Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2

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Lt 1b, 1873

Children

Santa Rosa, California

January 7, 1873

Portions of this letter are published in 2MCP 782; OHC 25; TMK 304.

Dear Children:

We are pleased to receive your letters and to hear a good report of you from Brother Kellogg. We are not asleep to your dangers from association. You are safe only as you trust in God. We have a vigilant foe to contend against. Bear in mind, dear children, that Satan is persevering, never off his watch for souls. You have never been exposed to the subtle influences of spiritualism or to infidelity. As you hear and observe the course of men whom you respect for their good qualities, unless you are fortified continually with the influence of the Spirit of God, words that are dropped and arguments urged may find lodgment in the mind to disturb your faith, if not to create unbelief. This has been a cause of some anxiety to me, but bear in mind your only safety is in God, dear children. 2LtMs, Lt 1b, 1873, par. 1

The impressions left on minds have been that religion is injurious to health. This is erroneous and should not be entertained. Pure religion brings peace, happiness, contentment; godliness is profitable to this life and the life to come. 2LtMs, Lt 1b, 1873, par. 2

Christ was tempted of the devil on our account. He saw that it was not possible for man to overcome the powerful foe in his own strength, therefore He came in person from the courts of heaven and bore in behalf of man the test that Adam failed to endure. Christ overcame Satan in resisting the specious temptations of Satan on man’s behalf. The manifold temptations of the wily foe were resisted by “It is written.” Christ overcame Satan, making it possible for man to overcome on his own behalf in the name of Christ. But the victory can only be gained in Christ’s name, through His grace. When burdened, when pressed with temptation, when the feelings and desires of the natural heart are clamoring for the victory, earnest, fervent, importunate prayer in the name of Christ brings Jesus to your side as a Helper, and through His name you gain the victory and Satan is vanquished. 2LtMs, Lt 1b, 1873, par. 3

But do not feel that you are in no danger while you make no special efforts yourself. Said Christ, “Strive”—agonize—“to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke 13:24. We must feel our continual dependence upon God, and the great weakness of our own wisdom and our own judgment and strength, and then depend wholly upon Him who has conquered the foe in our behalf, because He pitied our weakness and knew we should be overcome and perish if He did not come to our help. His divinity and assumed humanity combined qualified Him to reach man with His human arm, while with His divine arm He grasps the Infinite and elevates and ennobles man, making it possible that man may overcome the degradation of the fall through His name. 2LtMs, Lt 1b, 1873, par. 4

Think not, my children, that by any easy or common effort you can win the eternal reward. You have a wily foe upon your track. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21. Here is the battle to overcome as Christ has overcome. His life of temptation, of trial, of toil and conflict, is before us for us to imitate. We may make efforts in our own strength, but not succeed. But when we fall all helpless and suffering and needy upon the Rock of Christ, feeling in our inmost soul that our victory depends upon His merits, that all our efforts of themselves, without the special help of the great Conqueror, will be without avail, [then] Christ would send every angel out of glory to rescue us from the power of the enemy rather than that we should fall. 2LtMs, Lt 1b, 1873, par. 5

I implore you, my children, to trust wholly in God. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” James 4:7, 8. The Christian life is a life of conflict, of self-denial and conquest. It is a continual battle and a march. Every act of obedience to Christ, every victory obtained over self, is a step in the march to glory and final victory. Take Christ for your Guide and He will lead you safely along. The pathway may be rough and thorny and the ascents steep, requiring toil. You may have to press on when weary, when you long for rest. You may have to fight on when faint, and hope on when discouraged, but, with Christ as your Guide, you cannot lose the path of immortal life. You cannot fail to reach the exalted seat by the side of your Guide, whose own feet trod the rough path before you, evening the way for your feet. If you follow pride and selfish ambition you will find it pleasant at first, but the end is pain and sorrow. You may follow selfishness, which will promise you much but will poison and embitter your life. To follow Christ is safe. He will not suffer the powers of darkness to hurt one hair of your head. Trust in your Redeemer and you are safe. 2LtMs, Lt 1b, 1873, par. 6

Love, 2LtMs, Lt 1b, 1873, par. 7

Mother.