December 23, 1879.
ELDER G. BEEBE – DEAR BROTHER: – It is with fear and much trembling that I approach you on a point of order.
Suppose that two brethren, A and B, have a disagreement; A is the offended brother, and B waits, as he supposes, a sufficient length of time for A to come and see him; but A does not come, and B then goes to see A, and tells A that he (B) is in the affirmative, and intends dealing with him, and takes as he believes, the rule laid down in Matt. xviii., for his course. In the absence of half the members, the case was brought before the church, and by a vote of three, including B and one of the witnesses, (the other three members present not voting at all) A was excluded. Was A legally excluded?
Again: Suppose B is in the habit of exercising a gift, should he go on and exercise his gift at home and abroad, or should he leave his gift at the altar until reconciliation is made?
Again: Suppose that some of the dissatisfied members withdraw from the church, would it be in order for some other church to receive them, there being no charge preferred against them?
Please answer through the SIGNS, and oblige one who greatly desires the peace and welfare of Zion.
REPLY. – We would greatly prefer that those who desire our views would give us their names, as we do not like to labor in the dark.
According to the statement of the case as supposed in the foregoing, we give as our judgment that the whole proceeding is wrong and disorderly. A lamentable lack of humility, meekness and brotherly love is clearly manifested by all the parties involved. The member submitting the charge against the accused brother, should allow the church to decide the matter without his vote, and the members are inexcusable in refusing to vote; also in leaving the church to avoid the trouble resulting from their own neglect. We see nothing orderly in the whole proceeding as stated in the query. We would advise that the whole matter should be reconsidered and that the spirit and counsel of the Lord should be earnestly and solemnly invoked by all the parties involved, and a far greater degree of forbearance and gospel charity manifested. Hasty and harsh dealings may for a time seem to triumph; but the eye of him who searches the heart is upon us; and “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God.”
Elder Gilbert Beebe – Editorial
Middletown, N. Y., March 1, 1880
Signs of the Times
Volume 48, No. 5
March 1, 1880