Lt 5, 1862

Lt 5, 1862

Banks, Brother

Battle Creek, Michigan

May 8, 1862

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Banks:

As I came to the office this morning I find upon my secretary a letter from you. 1LtMs, Lt 5, 1862, par. 1

I am sorry that the church are in difficulty in Greenville. You inquire if I told Sisters Wilson and Maynard that I had seen that Brother Merrill should not hold the least office in the church. It is impossible for me to recollect the exact words I used to these sisters, as I am frequently asked similar questions by many in every place we go. I try to be careful and study the effect of what I saw. If I have not been as careful as I ought to have been in this case, I am sorry. 1LtMs, Lt 5, 1862, par. 2

You ask, Why not tell these things to Brother Merrill? I could have done so, and should have done so had I thought that we should not have visited the church at Greenville on our northern tour, but the bad traveling and sickness of my husband caused us to turn our course homeward. I might have written to Brother Merrill but have not felt it my duty. His case was shown me among many others, and when I go before a people where a vision belongs, the matter is very clear before me. If I had seen the church in immediate danger through any course that I should see or hear Brother Merrill was pursuing, I should then have been prompt to raise the warning. My whole time is taken up in writing for publication or messages for individual cases, and I have been so burdened with care as to be unable to sleep but a very small part of the night, and yet must go on with my writing as usual. 1LtMs, Lt 5, 1862, par. 3

But this is off the question. I was shown some things in a recent vision given within a year in regard to Brother Merrill. I was shown those who have drawn off from the body and he was among them. There was an interesting, powerful meeting at Otsego. God wrought there in a most signal manner, and acknowledgements were made there by Mr. Cranmer which were enough to convince anyone in regard to the spirit and influence of the Cranmer party. But Brother Merrill was in so much darkness he continued to go with that class who were scattering and trying to tear us down and to injure our influence. Brother Merrill attended our meetings. He heard the truth and the strong evidence of truth presented. He knew the spirit of the Cranmer party, yet drew away from God’s people with a company of unruly fanatics. His sympathy and influence were not with us. 1LtMs, Lt 5, 1862, par. 4

I was shown that much responsibility should not rest upon Brother M. until he has fully seen and confessed his past course and comes out clean from it and firmly takes his position understandingly with the believers in present truth. I saw that until he should do this and give evidence that he was wholly with us, the church should not look up to him as an elder or leader or one holding any responsible position, for he was unsafe. Individuals will continue to arise with peculiar views to lead astray into another path, and he will be just as much in danger of mistaking the voice and thinking it is the voice of the True Shepherd when it is the voice of a stranger. Unless his whole heart and soul are in union with the truth and God’s work, he is liable to be led astray, and such seldom go alone. Others sympathize and go with them. I do not think that we can be too careful. 1LtMs, Lt 5, 1862, par. 5

I would say nothing against Bro. M. being treasurer if his course has been such as to gain the confidence of the church. But from what I have seen, he should first make straight paths for his feet. 1LtMs, Lt 5, 1862, par. 6

Brother M. has a work to do if he has found his position and is convinced that he was wrong in uniting with a company opposed to the body. Let him make straight work, and then he can establish himself in the confidence of all God’s people. How has God’s cause been wounded by those who were unsound in the faith! They are blown about hither and thither and always take others with them when they draw off. 1LtMs, Lt 5, 1862, par. 7