Ms 18, 1868

Ms 18, 1868

Testimony Regarding Brother Covey’s Family



Previously unpublished.

I was shown the condition of Brother Covey’s family. There is a work to be done there before they can be in an acceptable state before God. Sister Covey is deceived in regard to herself. She thinks she knows all that is worth knowing of the truth. She is forward to speak and pray, is self-confident. But she is almost a stranger to the first principles of truth. She has assumed that God has given her a special, wonderful experience when she has yet almost everything to learn. She is a hearer of the Word, but not a doer of the work. She has claimed the special teachings, special knowledge of God. But she knows not what she is talking about. 1LtMs, Ms 18, 1868, par. 1

The only responsibility resting upon her is to learn how to discharge her duty as a faithful mother should and to turn her attention to establishing order in her house, having everything neat and cleanly, that angels may be encouraged into the dwelling. Her conversation does not savor of that grace, meekness, and elevated character which becometh a woman professing godliness. She has possessed a spirit to find fault with others and build up herself. She has been no benefit to the cause of God, but a stumblingblock for some time. Her influence has been disgusting instead of beneficial to the church. 1LtMs, Ms 18, 1868, par. 2

When she tears asunder her self-righteous garb, and sees herself as a poor sinful mortal, overcome daily by the temptations of Satan, then she will see herself in the true light and can be benefited with a Saviour. She needs to work for herself and cleanse herself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 1LtMs, Ms 18, 1868, par. 3

Brother Covey has possessed a much better spirit than his wife. He has been more teachable; and yet he has much to do. He has not felt like exalting himself but has had doubts of his being a Christian or of his ever being saved. He has felt desponding and discouraged. He knows he lacks. He sees he comes far short of the gospel standard, and it looks to him like a hopeless task to come up to the measurement of God. I saw that he would overcome, but he has almost everything to learn. The truth of God has not had that refining, elevating, sanctifying influence upon him that it must have in order for him to be a fit subject for the society of holy angels in a pure and holy heaven. 1LtMs, Ms 18, 1868, par. 4

Brother Covey has not felt the necessity of refinement and order in his ways and manners. He has not a spirit of gentleness and love. He has in his family, and out, acted out the course of his nature, been boisterous, ordering. He must cultivate more of the refined and elevated and less of the rough and harsh. Brother Covey is a kind and tenderhearted man, but he fails to realize the claims that God has upon him. His sensibilities have not been clear to perceive the fine and elevating truths. He has increased his family much faster than he can take care of and properly train them. Here he incurs responsibilities which he as a father, and also the mother, are utterly incompetent to fulfill, and his children must come up instead of receiving that instruction which they require. As his cares have increased with his family, he has not had time to devote to reading the Word of God or to secret prayer, which is the life and soul of true religion, and he has been growing darker and darker, and has kept the Sabbath imperfectly, and failed in his religious life in almost every respect. 1LtMs, Ms 18, 1868, par. 5

God calls upon you and Sister Covey to reform in almost everything. Devote more time to your children. If you feel that you cannot do this, that your flock is so numerous that you cannot instruct and educate them, and make them comfortable by supplying the wants of the mind as well as the body, what right have you to increase your family and responsibilities as parents, when you cannot do justice by them? You sin against God in thus doing. No couple should have children if they cannot fulfill their obligations to these children as they should, as God requires of them. 1LtMs, Ms 18, 1868, par. 6

Reform in your diet. Make an entire change. Place only the most [healthful] articles of food upon your table. There is a work for both of you to do, especially Sister Covey. God reads the intents and purposes of the heart. You have failed to glorify God in your life, but have been watching where you could find failings in others to build yourself up and exalt yourself. You should take a humble place in the church. Be willing to be instructed, to learn, and seek with all your soul for the inward adorning, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price. You have been to Battle Creek, but with the spirit you possessed it has done you no good. You have possessed an envious spirit. You are not careful what you say and do not keep truth on your side. You say and do not. I entreat of you, take heed to your ways and be converted, and make an entire change in your life. 1LtMs, Ms 18, 1868, par. 7

(Signed) Ellen G. White