Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 23, 1862

King, S. H., and Family



Previously unpublished.

S. H. King and Family:

While in Battle Creek, Nov. 5, I was shown some things in vision. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 1

I was shown the family of Brother King. I saw that all was not right, that there was a lack in understanding and comprehending the minds of their children, and understanding their wants. These children are affectionate above a great many children. They are confiding, and love society. They have excellent traits of character, which, if directed in the right channel, will be useful and a great blessing; but if directed in the wrong channel and placed upon improper objects, they would prove ruinous, for Satan would use these traits of character to destroy them. If this affectionate and confiding disposition [is] controlled by the Spirit of God, it will take an elevated turn [and] will be placed upon noble objects. Their thoughts will be upon God and heaven, and they will derive sweet satisfaction from the company of those who love the truth and are followers of Christ. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 2

Brother and Sister King have failed to come down and enter into the feelings of their children and study their characters, dispositions, and temperaments and then seek to meet their wants. Were they sick, Sister King has nursed them, and kindly attended to the wants of the body, and has felt that she did her duty. But I saw that she had come far short of doing a mother’s duty or filling a mother’s place. She has failed to understand the wants of the mind, and has not applied the proper remedies to cure a wounded and sick mind. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 3

Children have trials just as hard to bear, just as grievous in character, as those of older people. Parents do not always control themselves. They do not always feel the same. Their minds are often perplexed, Satan buffets them, and they yield to his temptations. They speak irritably and in a manner to excite wrath in their children. They are exacting and fretful, and the children partake of the same spirit. Everything seems to go wrong and the children are fretted at, and the parents deceive themselves and lay all the wrong to their children—think them careless, disobedient, and unruly—when the whole foundation and cause of all the disturbance was in themselves. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 4

This has been your case, Sister King. You have made many a storm by your lack of self-control. Instead of kindly asking the children to do this or that, you order them in a scolding tone, and at the same time a censure or reproof is on your lips, which they in no way deserve. By pursuing this course you take away the ambition and cheerfulness of the children. They go to do your bidding, not from love, but because they know they must. Their heart is not in it. It is drudgery to them, not a pleasure. You have again noticed their manners in doing your bidding and repeated your fretting and fault-finding, charging them with bad conduct, and laying your complaints before their father, which has stirred him up to correct them severely, when all the time they were more sinned against than sinning. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 5

Had you taken that course toward the children that a mother should, had you manifested love and affection for them, and with love and kindness told them to do thus and so, you would have touched an answering chord in their hearts, and their willing feet, hands, and hearts would have readily, cheerfully gone to do your bidding. By controlling yourself, speaking kindly, and praising the children, you may make them very happy, and throw a charm into the family which will chase out every dark shadow, and bring cheerful sunlight into the home. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 6

Sister King, you often suffer from nervousness and feel that you cannot be patient and calm, and manifest nothing like impatience and faultfinding. When you think thus you deceive yourself and please Satan. You can and must at all times control yourself. God requires it of you. You do not realize that when you give way to fretfulness and impatience you cause others to suffer, and you beget the same spirit in others around you. And if they manifest the same spirit you do, it increases your nervousness because all goes wrong. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 7

When you feel weak and nervous and fretful, you should not commit so great a sin as to poison the whole family with this dangerous irritability. At such times set a double watch over yourself and say, I will not offend with my lips. Nothing but pleasant, loving, cheerful words shall escape my lips. I will not mar the happiness of these children whom I voluntarily and understandingly have taken charge of, to act the part to them and fill the place of their own dear mother whom they have lost. By thus controlling yourself, you will grow stronger, your nervous system will not be so sensitive, you will be strengthened with the principles of right. The consciousness that you have in your own heart that you are, in every sense of the word, discharging your duty to these motherless children, will strengthen you, and you will feel that angels smile upon you and help you to nobly discharge the high and sacred duty you have taken upon yourself. The grace of God is sufficient for you. Lay hold upon it, for through it you can overcome. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 8

When you feel impatient, you too often think it is all in the children, and you find fault with them when they do not deserve it. The evil is in yourself. At another time they might do the very same thing and all they do be acceptable and right. Children know, they mark, they feel these irregularities, and they are not always alike. Sometimes they are better prepared to meet these changeable moods, and sometimes the children are nervous and fretful and cannot bear the least censure. You want all due allowance made for your state of mind and are ready to excuse yourself, but are not willing and do not see the necessity of making the same allowance for these poor children. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 9

You, Sister King, excuse in yourself that which you would highly censure in the children, who lack your years of experience, discretion, and discipline. You are of a nervous temperament, and when fatigued with labor, or oppressed with care, you manifest fretfulness and lack of forbearance to those who should be dearest to you of all others. This displeases God, and brings a cloud upon the family. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 10

The children in their troubles should be often soothed with tender sympathy. Mutual kindness and forbearance will make a home a paradise and attract holy angels into the family circle. Parents, if you have any regard for the salvation and happiness of your children, never meet them with a frown, and never let them see you with a clouded brow, for you will spread gloom through the family circle, and will drive holy angels from you, leaving you subject to Satan’s temptations, and often to his fiery darts. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 11

The mother can and should do much toward controlling her nerves and her mind when it is depressed. Even when she is sick she can, if she only schools herself, be pleasant and cheerful, and can bear more of the children’s noise than she would once have thought possible. If infirmities or depression affect the mother, she should not make the children feel her infirmities, cloud their young, sensitive minds, and cause them to feel that the house is a tomb and the mother’s room the most dismal place in the world. The mind and nerves can gain tone and strength by exercising the will. The power of the will in many cases will prove a mighty soother of the nerves. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 12

I was shown that the most critical period for Brother King’s children has arrived. Now extra care must be bestowed, extra teaching given, all mixed and sweetened with love, kindly forbearance and cheerfulness. Do not let them see you with a clouded brow, or hear a single censure from your lips unless you know that they richly deserve it. If they err, if they yield to Satan’s temptations, and afterward see their error, do not censure; kindly instruct them, forgive them, and by so doing bind them closer to your hearts. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 13

Teach your children to make their parents their confidants. By so doing you will save them from many a snare Satan has prepared for their inexperienced feet. But if you treat your children sternly, if you forget your own childhood, and forget that they are but children, and you desire and try to make them perfect, to make them men in acts and doings at once, you will close the door of access which you might have to your children, and open a door for others whose influence may be corrupting, to gain access to their young minds. And before you are aware of the evil, your children’s minds are poisoned. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 14

Brother and Sister King, remember that Satan and his host are making most powerful efforts to sway the minds of your children, and you must both treat them with that candor and Christian tenderness and love which will give you a strong influence over them, that they may feel that they can repose unlimited confidence in you, and can rely upon your judgment. You should both labor with a united interest to throw around your children charms for home and your society. A little longer and your children will be beyond your influence unless you bind them to you by the tenderest cords of affection and love. Your children are extremely sensitive. They do not always manifest it. They are wounded by thoughtless words, which you soon forget, but which cause them keen pain and suffering of mind and leave a wound which proves dangerous before you are made sensible of the danger, for Satan comes in to make the wound more grievous. He suggests his temptations, and hurries them on to a course of action, which, if not prevented, might prove their eternal ruin. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 15

I was shown that Satan took advantage of the eldest son of Brother King. He became impatient of restraint and he had been wounded so often by the impatient faultfinding of Sister King that home lost its charms for him. He became restless, uneasy, and was not contented at home; neither was he at rest or contented away from home. He began to despise authority, and through the influence of others, looked upon his situation as worse than it was. He had no love for his mother, for her fretful words had dried up all the love he would have had. He felt that he was not used right as a young man, and Satan stood ready, and magnified everything before him. A soldier’s life seemed to possess charms for him, and he enlisted. But he would never have left his home if things at home had been as they should have been. And then, in addition to this, the Sabbath stood in his way. He felt unreconciled to the law of God, yet for this alone he would not have left home. Cheerful and encouraging words will cost you nothing, but what an amount of good they may do! They will part the dark clouds around the soul, and will let sunlight in. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 16

Sister King, you love your children, but you have never felt that deep fountain of love stirred within you which lives in a mother’s heart. The children long many times for love and sympathy, and that appreciation of their feelings which a mother alone can give. The thought that you are not the mother that bore these children should be enough to lead you to double watchfulness lest there should be a lack on your part. You should treat them with the greatest tenderness and make them love you. Others are watching you, others are marking your words and acts. And this is nothing strange. Had you given the children’s relatives no occasion to find fault, they might have had some prejudice which a careful, judicious course of your own towards the dear ones committed to your care would have removed like wax before the sun. But you have felt aggravated at the remarks that have been made. They have been unjust. They have felt unreconciled to your union with Brother King. They have acted out their prejudice, have been unreasonable. Instead of your taking a Christian course, and winning the affections of the children, you have done no such thing. You gave occasion for remarks and faultfinding, you gave them chances to complain, and then felt that they were the only ones to blame, that you were abused. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 17

You chose to take the burden of the family upon you. You knew that you had children to deal with, not men and women. Children are not perfect; they are wayward, subject to Satan’s temptations, and you should have sought to gain their love and respect. The task many times was heavy and you thought that you had a hard time, and often lost sight of your duty, and what you owed to the children in consenting to become their mother. You have dwelt upon the difficulties of your position, the unpleasant and laborious part of your lot, and it has made you selfish, close, and exacting. You have thought few had such trials as you, and you have made it hard for yourself, hard for the children. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 18

You should have cheerfully walked in the path you chose for your own feet, and ceased your murmuring. You should have cheerfully submitted your own selfish interest for the interest of the dear children whom you chose to care for. You should have known yourself well before you consented to become the mother of that stricken flock. You should have known your own disposition, whether you could bear care, bear with the waywardness of childhood, and whether you could, with a noble, disinterested benevolence act a mother’s part, and if they erred or grieved you, with firmness and yet with gentleness and love, exercise the authority your position granted you over them, and taught them to do right and obey you. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 19

I was shown that you had your own way too much in your childhood. You were not taught the power of endurance. You were shielded too much from crosses and hardship. You were permitted to have habits which were injurious to go uncorrected, and you have not been disciplined so that you could exercise that self-control that a mother should. Instead of dwelling upon your hardship and trials with the children, and the burden that you feel is too heavy to bear, if you would look upon the matter as you should, you would feel like this: A weighty responsibility rests upon me. I am in a trying place, the most trying place that a woman can occupy. Other eyes are upon me, others will seek to influence these children against me. I will now guard myself. I will do my duty as a Christian and as a mother. I will give those who are prejudiced against me no occasion to retain that prejudice. I will ever be kind to these children in word and act, and discharge my obligations here, and bring these children up in such a way that they will love me, and those who would find occasion against me shall be disappointed. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 20

All the way through you have mourned the hardness of your lot, and all the time you were, by your lack of self-control, making it extremely hard for the motherless children. Now I saw, Sister King, that God calls upon you to reform. You must cease to justify yourself, and set about the work of reformation. Watch that hasty faultfinding. Stop that censure. Be forbearing, and praise your children whenever you can. Let your heart be young again. And remember your childhood trials, and then bear with their errors and waywardness because they are children. You would have others even now excuse your wrongs and errors. You would wish them to be forbearing and patient with you. Well, exercise the same forbearance and patience with your children that you wish others to have for you. Bring these children closer and closer to your heart, enter into their sympathies. God will help you; angels will hover about and smile on your efforts. Your children have trials just as severe for them to bear as your trials are for you. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 21

Your children, Brother King, have sometimes felt that they were held in too much, too much restrained. They have felt impatient of restraint, and have felt that they were deprived of privileges that other children have. They do not realize that these deprivations are for their good, and that God holds the parents accountable to a great degree for the salvation of their children, that Eli was cursed because he merely expostulated with his sons, but did not restrain them. Children are unacquainted with the evils of the world. They realize not the deadly influences surrounding them. They see not Satan and his angels pouring in upon them, and all around them a corrupting influence. He cannot so well work directly with the children, but he comes through other young friends and through them seeks to poison the minds of the youth. Some evil communication will be breathed into the ear, which, if not decidedly resisted, finds a lodgment in the heart, takes root, and springs up to bear fruit and corrupt the good manners of the children. Parents cannot be too careful to keep their children from the society of the young. The air we breathe is polluted, and the parents by living faith must roll back the tide of darkness Satan is pressing upon and around their children. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 22

And because of the evil in the world and the restrictions placed upon the children, parents should have double care to bind these children to their hearts. They should speak to them in the tenderest manner. Let them see that you do not wish to make them unhappy, but that you are laboring for their present good and their future eternal happiness. Angels of God are watching over these children with the deepest interest to see what character they are developing, and they record their acts and doings. These heavenly ministering angels are seeking to win them to Jesus, to lead them to seriousness and sobriety, and to give their hearts to God, that they may write their names in the Lamb’s book of life. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 23

Brother King, I saw that it was your duty to bind your children to your heart. Let nothing come between you and your children. Their mother’s dying prayer was for you and them, that God would care for and save her husband and children. God has registered in heaven that dying mother’s prayer. She felt some little time before her last sickness that she should die, and many and fervent were her prayers that her husband might become a Christian and train up his children to love God. She felt that she could not be denied this, and before she died she had the sweet assurance that her request would be granted, and yet she felt that she must have a double assurance if she could. She had the most unbounded confidence in her husband, and she knew if he once promised, he would surely fulfill. If she could only hear from the lips of her husband that he would become a Christian, she could die content. This she failed to get, yet God’s eye was upon the father and children, to care for and lead them in a way that they knew not. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 24

God, I saw, through His servants sent the truth to Brother King, and as the clear rays of truth began to penetrate the darkness around him, he was interested, and began to be charmed. Yet God saw that while providing a habitation he was in danger of the cares of the work occupying the mind, and choking the good seed that it should not spring up and bear fruit. He commanded His angels to darken his outer vision, to remove his eyesight that his spiritual vision might become more clear. And then I saw that angels of God were all around him, presenting to his mind the harmonious chain of truth, link after link uniting in a great whole. The mist and darkness which had covered and obscured the Christian religion and the Word of God, disappeared, and his mind labored and studied until the truth in its clearness and beauty eclipsed everything else and overbalanced all his skepticism, and he rejoiced in the truth. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 25

These same angels who attended Brother King in his blindness, led him right along to believe in the manifestations of the Spirit of God, to believe the visions, that he might have the strength he would derive from them, to encourage him, for God had a great work to do for the family through them. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 26

I was shown that God had committed your children to your trust, Brother King, to fit them for heaven. Their eternal interest should be greater to you than your house, farm, or anything else upon earth. Shut away from them every influence you can which would lead them to lightly regard the truth. By mildness, and yet with firmness of purpose, and by living faith, roll back the powerful tide of darkness Satan is pressing upon them. The Lord pities and loves them, and His arms are extended to receive them when they shall leave sin and folly and turn unto Him. He wants to prepare them as precious jewels to shine in the heavenly casket. He wants to welcome them to His sheltering arms, that He may protect them from Satan’s power. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 27

Your daughter is convinced that we have the truth, but she has a love of the world and pride of heart. Her worldly friends and relatives stand in her way. She fears she will have to cut loose from them, and the way to heaven seems too strait for her to follow. But I saw that she must make any sacrifice for heaven. The eternal reward is rich and glorious enough to repay her a thousand times for any sacrifice she may make. Satan is seeking to harden her heart, and lead her to carelessness. She must resist the devil. Jesus, the dear Saviour, is waiting to adopt her into His family. If she will yield her heart’s best affections to Him who above all others is worthy of her love, He will purify and refine her and fit her for immortality. But she must have decision, and not suffer Satan to use her relatives and professed friends to lead her from God in the downward road to folly and worldly pleasure. Through these professed friends who manifest a regard for her, Satan will strew the way to hell with tempting flowers to lure her on to harden her heart and stiffen her neck against the truth. If she does this she will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. Said the angel in a solemn voice: “Turn ye, turn ye; why will ye die?” [Ezekiel 33:11.] Break the fetters of pride and folly which would confine you, and keep you in bondage, and turn to God. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 28

I saw that those boys of Brother King’s wished and tried to do right. God invites them to seek Him early and they shall find Him. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 29

Lucia, I saw that your state of indecision is having an influence to keep others back. They are looking to you, and you stand directly in their way. Said Jesus, They that gather not with Me, scatter abroad. Your influence tells either for good or evil. You will be a benefit or a hindrance to others. Remember, Jesus died to save you. He paid a dear price to save you from death and hell, and will you make no effort to save yourself? Will you foolishly spend these golden moments granted you to prepare for heaven? Will you not cheerfully make some sacrifice? Will you not make an entire sacrifice, that Christ may accept you, and record your name in the Book of Life to be remembered by Him when He makes up His jewels? Make your mark high from henceforth, for everlasting life. It will require moral courage to tell your friends (who would have you be satisfied with pleasures derived from their gatherings, their parties which they may get up, their balls, and scenes of amusement) that you have decided to love God and keep His commandments, that your daily life may be peaceful, your joys and pleasures elevated, and you be fitted and refined for His heavenly kingdom. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 30

It will be greater, far greater honor than the world can bestow upon you, for Jesus, when He rides forth a mighty Conqueror, attended with a retinue of holy angels, to acknowledge you as His, and in the presence of His angels, to acknowledge you an heir of God and joint heir with Jesus Christ. O, what honor is like this? To be owned and honored of Him who takes the kingdom under the whole heaven to possess it for ever and ever, and His kingdom to know no end! He reigns in majesty and splendor, and yet elevates those He has redeemed to be equal heirs with Him to His Father’s estates. Yes, He will receive you, if faithful, Lucia, to His heavenly mansion He has prepared for you, which is beautiful and adorned as no earthly mansion. And your companions will be the heavenly angels, and the redeemed host who have come up through great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Close by the side of that dear mother who bore you, you can range the earth made new, and with her cry, “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and lives again.” Together can you bow in adoration at the feet of that dear Saviour, and cast your glittering crowns at His feet, because He won them for you by His own blood. Which will you choose, heaven with the self-denial and the cross, or earthly pleasures, banishment from the presence of the Lord, and death? Choose ye this day whom ye will serve. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 31

You have had unreconciled feelings at being shut away so much from young society. You have felt that your feelings were not understood or appreciated. You have felt willing to do all you could if you could receive kind, encouraging words at all times. Lucia, you have not always felt as you should. You must seek to be forbearing and ever strive to imitate Christ, and follow His example, that you may be an overcomer, and sit down with Jesus in His throne. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 32

Brother King, I saw that you must not suffer your children to be overtaxed. Lucia has been overtaxed and has labored much when she should have had rest. She has inherited disease, and when overtaxed, disease gains the ascendency, and she must be a sufferer. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 33

Sister King, you have not always appreciated Lucia’s labor. You have not prized her help as you ought to have done and felt that deep interest in her welfare that you should. She cannot bear censure, and in most cases does not deserve it any more, or as much, as yourself. And when she is blamed unjustly her spirit rises against it, and she has no courage to do anything. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 34

Brother King, as a father it is your duty to be lord in your own house. You take good care of the cattle and horses. You watch them closely that they are not fed at improper times lest they be injured. You watch carefully lest they be spoiled by overworking and thereby ruined. But you have not felt the necessity of having the same care for your children, to select for them at all times the most healthful food and clothing, and then watched with great interest lest in their growing years they overdo and bring disease upon themselves. When you see a lack on the part of Sister King in this respect, it must lead you to have a double care, a double watch, and your word should be law in the house. You have not meant to be unmindful of the wants and interests of your children, but you have not considered and looked on every side, and studied their interests as you should. You alone should be the judge in regard to the wants of your children, and in regard to what they can bear. Follow your own judgment in regard to them. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 35

Brother and Sister King, take hold with a united interest for the welfare of your children. Labor earnestly for their salvation. Sister King, God will strengthen you if you take hold of His strength, but you must take hold of the work and make a business of it, until you have perfect self-control, or you will fail of everlasting life. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 36

In love. 1LtMs, Lt 23, 1862, par. 37