Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 47, 1889

Harper, Laura

Battle Creek, Michigan

March 1, 1889

Portions of this letter are published in TSB 58-61.

Dear Sister Laura Harper:

I have been at your father’s house twice but did not find you at home. I cannot see, my sister, why you did not comply with my request and return to me the letter which I requested you to do. Is this doing the right thing by me? I now make the request again that you should return to me the letter which I sent to you. 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 1

I hoped to meet you and talk with you. I greatly fear that you disregard the light which the Lord has been pleased to give you through me. I know that the Lord has tender, pitying love toward you, and I hope you will not under temptation be led to pursue a course to separate your soul from God. There are many who are ready to give advice and confuse the mind with counsel who have not God for their counselor, therefore all they may say will only make a mixed case of one that is already very trying. 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 2

My sister, your disposition and temperament is such that I greatly fear for your soul. I fear that you will not choose for your companions those who are discreet and wise and humble in heart, who love God and who keep His commandments. 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 3

We read that Satan has come down in great wrath, working with his deceiving power upon the hearts and minds of all who listen to his suggestions. You know something of the love of God; you know something of the peace of Christ; and Satan is at work playing the game of life for your soul. Shall he be victor? Will he gain his purpose? God forbid. 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 4

The Lord has been giving you light, but you have not walked in it. Are you satisfied in pursuing the course which you are pursuing? Your own way, your will, is not the best for you to follow. I am sure that Satan is trying to secure you to himself. Shall he to it? Will you choose to go your own way in the place of keeping the way of the Lord? Will you place yourself upon the enemy’s ground? 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 5

Abstain from even the appearance of evil, is the exhortation of the inspired apostle. Have you done this? With your temperament this is most difficult for you to do while you are traveling from place to place canvassing. Do you feel, my sister, that you are moving conscientiously? Are you not having in your character a one-sided development? Are not traits of character [which are] not the most desirable, strengthening, which will mar your future life? The sensational and emotional are more fully developed than the intellectual. Everything, my sister, should be avoided that would exaggerate this tendency into a predominating power. You have motive power: let it be uncorrupted and wholly devoted to God. God has bestowed upon you capabilities and powers to be sanctified and exercised to His glory. 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 6

You have a history, and you are making history. The mind may in this crisis of your life take a turn, a bias of grossness rather than of refinement. The contaminating influences of the world may mold your habits, your taste, your conversation, your deportment. You are on the losing side. The precious moments, so solemn, fraught with eternal results, may be wholly on Satan’s side of the question and may prove your ruin. I do not want it thus. I want you should be a Christian, a child of God, an heir of heaven. 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 7

You have been giving the complexion to your life. How stands your case as registered in heaven’s record book? Above everything else seek for those things which make for your peace. Place yourself under influences which will not be deterioration, destroying the fine sensibility of the soul. Keep your soul unspotted from the world. Let not any familiarity with young men put a blot upon your life. You are in danger of giving up Christ, of becoming reckless and unwilling to listen to wise counsel. The counsel of parental affection is lost upon deaf ears. Will you, my sister, think seriously whether you will receive advice from the experienced? Will you be guided by your friends? Will the parental counsel be unheeded? Will you take your case in your own hands? 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 8

I hope you will change your course of action, for if the Lord has ever spoken by me, He now speaks to you to retrace your steps. Your passions are strong; your principles are endangered; and you will not consider and will not follow advice which you know to be good and the only clear, safe, consistent thing for you to do. Will you resolve to do right, to be right, to heed the counsel I have given you in the name of the Lord? 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 9

God has given you capabilities. Shall they be wasted at random? Unguided efforts will go more often in the wrong direction than the right. Will you let years of waywardness, disappointment, and shame pass, and you make so many wrong impressions on minds by your course of action that you can never have that influence which you might have had? 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 10

Your course of life has been of that character that all your good is evil spoken of. You become soured, unsanctified, and unholy. In order to gain that which you think is liberty you pursue a course which, if followed, will hold you in a bondage worse than slavery. You must change your course of conduct and be guided by the counsel of experience and through the wisdom of those whom the Lord teaches, place your will on the side of the will of God. 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 11

But if you are determined to listen to no counsels but your own, and you will work out every problem for yourself, then be sure you will reap that which you have sown. You will miss the right way altogether, or else, wounded, bruised, and dwarfed in religious character, you will turn to the Lord, humbled, penitent, and confessing your errors. You will become tired of beating the air. 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 12

Are you sure that your course is right? I know you are not; but pride has taken possession of your soul. You are too giddy or too reckless to take counsel. Remember, every action and every course of action has a twofold character, be it virtuous or demoralizing. God is displeased with you. Can you afford to pursue the course you are pursuing? A stain is being imprinted upon your soul. 6LtMs, Lt 47, 1889, par. 13