Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1

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Lt 7, 1864

Folsom, Brother and Sister

Topsham, Maine

October 14, 1864

Previously unpublished.

Dear Bro. and Sister Folsom:

I may not have an opportunity of calling at your house and speaking with you face to face; therefore will write you a few lines. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 1

We are enjoying very good health, better than for many years before. For this we are thankful to God and are determined to devote ourselves wholly to His service. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 2

I was much pained to learn of your state of mind by the conversation you had with Frances and Rebekah Howland. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 3

I flattered myself that the testimony given me for you which I wrote with painful feelings and sent to you would have the influence upon you God designed it should have, but I am sorry to learn that your feelings are such which lead you to talk very bitter of your brethren and organization. This of course shows your true feelings, that you are in opposition to the visions, especially the testimony of reproof given you. I am sorry that Satan has thus far obtained control of your mind, that you will kick against the pricks. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 4

Notwithstanding all the past experience you have had and its painful results, you are making work for repentance. Why suffer Satan to control you and lead you to oppose the work of God? You have suffered in the past for pursuing this course. Why act it over again? You are injuring your own soul more than us or any others. I have felt an interest for you and Margaret which has been true and unselfish. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 5

My feelings have not changed but yours have. I am sad that you have despised the testimony given you of Heaven. It is not I that you have sinned against in your bitter feelings, but the Author of the testimony which the humble instrument wrote you. We shall both meet that testimony again to render an account in regard to it. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 6

But can it be, after all, that you have chosen to imitate others in their rebellion just at this point of time, when the people of God are growing more and more united and strong and are preparing for the great day of God? 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 7

You and Margaret have been kind and liberal with us, and I felt it a sacred duty to be true and faithful to you who had been thus kind and to tell you your true condition as God had shown it to me. Have I made you my enemy because I have told you the truth? You know that the testimony I sent you is correct, unless you are dreadfully blinded and deceived by the enemy of all righteousness. If I had had a selfish interest instead of telling you the truth, I should have flattered you and spoken to you smooth words, prophesied deceit which probably would have been more acceptable to you in your state of mind than the unvarnished truth, laying open before you your true condition calculated to tear you from self-deception and self-exaltation. May God help you to repent and make thorough work for eternity. I expect to meet every line I have written [to] you. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 8

I write no words to smooth over that testimony, for I wrote it to you presenting your true condition as God presented it to me. I entreat of you to read it again and do not despise this light revealing to you yourselves which God has graciously given you. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 9

That testimony which I wrote you only gave me a greater interest in your welfare. I knew that God wished in His mercy to save you both and presented before you the only course you could take in order to be saved, that you must reform and overcome your wrong and thoughtless words and your worldly mindedness, and be refined by the grace of God, purified, made white and tried, that you might be prepared for to be hid as in the secret of His pavilion in the fearful day of trouble before us, and be made at last fit society for the angels of God and the lovely Jesus. Can you sacrifice heaven now? Can you sell everlasting life for a mess of pottage? 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 10

For a long time, I fear, you have been deceived in regard to your true condition before God. You did not know yourselves. Satan has been determined to secure you and separate your interest from God’s true remnant people. Margaret did not realize the sinfulness of her course in giving way to her temper and being controlled by the demon passion. She had taken it for granted that she could not overcome this. God mercifully presented before you just how He regarded such exhibitions of passion as occurred almost daily and then showed you you could reform, that you had power in yourself by seeking the aid of the grace of God to control the unruly member which grieved angels of God and caused them to be driven from your household. You both had reason for gratitude to God that He had not suffered you to go on self-deceived and at the judgment meet the fearful spotted record of hard, spiteful, angry, bitter words and passionate acts. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 11

Before it was too late for wrongs to be righted, He revealed to you your true condition that you might repent and seek pardon by your sins going beforehand to judgment, which would be the case if you humbly repented and by humbly obtaining the grace of God, overcoming your wrongs and by firm reliance upon the blood of Christ have all the spots against your Christian characters effaced and you have a clean spotless record in heaven. Your names could be written in the book of life and you become heirs of immortality. But if you choose your own course and venture [to] trample upon the light God has been pleased to give you, I am clear; you at your own expense must do so. I am sorry that we cannot help you. But remember that which you sow now you will also reap. If you sow to the flesh you will reap corruption; if to the spirit, life everlasting. It is for you, my dear brother and sister, to say what shall be the nature of your harvest. Nothing but purity, honesty and holiness can enter the realms of peace. Have you chosen to follow the blind course many others have pursued rather than humble your heart and get right before Him? We should be glad to meet you at Enosburgh. Come both of you to be benefited. Come if you can October 29 and 30,—October twenty-nine and thirty. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 12

If you do not come, write us. If you would be glad to have us come to your house, and write to us to come, we would be glad to come and visit you, but if you had rather we would not come, we could not be induced to go for a thousand dollars. We have as you well know, homes and sincere humble friends who consider it a privilege to have us visit them. It is not our work to urge ourselves upon any one. We shall be glad to learn your feelings. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 13

In regard to the books, Brother Loughborough will remove them in accordance with your wishes just as soon as he can. The books are not ours. You are not accommodating us but him. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 14

I cannot express to you my grief in regard to your course. What occasion have we given you to feel toward us as you do? I have been faithful to you and Margaret because you were in temporal things. I have talked with you both as I felt it to be duty and I am not afraid to meet it again. 1LtMs, Lt 7, 1864, par. 15