Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5

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Lt 34, 1888

Belden, Charlie

Fresno, California

June 8, 1888

Previously unpublished.

Dear Charlie:

We left Oakland Thursday evening at half past eight o’clock and reached Fresno Friday morning. We were wise to travel in the night for Friday was a very hot day and dusty. We would have had a hard time of it. 5LtMs, Lt 34, 1888, par. 1

I am pleased, Charlie, that you are not an idle boy, but are willing to work hard. This is a good thing, and I hope you will obtain means during the vacation to secure for you the advantages of school the next term. You need close application to your studies in the common branches both of reading and spelling. Try to keep up as much as possible your studious habits, that the next term you can make much more advancement than during your last school experience. Just as soon as a good foundation is laid in acquiring the knowledge of the common branches, then you want to take special lessons in bookkeeping. I hope that you will, if persevering, be an honor to your widowed mother and be able to sustain her and make her life happy. Keep this in view. 5LtMs, Lt 34, 1888, par. 2

“That which ye sow ye shall also reap.” [Galatians 6:7.] Now is your time of sowing. You have now the opportunity of bringing into your character-building the very best and soundest timbers. Keep free from the society of those you know will not be a help to you in working out your own salvation. You will have enough to encounter from the enemy of God and man without soliciting or placing yourself where you will be in the hands of Satan’s agents. He has agents who are working for him all the time. There are young men and women who absorb or receive all of Satan’s plans and suggestions and act them out as cunningly and secretly and perseveringly as Satan himself. They are never content unless they are working for their master to ruin souls. I feel deeply over the matter; I do not want you to place yourself on the side of the enemy as an evil worker. 5LtMs, Lt 34, 1888, par. 3

I feel that I can do good missionary work in looking after the young men and young women who need help and bringing them into a position where they will have influences entirely the opposite from that which Satan is exercising. I want you, my dear boy, to help me in this good work and make me feel that I have not labored in vain. Will you be my helper? You have ever given me evidence that you wished to please me. Now if you will give just as good proof that you wish to please Jesus, your Redeemer, how happy you will make me, and there will be joy in heaven. 5LtMs, Lt 34, 1888, par. 4

You do not give evidence that you have yet true conviction of sin. Now go to work; pray before God to show you yourself as a sinner, then pray that Christ may be revealed to you as a sin-pardoning Saviour. Take your place under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel. You may form ever so good resolutions, but unless your heart is changed you will make no progress. I want you not to be a hypocrite, but a pure, sincere, contrite, repenting, believing sinner. There is too much shoddy work, I admit, and for this reason you should try to be true and sincere. Will you try? 5LtMs, Lt 34, 1888, par. 5

Do not keep yourself apart from religious influences, for there you will find yourself breathing in the atmosphere of heaven. It makes every difference what atmosphere you choose. If you choose the society of those who are coarse and rough, uncultivated, irreligious, you will descend to their level. If you choose the society of the godly and imitate their practices and seek to be all that is right and pure and holy, then you will have different views. You will think of Jesus; you will dwell upon the great plan of redemption. You will see in the cross of Calvary the cost of your soul. 5LtMs, Lt 34, 1888, par. 6

Do not place yourself for one hour with the skeptic. Shun him as you would a deadly poison. Let not his satanic words, the atmosphere which surrounds his soul, be like the poisonous miasma [to you]. Do the best you can in the strength of Jesus to have your whole moral taste changed that you will love the things that Jesus loved and hate those things which Jesus hated. Delays are dangerous. I want to save your soul; it was for this reason that I brought you in connection with my family that the influence might help you to form right ideas of the service of God and see the necessity of true conversion to the truth. 5LtMs, Lt 34, 1888, par. 7

I hope you will help Byron. I pray for you both. Do not become a tempter to Byron. Go to meeting yourself and set him the example of right doing. I want Byron to be helped. 5LtMs, Lt 34, 1888, par. 8