Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)




Lt 1, 1861

Jones, Victory

Battle Creek, Michigan

January 1861

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 378; 1Bio 465.

Dear Friend, Victory Jones:

I feel called out to write you this afternoon. While in Battle Creek three weeks ago last Sunday, the Lord visited me. All day upon the Sabbath, I felt much depressed. For weeks I had watched over my suffering child with agonizing feelings which I cannot describe, and at last I witnessed its death struggle, the closing of its little eyes, but could find no relief by weeping. My heart was full to bursting, but I could not shed a tear. His little coffin was near me in the meeting house. My eye rested upon it with such feelings of loneliness as none but a mother bereft of an infant can feel. I fainted, yet could not weep. I saw it placed in the earth and then returned to my lonely home. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1861, par. 1

For one week I continued to sink under the burden, until it was intolerable. Sunday, I awoke before day, very sick—sharp pains darting through my heart. I could obtain no ease, and at length fainted a number of times. My husband called in some of the church to pray for me, and in answer to their effectual prayers I was revived and then taken off in vision. The churches in different places were presented before me. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1861, par. 2

I saw the church in Monterey, and then your case was presented. I saw your fallen condition, but that your case was not hopeless. I was shown a ray of light from Jesus to you, and angels seeking to direct your eyes to it, that you might struggle through the darkness which surrounded you and receive its rays to your heart. I heard them say, Yet there is hope; if he will lay hold upon it he can live. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1861, par. 3

I then saw that you were not a happy man. Your judgment and reason are convinced that we have the truth, and there is no happiness for you unless you overcome your strong habits and are purified by obeying the truth. The inconsistencies of some Sabbath-keepers have stumbled you. You have felt impatient with them because they did not show their faith by their works. But, Victory, this should not stumble you. Nothing should hinder you from following the only true unerring Pattern. Jesus pities and loves you yet. There is a living reality in religion, and its sacred influence is sufficient to hold you as an anchor. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1861, par. 4

Dear friend, I saw that you could reform. Your strong foe has bound you, but in the name of Jesus shake off these shackles and be a free man. Control your actions, overcome your appetite, sacrifice your idol. You love your family. You are a kind husband and father when your reason is not perverted by strong drink. If this evil habit is not overcome it will entirely overcome you, and your happiness and the peace and happiness of your wife and child is at an end, for you will make yourself wretched and miserable and make your family miserable also. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1861, par. 5

You cannot overcome in your own strength. The Lord will impart unto you His strength, if you sincerely repent and earnestly seek for it. Your brethren would help you. There are those who would lay down their life to save you from perishing. But you must make the sacrifice yourself. It must be thorough and entire, or you will fail of carrying out your purpose. Saith the Lord, Return unto Me and I will return unto thee, and heal all thy backslidings. Everything depends upon the course you now take. Will you return? Will you be sanctified through obeying the truth? You are still remembered of your heavenly Father. You possess some noble traits of character. Shall all this be destroyed by evil habits? You are now weak, but God is waiting to make you strong. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1861, par. 6

I saw that your wife has erred in relating her trials to you. She should never relate her grievances to you, for it affects you. She should ever strive to encourage, to yield or sacrifice her feelings and wishes, and take every means in her power to strengthen you, for you have enough to battle with, Victory. If you had left off tobacco entirely and never touched that filthy weed after you had started the last time, you could the more readily have subdued your appetite for strong drink. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1861, par. 7

I was pointed to your case and these words were repeated, “And of some have compassion, making a difference.” [Jude 22.] Your eternal interest now calls for zealous, decided action. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1861, par. 8

I have tried to write you what has been shown me. Now, dear friend, I appeal to you, will you take hold of this encouragement which the Lord now presents to you? Will you lay hold upon the hope the Lord now gives you? We feel deeply for you. We cannot leave you to perish. We want you to go with us. We will pray for you. Pray and watch yourself. Seek for the power of the truth in the soul. A mere theory of truth will never strengthen you to overcome your strong habits. Everlasting life is before you. For the sake of gratifying a depraved appetite, do not make your family wretched and shut out all happiness from them, and be miserable yourself, and in the end receive the wages of sin which is death. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1861, par. 9

Remember the sufferings of Jesus to save you. Look at His sacrifice, and then in His strength make the sacrifice yourself, which will bring happiness to yourself and family and at last win for you the victor’s crown. Can you, will you, do this? I beg, I plead, I entreat of you to heed this merciful message and reform. The greater the struggle and trial, the greater will be the reward and the louder can you chant the song of deliverance. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1861, par. 10

I must close. My prayer is that you may prove worthy of your name. Be an overcomer and walk with Jesus in light because you shall be found worthy, washed and made white in His blood. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1861, par. 11