Manuscript Releases, vol. 3 [Nos. 162-209]


MR No. 193—Miscellaneous Manuscript Items

I was shown some things in regard to you. I saw that you have something to do. You believe the truth, but you get fanciful views of Scripture and talk out these ideas which your mind has run upon, which have injured your efforts in the Sabbath school. You must restrain your mind upon this point. The plain chain of truth has been dug out and presented in publications and from the desk. In reading and studying the Scriptures you are in danger of getting a fanciful understanding of them—original views of your own which do not harmonize with the faith of the body. In reading and explaining the Scriptures you should be very careful not to depart from the expressed and established views which have been given by those in the faith who have sought for truth as for hid treasure, who have endured any labor and spared no expense, who have in the fear of God presented a harmonious chain of truth. 3MR 261.1

I saw, Brother Sawyer, that your inclinations to be rather fanatical injured your usefulness and placed you where it was unsafe for you to bear any great responsibility in the church. 3MR 261.2

I saw that you are in danger and must guard yourself on every side or the enemy will take great advantage of you. You feel a zeal for the truth, and there would not be any special danger in this zeal if you did not let it carry you too far. You get some fanciful views and interpretations of Scripture and get very animated upon them and lead minds in the wrong direction. There is enough plain Scripture truth for young and old to safely dwell upon with profit and you should more closely confine yourself to the explanation of those scriptures which have been dug out, and the body settled upon their meaning, and then you will not raise a controversy or cause a jangle in the feelings of your brethren. 3MR 261.3

You must restrain the disposition within you of being original. You must lean upon the faith of the body or you will mar the work of God, and injure the truth. No new views should be advocated by preachers or people upon their own responsibility. All new ideas should be thoroughly investigated and decided upon. If there is any weight in them they should be adopted by the body; if not, rejected. Unless there is order in these things there would soon be great confusion in our ranks. It is not in the order of God for one to feel at liberty to express his views independent of the body, another express his, and so on. If such a course should be taken we should not all speak the same things and with one mind glorify God. All of us have a part to act, but it is in union with the body. You could be of use in the church if you would get rid of the tendency there is in you to be a little fanatical, to let your mind run too much to the fanciful.—Letter 8, 1863, pp. 1, 2. (To “Dear Brother Sawyer,” undated.) 3MR 262.1