Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 38, 1890

Diary, January 1890

Battle Creek, Michigan

January 2-26, 1890

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 10.

Battle Creek Labors in Early 1890

Last night [Jan. 1] as a family we were sorely afflicted. Emma White was confined to her bed very sick, Sara McEnterfer, my secretary, was sick with the prevailing influenza; Edson White was sick with the same disease; myself threatened. I sent for Dr. Kellogg that I might have help. He said, “You have been having a tremendous strain upon you. I wonder that you can endure so much; but do not go into meeting this evening.” And then came a request from the president of the conference, Elder Olsen, and Elder Farnsworth and other brethren, soliciting me to be present at the meeting to be held in the tabernacle for the benefit of the youth that evening. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 1

I did not dare to say, I cannot come. I went, and found a large number assembled in the auditorium of the tabernacle. I was pleased to see so many interested youth. Several prayers were offered by Elders Farnsworth, Kilgore, and Underwood. I spoke about twenty minutes to those assembled and then asked those who were not Christians to come forward. About fifty responded. It was a very solemn time. Many of these were seeking the Lord for the first time. Many testimonies were borne expressing their desires, and then earnest prayer was offered in their behalf. If there was more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth than over ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance, there must have been joy in heaven over the scene our eyes looked upon when so large a number presented themselves as seeking the Lord. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 2

Not many of the older church members were present, for this meeting was especially for the youth. But my heart was made sad to see that some for whom I had been praying were not present among the seekers. Where were these poor souls who so much needed the benefit of that meeting? I so much hoped to see Homer Salisbury and other special ones present earnestly seeking the Pearl of great price, but where were these souls? I learned that they were at a party of young people assembled to amuse themselves, and that which made me feel deeply was that our brethren and sisters in the church opened their houses to have these gatherings for the youth, thus giving their sanction to such things. They were not safe counsellors or faithful stewards of the grace of Christ. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 3

I see in this a device of the enemy. When the servants of God are planning and devising ways and means to benefit the youth, that the unconverted shall be reached, those who profess to have been converted help the enemy to get up some attraction, such as a musical concert, to divert the minds and attention from the very work the Lord is burdening His servants to do. I inquire, What can be done to impress the youth to bear their responsibilities as soldiers of the cross of Christ, to come up into working order that they may be laborers together with God? We are to help the youth who are inexperienced and do not know where they are traveling. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 4

Many are on the enchanted ground of the enemy. Things of the least importance—foolish social parties, singing, jesting, joking—engross their minds, and they serve God with a divided heart. In these things you have one unseen in your midst, helping you. Satan is present, full of hellish exultation. The declaration of Christ, “No man can serve two masters,” (Matthew 6:24) is unheeded. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 5

After the ascension of Christ, the Holy Spirit did not immediately descend. There were ten days after His ascension before the Holy Spirit was given. This time was devoted by the disciples to most earnest preparation for receiving so precious an endowment. The rich treasures of heaven were poured out to them after they had searched their own hearts diligently and had sacrificed every idol. They were before God, humbling their souls, strengthening their faith, confessing their sins. And their hearts were in harmony with one another. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting,” etc. Acts 2:1, ff. The church needs a similar experience right here at the great heart of the work. Are we searching our hearts, preparing for the heavenly grace to be received? The Lord is waiting to be gracious. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 6

The Lord will reveal Himself to His people, but they must be unitedly engaged in the work of seeking the Lord and not some be scattered, holding little parties of pleasure, which create a state of things that has a tendency to lead to the forgetting of God rather than to the remembrance of Him. All these side shows, these frivolous parties, are out of place and most decidedly the work of Satan at such a time as this. They are not in harmony with God or His Holy Spirit. The work which is to be carried forward at this time is a most important one. It is a life and death question. It is not the Lord that is prompting the young men and women and youth to engage in this work of pleasure gatherings, but it is another spirit. We pray for wisdom to know just what to do at this time. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 7

I am awake. Have spent the night praying and entreating the Lord to give His power to turn the current into the right channel of deep, earnest seeking of the Lord. Shall the enemy [be allowed], right at this solemn time, to bring in a condition of things—of diversion and pleasure—to absorb the mind and fill it with vain, trifling thoughts that have no place for God, eternity, or heaven? 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 8

Sunday, January 5, 1890

[Battle Creek]

Arose at four a.m. Prayed to my heavenly Father who seeth and heareth all that is done in secret. He knoweth the thoughts of the heart and He will bless the earnest seeker. Attended ministers’ meeting at eight o’clock a.m. Spoke about thirty minutes. Elder Olsen spoke about seventy-five minutes. Meeting held two hours. I became very weary and nervous. I did not recover during the day. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 9

Spoke to the patients at six o’clock p.m. I had freedom in speaking. Two gentlemen from Chicago were introduced to me and expressed much pleasure in hearing the words spoken. They solicited me to come to their Sunday school in Chicago. I visited with Sister _____, missionary from China. She is a pleasant woman, plain and simple in dress. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 10

January 26, 1890

Battle Creek, Michigan

Spoke in tabernacle vestry to the ministers. I see the need of plain, clear, decided, and unswerving testimony to those who claim to believe. A spirit has come in that is leavened with unbelief, and in our meetings we have to wade through a trying ordeal of a mass of darkness. But while one and still another who would have his say of things is making his influence felt, showing decided lack of unity, I am instructed, “Christ stands at the helm, and all these propositions that are so abundantly brought in are not one in ten at all needed. They absorb time, call forth talk, and create perplexing labor. That which we need is fewer propositions and fewer resolutions for time to come. These resolutions will not be carried into execution. We need very much more light to shine in our midst from Him who declared, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12. We need now simple faith in our Leader, Jesus Christ. We are in suffering need of that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 11


All Israel murmured when their faith was tested in regard to bread and water, and yet all Israel departed from the wilderness of Sin, not at Moses’ command but in obedience to the command of God. The unruly, contentious elements will obey the directions of God in some things, when it is in harmony with their own inclination and suits their own human ideas. But none will be registered in the books of heaven as good and obedient servants but those who walk with God, trustingly without questioning. They are not laggards. They do not block the way; they do not put the stone before the wheel. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 12

Praise is given to men for one or two praiseworthy actions, but the Lord, who sees beneath the surface, reads the motives that prompted the action. Satan brings great sufferings upon the bodies of human beings. He hates mankind because they are the workmanship of God. He opposed the creation of man. On many occasions—in order to deceive, if possible, the very elect—he gives influence to men who would deceive. He removes his evil power from the bodies, that he can better bruise the head. The power of God is accredited to the deceiver, and in this way Satan receives praise and glory. Souls are deluded. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 13

Obedience to God in all things must be the principle of our life, for as soon as we depart from the path that has been marked out by God in His Word the enemy is on the spot with his deceptions. If we think we follow, murmuring at every step, it were far better to be left behind, for the murmurers infuse doubt and distrust into other minds by their many words of unbelief. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 14

Those who distrust God and do not have faith in Him, but go to forbidden sources for relief, are under the condemnation of God. They are on the enemy’s ground. The question is asked, Is it because there is not a God in Israel that ye go to inquire of the gods of Ekron? If pain and suffering in one are alleviated by a physician who does not walk and work in the fear of God, then the enemy works through that one to seduce another to have faith in his superior ability, and he may be relieved, and still another may find freedom from difficulties. But is there not a power behind the scenes at work to extol the abilities of the man who is living in transgression of the law of God? Is not the enemy laying his concealed snare to set the minds upon a wrong train of reasoning? Is it not his work to form links with those who love not and fear not God, with those who are in rebellion against Him? Thus Satan shall have power over many through the influence of a few who are full of misconception and who have proclaimed the virtue done to them through forbidden channels. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 15

It is harder to endure suffering than to obey a commandment. Sufferings are greater trials than actions. “Do something,” the enemy says, “even if it is not the best thing. Get relief some way.” Thus he tempted Christ. “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Matthew 4:3. But Christ resisted him. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 16

Satan is now working as he will continue to work. He will work in the same line and in many ways until his power is taken away. Those who begin now to place themselves in the hands of physicians who neither love nor fear God will encourage others to do the same thing that they have done. Is not the enemy in all this to remove the defense from the people of God? The Lord will have His people thoroughly tried and tested. If we cannot follow God by living faith, if we repair to those who have no connection with God, we are placing ourselves where Satan is trying to have us go and where he can use us. Thus he obtains control of the mind, then makes impressions on the mind, and others receive the impressions imparted by the first one deceived. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 17

The Lord led Israel to Rephidim. He could just as well have conducted them to another place. But He permitted them to go through these bad places that He might have an opportunity of revealing His matchless love in miracles of His grace. 6LtMs, Ms 38, 1890, par. 18