Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)
Ms 5, 1854
Gather the Children; Portion of Vision Given at Sylvan, Michigan, June 1854.
I saw the great responsibility of parents to their children and they must not neglect their solemn duty. Parents, you stand in the place of God to your children, and you must not suffer them to manifest cruel tempers or passions; their temper must be subdued, their will broken or parents will have to render an account of the neglect of their duties to their children. God can not cover sin and wickedness. Children are the lawful prey of the enemy, because they are not subjects of grace, have not experienced the cleansing blood of Jesus. The evil angels can work through these children, and some parents are careless, and suffer them to work with but little restraint. Parents have much to do in this matter, and by subduing or correcting their children, can lessen the power of the evil angels upon them, and after they have done this duty, they can then bring their children to God, and in the name of Jesus claim His blessing upon them. But God is dishonored and insulted when parents bring their children to Him unsubdued and unconverted, with all their evil tempers and passions, and ask Him to work for them. Parents, you must first do your duty; then go to God and ask Him to do His part, and He will hear you. Correct your children and subdue them, then God will be entreated of you. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1854, par. 1
I was shown the children of Israel in Egypt when the destroying angel was to pass through the land, he was to destroy all the first born of man and beast. Israel was commanded to gather their children and families into their houses with them, and then mark their door posts with the blood that the destroying angel might pass by the dwellings of Israel; and if they failed to go through this process, there was no difference made between them and the Egyptians. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1854, par. 2
The destroying angel is soon to go forth again, not to destroy the firstborn only, but to slay utterly old and young, both men and women and little children who have not the mark. Parents, the Lord has shown me that if you wish to save your children, separate them from the world, keep them from other wicked children. Subdue their tempers and evil passions; teach them to obey you; then they can more easily obey the commandments of God. After you have done your duty, carry your children to God and plead His blessing upon them, and He that said, “Suffer little children to come unto Me and forbid them not” [Luke 18:16] will be ready to listen to your prayers for them, and the seal or mark of the believing parents will cover the children if they are brought up aright. If parents neglect their duty, and leave their children to indulge in wicked, evil passions, the destroying angel will cut them down, and you parents will have an awful account to give for the neglect of your children. You who have not done your duty, now awake and redeem the time. It is but short, but you can work faithfully and can do much for your children. God corrects us when we err and go astray from Him, and you should correct your children when they do wrong. It will be for their happiness here and hereafter. 1LtMs, Ms 5, 1854, par. 3