Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 51, 1889

Harper, Laura

Ottawa, Kansas

May 19, 1889

Portions of this letter are published in TSB 61-63; LYL 43-44.

Dear Sister Laura Harper:

Be not offended because I call you thus, for this is your true name. Since coming on this ground I find in my scrapbook a letter which should have been sent to you long ago. For some reasons it did not go to you, and I now write you a few lines. 6LtMs, Lt 51, 1889, par. 1

We have been having an interesting meeting. Wish you could have had the benefits of it. Again my heart goes out to you. How is it with your soul? Have you a conscience void of offense toward God and man? Your associations, are they of that character to draw your mind to God and to heavenly things, to increase in you reverence for your parents, pure and holy aspirations? Do you love the truth and the right? Or, are you indulging in a creative imagination that has no healthful influence upon the soul? Can you look back upon the last year of your life with satisfaction? Can you see a growth in spiritual power? Any low gratification, any self-indulgence, is a scar left upon the soul, and the noble powers of mind are corrupted. There may be repentance, but the soul is crippled and will wear its scars through all time. Jesus can wash away the sin, but the soul has sustained a loss. 6LtMs, Lt 51, 1889, par. 2

I beg of you, Laura, to go to God for wisdom. The most difficult thing you will have to manage is your own self. Your own daily trials, your emotions, and your peculiar temperament, your inward promptings, these are difficult matters for you to control, and these wayward inclinations bring you often into bondage and darkness. Your only course is to give yourself unreservedly into the hands of Jesus—all your experiences, all your temptations, all your trials, all your impulses—and let the Lord mold you as clay is molded in the hands of the potter. You are not your own and therefore [there is] the necessity of giving your unmanageable self into the hands of One who is able to manage you. Then rest, precious rest and peace, will come to your soul. Lie passive in the hands of God. 6LtMs, Lt 51, 1889, par. 3

Remember your character is being daguerreotyped [photographed] by the great Master Artist in the record books of heaven as minutely as the face is reproduced upon the polished plate of the artist. What do the books of heaven say in your case? Are you conforming your character to the Pattern, Jesus Christ? Are you washing your robes of character and making them white in the blood of the Lamb? “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. 6LtMs, Lt 51, 1889, par. 4

What greater honor can come to any mortal than to do his work on the earth in such a manner that the welcome of Christ shall greet him as he enters the heavenly city, and the benediction from the lips of Christ is heard—“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.” Matthew 25:34, 23. Everything in this life that has any worldly attraction sinks into insignificance in comparison with the honor and privilege of having our names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. 6LtMs, Lt 51, 1889, par. 5

Laura, it is not now too late for wrongs to be righted. It is not now too late to make your calling and your election sure. You may now begin to work upon the plan of addition. Add to your faith virtue, and knowledge, and temperance, and patience, and every Christian grace. Everything else will perish in the great day of conflagration, but the gold of holy character is enduring. It knows no decay. It will stand the test of the fires of the last day. My dear child, I wish you to remember that “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14. 6LtMs, Lt 51, 1889, par. 6

Truth is unfolding to those who walk in the light of the sun of Christ’s righteousness. The truth sanctifies. We see vice prevailing everywhere. It is pampered and glorified, while true goodness, equity, justice, and purity are trampled underfoot. A large number are sowing seeds of baleful influence around them. What are you doing, Laura? Have you, since you decided to discard counsel, to refuse advice, been growing into a firm, well-developed Christian? or have you, in choosing your own way, found it brings unrest, cares, and worries? 6LtMs, Lt 51, 1889, par. 7

Why not listen to the advice of your parents? Before you is the path that leads to certain ruin. Will you turn while you can? Will you seek the Lord while Mercy’s sweet voice is appealing to you, or will you still have your own way? The Lord pities you. The Lord invites you. Will you come? Will you return from your backslidings? May the Lord help you to choose to be wholly the Lord’s. 6LtMs, Lt 51, 1889, par. 8

I write because I love your soul. I take no copy of this, and as you showed so little respect for my request in regard to my last letter, I shall not trust this with you. I send it to your father, and I want it returned to me. If you want to copy it, you may. 6LtMs, Lt 51, 1889, par. 9