Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 30, 1875


Essex Junction, Vermont

August 22, 1875

Portions of this letter are published in LYL 53-55; TDG 243.

Dear Sister Mary:

I have felt very anxious to see you and talk with you before I left Battle Creek, but I was too sick to have any care of this matter. But since I have found a moment of spare time, I feel urged to write you. I feel a deep interest in you, my dear sister. I have been shown some things in reference to you which I dare not withhold longer, because I feel you to be in danger. God loves you and He has given you unmistakable evidences of His love. Jesus has bought you with His own blood. And what have you done for Him? You might be fitted for a good work to glorify His name if you would surrender all to God. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 1

You are affected too easily by a wrong influence. Your heart has not been sanctified to God. You love yourself, [you] love to enjoy pleasure, and love the society of young men; and you fail to discriminate between the worthy and the unworthy. You have not experience and judgment and are in danger of taking a course which will prove to be all wrong and result in your ruin. You have strong affections, but your inexperience would lead you to have them placed upon improper objects. You should be guarded and not follow the bent of your own mind. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 2

We are, my dear child, living amid the perils of the last days. Satan is intent upon corrupting the minds of youth with thoughts and affections and sympathies that they think are real genuine love which must not be interfered with. This I was shown was your case. You little know how very anxious and how great burdens your parents have borne for you. You may think that you have been restrained too much but it is a mistake. I have been shown that your parents have been proud of their children and they have indulged you too much. They have not restrained you as thoroughly as was their duty. They have allowed you to do too much as you pleased. And you have not submitted to parental authority as was your duty. You have not honored your father and your mother as God requires of you. The sin which exists in this generation among children is disobedience to parents, unthankful, unholy, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” [2 Timothy 3:2-4.] And this state of things exists to such an extent it is made a subject of prophecy as one of the signs that we are living in the last days of time. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 3

If you expect to be loved of God and to retain the presence of holy angels, you must have a submissive spirit. Be willing to be instructed and to be led. And seek to follow in the path of virtue and holiness. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 4

God has claims upon you. He has blessed you with life and with health and with capabilities, reasoning powers that you may, if you will, greatly improve or you may abuse by yielding these powers or qualities of mind to the control of Satan. You are responsible for the ability which God has given you. You may, by making the most of your privileges, fit yourself for [a] position of usefulness and duty. You need not be aspiring to do a great work, aspiring after great things. But you may be doing your work, small though it may be, feeling your responsibility of doing this work to God’s acceptance, and when you do this small work all right, God will entrust to you a still greater work. There is importance attached to the course you pursue. Angels of God are watching Mary to see what character she develops. God is weighing moral worth and a record is kept in heaven of your acts, of all your deeds, and you will meet this record by and by. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 5

Remember, God will make use of all of His children if they will surrender to Him. He has a place and work for all. There are many, you among the number, who think it not possible that God can use you. Think not this longer. You may do your little work in a manner to glorify God. The rill does not refuse to pursue its narrow channel because it is not a river. The grass does not refuse to grow because it has not the proportions of stately trees. The star does not refuse to shine because it is not the sun. Oh, no. Everything in nature has its appointed work and murmurs not at its position. In spiritual things every man and woman has his or her own peculiar sphere and vocation. The interest God requires will be proportionate to the amount of entrusted capital according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 6

Mary, you are in great danger of throwing yourself away and bringing upon yourself great unhappiness which you cannot redeem if you would. But now is your time and privilege to redeem yourself and show a stability of character that will make you of real moral worth. Christ has a right to your service. Yield to Him heartily. Let not the unconsecrated lives of any, influence you. Be true to principle. I said, Jesus loves you. I meant it. You have grieved His Spirit time and again. You have grieved the heavenly angels by your willful course; but it is not too late to redeem the time. Your future happiness depends upon a different course of action entirely. Be sober, watchful, and prayerful, yet cheerful. Make Jesus your confiding friend. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 7

I was shown in my last vision that there are many of the young in Battle Creek who have not the fear of God before them, who are not at all religiously inclined. And there is still another class who are scoffers. Among the latter is Preston Kellogg. He has all his life been rebellious. He has dishonored his father and his mother. The restraint of home and of parental authority he has despised and rebelled against. He has not been subdued. A rebellious spirit is as natural as his breath. He is quarrelsome at home, disobedient, heady, highminded, unthankful and unholy. Such a spirit you are favoring. You are allowing your affections to go out after this boy. Stop just where you are. [Do not] allow this matter to go one step farther. I told my husband all this before he went into the office, but my husband said if we would give him a favorable position, he might reform. He was encouraged, but he has not reformed. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 8

I was shown that he was a scorner of religion, a miserable unbeliever, a skeptic. He has a strong influence for evil over the young. He has nearly ruined the principles and morals even of my sister’s children as well as many others. He makes sport of religious things. He puts on a fair exterior to keep favor with you, but his entire life has been rebellious at home and rebellious against God. His habits are corrupt, iniquity, secret iniquity he practices. I have seen his case and I speak understandingly. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 9

Even if this young man was of himself other than I have described, I should as one who has love for you, warn you to never link yourself with such a family. There is no happiness or harmony in the family. But as it is, you would be the most miserable girl that lives if you should give your affections to such a worthless object. No matter how he talks and deceives you, God looks upon him as he is, and I warn you to not cherish feelings of affection for this young man. He is worthless. I understand what I say. I know many young men more worthy of your love whom God loves and who would love you with affections pure and virtues untainted. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 10

I have much to say but no more now. Heed the counsel of your friend and sever all intimate and close connection with the young man. He is unworthy of your love. He would not respect you if he will not respect and honor his parents. You must not be ready to dispose of your heart’s affections. You are young and you are unsuspecting. You will surely be deceived unless you are more guarded. God has purposes for you which Satan wishes to defeat. Give yourself unreservedly to God, connect with heaven. Do not be led away from your Redeemer by an irreligious young man, a scorner of sacred things. Sever the intimacy existing between you at once. Do not follow your inclination, but follow your Saviour. Eternal life, my dear child, eternal life you want at any cost. Do not sacrifice this for your pleasure to follow your own feelings. But give yourself to Jesus, love Him and live to His glory. Sit like Mary of old at His feet and learn of Him. You may do good in the world. You may be fitting for a higher and more responsible work. You cannot afford to sacrifice yourself. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 11

I have much more to say to you, but no more now. Take these words written, act upon them and God will bless you abundantly. Take reproof as from God, take counsel and advice given in love and turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die? 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 12

God has given you golden opportunities. Improve them. Make the most of the time you have now while at Battle Creek. Set your soul to seek God earnestly, humble your heart before Him and in the simplicity of humble faith, take up your cross and your responsibilities and follow the Pattern given you. Heaven will be cheap enough. The precious immortal life will be given to all who choose the path of humble obedience. It is now your day of privileges and opportunities. It is now your time to know the things which belong to your peace. Will you, my dear sister, turn square about? Will you from this time make an entire change in your life and seek to know what is the will of God concerning you? Neglect not this time of privilege, but here, right here, lay all at the feet of Jesus and serve Him with your individual affections. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 13

God help you to break from off you the shackles Satan has sought to bind upon you. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 14

In haste and much love, 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 15

Your sister. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 16

Dear Mary, a few words more. I have been shown that the young like yourself who are wayward, do not naturally choose the company of the sober and sensible and discreet, but the society of those who are pleasure-loving, vain, and conceited. Such a woman as Mrs. Sawyer, James Sawyer's wife, has a far greater influence for evil on such a mind as yours than the influence of those who are right and have firm principle. Your nature is impressible. You move thoughtlessly without consideration. Battle Creek is no place for you without someone shall have a tender care for your soul and shall watch over you as a mother. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 17

When young people go to Battle Creek, there are two classes of society—the discreet and those of firm principle, and the vain and proud and unconsecrated. We find that those who come to Battle Creek generally choose the society of the latter. This lays upon the church an additional burden. All young who choose to be molded by the last class are not the persons to be sent from home to obtain an education in Battle Creek. They need first to learn good behavior at home, obedience and respect to their parents at home before they are sent abroad to influence others in a wrong direction and to be influenced. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 18

Mary, you should study and consider before you move. You are impulsive and do not study the result of your course. You do not take time to think and to pray and you do not watch unto prayer. You will make some terrible mistakes unless you think and meditate and consider where such a course will lead you and what will be the result of your course on your future life and what effect does your influence have upon others. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 19

Is God pleased with your course? Is Jesus, your Redeemer, honored by your life? 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 20

It is time you thought seriously, candidly. God help you to press to the light. 2LtMs, Lt 30, 1875, par. 21