Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 57, 1888

Harper, Laura

Fresno, California

June 8, 1888

This letter is published in entirety in TSB 54-57.

Dear Sister Harper:

I wish to present before you some few points. Why do you not regard facts as they are? You two registered an oath that has been recorded upon the record books of heaven by the recording angel that you would love one another until death does you part. Why do you not remember this? Do you so lightly put aside your vows? Should you yield to evil counsel your honor, your oath, your duty? If evil thoughts have come in upon you, if you have had evil advice suggesting your estrangement, is that a reason you should lightly cast aside your oath? Is an oath nothing? Are your own whims everything? 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1888, par. 1

You may say you do not love your husband. Is that a reason you should not try to do so? Is this life so long and of such value to you that you will choose to have your own way and set aside God’s law? I see no possible grounds for you to obtain a divorce. If your husband deceived you, even so, there is your oath. If he told you, as he says he did do, and denies that he deceived you, then you married him, how can you obtain a divorce? I wish you would pursue a course in accordance with the advice I gave you, for I cannot give you any other counsel. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1888, par. 2

My heart is sick when I see the loose way that the marriage vows are held. We are nearing the judgment. I ask you to consider carefully, candidly, your position. There is, perhaps, upon more thorough acquaintance, a dislike of your husband’s ways and manners. Will not many people find the same, after the marriage novelty has passed? But when you made your vow before God and holy angels, you knew you were not perfect and your husband was not perfect; but this is no excuse for breaking your marriage vow. There is a need of training your mind and heart that you shall bear with one another, to be kind to one another, and not to allow distrust and hatred to come in. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1888, par. 3

I love you, my sister, and I do not want you should take a course to ruin your own happiness and that of your husband. Those who have come in to teach you to do this had better be searching their own hearts. When you bring your will more to your aid and conscientiously move in the fear of God, then the love you now suppose to be dead will be found to have a resurrection, unless you play upon each other’s evil nature and stir up the worst qualities of the human heart. The fountain of love will increase day by day and will exclude in time all bitterness and disappointments. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1888, par. 4

You know you have kindly feelings towards your husband for he is your husband and he loves you with all his heart. Your love would be precious to him, a light, an inspiration to his life. Your husband will appreciate your love; he will value it, and it will have a modifying, elevating influence upon his life. You may have fancies and ideas and whims that you may not at once surrender, and your husband may have to bear humbly and patiently with you, but you have noble traits of character that, if not disregarded and abused, will come to your help. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1888, par. 5

Now I tell you that you cannot break your marriage vow and be guiltless before God. Unite your interest with your husband. Love him and bear with him and work with him. Bid the evil advisers depart. The case is between you and your husband and your God. It is a pride of heart that shuts your eyes that you cannot and do not discover the justice and righteousness in the case of fidelity to your husband. Adhere faithfully to your marriage vows because you are upright of heart, and will you regret this keeping of your vows when you shall be clothed in the garments of Christ’s righteousness? 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1888, par. 6

We have only a brief season here upon the earth, a time when licentious practices under the marriage vow are ruining thousands and tens of thousands. While you have some cross to lift, do not, I beg you for Christ’s sake, depart from justice and righteousness. Let your lives be in sobriety and bring your will power into the matter, looking not for perfection in each other, but looking unto Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of your faith. Strive to run the Christian race with patience, keeping the crown of life in view, seeking to have a knowledge of the will of God, striving for precedence in His acquaintance and affections. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1888, par. 7

You will, I know, when convinced of the right way, act resolutely, not as a child, but according to your convictions and [not] according to your feelings. Give yourself to God without reserve, soul, body, and spirit. Go to work in the cause of God, doing good, and the Lord will bless you. Do not become self-centered. Think of someone’s soul; think of the self-denying, self-sacrificing life of Jesus. Turn your attention away from yourself to Jesus and His life and His character. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1888, par. 8