Chapter 12: Publishing and Traveling
The Messenger Party
August 29, 1854, another responsibility was added to our family in the birth of Willie. About this time the first number of the paper falsely called The Messenger of Truth was received. Those who slandered us through that paper had been reproved for their faults and errors. They would not bear reproof, and in a secret manner at first, afterward more openly, used their influence against us. This we could have borne, but some of those who should have stood by us were influenced by these wicked persons. Some whom we had trusted, and who had acknowledged that our labors had been signally blessed of God, withdrew their sympathy from us, and bestowed it upon comparative strangers.
The Lord had shown me the character and final come-out of that party; that His frown was upon those connected with that paper, and His hand was against them. And although they might appear to prosper for a time, and some honest ones be deceived, yet truth would eventually triumph, and every honest soul would break away from the deception which had held him, and come out clear from the influence of those wicked men; as God's hand was against them, they must go down.
Again my husband's health became very poor. He was troubled with cough and soreness of lungs, and his nervous system was prostrated. His anxiety of mind, the burdens which he bore in Rochester, his labor in the office, sickness and deaths in the family, the lack of sympathy from those who should have shared his labors, together with his traveling and preaching, were too much for his strength, and he seemed to be fast going down to a consumptive's grave. That was a time of gloom and darkness. A few rays of light occasionally parted the heavy clouds, giving us a little hope, or we should have sunk in despair. It seemed at times that God had forsaken us.
The Messenger party framed all manner of falsehoods concerning us. These words of the psalmist were often brought forcibly to my mind: "Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb." Some of the writers of that sheet even triumphed over the feebleness of my husband, saying that God would take care of him, and remove him out of the way. When he read this as he lay sick, faith revived, and he exclaimed: "I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord, and may yet preach at their funeral."
The darkest clouds seemed to shut down over us. Wicked men professing Godliness, under the command of Satan were hurried on to forge falsehoods, and to bring the strength of their forces against us. If the cause of God had been ours alone, we might have trembled; but it was in the hands of Him who could say: "No one is able to pluck it out of My hands." We knew that Jesus lived and reigned. We could say before the Lord: The cause is Thine, and Thou knowest that it has not been our own choice, but by Thy command, that we have acted the part we have in it.
(Testimonies for the Church, pp. 95-97)