Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 169, 1902

Butler, G. I.

Los Angeles, California

September 15, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in 2MCP 578, 634.

Elder G. I. Butler

My dear brother,—

The Lord has been watching over you for years. He has permitted affliction to come upon you, which for years has kept you out of the work. Why? Because you chose your own way, and took yourself into your own hands. Do not, when again brought into trial, go over the same ground. 17LtMs, Lt 169, 1902, par. 1

I have the most tender feelings toward you, but I must tell you that you are in danger of falling into temptation, and of imagining many things. You were presented to me as a man harnessing for battle. You were strong in a spirit that was not meek and contrite. One came to your side, and said, “Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people. For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the hearts of the contrite ones. For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.” [Isaiah 57:14-16.] 17LtMs, Lt 169, 1902, par. 2

The Lord would have you lay aside that spirit of wrath and be disrobed of your war garment. Our Instructor said, “You have inherited and cultivated a contentious spirit. Put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness, and speak not one word that is not subdued by the Spirit of God. Let your heart break in tenderness before God. Become as a little child. You are not appointed by the Lord to dictate. None of my servants are to put on Saul’s armor.” 17LtMs, Lt 169, 1902, par. 3

There are those who will come to council meetings stirred for battle. Let them put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness, and let their feet be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. 17LtMs, Lt 169, 1902, par. 4

Do not, now or ever, charge your brethren with their mistakes. This is what separated you from the Lord’s service for so many years. Your testimony, if borne with meekness and humility, will be in the assembly as good leaven. 17LtMs, Lt 169, 1902, par. 5

Things are not so bad as they might be. Mistakes are constantly being made by men who are constantly tempted to speak unadvisedly, even as Moses spoke. It is such words as these, and your way of speaking them, that shows that you have not yet learned the meekness and lowliness of Christ. 17LtMs, Lt 169, 1902, par. 6

God will use you if you will be used. 17LtMs, Lt 169, 1902, par. 7

Severe tests will come to you. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember that by vehemence you will wound yourself. If under all circumstances you will sit in heavenly places in Christ, your words will not be charged with bullets that wound hearts and that may destroy life. 17LtMs, Lt 169, 1902, par. 8

“If ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” [James 3:14-18.] 17LtMs, Lt 169, 1902, par. 9

Elder Butler, in these words the Lord has outlined the work of His servants. You are the Lord’s servant. Let nothing be done through strife and vainglory. Do not ponder over your tried feelings. Put these feelings aside. When you get into the path of criticism and harsh speaking, you grow more and more harsh and more inclined to criticize. Stop before you begin. Do not give the enemy one inch of ground. 17LtMs, Lt 169, 1902, par. 10

Never ride the war horse. You cannot do this gracefully. You are to do God’s will, not your own will. 17LtMs, Lt 169, 1902, par. 11

God will use you if you will be used. Open the door of your heart and let Jesus in to rule your life. “Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ... And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear. ... Seeing ye have purified your hearts in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” [1 Peter 1:13, 22.] 17LtMs, Lt 169, 1902, par. 12