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Manuscript Releases, vol. 17 [Nos. 1236-1300]

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    MR No. 1296—The Evil of Gossiping About Fellow Church Members; The Importance of Pressing Together and Maintaining Unity

    (Written June 2, 1852, from Rochester, New York, “To the Brethren and Sisters in Jackson.”)

    [It has been] a few nights since the Lord gave me a vision and showed me the state of things in the West. I saw it was dark, dark, dark, and that laborers were needed there.17MR 341.1

    I saw that Brother Bowles had gotten out of his place and thought he had a great work to do when he had not. I also saw that he thought his work was of a great deal more importance than it really was. I saw that some fanciful views, which were of no special importance, had been pressed by Brother Bowles until some who would have received the truth have been pushed off.17MR 341.2

    I was pointed back and saw [that] when the trouble arose in Jackson, much of it was caused by not following the Bible rule. There was too much talking over brother's or a sister's faults among the band or church, and the brother that was thought to be in the wrong [was] kept in ignorance that any trial was existing in the minds of others concerning him until his [supposed] faults had been talked over and over by nearly all the church. He felt the coldness of his brothers and sisters but knew not the cause until it broke out all of a sudden, and he [was] made aware of what had been going on. Then the confidence that he had previously had in his brethren was shaken, his love for them was weakened, and a breach was made at once in the band that was previously united.17MR 341.3

    All this trouble can be saved if each of you brethren and sisters is frank and open-hearted, and when you feel any brother errs, [you will] go to him and tell him your trials and fears; tell him in love, and perhaps he can make things that you have not understood plain, so that you will be relieved.17MR 342.1

    I saw [that] there had been too much noticing little things in Jackson that did not accord with your minds on such and such things, and if Satan can get your minds off the important work in the last days, upon little things that engender strife, his object is accomplished. All he wants is to weaken and overthrow you.17MR 342.2

    (I saw in the trial you had at Jackson [that] Brother Bowles saw many things in their true light, but he moved unadvisedly. He had no intention of moving wrong, but he did not look at things on every side and consider sufficiently what was the wisest course to take, but moved too much on the impulse of the moment; and then I saw all things in confusion. I saw that Brother Bowles had not that meek and childlike spirit that he ought to have. He is too much lifted up and exalted, and he must humble himself, or God will humble him.)17MR 342.3

    I saw that Brother Case had been doing what he could, but he had not loved judiciously at all times, and had given the enemies of the truth (and those who believed the truth) some cause to reproach him, and it was impossible for him to reach some. His testimony would do them no good. But I saw that God had worked for Brother Case because he had received the admonitions and advice of his brethren, and had acted upon it, and if he was humble, God would work for him still. Be he must be very careful how he speaks before unbelievers lest he give the enemies of the truth cause to reproach Israel.17MR 342.4

    Dear brethren and sisters, keep self humble, and in all things follow the Bible rule. Satan knows he cannot make us doubt the truth. The arguments of our enemies are powerless and effect nothing against the truth. Satan knows that his only way now is to try to separate very near friends and thereby weaken the children of God. United you'll stand. Divided you'll fall. Oh, press together; grieve not the angels of God who are watching over you. Let them not bear the tidings upward that you are disunited, each one pulling apart. Remember, now is the time that God is gathering His people into the unity of the faith. Will you not be co-workers with God, and press together?17MR 343.1

    I beg of you, to each one of you, humble yourselves before God. Let your brother's faults alone, Go to God and beg of Him not to show you your brother's heart but your own heart and your own wrongs; and when each one of you humbles yourself before God, let self die. There will be no trouble. You can but love one another and be united by strong cords of love and fellowship.17MR 343.2

    Finally, be at peace among yourselves, and may the God of peace sanctify you wholly, and preserve you blameless unto His appearing and kingdom. I would say I have written this to the church because it is public affairs.17MR 343.3

    Brother Bates is with us. He is coming to see you [in the] West. His duty is there for [the] present. I never saw him as free as now. God is with him. James sends much love to all the church. Accept the same from me. Please write as soon as possible.—Letter 2, 1852.17MR 343.4

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D.C.,

    September 3, 1987.

    Entire Letter.