Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Lt 75, 1904

Brunson, J. A.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 8, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in VSS 248. +Note

Elder J. A. Brunson

My dear Brother,—

I received your letter and would have answered it before; but for some weeks I have been able to do very little writing. I overtaxed my head and have been so brain-weary that I have written only the letters that I felt compelled to write. I have ridden out as often as the weather would permit; for I think that being in the open air is good for me. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 1

How I have wished that you could have the advantages that I have had this winter. I think that you would enjoy the climate of this place very much. So far the winter here has been the mildest that I have ever experienced. During the month of January the sun shone every day. No snow fell, and no rain, except two or three slight showers. Some rain fell in December, and during the last week there have been soft, gentle showers, such as do the land so much good. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 2

I wish that while we are here, you could be released from speaking and rest for a while at the St. Helena Sanitarium. We could often take you out riding. I am sure that you would enjoy the scenery; for it is beautiful. Then, too, I suppose you know of the medicinal properties of evergreen trees—the fir, the pine, and the spruce. How fragrant these trees are. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 3

I am sure that a rest at the Sanitarium here would be a blessing to you. I should like to suggest that you try spending a winter in St. Helena, or in some place where the climate is mild. We cannot afford to lose one of our ministerial workers. We need every one of them. Exercise the faith that responds to the invitation, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 4

If when the weather becomes warmer, you could live for a while in a tent on Howell Mountain, the mountain behind the Sanitarium, and have an entire rest, under Dr. Evans’ care, I am sure that you would improve in health. You could have the food best suited to your stomach; whereas now, travelling as you do from place to place, you often have to eat whatever is set before you. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 5

You are the Lord’s child, the son of His care, and He wants you to place yourself where your worn-out organs can recuperate, so that you can do successful work for Him. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 6

I want to help and encourage you, and this is why I write thus to you. If you will act the part of an invalid for a year, it will certainly be a blessing to you. You would get great benefit from working in the soil for a certain time each day. I know by experience the value that there is in out-of-door work. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 7

There is one matter about which I wish to caution you. In addressing a congregation, do not speak for too long a time; for thus you put a heavy strain on the delicate organs brought into action. I have to pledge myself not to speak too long; for I know that if I do, stomach and lungs and kidneys will be overtaxed and suffering will result. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 8

Another thing: Get from the druggist some pulverized charcoal, and use it freely. Mix it with sweet oil. Thus it can be taken with less difficulty than if mixed with water. I think that you would obtain benefit from the use of charcoal compresses—pulverized charcoal moistened, put into a flannel bag, and placed over the affected part. When my husband was sick, I had recourse to many remedies, and I know the value of charcoal as a healing agency. I have worked for my husband with marked success when his life was in grave peril. I did not want a physician for him; for I knew that I had tact and skill, and that with faith in God I could be his physician. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 9

It is the positive duty of those who are suffering from physical difficulties to do what they can to obtain relief. Your wife is a physician, and she can do much for you. It is those who are most closely related to a sufferer by cords of sympathy who can do the most to help him. You and your wife must place yourselves in right relation to God, where you can work out His purpose for you. Pray in faith for recovery, and then use every means He places within reach in an effort to regain your health. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 10

The Lord wants you to act sensibly. You need entire rest—rest of mind and body. There are things that worry you, but I ask you and your wife to be determined to co-operate with the greatest Physician that the world has ever known. Lay hold of His strength. Have a deep, earnest, unchanging love for each other, and do all in your power to help each other. You can help each other as no one else can help you. I heard words spoken by the voice of God to both of you. It is the pleasure of the Lord that you make decided efforts to help each other. Give each other your best affections. Strengthen and build up each other in the most holy faith. Let nothing divert you from the work that it is possible for you to do for each other. By consecrating yourselves to God body, soul, and spirit, by placing yourselves on the altar of service, you can be a blessing to each other. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 11

There is a moral danger threatening your prosperity. God knows the measure of every weight you carry. There must be no idolatry, even in the form of religion. God calls upon you both to draw near to Him. As you obey, He will draw near to you. He desires to be sought after by you, my brother and sister. He wants you to be as true as steel to principle, faithfully keeping His commandments. Take no burdens, place on yourselves no weight, that would hinder you from doing the will of the Lord. You are not your own; you have been bought with a price; and O, what a price. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 12

“When sinners entice thee, consent thou not,” but as ministers of righteousness, put every talent to use in the Lord’s service. [Proverbs 1:10.] This you must do if you would endure His proving and be accepted by Him as faithful ambassadors. The Lord calls upon you to lay hold of the arm of infinite power. He is ever ready to come to the help of His children and by His gracious, healing power restore them to spiritual and physical health. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 13

The Lord is looking upon you in love and compassion. He desires you to trust in Him. Let nothing interpose between your souls and God. The Lord will greatly bless you both if you will put your trust in Him. His arm is outstretched to save to the uttermost all who call upon Him. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 14

Temptations and trials will come, but do not let this discourage you. Put your trust in God, and do not disappoint your Saviour. His truth will triumph gloriously. Do you not wish to triumph with it? 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 15

Paul says: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” “The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” [2 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:1.] God desires human beings to be so closely united with Him that He can use them to counterwork the evil that Satan is seeking to bring in. He desires to use you, my dear brother and sister, to promote good and counteract evil. He calls upon Sister Brunson to become His gospel medical missionary, His helping hand, working to uplift, to save, not to destroy. He calls upon her to keep her feet firmly planted on the platform of eternal truth. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 16

How great is the watchfulness of the Deity! “Thou understandest my thought afar off,” David declares. “There is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O God, Thou knowest it altogether.” “Thou tellest my wanderings; put Thou my tears in Thy bottle; are they not in Thy book?” [Psalm 139:2, 4; 56:8.] 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 17

The inhabitants of the heavenly universe stand in their appointed places to hear what the Lord shall say to them. They are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. But not alone through them does God work. He has entrusted to human beings the work of making known His law to those who know it not. He accepts repentant sinners and through them works out His divine will and accomplishes His purposes. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 18

We are directed to ask God for daily blessings, and we are assured that He delights to impart to us of His goodness, grace, and mercy. We are invited to cast all our care upon Him. He waits for us to come to Him, that He may carry our burdens for us. My brother, my sister, I long to see you both united with Christ as laborers together with God. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 19

Let us not be found on the enemy’s side of the question. We can not afford to have his companionship. Let us strive in every way to lead souls to lay hold of the hope set before them in the gospel. Do we not desire to make it possible for Christ to say to us: “I know your works, your labor, your patience. I will strengthen your faith, enabling you to bear the trials that will come as you resist the enemy”? Looking to Jesus as our Redeemer, we shall develop patience, and patience will produce a true, well-grounded hope. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 20

“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.” [Hebrews 10:35-37.] Look up, my brother, and let your faith continually increase. Let this faith guide you along the narrow path that leads through the gates of the city of God into the great beyond, the wide, unbounded future of glory that is for the redeemed. Heed the encouragement in the words, “Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient; establish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” [James 5:7, 8.] 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 21

Let us be found “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer.” [Romans 12:12.] The Lord has made every provision that we shall have strong hope. If we are true to our covenant with God, the blessing is certain, as certain as God’s oath can make it. And so great is the blessing that it will be a full and sufficient reward for the self-denial and the self-sacrifice that for Christ’s sake we have shown here below. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 22

Then, my dear brother and sister, keep your eyes uplifted. “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you, but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” [1 Peter 4:12, 13.] If we now suffer for Christ and with Christ, in the world to come we shall share in His glory. May God help us to watch and wait and pray, and to help those who need help. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 23

Dr. Jean Whitney has just called to see me. She thinks that she ought to go to Battle Creek to see her mother who has not been at all well this winter. I tell her that St. Helena is the place for her mother to rest in. It will cost no more for Sister Whitney to come to California than for her daughter to go to Battle Creek, and Sister Whitney can spend the rest of the winter in a mild climate. If you are in Battle Creek when this letter reaches you, encourage Sister Whitney to come to California; for she needs a change. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 24

I must close now, but I want to tell you that my heart is full of joy and peace, and of praise to God. 19LtMs, Lt 75, 1904, par. 25