Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6

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Lt 7, 1889

Daniels, E. P.

Battle Creek, Michigan

July 28, 1889

This letter is published in entirety in PH096 64-65.

Dear Brother Daniels:

Since writing you, as you will see in the letter of earlier date, I have carried a burden on my mind for you. Again last night your case was forced to my notice, and I was talking with you as a mother talks to her son. I said, “Brother Daniels, you should not feel it to be your duty to converse with young ladies upon certain subjects, even if your wife is present. You are encouraging in them the idea that it is all right to communicate to ministers the family secrets and difficulties that should be brought before God, who understands the heart, who never makes a mistake, and who judges righteously. Refuse to listen to any communications of private matters, concerning either families or individuals. If persons are encouraged to come to one man with their troubles, they will think it all right to keep up this practice, and it will become a snare, not only to the soul who communicates, but to the one to whom these things are confided.” I said, “God has not laid this kind of work upon you. Do not invite the confidence of either married or unmarried women. Take the young men and give them your special attention; pray with them and for them. Do not talk with them, or with young ladies either, upon the subject of marriage. This subject needs to be repressed rather than encouraged.” 6LtMs, Lt 7, 1889, par. 1

Again I entreat of you to carry all solemnity with you into the pulpit. Do not talk at random or act indiscreetly, but labor for souls as for those who must give an account. I know that our people are liable to be drawn to you instead of depending entirely on Christ, and thus they will endanger their souls. 6LtMs, Lt 7, 1889, par. 2

One thing alarms me; when you are cautioned or reproved, you act exactly as Elder Canright has acted for years. He rose up just as you do. He justified himself and thought himself misjudged and abused. Because he pleased the tastes of the people, he regarded himself as all right. Why do you act so pettishly when your course is questioned? Do you think that is no danger at all in your case? Are your eyes blinded that you fail to discern any danger? Because so many are foolish enough to flatter, praise, and extol you, does it bring you evidence that you are sinless? Because the Lord watches your footsteps and, seeing that they may go in wrong paths, sends you counsel and reproof—or consolation—as the case requires, will you rise up against it? Who can know his own faults? You may make assertions, and they may be honestly made, but after all, they may be made because you do not see your danger. Real, living, Christian principles that rule the heart at all times and under all circumstances will make you an overcomer and a living channel of light. It will be nothing short of a delusion to entertain the idea that you are in no danger. I tell you that you are in danger. You need to walk carefully and prayerfully before God. 6LtMs, Lt 7, 1889, par. 3