Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 14, 1891

Haskell, S. N.

Sydney, Australia

December 11, 1891

This letter is published in entirety in 1888 964-976.

Dear Brother:

We have received your letters and have read them with interest. This is the first chance I have had to respond. The Alameda leaves Sydney for America December 20, and the mail will go at that time. Well, we are here in Sydney, and our long ocean journey is over. We tarried nineteen hours in Honolulu, and I spoke in the evening in the Young Men’s Christian Association Hall. Though our meeting was announced but a short time before it was held, we had a good congregation. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 1

After speaking I was introduced to the prominent members of the Young Men’s Temperance Association, and they expressed their pleasure at the discourse which I gave. They said they had listened with great interest, and many new ideas had been presented to them, opening broad fields of thought in regard to redemption and the love of God. They expressed regret that they could not have the privilege of hearing me speak frequently to them and wished that I might remain with them for a couple of weeks and often occupy their hall, assuring me that I should have a good congregation. I thank the Lord for the favorable impression made upon them. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 2

Dr. Hammond, a minister of Honolulu, is doing his utmost to oppose our faith, and he attacks me in particular. He was present and heard me speak. I have written out more fully the particulars of the journey thus far, which you will see. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 3

For two nights I have had very plain dreams in regard to Dr. Burke. In those dreams it was plainly laid open before me that the reason Dr. Burke refused to see me was that he was guilty of wrong and sin, and refused to come to the light lest his deeds should be reproved. I am quite anxious to hear from the Rural Health Retreat, for Dr. Burke sent in his resignation just before we left. I am more and more convinced that [his] rebellion is almost incurable. If a man proves a traitor once, he is apt to become a traitor the second time. One thing is certain, we cannot trust Dr. Burke again under any circumstances, as he has gone as far as he has in denouncing me and my work. Never would he have done this if he had not for quite a length of time been walking in the sparks of his own kindling, separating himself from the Sun of Righteousness. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 4

The dreams I have had are very striking. One I had while on the boat and one since coming to Sydney. We need to be very guarded as to how we place responsibilities upon any man who has once betrayed sacred trusts. Somehow I feel like writing this. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 5

Now, Brother Haskell, I suppose that you are in California and that you will find much work to do, and I hope that health will be granted you, and be careful not to overwork. You know that your head will not bear much perplexity, therefore shun this and do not load down with responsibilities that others should carry. If your brethren seek to save you from overwork, do not mistrust their efforts. Do not think that it is because they have not confidence in you that they put some of the responsibilities upon others, for this will make you wretched. “Thinketh no evil” [1 Corinthians 13:5] is one of the blessed attributes of Jesus Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 6

Your case has been laid open before me, and I know from what has been presented that you spend many hours of grief and despondency, because you think your brethren simply tolerate you, but do not put confidence in you and trust you. It would not be right for them to act toward you as they have acted toward Elder Butler. Men have placed him where God should be placed, and by so doing have ruined their own religious experience and have also ruined Elder Butler. The church was becoming strengthless, Christless, because they glorified men when every jot of glory should be given to God. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 7

In the night season I was brought into a meeting where you seemed to be in much depression of soul. The Spirit of the Lord came into the meeting, and my guide addressed words to different ones who were present. He said, “We beseech you brethren to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly for their works’ sake. And be at peace among yourselves.” [1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13.] 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 8

And to you, Elder Haskell, he addressed the following words, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them that draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” [Hebrews 10:35-39.] 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 9

Words of encouragement were spoken to you and cautions were given you. “Be not faithless, but believing.” [John 20:27.] He cautioned you to put your trust wholly in God, and that you should not be suspicious and mistrust your brethren, for your suspicions are often without true foundation. Your confidence is so shaken in your brethren that nothing they can do will be interpreted by you in an incorrect light. You imagine that something is concealed from you, that there is some underhanded work that by and by will be revealed. You have had some trials, but they are not half as great as you imagine. Evil is not determined against you as you suppose. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 10

Many hearts beat in tenderest respect and love for you, but the enemy sees that he can afflict your soul. He sees that he can misinterpret words spoken and actions performed by presenting them in an aggravated light, and you accept his version of the matter. You make it evident that you do not believe that your brethren are true to you. You bemoan over things that do not really exist. You look back at the past and say, “Once we took sweet counsel together, and went to the house of God in company; but now he that is my friend hath lifted up his heel against me.” [Psalm 55:14; 41:9.] You are continually shutting yourself within yourself, expecting to be betrayed. Beware of Satan’s devices. Nothing can weaken and unbalance the human mind like brooding over supposed wrongs, thinking that you are not appreciated. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 11

Through narrow views, your brethren have not always been thoughtful, considerate, and really just, and you feel that you have been wounded in the house of your friends. You place a wrong construction upon many things that your brethren do and say. Your feelings are injured, and you think that your motives are impugned, your most righteous actions misapprehended and condemned. This has been the case in a degree, but not to the extent to which you have thought it was so, and you long to withdraw from those who know you best. Here you make wrong calculations. Your brethren have had something to learn as well as yourself. Your character has not been faultless. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 12

Your plans and calculations have not been without mistakes. Can you not remember that your own course of action has been a source of pain and grief to others? You did not give that sympathy, that consideration and comfort and courage, to one whom God had called and chosen, that you should have given. His life was near its close, and his spirit was grieved and sad, his heart broken because of the lack of sympathy on the part of his brethren. Think of these things, for he deserved no such treatment at your hands. Think of the Son of God when you feel that you are abused, that treachery and faithlessness have shaken your confidence in your brethren. Was not Jesus betrayed by those to whom He had shown infinite regard? Let not Satan set things before you in a perverted light. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 13

Do not waste your precious strength in over-labor. Think candidly, think reasonably of these things, and God will surely grant you His blessing. Consecrate all, soul, body and spirit, to the Lord, that your course may be finished with joy and not with grief. The followers of Christ must walk in the light of His glorious example. You have every reason to cherish gratitude and thanksgiving, because Jesus lives to make intercession for us. His blood alone can purify us, his blood alone can cleanse from sin and wash us white from transgression. His righteousness alone will the Father look upon and accept in our behalf, for with His righteousness we shall be righteous as He is righteous. We shall not have our own righteousness, it is worthless. It is of no use to go about to establish our own righteousness, for we have none to establish. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 14

We are not to cheapen the work by centering our thoughts upon ourselves. Think just as little upon yourself as possible. Think evil of no man. Christ’s followers must walk in the light of His glorious example and at whatever cost of labor or suffering must maintain the purity of the soul and spirit through the grace of Christ, yielding complete allegiance to the reformatory doctrines of the gospel of Christ without mingling self with the work. Keep self subdued, and keep Christ ever lifted up, and push the triumphs of the cross of Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 15

Let it be your work, while life shall last, to extend the borders of His kingdom, and wage a daily war against all sin and ungodliness, whatever others may think of you. The matter of what others may think of you must be left in the hands of God. He is acquainted with the inwardness of every life, the motives of every action, the foundation of every character. Our work is to push the reform committed to us in the spirit of unvarying kindness and tenderest love. Self is not to be made prominent at any time; there is to be no seeking after supremacy. God knows this has nearly ruined the purity and success of the church and hindered the triumph we might have had. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 16

Reformers are to work only in Jesus. Self is not to appear. “He must increase; I must decrease.” [John 3:30.] We are to maintain a Christlike simplicity, manifesting pure, clear, straightforward, honest works. We will see men and women who manifest bitterness of spirit, who are talkative, and who reveal Satanic elements of character, for they are contentious, never at peace, never at rest, but ever stirring up that which is disagreeable. Let these professing but not practicing Christians see that the oldest workers of our cause are not destroyers but reformers, let them see that our work is not to ruin, but to save, to strengthen, to bind up wounds, to heal bruises. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 17

Those engaged in the cause of reform must in no wise be dissemblers, so that it will be difficult to discern upon which side they are. There must be no underhanded working, no secret devising, for this is the way in which Satan works; but those who follow Christ must be resolute and unflinching. On the other hand, they must guard against the tendency of becoming obstinate through degenerate exercise of firmness. There will ever be need of the reformers learning in the school of Christ meekness and lowliness of heart. They should ever hide self, be gentle and amiable as a child of sweet spirit; although their work shows no weakness, and is firm and abiding, because it is wrought in Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 18

There is danger that you will feel too strongly over some things that have taken place and have a gloomy, censorious spirit. This will make you miserable. You have a work to do for yourself that no one can do for you, for you are to abide in Christ as the branch abides in the vine. You must learn as a laborer together with God to practice the lessons of forbearance and love that Christ has given. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 19

Because you have imagined that you were not treated with candor, and were not appreciated, your heart has been closing to love. Because you have not always had all the consideration that was your due, though your experience in this line has been limited, you think that generally you are not appreciated. You do not have confidence (shall I speak it?) in any one. If all your plans are not adopted and all your ideas are not received, you think it is because your brethren have some personal grievance against you, and you gather clouds of darkness about your soul. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 20

Now, Elder Haskell, I entreat you to keep your soul in the love of God by faith. You have only a little period in which to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. The time calls for advanced movement in the works of reform. The light shining upon us will be received by some and rejected by many. Characters will be developed by the testing of God, and those who have been ambitious to be first will be found to be last, because the unholy ambition that prompts this desire for the prominence of self places men on Satan’s side of the controversy. Self must be crucified in all who would be laborers together with God. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 21

You may expect to be misapprehended by some, for it is not possible to appear before all in just the correct light, and we need not expect that all will understand us. Those whom we suppose to be our friends will become alienated from us. Your motives will be misrepresented; your losses, trials, self-denials, sufferings, and labors will not be appreciated, and your work will be disparaged. But was not this what Christ had to endure? Do we, who are Christ’s followers, expect a better portion than had Jesus? We are to be partakers of the sufferings of Christ, that we may be partakers with Him of His glory. Serve God with full purpose of heart, and let not your spirit be chafed over that which you cannot help. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 22

If Satan sees that he can make you weak and despondent, by causing you to ponder upon the supposed neglect of your brethren, he will make a world of an atom, by magnifying before your imagination things which are said and done with no intention of grieving you. Hold fast your confidence firm unto the end. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 23

You cannot labor as you have in years past, and you must be at peace, restful and contented, seeing others bearing the burdens who have not become worn in the work. You must be satisfied to do less, manifesting cheerfulness and hope and faith, showing that you do not in the least suspect that your brethren are working in secret against you, for it is not true; and I know whereof I speak. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 24

Then go forward. Do not cultivate jealous distrust of those who love you. Stretch out your hands and heart unto God in earnest supplication, putting away every temptation of the enemy, and you will be able to lift up your face to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, saying, Through the grace given unto me, I have preserved mine integrity. Although worn and compassed with infirmity, my faith is in God. I see Him in His compassionate love clearer than the noonday, and I rest in His love, securely rest in peace and safety. Then your light will shine in clear and steady rays. It is the reflection of the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 25

Now, my brother, I have written you the substance of the matter as it has been presented to me, and I entreat of you to put away your mistrust and your misgivings concerning your brethren. You must cultivate confidence in them and not regard every movement they make in connection with you with suspicion; for if you cultivate this habit, it will grow upon you. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 26

The great cry of the age is for power. You hear this cry on all sides. The Christian has access to divine power that is measureless, and it only waits his command to be used in the service of heaven. But though he has access to divine power, he is willing to be last of all. The cry of the lowly, contrite heart is always heard by the Lord, and no obstacles in earth or hell can interpose between such a soul and God. O that we might see and understand this. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 27

Men feeble in mental qualifications, lowly in social position, through the grace of Christ have been wonderfully successful in winning souls to Christ. The secret of their success was that they had reached men through their faith and confidence in God. They had learned daily of Him who is wonderful in counsel and mighty in working. In the power of His grace they were laborers together with God. The life and experience of these men who relied, not on men but on God was like a tree planted by the river side, whose leaf will not wither but be always green, and his fruit will appear. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 28

My brother, I want you ever to know that I am true and faithful. I am desirous that you shall be wholly victorious to the very close of your labors. Do not take counsel of yourself. Do not attempt to do any large thing, but walk humbly with God, and though that which you do may appear very small in your eyes, it will be written in the books of record as a success. We must battle constantly in order to fight the good fight of faith. We can keep our souls in patient trust only as we put on Christ. A general faith is not enough. We must put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness, and wear it openly, bravely, decidedly, exhibiting Christ and not expecting too much of finite man; but keep looking unto Jesus and become ravished with the perfections of His character. Then we shall individually make manifest the character of Jesus and make it evident that we are invigorated by the truth, because it sanctifies the soul and brings into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 29

I greatly desire that you shall have a trustful mind, that you shall not depend upon your past confidence in God, but have a present, fresh faith, and maintain your confidence without wavering. Your soul must daily be warmed and invigorated by the truth of the gospel, and you refreshed by a daily, living, and new experience. I want you to have comfort and hope and joy in the Holy Ghost. Never, never feel the slightest disturbance because the Lord is raising up youth to lift and carry the heavier burdens and proclaim the message of truth. It has been at this point that Elder Butler has failed. He is a deceived man and has been making far greater mistakes than those he supposed my husband was making when he was with us. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 30

I hope there will never be the slightest encouragement given to our people to put such wonderful confidence in finite, erring man as has been placed in Elder Butler, for ministers are not as God; and too much reliance has been placed upon Elder Butler in the past. Even the messages and testimonies were made of none effect through the influence of the words and ideas of Elder Butler. This sin has not been repented of by some of our people, and they will have to go over the ground again and again unless they cease from man, and put their whole trust in the living God. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 31

The mold which has been given to the work through the influence of Elder Butler has caused the labor of many toilsome years to be effaced. It is because men have been encouraged to look to one man, to think for them, to be conscience for them, that they are now so inefficient and unable to stand at their posts of duty as faithful sentinels for God, allowing no one to interfere in matters pertaining to their relation to God. Let men seek not to men but to God for wisdom. As a people we are not what we should be because we have depended upon the wisdom of mortals, and have not made God our dependence and trust. O when will the people of God learn to love God supremely and their neighbors as themselves? 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 32

Well, this letter was to have been short, and lo, I have made it long. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 33

Yours in faith and love. 7LtMs, Lt 14, 1891, par. 34