Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)


Lt 190, 1909

Andross, Brother

St. Helena, “Elmshaven,” California

February 1, 1909

Previously unpublished. Not sent. 

Dear Brother Andross:

I have received your letter. Thank you, my brother, for stating the things you have to me concerning Elder Ballenger. I have written some things to you and yet I hardly know the best course to pursue. We should, I fear, make a great mistake to entrust the flock of God with one who takes the position that he does without one reasonable excuse. Whether to encourage the man in his great weakness of discernment to have any place to put his version of things into other, unguarded, minds—I cannot recommend it. 24LtMs, Lt 190, 1909, par. 1

W. C. White, Dores Robinson, and my helpers that accompany me, will call at Paradise Valley and labor some with them before we go to the conference. I want to call at Loma Linda also. I have a letter written to you, but I am so much surprised to meet with a phase of unbelief in Elder Ballenger that I have been greatly disturbed with his words. We had a short period of conversation after I had spoken three times in the church. I requested an interview, stating plainly that I wished to understand what was the reason for which he based his words that he had not confidence in the testimonies of Sister White. That is all explained in the letter that will come to you. We were seated close together. Sara McEnterfer was in the room, I think, with me. I asked wherein had I given him reason to make his assertion. The letter tells you that I had written that there were 40 rooms in a sanitarium when there were only 38. You will read the letter. 24LtMs, Lt 190, 1909, par. 2

If he considers this a sufficient reason for his assertions, this settles the question with us in his case, because if his mind is so narrow, and that narrowness is brought into his work, he reveals a mind disqualified to serve the flock of God in these perilous times. I answered him the best I could. I have labored for more than half a century and never did anyone express such an inconsistent representation as this, such a weak reason, and I have met all classes of people. Now, a mind so determined to hold such a reason to disbelieve the message the Lord has given me for His people for half a century! I actually question whether I should say one word more to the man. But I did have some words of explanation, just as I have written to you, that I said there were 40 chambers in a sanitarium when there were only 38. The testimonies God has given me are all null and void [in his view]. Well, I was so surprised that his statement was so strong that I was only able to say a few words. 24LtMs, Lt 190, 1909, par. 3

The Lord had given me that day a most solemn message to the people, of which you shall have a copy. And then I was led out in prayer. All were deeply moved and pledged themselves to seek the Lord most earnestly. This man was in that meeting. That this man who has been with us, and united in the work, could dare to take the reasons he offers to lose confidence in the testimonies when the testimonies had nothing to do with the statement made! I do sometimes ask, when writing in regard to Paradise Valley and other sanitariums, how many rooms there are in this sanitarium or that, but stated just as they who presided there had stated to me. Now this is something that is unanswerable, because it is all in uncertainty still, and if any mistake was made he would have no more faith in the work God has given me, for he decides his own position to yield up all the confidence and evidence he has had, because a statement was made to me and repeated. Would that man want his religious experience weighed in the balance of Elder Ballenger, as he has judged me? As ye judge, ye shall be judged. The man has decided his own case. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. Such men we cannot accept as men to be guides and judgment counselors for others. As ye judge, ye shall be judged. I would not recommend him to take charge of any interest in the work unless he evidences that the Spirit of God has brought him to his senses. Then we will thank God. 24LtMs, Lt 190, 1909, par. 4

God’s work is too sacred to be handled and spoken of with voice and spirit that will awaken elements in minds that are easily led astray and need to be converted. Another spirit has taken possession of the man. He is under a deception of the enemy and is not to be encouraged to act any part in the work unless he becomes a sane man. I have been so surprised that it is impossible for me to express it. I see that such a man, unsubdued by the Holy Spirit of God, will do great harm in any place where he may go. Now I send you this message with many heartaches, but the Lord’s name will be magnified in His work. 24LtMs, Lt 190, 1909, par. 5