Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 56, 1888

Burke, Brother

Reno, Nevada

May 28, 1888

Portions of this letter are published in UL 162.

Dear Brother Burke:

I have not been able to obtain a calligraphic copy until now. I received your letter before I left St. Helena. I was sorry that you did not immediately act upon the light God had given you and manifest greater zeal in setting things in order. I always feel that if there is a wrong to be repaired, delays are dangerous, for Satan may put a soothing plaster upon the bruise and leave the pestilent matter unobserved to work until it may be incurable. 5LtMs, Lt 56, 1888, par. 1

My mind has been much exercised the past night in regard to our condition as a people. I was looking over the discouraging attitude of our people in regard to their unity and love one for another, and I was very sad and heart-burdened. Then the promises came up before me in such clear light that my courage revived. I devoted the early morning hours, while all on the encampment was quiet, to earnest supplication to God for heavenly wisdom to know how to speak a word in season to my brethren, and deep impressions were made upon my mind that those who had walked in darkness needed special help to bring them to the light. There is no one who has pursued a wrong course whom Jesus will not pardon and receive and bless if he will come to Him believingly and cast himself in his conscious weakness and helplessness upon His sympathy and His strength. 5LtMs, Lt 56, 1888, par. 2

My mind labors for you that you may come fully to the light, that peace and comfort and joy might be your portion. What a comforting thought that Jesus is touched with the feelings of our infirmities! He has been tempted in all points as we are tempted, and just the right kind of help has been provided for us, that if we only put our feet in the prints of Jesus’ footsteps, we will be safe. He has hallowed the path His feet have trod. We hear His inviting voice, “Follow me. I am the light of the world. They that follow me shall not walk in darkness. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” [John 8:12; 16:33.] 5LtMs, Lt 56, 1888, par. 3

In actual experience Christ has overcome the world, and how great His love to us when He invites us to come to Him in all our afflictions, distresses, heartaches, and perplexities, with the assurance that He will help us! He will bring health and brightness into our lives. If we place our hand in the hand of Jesus Christ, He will place our feet on solid rock, a better foundation than we ever had before. He will make us more strong in His strength and He will work with all our efforts. 5LtMs, Lt 56, 1888, par. 4

Then when our own souls have experienced His healing touch we are brought into close fellowship with Jesus, and we will be laborers together with God not only to restore the erring, to repair broken hearts and souls, but to impart courage and faith and confidence. This is the work of God’s laborers—to bring to Jesus souls who have gone away from His direct teachings and have apparently gone to pieces on the rocks and reefs of sin. These broken lives, that have been apparently hopeless, He promises to make whole. 5LtMs, Lt 56, 1888, par. 5

It is more difficult to teach one who thinks he knows it all than one who feels his inefficiency and his ignorance. I speak understandingly when I say, The work of repairing souls broken down through errors, through manifest sin, is the most difficult we can do. Some pet sin has been cultivated which has taken the lines of control, one bad habit has not been vigorously fought and conquered, and oh, how hard [it is] to efface the bruises that soul has sustained! Where there is success made in a few cases, there is failure in the many. 5LtMs, Lt 56, 1888, par. 6

Brother Burke, I appeal to you to delay not, but to be a wise worker for God, to put forth every effort to redeem the time. Let nothing deter you. God can do without you, but you cannot do without God. But the Lord will accept consecrated, devoted effort on your part. 5LtMs, Lt 56, 1888, par. 7