Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 9, 1856

Below, Sister E. P.

Battle Creek, Michigan

January 1, 1856

Portions of this letter are published in HP 352; 1Bio 332-334; 3MR 225; 7MR 231. See also Annotations.

Dear Sister Below,

We received your kind and welcome letter in due time, containing three dollars, one from Sister Boyers, and two from yourself. Thank you for your donation. 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 1

We have been meaning to write you for some time, but have had many visions to write to individual cases, and have scarcely got through yet. 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 2

My health is quite good except a lame ankle. In coming from Sarah’s to our house, I slipped and fell, wrenching my foot backwards and putting my ankle out of joint. In rising it flew back again, but the bone of my left limb is injured, split, and I am a cripple for the present, cannot bear a pound’s weight upon it. It is more than a week since I was hurt. I can hobble around a little with crutches, but I will not murmur or complain. It was a merciful Providence that saved me from breaking my limb in two places. When I think how my limb twisted and then the whole weight of my body fell upon it, I know that the angels of God must have protected me or I should be suffering with distress from a broken limb. 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 3

Jenny and Clarissa are quite well; Clarissa has not been as well as she is now for eight years. Jenny is much better than she has been since before she had the ague. The children are quite rugged. Edson, you know, has been generally poorly but he is coming up; is quite tough. James enjoys better health than he has for some time back. We praise the Lord for this. For weeks past the Lord has been good and gracious to us, and I long to be more devoted to Him. We have lived at too great a distance from God, and that is why we have had so little strength. We must draw nearer to God. 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 4

This world is too dark for me, it is not my home. Jesus said He would go away and prepare mansions for us, that where He is there we may be also. [John 14:2.] We shall ever dwell with and enjoy the light of His precious countenance. My heart leaps with joy at the cheering prospect. We are almost home. Heaven, sweet heaven, it is our eternal home. I am glad every moment that Jesus lives, and because He lives we shall live also. My soul says, Praise the Lord. There is a fullness in Jesus, a supply for each, for all, and why should we die for bread or starve in foreign lands? 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 5

I hunger, I thirst, for salvation, for entire conformity to the will of God. We have a good hope through Jesus. It is sure and steadfast and entereth into that within the veil. It yields us consolation in affliction, it gives us joy amid anguish, disperses the gloom around us and causes us to look through it all to immortality and eternal life. It is just what we need. We cannot part with it. Earthly treasures are no inducement to us, for while we have this hope it reaches clear above the treasures of earth that are passing away and takes hold of the immortal inheritance, the treasures that are durable, incorruptible, undefiled, and that fade not away. This hope we will cherish. We will cling closer and closer to it. It will live when everything else dies. 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 6

Our mortal bodies may die, and be laid away in the grave. Yet the blessed hope lives on until the resurrection, when the voice of Jesus calls forth the sleeping dust. We shall then enjoy the fullness of the blessed, glorious hope. We know in whom we have believed. We have not run in vain, neither labored in vain. A rich, a glorious reward is before us; it is the prize for which we run, and if we persevere with courage we shall surely obtain it. 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 7

I cannot express my gratitude to God for what He has done and is still doing for us. For weeks our peace has been like a river. The heavenly dew has distilled upon us morning, noon, and night, and our souls triumph in God. It is easy believing, easy praying. We love God, and yet our souls pant for living water. There is salvation for us, and why do we stay away from the fountain? Why not come and drink that our souls may be refreshed, invigorated, and may flourish in God? Why do we cling so closely to earth? There is something better than earth for us to talk about and think of. We can be in a heavenly frame of mind. Oh let us dwell upon Jesus’ lovely, spotless character, and by beholding we shall become changed to the same image. Be of good courage. Have faith in God. 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 8

We should love to hear from you and Sister Cottrell and of the children as often as possible. I designed writing Sister Cottrell a letter with this but James has other writing I must do, so she must excuse me. Much love to Brother and Sister Cottrell and their children, Willard and his wife. Tell them to go on. The crown is before us. Put all the armor on, like valiant soldiers stand. Much love to Mary and Frank. 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 9

I hope Frank is attending to his eternal interest, and is preparing for the judgment. Tell him I want to meet him in heaven. Tell Mary to be faithful, to watch and pray. That is the life of the Christian. Love to Brother and Sister Boyers and their children. I want to see you all, Brother Harvey and family and all the saints—I cannot number all. Pray for us. 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 10

We are going to ride about thirteen miles today in the country. The brethren think we ought to have a little house put up. We pay now $1.50 per week for rent, and have scarcely any conveniences at that. Have to go a great distance for water; have no good shed for our wood. We put a few boards up at our own expense just to cover our wood. We shall make a beginning; cannot tell how we shall succeed. May the Lord guide us in all our undertakings is my prayer. 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 11

Do write to us. You are very near our hearts. What a nice piece Brother Roswell [Cottrell] wrote! It hit the nail on the head; it will do much good. 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 12

In love. 1LtMs, Lt 9, 1856, par. 13