Life Sketches Manuscript


Some Erroneous Theories

Some would have had me believe that there was no Holy Spirit, and that all the exercises that holy men of God experienced were only the effect of mesmerism or the deception of Satan. Some had taken extreme views of certain texts of Scripture, refraining wholly from labor, and rejecting all those who would not receive their ideas on this and other points pertaining to religious duty. LSMS 137.1

God revealed these errors to me in vision, and sent me to instruct His erring children; but many of them wholly rejected the message, and charged me with conforming to the world. On the other hand, the nominal Adventists charged me with fanaticism, and I was falsely represented as the leader of the fanaticism, which I was laboring constantly to arrest. LSMS 137.2

Different times were set for the Lord to come, and were urged upon the brethren. But the Lord showed me that they would pass by, for the time of trouble must come before the advent of Christ, and that every time a date was set, and passed, it would weaken the faith of God's people. For this I was charged with being the evil servant that said, “My Lord delayeth His coming.” LSMS 137.3

All these things weighed heavily upon my spirits, and in my confusion I was sometimes tempted to doubt my own experience. LSMS 137.4

While at family prayers one morning, the power of God began to rest upon me, and the thought rushed into my mind that it was mesmerism, and I resisted it. Immediately I was struck dumb, and for a few moments was lost to everything around me. LSMS 137.5

I then saw my sin in doubting the power of God, and that for so doing I had been struck dumb, but that my tongue should be loosed in less than twenty-four hours. A card was held up before me, on which were written in letters of gold the chapter and verse of fifty texts of scripture. LSMS 138.1

After I came out of vision, I beckoned for the slate, and wrote upon it that I was dumb, also what I had seen, and that I wished the large Bible. I took the Bible, and readily turned to all the texts that I had seen upon the card, which were as follows: LSMS 138.2

Luke 1:202 Corinthians 4:6-9, 17, 18
John 16:151 Peter 1:5-7
Acts 2:4, 429-311 Thessalonians 3:8
Matthew 7:6-12, 15; 24:24Mark 15:17, 18
Colossians 2:6-8John 9:20-27; 14:13-15; 15:7, 8
Hebrews 10:35-39; 4:10-12Mark 1:23-25
Philippians 1:6, 27-29; 2:13-15Romans 8:38, 39
Ephesians 6:10-18; 4:32Revelation 3:7-13; 14:4, 5
1 Peter 1:22Philippians 3:20
John 13:34, 35James 5:7, 8
2 Corinthians 13:5Philippians 3:21
1 Corinthians 3:10-13Revelation 14:14-17
Acts 20:28-30Hebrews 4:9
Galatians 1:6-9Revelation 21:2; 14:1; 22:1-5
Luke 12:3-7; 10, 11

I was unable to speak all day. Early the next morning my soul was filled with joy, and my tongue was loosened to shout the high praises of God. After that I dared not doubt, or for a moment resist the power of God, whatever others might think of me. LSMS 138.3

Up to the time of my first vision, as before stated, I could not write; my trembling hand was unable to hold my pen steadily. While in vision, I was commanded by an angel to write the vision. I obeyed and wrote readily. My nerves were strengthened, and my hand became steady. LSMS 138.4

It was a great cross for me to relate to the erring what had been shown me concerning them. It caused me great distress to see others troubled and grieved. And when obliged to declare the messages, I would often soften them down, and make them appear as favorable for the individual as I could, and then would go by myself and weep in agony of spirit. I looked upon those who seemed to have only their own souls to care for, and thought if I were in their condition I would not murmur. It was hard to relate the plain, cutting testimonies given me of God. I anxiously watched the result, and if the persons reproved rose up against the reproof, and afterward opposed the truth, these queries arose in my mind: Did I deliver the message just as I should? Could there not have been some way to save them? And then such distress pressed upon my soul that I often felt that death would be a welcome messenger, and the grave a sweet resting place. LSMS 139.1