Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 12, 1888

Daniels, E. P.

Burrough Valley, California

July 1, 1888

This letter is published in entirety in PH096 53-56. +Note

Dear Brother [E. P. Daniels]:

Several have said to me that Bro. and Sr. [E. P.] Daniels were in the habit of using tea, and when they were spoken to in regard to it, they had stated that Sr. White kept tea in her house, drank it herself, and advised you to drink it. It is difficult for me to believe that you have said this, although the same testimony has come from several. 5LtMs, Lt 12, 1888, par. 1

You are not always as particular about your words as you should be; you make rash statements. The above declarations are not true. I learn that to excuse your practice of using wine, you have stated, so I have been informed, that Bro. and Sr. White kept wine in their house and, to your certain knowledge, used it. This, like the statement in regard to drinking tea, is not true. Will you please tell me why you make such rash statements? You claim to be my friend; do you imagine these statements will help my influence among the people? I do not use tea, either green or black. Not a spoonful has passed my lips for many years except when crossing the ocean, and once since on this side I took it as a medicine when I was sick and vomiting. In such circumstances it may prove a present relief. 5LtMs, Lt 12, 1888, par. 2

I did not use tea when you were with us. I have always used red clover top, as I stated to you. I offered you this and told you it was a good, simple, and wholesome drink. I remember that Sr. Ings made tea for you several times by your special request. You said you had a headache and must have something to help it, and you said tea always had helped you. I told her I did not like to have her do this, for it was contrary to my principles. I asked her where she got the tea, and she said that a family who were on a camping trip had stopped here, and a Mr. Wallace who was not a believer was with them, and the party had tea and made it for him. When they had gone, the tea was found here, and she supposed they must have left it. I have not bought a penny’s worth of tea for years. Knowing its influence, I would not dare to use it, except in cases of severe vomiting, when I take it as a medicine but not as a beverage. 5LtMs, Lt 12, 1888, par. 3

I have felt alarmed for you for some time because of your use of teas and wines. Of all others you should touch not, taste not, handle not anything like tea, coffee, wine, brandy, or any stimulus. You are of a nature that you cannot safety use anything of that order. Your preaching to others is not in harmony with your practice. This is against you and leaves a doubtful impression upon minds in regard to the ministry. Your case is presented before them, and the supposition is in their minds that other ministers indulge in these things as you do yourself. To cover and excuse yourself, you have mislead others by misstating me. I do not preach one thing and practice another. I do not present to my hearers rules of life for them to follow while I make an exception in my own case. You are a man who should never use tea, coffee, brandy, or wine. Your nervous temperament will become unduly excited and be followed by corresponding depression. It is perilous for you to educate your tastes and stimulate your nerves, for you are in serious danger of depending on these stimulants and working upon them. The habit of taking stimulants may become second nature to you and pave the way for you to become a drunkard. You may start back and feel bitter towards me because I say these things to you, but let me tell you, you have accustomed yourself to these indulgences because you felt that you must have them for their immediate stimulating properties. 5LtMs, Lt 12, 1888, par. 4

I have not tested the wine that you claim is not intoxicating. I have perhaps used half a pint in all, taking a spoonful with a raw egg, much as I hate the taste of wine. I would not care, even if I had not solemnly pledged myself not to use wine as a beverage, to make a daily practice of taking even one teaspoonful with a raw egg, for Satan is at work to encourage the use of tea, coffee, wine, and beer that he may make us dependent upon these things and encourage our resorting to them frequently, so that our appetite and taste will crave these stimulants. I tell you frankly that you would be much better in nerve and muscle, if you made a decided change in your practice, not only in drinking stimulating drinks, but in eating so largely of meat. The animal powers are strengthened by indulgence in these things, and the moral and spiritual powers are overborne. I am not guilty of drinking any tea except red clover top tea, and if I loved wine, tea, and coffee, I would not use these health-destroying narcotics, for I prize health, and I prize a healthful example in all these things. I want to be a pattern of temperance and of good works to others. Will my brother practice as well as preach temperance in all things? If you do this, I do not believe you will be so changeable in your character. Your words will be more select and well chosen. You will not be careless in regard to your conversation. You will not be so depressed at one time and so hilarious at another, acting like a boy in place of an ambassador of Jesus Christ. I am seriously troubled for your soul. I know people are unwise in praising you and extolling you; should they read you as God sees you, they could not do this. I know that when you have apparent success you are more elated and crave praise, and you get it from many who, if their hearts were right with God, would not speak one word to flatter you. They would understand that it is not safe to pet and praise you or any other poor, sinful mortal. The Lord is to be exalted by all His creatures. Finite man is not to attract admiration or praise, but do His work in humility. 5LtMs, Lt 12, 1888, par. 5

August 3, 1888

Healdsburg, California

Since having the conversation with you in Fresno, I have thought much over the matter. While at Burrough Valley, I had written you several letters, but after the letter you wrote to me, I thought you were in no condition to rightly receive anything which would seem of a reproving nature, however much you needed it. I did not wish to expend my strength in vain. The letters written I will give to you when you are in a condition to appreciate them. I am sure that in your present state spiritual things are not spiritually discerned, and I greatly fear for your soul. Under temptation you will not stand the proving any better than have some who have apostatized. You love praise, and you are in danger, great danger, of losing your soul. What can I say to arouse you to your true condition? Your brethren have treated you unwisely in letting you have money time and again to get you out of a pressure of difficulties. This has been the worst thing they could do for you; it has hedged up the way so that you could not have a right understanding of yourself. It has closed your lips when they should be open to correct evils. It has influenced your decisions of men and their doings. It has bound your hands and bound about your testimony, so that your labor and burden has been of a worldly character and God has not been glorified. Unless you are balanced by the Spirit of God, you will make some very unwise moves which will injure if not destroy your influence among the people. Then, not seeing yourself, not studying wisely from cause to effect, you will denounce your brethren, when yourself is the one to be denounced and not your brethren. 5LtMs, Lt 12, 1888, par. 6