Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 104, 1896

Williams, I. N.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

April 12, 1896

This letter is published in entirety in TSB 214-216.

Elder I. N. Williams
Coryden, Pennsylvania

Dear Brother:

We have had great trouble of mind in regard to Brother W. F. Caldwell, who expects to return to America by this month’s boat. He has shown a fondness for the society of young girls, and has been full of gaiety, conducting himself like a boy. About a year ago, at the suggestion of my son, W. C. White, I employed him to run the typewriter for [Fannie Bolton], as she read the manuscript to him. But soon I became burdened; warnings were given to me again and again, I talked with him by himself in regard to his freedom and enjoyment in the society of young women and his frivolous conduct, but he said he had always been sociable with young ladies, and thought it no harm. We wanted to help him, for he had no money, and but very poor clothing. He has good ability, and might have developed into a competent helper for W. C. [White] or a worker for me; but I dared not have him remain a member of my family. 11LtMs, Lt 104, 1896, par. 1

He became attached to [Fannie], and the matter was carried on under a deception before he learned that his wife had obtained a divorce. When he heard this, he seemed greatly relieved, for his heart was fully weaned from her, but the Lord gave me light in regard to the matter. 11LtMs, Lt 104, 1896, par. 2

I consider that he is far more to blame than his wife in view of the fact that he claims to believe sacred truth, and she makes no such profession. He has not been a kind, tender husband; he has not been patient and forbearing, but very critical and overbearing if his wife displeased him in any way. I cannot see how his wife, in contact with his temperament and disposition, could feel drawn toward the truth. She has opposed him, and has made it hard for him, but not a whit harder than he has made it for her by his course of action. He has not taken opposition patiently, or as a Christian should. He did wrong when he left his home and his wife and children. A few months ago I learned that he had done nothing for their support. 11LtMs, Lt 104, 1896, par. 3

As matters were unfolded to me, it was a most serious matter for him to allow his affections to center upon another woman when he had a wife living whom he had promised to love and cherish as long as they both should live. Why he should leave his home so long has been a mystery to us all, until recently I have had divine enlightenment. 11LtMs, Lt 104, 1896, par. 4

He can appear very attractive, and win the confidence and favor of the girls, but when crossed, he has such a temper and disposition that, unless he is changed, no woman, believer or unbeliever, could live peaceably with him. He would pursue a course that would make any woman miserable. He is an intemperate eater, and this is why he has so little patience. I felt that the time had come when I should no longer employ him to transact my business, for warnings kept coming to me from the Lord concerning his course of action. 11LtMs, Lt 104, 1896, par. 5

I will write further in regard to this if necessary. Please write to me, stating facts concerning the family there, as far as you know. Help Caldwell, if you can, to set things right, and remove this reproach from the cause of God. Even is his wife is already married, it may be there is something he can do for his children. 11LtMs, Lt 104, 1896, par. 6