Brother D, you have a duty to do. Assume the stewardship you have resigned, and in the fear of God take your place at the head of your family. You must be shaken from the influence of your wife, and rely more fully upon God, and look to Him to lead you and guide you. God has not specially instructed Sister D, or given her light to teach others their duty. Neither you nor your wife can occupy the position God would have you, while things remain as they now are. You will never be established, strengthened, and settled until you allow your wife to take the position a wife should. While she occupies her proper place, respect her judgment, consult with her in regard to your plans, but be very cautious about taking it for granted that her judgment is as the judgment of God. Consult with your brethren upon whom God has seen fit to lay the burden of the work. Had you thus advised with those whose counsel you should have sought, you would not have committed so great an error, so sad a blunder, as you did in the case of E. God’s cause was wounded and reproached in this case. Your wife thought she had light in this case; but her impressions were not of God, but of the enemy, because he saw that you could be affected in this direction. Your trusting so completely to your wife’s judgment is contrary to heaven’s arrangement. Satan has designed in this way to cut you off, in a great measure, from the influence of your fellow laborers and your brethren in general.
You have had trials that you would not have had if you had not considered your wife in a position where God has not placed her. You have too implicit confidence in her judgment and wisdom. She has not been consecrated to God, therefore her judgment has not been consecrated. She is not a happy woman, and the unhappy train her mind has taken has greatly injured her physical and mental health. Satan has designed to unsettle you and cause your brethren to lose confidence in your judgment. Satan is seeking to overthrow you. When God specially calls your wife to the work of teaching the truth, then should you lean to her counsel and advice, and confide in her instructions. God may give you both, as possessing an equal interest in and devotion to the work, equal qualifications to act a prominent part in the most solemn work of saving souls. The great work before her is to be diligent in making her calling and election sure, to cease watching others, and now begin the work to be very jealous of herself. She should seek to bless others by her godly example, her cheerfulness, fortitude, courage, faith, hopefulness, joy, in that perfect trust, that confidence in God, which will be the result of sanctification through the truth. An entire conformity to the will of God she must have. Christ says to her: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
The above was written at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, October 4, 1867. I could not find time to finish the testimony and copy it, so laid it by, and did not have time to finish it until I returned from the East to Greenville, Michigan, when I took it in hand, January 30, 1868.
Dear Brother and Sister D: You should have had this long ago, but our labors have been so hard that I could not possibly get the time to write. Every place that we visited brought before my mind much that I had been shown of individual cases, and I have written in meeting, even while my husband was preaching.
The vision was given me about two years ago. The enemy has hindered me in every way he could to keep souls from having the light which God had given me for them. First, my husband’s case was so perplexing, so distressing, that I could not write. Then the discouragements brought upon me by my brethren kept me in a condition of sadness and distress, unfitting me for labor of any description. When we started to travel last summer, I commenced to write, but we have traveled from place to place so rapidly that all we could do was to attend the meetings. There was much work to be done. I practice rising at four o’clock in the morning, to take hold of my writing. Yet constant, exciting labor in meeting so taxes the brain that I am unprepared for writing, my head is so weary.
I regret that you could not have had this before, but even now may God make it a blessing to you, is my sincere prayer. You, my dear brother, may have seen these things and corrected them ere this. I hope so, at least. You and also your wife have our sympathy and prayers. We have an interest for her as well as for yourself. Her soul is precious. We beseech her in Christ’s stead to seek for a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price. An angel pointed me to Sister D and repeated these words: “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Here is the healthful train of thought for the mind to follow. When it would go in a different channel, bring it back. Control the mind. Educate it to dwell only on those things which bring peace and love.
I commit this to you, hoping and praying that God may bless it to you, and that you both may obtain a fitness to be counted worthy of eternal life.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1 pp. 709-712