Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 3, 1881

Walling, Addie; Walling, May

Battle Creek, Michigan

April 15, 1881

Portions of this letter are published in DG 196-198.

Dear Children, Addie and May:

I have a few moments this morning and will write you a few words of counsel. In my absence I would have you kind and courteous to all who are employed in my house. Neither of you [must] feel that you have experience and wisdom to do things correctly without counsel and advice from those older than yourselves. I have observed in you both a want of respect to those older than you. This defect in your character will, if indulged, become confirmed upon you and grow stronger with every indulgence. Therefore subdue it, control it, overcome it entirely. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1881, par. 1

Again, I see, Addie, more especially in you a growing disposition to jealousy. Jealousy, the Scriptures tell us, “is as cruel as the grave.” Song of Solomon 8:6. You may inquire “What is jealousy?” It is this thinking that those around you do not think enough of you and appreciate your value. You imagine they talk about you and say things of you not correctly. You feel that others are favored and you are not. Many such feelings are the outgrowth of jealousy. Now, Addie, you want to be a Christian, a child of God. And if you succeed, you will have battles to fight with your own natural imperfections. You must watch for these defects and war against them with all your powers. Jesus loves you, He died for you, my children, Addie and May, and He wants you to have His spirit and His grace that you may indeed be His lambs, His dear children. You want the grace of Jesus to subdue every unlovely trait of character that you may be approved of Jesus and the holy angels. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1881, par. 2

Addie, I observe you listen and watch to hear what others say, thinking they may say something in reference to you. Do not do this any more. This you should overcome at once. Your mother did in this way when she was a girl, and she fancied that she was slighted and blamed and disliked, and this jealousy grew upon her until after she was married. She made the life of your father anything but pleasant. For your good, I enjoin upon you to nip this in the bud. Again, I see in you a disposition to dictate to May and fret at her. This is growing upon you. Treat May kindly, make your requests patiently, not in an ordering manner, but just as one sister should treat another. You will be disliked by every one unless you look well to these things. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1881, par. 3

You have both many things in your natural disposition that should be overcome. You must see these things, and then you will see how you despise them in others, and avoid them yourselves. You may grow up lovely in character, kind, gentle, meek, lowly of heart, or you may grow up peevish, fretful, unkind, self-sufficient, esteeming yourselves above that which you should. Read in the Bible what are the fruits borne by the Christian tree and then read the fruit borne by the evil tree. One is good, the other corrupt. Now I have no time to write further, but I know your defects of character, and the Lord I love has shown me and you in His Holy Word that you may be His children, but you need His grace daily to overcome your errors of character. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1881, par. 4

All these things I have mentioned, or even one of them, if not overcome, will exclude you from heaven; for nothing can enter there but that which is pure and holy. I want that our labors for you, my children, should not be in vain. I want you to be happy in the beautiful world Jesus has prepared for those who love Him and seek to be like Him in character. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1881, par. 5

Do not neglect this matter. Be in earnest; battle with all your might against everything unlovely in character. You will be happier yourselves for this; you will make others happy around you, and you can, in your words and correct deportment, show that you are copying the Pattern forming your character according to the character of Christ. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1881, par. 6

May, my dear child, I do not wish you to overwork, but I want you to be prompt and bear your share of responsibility. Those who do work only when compelled to do so will be worthless. You can do work with cheerfulness and not wait to be told. Be faithful in little things, and then it will be easy for you to be faithful in larger things. Remember that there are duties for you to perform just as important to perfect your experience as the duties those older have to do to perfect their experience. Do your work, not as though it was a burden, but a pleasure, as though done for Jesus. Your Saviour was an obedient child, working with His Father at the simple trade of a carpenter. You must eat and drink in order to live, and then, as a natural result, the dishes must be washed, floors swept, if you live in houses. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1881, par. 7

Now act your part with fidelity, doing your work for Jesus. I may write you again. I want you both to strive to excel in having the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which in the sight of God is of great price. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1881, par. 8

A word more. When we came to Brother Hilliard’s about nine o’clock, we found the house fastened and no one in it. After Elder [D. M.] Canright and your uncle rattled around for some time and had about given up the effort of opening up the house, Elder Canright found the wood box was filled from the woodshed, which was open. The wood box was quickly emptied, and then the question was, Who would venture to squeeze through? Canright objected. He said, “I cannot get through.” They were about to have Mary Ann try to crawl through, when Canright thought of another plan. He put through his hand and could just reach the fastening of the door. It was soon opened, and we were under shelter. We took possession of the house. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1881, par. 9

It was warm, and apparently they would soon return. And it was past ten o’clock, and we began to think they would not return. But they came at last, and how surprised they were to see, half a mile within sight of home, a bright light in the house they thought fastened so securely. You never saw people so surprised as they were. Well, we were welcomed gladly. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1881, par. 10

Have just stopped writing long enough to eat and then have written the above on this page. Well, good-by, my dear children. Be kind, be respectful to others older than yourselves. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1881, par. 11

Your aunt. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1881, par. 12