History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 239
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current of time, for the eyes of the rising multitudes to look  upon. All things are for men, not men for all things.  Beloved brethren, before we can teach the world how  to do right, we must be able to do so ourselves; therefore
1, Never write a letter to friend of [or] foe, unless you  have business which cannot be done as well in  some other way; or, unless you have news to com municate, that is worth time and money.
2. Never write any thing in a letter to friend or  foe, that you are afraid to read to friend or  foe, for letters from a distance, especially one or  two thousand miles, are sought for with great anx iety; and, as no one is a judge of men and things,  you are liable to misrepresent yourself, your  country, your friends, and your enemies, and  put in the mouth of the honest, as well as the  dishonest, a lie; which truth, in her gradual  but virtuous way, may not contradict till your  head is under the silent clods of the valley.
3. Never write any thing but truth, for truth for  truth is heavenly, and like the sun, is always  bright, and proves itself without logic, without  reason, without witnesses, and never fails.
4 Never reprove a friend or foe for faults,  in a letter, except by revelation; for, in the first  place, your private intentions, be they ever so  good, are liable to become public, because,  all letters may be broken open, and your  opinion only on one side of the question, can  be scattered to the four winds, and he to whom  you meant good, receives evil; and you are not  benefitted. No matter how pure your intentions  may be; no matter how high your standing is,  you cannot touch man’s heart when absent  as when present. Instead of reproof give good  advice; and when face to face, rebuke a wise  man and he will love you; or, do so to your  friend, that, should he become your enemy,  he cannot reproach you; thus you may live, [p. 239]
current of time, for the eyes of the rising multitudes to look upon. All things are for men, not men for all things. Beloved brethren, before we can teach the world how to do right, we must be able to do so ourselves; therefore
1, Never write a letter to friend of [or] foe, unless you have business which cannot be done as well in some other way; or, unless you have news to communicate, that is worth time and money.
2. Never write any thing in a letter to friend or foe, that you are afraid to read to friend or foe, for letters from a distance, especially one or two thousand miles, are sought for with great anxiety; and, as no one is a judge of men and things, you are liable to misrepresent yourself, your country, your friends, and your enemies, and put in the mouth of the honest, as well as the dishonest, a lie; which truth, in her gradual but virtuous way, may not contradict till your head is under the silent clods of the valley.
3. Never write any thing but truth, for truth is heavenly, and like the sun, is always bright, and proves itself without logic, without reason, without witnesses, and never fails.
4 Never reprove a friend or foe for faults, in a letter, except by revelation; for, in the first place, your private intentions, be they ever so good, are liable to become public, because, all letters may be broken open, and your opinion only on one side of the question, can be scattered to the four winds, and he to whom you meant good, receives evil; and you are not benefitted. No matter how pure your intentions may be; no matter how high your standing is, you cannot touch man’s heart when absent as when present. Instead of reproof give good advice; and when face to face, rebuke a wise man and he will love you; or, do so to your friend, that, should he become your enemy, he cannot reproach you; thus you may live, [p. 239]
Page 239