Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

368/474

Lt 54, 1880

Lily

Battle Creek, Michigan

January 24, 1880

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister Lily:

I am weary tonight but I feel impressed that I should write you some things. Your heart needs constant guarding. You are not enjoying the religion of Christ, and I want to plead with you not to be deceived in this matter. Your past life has been a fearful mistake, and now do not let pretense take the place of purity of heart. The very same character you cherished in your youthful days will be developed now, unless you have a conversion to God daily. You never loved devotion and religion, and this element needs to be cultivated. The seeds of pride and vanity, of ambition and display, have germinated and covered your soul with their dark and poisonous shadows. When opportunity is favorable, your objectionable features of character will appear. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1880, par. 1

You were ever a petted child. You had your own way and pursued your own course, gratified, flattered, and indulged by those who ought to have known better. In the earlier years of youth is the fit time for culture of the soul, when it can be more easily moulded to virtue, humility, meekness and lowliness of mind. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1880, par. 2

Precious opportunities have been lost, while Christ still presents His blood as our advocate before His Father. It is not too late to improve. If you really kept your soul under the influence of the Spirit of God, you would be comparatively safe. You would love that which He loves and hate that which He hates. All unloveliness of character must be put away, for it is not pleasing to God. You need the softening, subduing influence of the Spirit of God. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1880, par. 3

You have married an unbeliever, one who may be converted to the truth. If you were only enjoying the religion of Christ, imbued with His spirit, assimilated to His image, you would let your light so shine that in seeing your good works, your husband might be led to obedience of all of God’s commandments. If you live the truth, if you show true interest and love for the truth, you can exert a good influence. You may be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1880, par. 4

Your experience is all against you. Your sowing has not been the seed to produce a good harvest. I tell you this because you need to be guarded. Watch yourself with jealous care. You have a most determined will to carry out your own ideas, and in doing this as you have done, bitter will be the result. Your disposition is to rule, to control, and unless you guard yourself here, your married life will not be a happy one. Bind no yoke upon the neck of your husband, for it will be apparently light and easy now but it will become very galling by and by. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1880, par. 5

I was shown, Lily, that you must have a different spirit. Your present and future happiness depend upon it. You need self-culture. Your heart needs to be garrisoned, the passions trained and subdued and ruled by the intellect and conscience, if you would have it bear the imperishable fruit of happiness and moral beauty. This will be all the harder task for you, because you have never learned to bear the yoke in your youth. It is a thousand times easier to pull weeds from the plot of ground than to rid the heart of corruption. You can plant a thousand beautiful flowers easier than cherish ... [Remainder missing] 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1880, par. 6