself high above your brethren, and of feeling so sensitive if your way is questioned or your plans interfered with. No one must suggest to you anything that will change your course of action. I have been surprised to read letters of this character that you have written to Bro. Whitney, with request that they should be read to me. I cannot hold my peace, for I see that you do not sense your danger and do not realize the necessity of constantly learning in the school of Christ, of accepting the light that God has given you, and acting upon this light. 4LtMs, Lt 35, 1886, par. 3

My brother, self is your greatest enemy. You have not even heeded the light given you because self was so determined to have its own way. I see by the expression of your letters that you need to die daily to self. You need to obtain victories over yourself. God will not work a miracle in your behalf while you do not bring yourself into submission before Him, but are continually striving to have yourself exalted. That independence you have so much to say about maintaining is the very element in your character which makes the work so exceedingly hard for you and for others. If you cannot stand first, you will not do anything. 4LtMs, Lt 35, 1886, par. 4

I have heard a voice say, “I will be no man’s second. I will be dictated to by no man.” He is sleeping in the grave now. I know, my brother, that Eld. Andrews might have been alive today if he had received and improved the light that God sent him. But he took those parts of the testimony that agreed with him in every point, but those which corrected his course he said were the mind of Sr. White. The Lord has sent you light, and He wants you to heed it and improve in every way, that you may meet the mind of the Spirit of God. The Lord has cautioned you; and if you draw away like a rebellious child as did Eld. Andrews, the Lord has no reserve means to bring to bear upon you. You have refused to be advised and counselled by any of your brethren because you think you know better than any one that would teach you; and if the testimony of the Spirit of the Lord does not effect the change in you that must be made, then nothing more can be done. You are not above your brethren, but on an equal with them, and you grieve the Spirit of the Lord when you talk about your individuality, your independence, your being sore upon these points. These are words that I never wish to read from your pen or hear uttered from your lips, for you have nearly ruined your own soul over these misgivings. 4LtMs, Lt 35, 1886, par. 5