Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 18, 1864

Folsom, Paul


Circa 1864

Previously unpublished.

[Paul Folsom:]

You have professed to believe the truth but have not been sanctified through the truth. You have occupied a central position where if you had been just right you could have exerted a strong influence in favor of the truth. But your influence has been more to scatter than to build up. Had your life been sanctified by the truth you profess, your prayers and exhortations would have been humble instead of exalted and in a lofty strain. They would have savored more of the spirit of an humble suppliant dependent wholly upon the mercy of Christ. The power of religion would characterize your acts and shine out in your life. But you have not carried your religion and faith into your everyday life. You have not labored to preserve ever with you the sacred influence of the sanctifying truth. You have felt self-confident—that you could get along with only the aid of Paul Folsom. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1864, par. 1

In your business transactions the fruits of the Christian religion have in a greater or lesser degree been laid aside. It has been hurry, storm, and drive, dealing censure and faultfinding on every hand, wounding right and left. Then again it is joking, laughing, and a continual stream of nonsense, and a little religion mixed up with it all. Sacred and holy things are mixed up with common. You excuse these things to yourself and others because it is your way. God help you to get rid of your way and to get the mind of Christ and pattern after His way. Your way can never glorify God. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1864, par. 2

Unbelievers have worked with you and have heard you pray and also converse upon our faith. Although what you would say might appear reasonable, yet it had no abiding influence upon them because your daily life, your business life, if not in direct opposition to the principles of the truth you talked, was far from being in accordance with the elevating, sanctifying truth which you advocated. Your life, your acts, showed to all that you had not learned of Him who has bidden us to come to Him when weary and heavy laden and learn of Him who is meek and lowly of heart that we should find rest to our souls. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1864, par. 3

Your influence over unbelievers or believers has not been saving. Self has been too prominent in everything. Some who have even been inclined to the truth have been farther from it after association with you or laboring for you awhile. You have had a scattering influence instead of a gathering influence. You oppose order in the church. You know not what you are doing. You have not understood yourself. You have thought your course was righteous but you have been self-deceived. The Lord in mercy has given you a correct view of yourself. Will you disdainfully cast it from you and choose to cling to your own righteousness which is in the sight of God but as filthy rags, or will you flee to the stronghold and obtain the righteousness of Christ? 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1864, par. 4