Selected Messages Book 2


Counsel to a Young Woman Who Contemplated Marrying a Divorced Man

[In this case Brother L had left his wife and family and had journeyed to a distant land, trusting the wife's father to provide for their support. His wife in time sued for divorce on the grounds of desertion. Before the divorce was granted he began to place his affection on the young lady to whom this message is addressed.—Compilers.]

The Provoking Party has No Right to Remarry

I have been considering your case in connection with L, and I have no other counsel to give than I have given. I consider that you have no moral right to marry L; he has no moral right to marry you. He left his wife after giving her great provocation. He left her whom he had vowed before God to love and cherish while both should live. Before ever she obtained her divorce, when she was his lawful wife, he left her for three years, and then left her in heart, and expressed his love to you. The matter has been negotiated largely between you and a married man while he was legally bound to the wife he married, who has had two children by him. 2SM 340.3

I see not a particle of leniency in the Scriptures given either of you to contract marriage, although his wife is divorced. From the provocation he has given her, it was largely his own course of action that has brought this result, and I cannot see in any more favorable light his having a legal right to link his interest with yours or you to link your interest with his.... 2SM 341.1

I am astonished that you should for a moment give thought to such a thing, and place your affections on a married man who had left his wife and children under such circumstances. I advise you to lay your thoughts and plans regarding this matter just as they are before our responsible brethren, that you may receive their counsel, and let them show you from the law of God the error into which you have fallen. You have both broken the law even in thinking that you might unite in marriage. You should have repelled the thought at its first suggestion.—Letter 14, 1895. 2SM 341.2