Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 118, 1902

Keck, Brother and Sister

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

July 31, 1902

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Keck,—

I have received and read your letters. I am glad that you have written so fully. I have received no special light in regard to your sister being the one that Elder Butler should unite with in marriage. I think that so important a step should be carefully and prayerfully considered, and that it should not be taken without the fullest evidence that the Lord is leading. 17LtMs, Lt 118, 1902, par. 1

In writing to you about this matter, I treated it on the grounds of the objections raised to the union of Elder Butler to your sister because of the death of Elder Butler’s wife being so recent, and because your sister is so much younger than Elder Butler. 17LtMs, Lt 118, 1902, par. 2

It would seem from your letter that your sister is not fitted to bear the responsibilities that would come to one marrying Elder Butler. Unless she were thoroughly converted, she might not endure the trials that would come to her. As you seem to know your sister, I will leave the matter with you. 17LtMs, Lt 118, 1902, par. 3

One thing more: I wish you to understand that, at the time that I wrote to you, Elder Butler had not spoken or written a word to me in regard to this matter. 17LtMs, Lt 118, 1902, par. 4

I have written to Hiland Butler to let him know that he need not regard it as a monstrous thing that his father should want a wife; for Elder Butler needs a wife, if ever a man did. But the woman he marries should be one of true godliness, sense, and experience, who will not be a cause of worriment or prove a stumbling block to him. God has a work for Elder Butler to do, and He will be with him. 17LtMs, Lt 118, 1902, par. 5

I am very sorry that Hiland should feel as he does in regard to this matter. 17LtMs, Lt 118, 1902, par. 6

I am sorry that this trial has come to you. Do not afflict your souls over the matter and grieve the Spirit of God. And I entreat you not to allow it to lead you to withdraw your confidence from Brother Butler. I have no less confidence in Brother Butler than before this transaction took place, and I beg you to maintain your confidence in him. 17LtMs, Lt 118, 1902, par. 7

Be of good courage in the Lord. He desires you to stand at your post of duty. He does not wish you to withdraw from the work. 17LtMs, Lt 118, 1902, par. 8

We are to help one another, bearing one another’s burdens. Our sympathies are to go out to those around us. We are to be kind, tender, courteous. While every man has his own burden to bear, he may at the same time help another to bear his burden. By this helpfulness, he himself is helped. 17LtMs, Lt 118, 1902, par. 9

No human being is independent of his fellows. The God of heaven has mysteriously linked all men together by the cross. The principle of mutual forbearance and helpfulness is to be kept in constant exercise in our dealings with all men, and especially in our dealings with those who love the Lord Jesus. The poor are to be relieved, the sick visited, the sorrowing and the bereaved comforted, the inexperienced counselled, the fainthearted made more hopeful. We are to weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice. We are to make straight paths for our feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. All these acts will help the hand that helps. Every good action opens a new chapter in our experience. 17LtMs, Lt 118, 1902, par. 10

I ask you to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. Restrain all harsh, rough expressions; for sometimes silence is eloquence. “Love as brethren; be pitiful, be courteous.” [1 Peter 3:8.] 17LtMs, Lt 118, 1902, par. 11

May the Lord bless you, is my prayer. 17LtMs, Lt 118, 1902, par. 12