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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Lt 207, 1901

    Jones, A. T.


    1901 [circa]

    Previously unpublished.

    (A. T. Jones:

    I have the warnings God has given me again and again to correct your course of action, that you should not destroy your influence.)16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 1

    Brother A. T. Jones,—

    After you left our house a great burden came upon me. I considered the matter you related to me of your inspecting the rooms of the nurses. Who gave you that work to do? I consider, upon reflection, that in thus doing you have given occasion to the nurses to have feelings toward you. This does not come under your line of duty, but that of the matron. You will injure your influence, because you—a man, an elder—had no right in any private rooms of the ladies. Whatever their defects, you have given occasion for their sense of propriety to be offended, yes, shocked.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 2

    A gentleman should understand that it is not put upon him to examine any young lady’s room. There are women to do this special work. This is not the class of work for any man to do. It is impossible for any one to be a proper, just, and accurate judge of the habits and practices of others by how their rooms are kept, for some may be called away before their work is done, and ladies have certain privacies which neither man nor woman should meddle with. I do not feel that a right impression is left upon minds.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 3

    You, Brother A. T. Jones, do not always consider and reason from cause to effect. This brings upon minds an impression that is not savory concerning A. T. Jones.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 4

    The Lord would have ministers preserve and cultivate the strictest decorum and dignity respecting every person’s privacy and rights. The nurses and helpers have a place that is strictly their own, and there should be no intrusion of men into their sleeping rooms. You have certainly given occasion for the lady nurses to be indignant and to feel disrespect for you. I had this so impressed on my mind after you left that I cannot forbear saying to you, Do be guarded and more delicate about your perception. This is a strange thing and a violation of propriety. It was all out of place. This is not the work you are called to the Sanitarium to do. How could you do this unreasonable thing and thus injure your influence?16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 5

    There is a man who will have charge of outside works, but he is not to feel at liberty to enter any lady’s room under any circumstances unless invited for some special purpose.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 6

    Now all have their rights, and these rights are to be respected. The nurses pay for their rooms, and they should have some privacy that no one shall intrude upon unless it be the lady superior. I would have you make the very best impression upon patients, nurses, and helpers—not as one who is considered meddlesome, spying out things that have never been committed to any gentleman to do, but as one who is to be respected because honored of God to do a special work.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 7

    “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 6.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 8

    I hope, my brother, that you will give no occasion by any untoward action which would leave an impression that some who choose to do so will make you appear in a ridiculous light. Please consider that you are not the one to feel at liberty to make any such examination. Those who are women of influence attend to this business. Even if anyone should ask you, and you were urged to do this, tell them you understand your place better than to feel at liberty to enter a lady’s room. Let all delicacies of privacies be strictly not meddled with.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 9

    By the appointment of God you are a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are not to come down to such common details as examining the private sleeping rooms of the women helpers in the Sanitarium, but you are ever to preserve a high, excellent level in all your course of action. You should have a keen perception of propriety in all these matters, and in your deportment you should avoid everything that will appear common and cheap, that loses for you the respect of those you want to help in spiritual lines. You are a man in need of examining your own self. Your work is to help in spiritual lines, and you are to feel that the greatest dignity and circumspect course of action must be cultivated on your part.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 10

    Some things have been presented before me which I must present to you. There is a younger woman who has unfortunately attached herself to you to be her counselor. She was in a delicate condition. She has been educating herself as a physician. She is attractive in her ways and intelligent in some things, but acts a very foolish part in some other things. She is a married woman and has withdrawn herself from her lawful husband and seized hold of you to obtain your sympathy. And while you are a Bible expositor you have in some respects the weakness that puts your character in danger if you take the very first step in association with women, especially this woman physician.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 11

    You are not commissioned of God to take up her case because you are placed as president of the California Conference. For this very reason you are to stand free and independent of any such person who is so free and confidential and such a weakling that she supposes it is her privilege to throw her whole weight upon a married man who is not her husband. As this woman gives to you her confidences which belong to her husband, and enlists your sympathies, conjectures arise in her mind through such familiarity. Even now I have to meet this as evidence that you are not now a safe man. If you wish to destroy your influence, you will surely do so by going over such ground with a woman whose jealousies and unwise course of action are in need of reformation. In receiving letters from her or acting as a sympathy man, you are not doing the right thing. Your position as president of the Conference, in place of justifying such liberties, forbids it decidedly. Because you are president of the Conference, you have to cut yourself free from all of this heart-sickening performance.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 12

    You would be very quick to condemn another were he doing as you have done, yet you are trying to make yourself believe it is your duty. You hurt the woman. She may go to her husband and manifest all this sentimentalism with happy effect. You have a wife who is true to you, but you need to remove the very first semblance of all such sympathy and wonderful care of any woman that lives, except your own wife. You need to act like a sensible man. Make straight paths for your feet lest the lame be turned out of the way. Will you destroy the force of your testimony in bringing to the people the Bible messages for these last days? Do you suppose yourself to be free from danger in being in the presence of this woman and listening to her speech? No indeed. You are very foolish in your reasoning when you want to carry out your own will. The hypnotism in women and men will guide you unless you awake. She is an unfaithful wife, and you are in positive danger.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 13

    You have been trying to justify yourself by reasoning that you are doing a work of mercy and that being president of the Conference makes it your business to see to all these things. Thus you reason falsely, for there are sensible women to take up all such burdens. No such details come under the duties of president of the Conference. If this is to be your work, the sooner a change shall be made in your work the better, for you are now a weak man in some respects. Your wife has had reason to fear for you in the past. She has more reason to fear for you in the present, and God forbid that you give to ministers and doctors an example of your false theories in this matter.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 14

    There are women who are to attend to all such cases and to whom you could turn over all such cases. They will understand them much better than it is possible for you to do. She has loaded herself on to you, and you had better lay down the load and let those of her own sex bear it.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 15

    I have received this instruction and I present it to you. Your work is not to look after details in church work like this case. You have a wife who needs all the tenderness you can give her; but she needs more to [be able to] see and respect in her husband sound common sense, as one that can reason from cause to effect. This sister is not walking in the way of the Lord.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 16

    This kind of work would soon bring you where your measure would be taken. Your good would be evil spoken of. You are not one who is proof against the preference young women may show you. Your judgment is liable to be so perverted that it may be said that blindness in part has happened unto Israel. You are not a man that God has appointed to enter into details of church work of this order. The conference president must be a man of a different talent of mind, and aware of his own dangers, and a man who will stand steadfast to the Bible principles.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 17

    Your own inconsiderate course prior to the birth of your firstborn daughter has laid upon your wife a burden of responsibility which you and she should have provided for long ago, and then she [could] stand by your side as your helper in your work. Your duty now is to encourage her. It is your duty to cut yourself off from the woman you have taken interest in and taken care of as though she were your wife. Sever the last thread that has been twisting into a stronger cord, and act like a sensible man.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 18

    I have not sent you this because I wanted to hurt you. Not one soul in my family or out of my family knows or has become aware of the fact that the president of the Conference has embraced details and work that God has never given him—a fact he would see and understand if another acted in a similar way under similar circumstances.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 19

    I think now I shall write to the pretty, fascinating woman herself. I have dreaded to do this because she possesses an excitable temper and a sentimentalism of disposition mingled with her religious experience that is really ridiculous for a married woman. She has a husband able to support her if both will come into a sensible, righteous position before God. I am instructed to say to you, It is your duty to refuse to receive her letters or to write to her. Her sentimental religion is of no value and needs to be given up. Your sympathies are given where they do no good, and your wife, if she were now placed where she could increase in knowledge and experience, would esteem the privilege. She has a heart grief that strangers cannot meddle with. She needs all your tact. Your sympathies for this other woman here dim your attentions to your wife.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 20

    Put your youngest daughter in school, and if need be for a time, give the mother the privilege of bringing into active exercise the aptitude she once had. I want to see all that sorrow that has come into her life because of your thoughtless action, taken away, never to be renewed. It is high time you take heed to yourself whether you are walking in the way of the Lord or in strange paths. The light God has given me in reference to you is that your work is not to enter into the details of the problems of the churches in any place. Your weakness in some respects needs to become your strongest point of character. You may make your weak points of character your strong points.16LtMs, Lt 207, 1901, par. 21

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