Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 54, 1893

Rice, Brother and Sister

Gisborne, New Zealand

November 1, 1893

This letter is published in entirety in 14MR 181-183.

Dear Brother and Sister Rice,

I have thought I should get time to write to you ere this. Letters have come to me presenting before me the case of Sr. Phillips, and inquiries have been made to me what I thought of the matter. I have not felt called out to encourage or condemn so long as I had no special light in reference to this case, but I now feel constrained to write. Matters have been presented before me which I will now mention. I can have time to only briefly express the matter. 8LtMs, Lt 54, 1893, par. 1

Elder Rice and some others were encouraging this sister, to her injury, that she had been ordained of God to do a certain work. He thought it was his duty to call the attention of the brethren and sisters to this work and present it in a light which leaves the impression upon minds that I have sanctioned or endorsed this work. I have not done this, I have not had the least confidence in her claims or the claims any one has made in her behalf. I decided to let the matter develop. 8LtMs, Lt 54, 1893, par. 2

But as there is danger of your being deceived and deceiving others by presenting this matter before them, I will say, The Lord has not given you this work to do to impress minds that this is a work which they must receive as from God. You have no duty to present it to the people in this light. My Guide said to you, “Look unto Jesus; receive your light from Jesus; talk of the light He has already given; trust in Jesus.” 8LtMs, Lt 54, 1893, par. 3

The Lord has placed light, wonderful light before His people. Walk in the light. It is not the burden the Lord has given you to explain and interpret the words, the works, the writings of Sister Phillips. If you do this you will mislead the people. Take your Bible and explain the revealed will of God, which is assurance forever. This is a snare which you do not observe, prepared to lead souls to be taught of this sister in the place of looking to God for themselves to learn of Jesus. He is just as willing to teach them as He is to teach Sr. Phillips to teach them. Looking unto Jesus, trusting in Jesus, is the duty of every soul. 8LtMs, Lt 54, 1893, par. 4

This sister may sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him her duty, and others have the very like privilege to learn the precious lessons He has given to His disciples. The Lord has not laid upon her the work of accusing, of judging, or reproving, of condemning and flattering others. It is her privilege to draw near to Jesus and walk in all humility of mind, as one having a teachable spirit. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” [John 1:29.] 8LtMs, Lt 54, 1893, par. 5

I am sorry that Brother Rice has felt called upon to call the attention of other minds to the words and exercises of this sister. I will say no more at present on this subject, only this: there will be, I have been shown, many who will claim to be especially taught of God, and will attempt to lead others, and they will undertake a work from mistaken ideas of duty that God has never laid upon them. Confusion will be the result. Let every one seek God most earnestly for himself that he may individually understand His will. 8LtMs, Lt 54, 1893, par. 6

Elder Rice, my dear brother, if you will only heed the words of caution given you of God to speak short, right to the point, to pray short and right to the point, and bring to a period your remarks, you would have saved yourself much suffering and accomplished more good. You have precious thought which you can readily communicate, but you have taxed the vital organs to your injury. I hope you have not gone to far for recovery. 8LtMs, Lt 54, 1893, par. 7

I hope the Lord will have compassion upon you, but you need self-control, you need to consider your vital organs and the perseverance you have revealed in talking so long. You make yourself tedious and thus wear out the hearers. This has been presented before you time and again; now let the word of the Lord be heeded and no longer overtax your powers as you have done. One quarter of the time you have occupied will do a far more acceptable work than to speak at so great length. May God bless you both. 8LtMs, Lt 54, 1893, par. 8