Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 10, 1889

Craig, Brother and Sister

Chicago, Illinois

April 2, 1889

Portions of this letter are published in AH 109-110; 10MR 72-73.

Dear Brother and Sister Craig:

Since coming to this mission, I recognize your countenances and have somewhat to say to you. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 1

The marriage relation is a solemn, sacred one, yet it is too often entered upon without due consideration. The influence of the wife over the husband is powerful for either good or evil. Many a man can date his success or failure in life from his marriage day. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 2

In the companionship of a true, unselfish woman, the husband finds peace and happiness, forgetting the cares of the world. But if the one whom he has chosen to stand by his side is self-centered, caring for no one or nothing but herself, requiring his time and attention to be constantly devoted to her and yet ignorant of her own duties as a wife and incapable of appreciating his efforts and sympathizing with them, the happiness of the home will be blighted. The wife will be miserable herself, and however well the husband may be qualified to be priest of the household, however energetic and unselfish, she too often lays the foundation for his ruin. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 3

I have been shown men of grand and generous impulses who were transformed through the influence of women of a narrow, selfish nature. Such women have no love for noble, spiritual things. They strive only to please themselves, and make everyone else please them too. They have an imbecile love of self-gratification, and to their mind the grand motive of duty has no force. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 4

Love is a tender plant and must be cultivated in order to flourish. A man’s love may be sacredly bestowed; but if it is not sacredly appreciated and reciprocated, it will die a natural death. When the wife feels that it is her prerogative to assume control over her husband, to force him to humor all her fancies, her likes and dislikes, her choice or rejection of things, he becomes no more than a plaything in her hands. All that is holy in the marriage relation is gradually obliterated, and the union becomes a yoke of bondage grievous to be borne. It is galling to the neck of the husband and finally becomes so to the wife. But if the husband possesses pure, manly traits of character, if he is industrious, ambitious, and honest, one who loves and fears God, he will not consent to be a slave to his wife’s caprices. If the wife is selfish, lacking in womanly traits, neither amiable nor self-denying, may the Lord help them, for life will be a woeful disappointment. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 5

The moral character of those united in marriage is either elevated or degraded by their association, and the work of deterioration accomplished by a low, deceptive, selfish, uncontrollable nature is begun soon after the marriage ceremony. If the young man makes a wise choice, he may have one to stand by his side who will bear to the utmost of her ability her share of the burdens of life, who will ennoble and refine him and make him happy in her love. But if the wife is fitful in character, self-admiring, exacting, accusing, charging her husband with motives and feelings that originate only in her own perverted temperament; if she has not discernment and nice discrimination to recognize his love and appreciate it but talks of neglect and lack of love because he does not gratify every whim, she will almost inevitably bring about the very state of things she seems to deplore; she will make all these accusations realities. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 6

The enemy has been, and still is, exercising his power through Sister Craig, and there is danger that her unconsecrated course will have such a deteriorating influence upon her husband that he will be led to view things in a wrong light and will finally have to separate from the work of God. Had he, before marriage, understood the character and disposition of her whom he made his wife, he would not have taken the step he did. She has a pretty face, but her heart is wilful and perverse. I was sorry to look upon a face so deceptive. Oh, that I might speak some words that would break Satan’s power, for she is now taking a course that will make her husband and herself very unhappy. She has a will that has never been controlled or guided. Her mother neglected duty, and the mother’s neglect will ruin the daughter unless she submits herself to God, so that His convicting spirit may show her how wicked is the spirit she is manifesting. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 7

Satan works through this woman. She makes herself and others believe that her husband does not have sympathy for her. She imagines him to be a tyrant because he does not accede to all her whims and caprices. She also makes him think that those in the mission do not sympathize with her. This, she says, affects her health, but I was shown that if she does not subdue her rebellious spirit, her health will be more decidedly affected, for now, when her will is crossed, she is really insane. It is possible for her to prevent all this. If she could control her will and ways just before marriage, she can do it now. Should her husband encourage her complaints and outbursts of temper, he would be doing the very thing that has made her what she is. And by so doing, he would tacitly admit that her troubles were real and not deceptions. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 8

The fact that Brother Craig is her husband leads her to wonderful lengths in trying to control him, but he must not yield to her. He has already come to see things too much as she does. If this continues, it will result in his separation from the work. Then Satan will have accomplished through this child-wife just what he determined to do. Her husband must not allow her to control him. He is God’s; Jesus has bought Him with His own blood. All his powers belong to God. Then which will he serve, the Lord God of Heaven or the unreasonable woman who throws herself into Satan’s hands and permits him to take possession of her, mind, soul, and body? 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 9

Sister Craig’s case has been presented to me as similar to that of several others who have been agents of Satan. Some of them drove their husbands away from them by their lack of love. Others have been such a trouble to the husband that life became a burden, and at last nature was exhausted, and he was laid in an untimely grave. Still others have driven their husbands from the truth. In one case, the woman’s deceptive power was so great that her husband really thought that she could not restrain herself from acting the satanic part she did, and he permitted his sympathy for her to lead him astray. This woman would appear bright, cheerful, and full of life until she saw him coming home; then her deceptions began. She would become languid and lie on the bed as if unable to help herself. In this way she completely deceived her long-suffering husband. He thought that all her whims and tantrums were caused by physical suffering, when in reality they were made up, with Satan’s help, to render effective the delusion of her husband. Thus the enemy of God and man has employed the wife as his agent. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 10

Sister Craig, you have done this same thing, only in a greatly aggravated way. Satan is opposed to the prosperity of the mission in this place, and every means employed to extend the truth he will [seek to] hinder. Evil, wherever it exists, is always opposed to right, and ever seeks to separate those who would serve God from the influence which would help them to serve Him. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 11

God, in His providence, has placed Brother and Sister Starr in charge of the mission at Chicago, and he would have Brother Craig perfectly united with them. They have the cause of God at heart. They are to be guardians of the mission. There will be influences created, which, if allowed, will lead Brother Craig to questioning of their course, to evil surmisings, and to unjust conclusions. But let him remember that such feelings indulged against God’s servants, are against Christ as well. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 12

Sister Craig, who is nothing but a child in experience, has ruled at home, and will attempt to do so here. She does not know her place. She will talk against her husband and against Brother and Sister Starr. Bold, defiant, and presumptuous, she will order dictate, and accuse, and her words will have an influence upon those in the mission who do not have clear discernment. Her constant talking, presenting things in her unsanctified way, will have a great effect upon her husband. Satan can work through Sister Craig to keep things in a constant turmoil. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 13

Shall he be permitted to do this? No! If Sister Craig is not converted, she must not remain in the mission. Her place is with her mother who has indulged and petted her, and allowed her to control everything at home. Just so long as she is unconverted, just so long as she is a willing agent of Satan, there will be perpetual conflict, and this, Brother Craig cannot always endure. Satan uses the elements of her character to destroy his peace of mind, subvert his faith, and unsettle his confidence in his brethren. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 14

Should he be separated from her, for one year at least, leaving her in her mother’s house, it would [be] far better for him and would give her a more favorable opportunity to develop a right character. He would then be out from under her direct influence, where she could not exercise her power over him to drive him to desperation. His presence, the supposed ownership she has in him, leads her to try every possible device to do—what? She could not, for her life, tell what she wants to do, only to make her husband regard her as the supreme object of his thoughts and affections, to worship her before his Creator; he must heed her every suggestion, yield to every impulse of her uncontrolled nature. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 15

Will you, Brother Craig, debase your God-given manhood, sacrifice your self-respect, your honesty, your fidelity, and lose the confidence of your brethren to gratify the whim of one whom Satan uses to scourge, to afflict, and destroy? Her work is to deprave human nature. Unless she places her will under the control of God and He pours His converting grace into her rebellious soul, she will make no attempt to oppose Satan but will be his willing agent against all good. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 16

God alone can put a new principle into the heart so that the conflict, which has been against those whom God would use as His servants, will be turned against Satan. If this principle is in her heart, she will see that she must resist her feelings and control her words and actions. If she will take her rightful place in the family, acknowledging the position that God has given the husband as head of the household even as Christ is head of the church, then she may become a child of God. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 17

The work now, Brother Craig, is to take your stand against these satanic agencies that have been set in operation to rob God of your powers and services. God has given you a work to do, and He would have you lovingly and unitedly laboring with those whom He has chosen to carry on His work and building up His cause. He wants you to have your whole interest in this work. You cannot help your wife to reach a better life by allowing her to lessen your interest in the spiritual prosperity of the mission. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 18

What power is to obtain the victory? Shall Satan gain the victory? No. Put your wife under the guardianship of her parents; let her go home to the mother who has not educated and trained her to obedience. May the Lord give you strength to take your stand for the right, for liberty, for freedom. 6LtMs, Lt 10, 1889, par. 19