Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)

Lt 59, 1888

Butler, Brother and Sister [G. I.]

Healdsburg, California

August 1, 1888

Portions of this letter are published in FBS 2.

Dear Bro. and Sister Butler:

I have received and am receiving many letters from the different state conferences making most urgent pleas for me to come to their camp meetings, and I would be glad to go if the Lord directed me; but the question is, What is my duty? Have not had time to settle down in my home to accomplish much writing for constantly changing from place to place where it has seemed circumstances compelled me; [it] has so broken me up [that] I could not accomplish any writings further than the writing out of matters which related to these different cases which seemed to be forced upon me in these places. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 1

I have had much labor for Fresno, and we could have had much less perplexity and wearing labor had it not been for the case of Brother [E. P.] Daniels’ family. I had so much labor at the April meeting that I was burdened day and night. I worked privately with individuals and publicly with those assembled at this meeting, and when it seemed we were about gaining a special victory, then some few seemed to feel so deeply over their sins that they lost their balance and went to extremes in confessing and fasting and praying. Oh, what a devil we have to contend with! 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 2

As it seemed sure that the Lord was working with us, and one of the most terrible rebellions had been prevented, I was relieved for a little and felt so grateful to God; but as soon as one burden was rolled off there were others that came upon me. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 3

Elder Daniels went to Fresno. He found the church in a bad condition, and he labored most zealously. All acknowledge that the Lord did work through him, and many in the church sought the Lord and a good work was apparently done. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 4

Then come the same things which have been the curse of some of our ministers: praise, flattery, and gifts which blind the eyes and tend to ruin the man. When he needs reproof or correction, all this kind of flattery and exaltation are just so many barriers to hinder reproof from taking effect. He feels his importance, that he is a necessity and that they can afford to give to him liberally. The Lord is dishonored and man is petted and glorified. This is painful to my heart, and I feel deeply over the matter that, through want of wisdom in our brethren, our ministers should be plunged into temptation, fierce and strong, making it next to impossible for the Lord to correct them or to lead them by any earthly means. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 5

I have written many pages. I have talked faithfully with both of them, separately and together, and yet I have but little encouragement. In response to my earnest efforts, Elder Daniels enclosed his credentials and sent them to me. I returned them and told him that this was not my work to receive yielded-up credentials from our ministering brethren. They must be returned to the president of our conference. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 6

I had still another faithful conversation with Elder Daniels, but the brethren have hurt him, and he has hurt the church by preaching straight truth and contradicting it in his life. This I set before him in a most decided manner, and I think now of little else I can do. I leave the matter with the Lord. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 7

I have spoken two Sabbaths here in Healdsburg. There was no minister to speak to them. The Lord did bless the word spoken. On both occasions quite a number of outsiders were in. Oh, how I do long for these souls to see the truth! 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 8

Last Sabbath we had a goodly number assembled in the church, and men of intellect not of our faith were present. My heart was subdued and melted by the Spirit of God, and there was weeping all through the house. We then had a second meeting in [the] afternoon, a social meeting. I spoke about twenty minutes and I think it was the best meeting of the kind I have attended in Healdsburg. I spoke again Sunday night, and the Lord did help me to speak. Many not of our faith were present. The Lord’s name be glorified! 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 9

I feel so deeply for the church and those not of our faith that I am often prostrated. This is the case yesterday and today. Poor souls confessing their sins and returning from their backslidings stir every fiber of my soul. We want the work to go forward deep and full and thorough. I cannot rest unless I see the church awake and a working church. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 10

How I long to speak to the large meetings in our several conferences, but I see enough that requires most decided effort here in California, and I fear I shall not cross the Rocky Mountains this year. They insist here I must attend the camp meetings, and if I do I cannot attend meetings [in the] East, and I do not think it would be prudent or wisdom to do this. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 11

I have not been in my home to remain one week for many months. My workers are now together, and while I feel anxious to bear my testimony to your camp meetings [in the] East, and I feel at times that I have words from God that I must speak to the people, I consider at what great disadvantage I have to work. Every meeting I attend revives before me some things in different individual cases that occupy all my time in writing to them, and the writing that has been neglected for years lies neglected still. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 12

The work on sanctification should come before the people, for spurious sanctification—so-called holiness—is everywhere abounding. Then, on [the subject of] temperance I have much to present. “Mother’s Influence” should be brought before the people. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 13

I ought to have out another testimony for the church, but I cannot obtain brain workers like Eliza [Burnham] and Marian [Davis]. She is now on Volume One; Eliza [is] in Australia. Fannie Bolton is fitted well for the work she is now doing, but she cannot take these matters that require attention and arrange them, for she has not experience. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 14

I have been broken up so much I cannot do anything to advantage. I must be with my workers or else it will be at great loss to me. I mean as soon as possible to get something out of Sister Ings in the interest of works mentioned. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 15

Now you see the situation, and as it now stands, I cannot see how it can be wisdom for me to pull up again here and leave my workers and go to even the General Conference, for I must stay here till after the camp meeting. Then it is too late to attend important meetings [in the] East. I think I will remain here until the early camp meetings [in the] East and then cross the plains to remain some little time. I ask every day the Lord to direct. I have no one to counsel with. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 16

Brother Lockwood and his good wife are in St. Helena. He [is a] cripple all of a sudden so that he cannot walk without crutches. We have to do the best we can, we women, alone. It is sad that I cannot have any help from Willie [White]. He is full of work early and late. I have not a soul to advise or counsel with. Well, I counsel with the Lord. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 17

Let me hear from you. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 18

Elder Butler, please send this to Brother King of Dallas. I am not sure of his address. Call the attention of Brother Kilgore to this matter. 5LtMs, Lt 59, 1888, par. 19