Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 111, 1886

Meyrat, Adolphe



Previously unpublished.

My dear Brother:

Elder Whitney has read to me your letter to Brother Albert Vuilleumier, wherein the testimonies are referred to by you in support of the position which you have taken. I have since my husband died forgiven debts of about one thousand dollars—three hundred dollars to one brother. It was a money loan, but he was poor and troubled because this debt hung over him. I thought the Lord was testing me in this matter to see if I would love my neighbor as myself. I thought should I be exacting with this brother, then the Lord, to whom I am indebted for all that I possess, would be exacting with me. Just as I deal with my brethren will God deal with me. So I passed over to him his note and had him put it in the fire. 4LtMs, Lt 111, 1886, par. 1

Another brother owed me one hundred dollars. He said he was poor, unable to pay. I released him. Still another owed me one hundred dollars. He wrote me he would pay me when he could, but had not the means to pay me then. I wrote to him [that] I forgave the debt. Another owed me fifty dollars, but was unfortunate in business. I have never asked for the money. It was tendered to me twice. I said, No, I cannot take it; you need it. When we shall meet around the throne of God, I do not want any account to be written against me in the books of heaven that I did not have compassion for the needy and the distressed. Five hundred dollars was loaned, with promise to pay in a few months. I have received nothing for two years and expect nothing, because misfortune came upon them in losses of property. 4LtMs, Lt 111, 1886, par. 2

I am carrying a debt of $10,000 on which I pay eight per cent interest, and yet I am glad I have not required the payment of these notes which were my just due. I can sympathize with you in this matter of wanting the means due you. But I cannot sympathize with you in the urging of one of God’s servants, whom I know to be a conscientious, God-fearing, honorable man, to pay you money that he cannot possibly pay when his circumstances are such that he can barely live, with the strictest economy. You certainly would not write and urge the payment of money that he cannot possibly command. When banks fail where our means are invested, we take it as a matter of course, bear it with as good grace as possible, but make no very great lamentations over the matter; but here is a brother in the faith who has met with loss. Because of dishonesty of others, he lost his all. Some others were involved and also lost, some more and some less. Then should one of his own brethren show no compassion, no mercy; and shall he pass judgment against his unfortunate brethren? Shall he judge him harshly and be severe upon him? If so, God will surely deal with the one who does this and will treat him precisely as he would treat his unfortunate brother. Has not Jesus paid the debt of His own life for us? 4LtMs, Lt 111, 1886, par. 3

Please read the parable of the debtor in the lessons of Christ to His disciples, (Matthew 18:22) and onward. Again read the good, righteous, and merciful laws the Lord gave to the children of Israel, (Leviticus 25:35-37): “If thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.” 4LtMs, Lt 111, 1886, par. 4

(Deuteronomy 15:7-11): “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: but thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.” 4LtMs, Lt 111, 1886, par. 5

I hope, my dear brother, that you and your good mother will see the clear light and understand your duty. I know that the Brothers Vuilleumier are afflicted over this matter. They suffer, both of them, in mind, and the Lord looks upon their distress with tender compassion. I entreat of you to write a receipt to these brethren, forgive the debt, and do it as in obedience to God’s law and requirements. You will be blessed in thus doing. When I heard Brother Whitney read your letters, he was so grieved he wept, for he knew the sensitive heart of Brothers Albert and Luke Vuilleumier. These are God’s children, and you do not feel right toward them. I believe when you look at this matter in the light of the Bible, you will see you have made a mistake and pressed your claims altogether too severely. Will you now freely forgive the debt as you would have the Lord forgive you your indebtedness to Him? 4LtMs, Lt 111, 1886, par. 6

I feel a deep interest that you shall do right in this matter, because you will not be blessed of the Lord unless you do. I want you both to have the favor of God, and you cannot have it unless you follow the rules God has given in His Word as to how one brother should treat his brother. I will not urge you to see and do your duty, because I believe you will when you see it in the light of the Bible. You had better release your claims, then Satan will not keep bringing up the matter to your mind to perplex and harass you. 4LtMs, Lt 111, 1886, par. 7

With much respect, 4LtMs, Lt 111, 1886, par. 8

Your sister in Christ. 4LtMs, Lt 111, 1886, par. 9