Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9

10/315

Lt 7, 1894

Bolton, Fannie

George’s Terrace, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia

February 6, 1894

This letter is published in entirety in FBS 20-28. +Note

Sister Fannie,

I declined seeing you this morning, for I am not well enough to bear anything more, either good or bad, that will have a tendency to affect my heart. I slept very little last night. I must be relieved from all responsibility in your case. The experience of the years past, wherein you have handled the most sacred things, has not increased your love for, or confidence, in them. In your mind they are too often placed on a level with common things; but the ideas, words, and expressions, which seem to you rather inferior, and which you regard as non-essential, may be the very things that should appear as they are, in their simplicity. You replace these according to that which you suppose is your superior judgment, when the words were better, far better, than the ones supplied by you. The writings given you, you have handled as an indifferent matter and have often spoken of them in a manner to depreciate them in the estimation of others. In this you have been disloyal to me. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 1

In the same manner, if you had the task given you of handling Old and New Testament writings, you would see large improvements to be made, great additions and subtractions and changes of expression; you would put in words and ideas to suit your standard of how it should appear. We should then have Fannie Bolton’s life and expressions, which would be considered by you a wonderful improvement, but disapproved of God. Your discernment of sacred things is not clear, but confused. You approve that which is defective, and things bearing the divine stamp, you would mold over, and not appreciate. In changing, you would not improve, but would weaken and dilute with your supposed sparkling ideas. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 2

Now, my sister, I do not want you to be any longer connected with me in my work. I mean now, for your good, that you shall never have another opportunity of being tempted to do as you have done in the past. From the light given me of the Lord, you are not appreciating the opportunities, which you have had abundantly, to be instructed and to bring the solid timbers into your character building. The work in which you have been engaged has been regarded as a sort of drudgery, and it is hard for you to take hold of it with the right spirit and to weave your prayers into your work, feeling that it is a matter of importance to preserve a spirit wholly in harmony with the Spirit of God. Because of this lack, you are not a safe and acceptable worker. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 3

Your mind is subject to changes; first it is elated, then depressed. The impression made by this frequent change is startling. Self-control is not brought into your life. You choose a life of change, crowded with different interests and occupations, therefore you cannot possibly put your life, as you suppose you have done, into this work; you are most wonderfully deceived in thinking you do this. God sees the whole mold given to the work in every department. Self is not hid in God, and self is mingled with everything. All you engage in tastes so strongly of the dish that it is not acceptable to God. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 4

I had hoped that the lessons constantly brought before you in the writings you were handling would have a marked influence to mold and fashion your life and character after the divine image, the meekness and lowliness of Christ. But instead of being molding by the Holy Spirit, you seek to work the Holy Spirit to your mold, which is decidedly a defective pattern. Therefore I say, All that is good in your labor has a dead fly in it, like a bottle of excellent ointment, the fragrance of which is spoiled because of the dead fly. The spirit which you bring to the preparation of the articles placed in your hands prevents the Spirit of God from working to impress your mind as it should be. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 5

If Marion had not exerted her influence very strongly to have you retained in my service after we left Preston, I should have had another to take your place. But the representation of the difficulty of educating a novice in the work has prevented me from doing that which I am now thoroughly convinced I should have done as far back as when in Battle Creek, before coming to this country. You have worked hard enough; I make no complaint of your not doing enough, but that to which I object is the spirit with which you come to the work. In a large office, where you would have a variety of matters to handle, your ability would have a more appropriate field. You could dash off the matter in your own style, as a mechanical work, molding and fashioning it to suit yourself. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 6

<Every time I can distinguish a word of yours, my pen crosses it out.> I have so often told you that your words and ideas must not take the place of the words and ideas given me of God, that the repetition of this is utterly useless. You have chosen your own way, and mingled self with your work, and you have become less and less sensible of the danger to your own self and to the work. You have come to think that you were the one to whom credit should be given for the matter that comes from your hands. I have had warnings concerning this, but could not see how I could come to the very point <to say, “Go, Fannie,” for then you plead, “Where shall I go?” and [I] try you again.> 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 7

One thing I know, that you have placed a much higher estimate upon your capabilities and attainments than would be truly realized by yourself or others, for your work is deficient in the very essentials that would make it complete. We are engaged in a work that is weighty with eternal results. To have oil in our vessels with our lamps is the great daily necessity for every soul, and this cannot safely be neglected. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 8

Truth, eternal testing truth, must be not only professed but acted. The vials of the wrath of God are to be poured upon the inhabitants of the world who would not be drawn to Christ, and would not be molded into His likeness. Self <exaltation> was so strongly impregnating their whole characters that God could not use them, and His curse is to come upon all such who have not by beholding Christ been changed into His image. God has “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] All are chosen who through obedience to all the commandments of God will become loyal subjects of His kingdom. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 9

What are we about? We are keepers of a light that must illumine all nations. It is the taper kindled at the divine altar that must illuminate the world, else men would perish in their sins. O, if those who have an intelligent knowledge of the truth would submit themselves to God, if His holy law regulated the life, if its principles were developed in the character, there would not be so many false moves, so much selfish surface work; but every one would catch the spirit of the Author of the saving message, the message that is to test all nations. If the law of God were brought into the character, every soul would feel the burden and solemnity of the work of sending the message of mercy to all to whom we can gain access, to make ready a people to stand in the day of the Lord. Now is the day of God’s preparation. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 10

I have a word to say upon another point. Our sisters who have come from America have an account to render before God of their example in dress; in this matter they have not been approved of God as His missionaries. They need to be converted, soul, body, and spirit. Shall we by our example lead to pride, to selfish indulgence and selfish expenditure of means in dress that testifies that we are not doers of the Word? The principles were presented before me, which are not as God would have them. I am not called upon to specify, but to warn you to take heed. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 11

The spirit that characterizes your work, Fannie, is not discerned by many, yourself or others. They cannot see the true inwardness of these matters, but it manifests itself on certain occasions. Although you are full of activity and zeal and stir and push, there is so much of one-sided, impulsive, ill-developed movements, that the results are of the same order as the working. God’s chosen vessels will work under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You have worked largely under the sustaining, <burning> influence of the self-satisfaction you have cherished, feeling that you were doing a large work. But winnow the wheat from the chaff and there will be very few kernels of pure grain. But the many judge from outward appearance, not from the spirit and real results. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 12

We are living in an age represented as being like that before the flood. All who now plead for souls should in their dress and deportment carry the <modesty and> marks of the Lord Jesus. They must wait, watch, and pray for the Holy Spirit to be abundantly bestowed. We must take in the idea of Christianity; in conversation and in dress we must represent the truth. A decided guard must be placed upon the human agents in regard to the impressions they are making upon others in deportment and in dress. The Bible is our guide; study its teachings with a purpose to obey, and you need make no mistakes. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 13

Our dress should be in strict accordance with the character of our <holy> faith. “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shame facedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but which becometh women professing godliness with good works.” [1 Timothy 2:9, 10.] “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God, of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also who trusted in God adorned themselves.” [1 Peter 3:3-5.] There is need of putting more of the Bible precept into the dress, as well as the inward adorning into the character. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 14

Fannie, wherever you go, wherever you may be, you need to study that the color and material and style of your dress should be adapted to, and correspond with, your age and with the truth which we profess to believe. You remember I made the remark to Elder Olsen that, when at Preston, you were destitute of suitable clothing and felt too poor to supply yourself with what you should have. The remarks you made showed that you did not understand me. I want to be understood now. You needed comfortable underclothing, which you must have in order to have health. But I certainly do not, in all respects, approve of your style of dress. I felt rather sad and ashamed when you stood <upon the platform> before the large crowd under the tent, with that light, large-figured dress. It was not appropriate for the occasion. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 15

Your judgment in the matter of dress may be much improved, and I hope you will not consult your dressmaker but those who are of sensible minds, and who will not flatter you or have any guile in their mouths as to suitable clothing that will make a proper impression upon the minds of both believers and unbelievers. We who claim to be in the light, and who take prominent positions to instruct others <in childrens’ meetings,> need to be severely plain, <yet tidy and tasteful,> in dress; we should not give a semblance of excuse to any for patterning after the worldly, changing fashions of this corrupt age. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 16

Those who dress after the order given in the Bible can, with appropriate words, help others to reach a proper standard. Do not come to me to ask how you shall dress. If our sisters have the Spirit of God abiding as a living principle in the heart, they will not in a single instance give occasion for any to turn aside the counsels of God by quoting the ministers’ wives of those engaged in giving Bible readings. Ever have your dress of good, durable material, and modest colors; let it be made plainly, without adornment. <You certainly need to improve in your style of dress.> 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 17

Fannie, you have proposed the query, Was it right for credit to be given to Sister White for the books she published, when those who worked up the matter were not recognized? Your ideas were put into the books and papers and yet sunk out of sight. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 18

Your position has been represented to me by the history of Aaron and Miriam as given in the Scriptures. Aaron and Miriam became displeased with Moses because of his marriage. They cherished these feelings, which had their origin wholly in self. They thought Moses regarded himself as superior to them, and they must ever stand as second. This state of feeling was just what Satan desired to bring about. It was in his lines to carry forward the work he began in heaven. He framed his temptations, adapting them to the circumstances, for in his methods of working he can transform himself into an angel of light. Satan could not touch the head, the reasoning faculties, the eyes of the mind; but he could make things which the outward eye looked upon appear in accordance with his subtle working. The very same effect would be produced upon the mind as if the eyes were blinded. Satan insinuated himself, professing to have a very great interest in the prosperity of the children of Israel. Aaron and Miriam became one in mind. They communicated with one another, and they said, “Hast the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us?” Mark that which follows: “And the Lord heard it.” [Numbers 12:2.] 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 19

The Lord hears many things which human beings say, and He understands the current of evil started into intense activity by words spoken in secret, and by the principles cherished which have a controlling power upon the character. If persons could always consider that there is a Witness present to hear every word they speak, even in the secret chamber, there would be fewer private communications coming from human lips to leaven the minds of others by their <exalted> ideas and evil suggestions, which are voicing the temptations of the great deceiver. So great is his power of dissimulation, his skill in acting, that the Lord alone could fathom his work in corrupting human minds. Let every human being in their secret conferences <with others> to obtain sympathy, remember these words: “And the Lord heard it.” [Verse 2.] 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 20

There was One who could vindicate Moses. Hear his testimony; the words come sounding down along the lines to our time, evidencing that the mind of God is not in agreement with the thoughts of men. “The man Moses was very meek, above all the men that were upon the face of the earth. And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 21

“And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.” [Verses 3-10.] 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 22

These things are written “for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” The Lord had chosen Moses to do a certain work and had bidden him go with the message to Pharaoh, but Moses begged to be excused. Exodus 4:10-13. Unbelief in his own ability led to distrust of God. Moses had been absent from Egypt for forty years. For this long period the discipline of the humble shepherd’s life was necessary to prepare him for his great work. He was naturally of an impetuous spirit, full of ambition and zeal to carry out his ideas and plans, working after his own imaginings to bring about the deliverance of Israel. He must be pruned and cut back, like the branches of the vine. In the solitude of the mountains he passed his time for forty years, being disciplined in the school of Christ for the manifestation of God. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 23

In his youthful experience in Egypt, Moses had been praised and petted, and he had attracted the people to himself. His praises had been sung as the chief captain of armies, and he was pleased and elated with flattery. But the Lord saw beneath the surface of outward appearance, He saw that Moses must have an altogether different kind of experience. Among the mountain solitudes he learned from nature far more in regard to the character of God than he had learned in all his previous life as the king’s grandson, the prospective ruler of the kingdom of Egypt. He was a mighty general of armies, he was a man quick to devise and execute, ready in speech, and eloquent in language; but during his long absence from Egypt he had to a great extent lost his command of the language, and thought himself unable to speak. But God promises to be with him, and asked, “Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and will teach thee what thou shalt say. And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou shouldest send” (margin). [Verses 11-13.] 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 24

The confidence of Moses in his own abilities had greatly lessened while he was in the employment of a shepherd. He came into that meek, humble position where he did not trust in his education, though it was of the highest order that could be gained in Egypt. In his experience he had learned that he could make none but God his trust. This lesson is what each human being must know if he gains the future, immortal life. The lessons that Moses learned in the solitudes of the mountains, while he pastured the flock, gave him the right kind of experience, so that he could be taken by the God of Israel, the great I AM, and be placed in the cleft of the rock and covered with the hand of God, that his life should not be extinguished by a view of the face of God; and the Lord revealed to him His glory, and he was enabled to endure “as seeing Him who is invisible.” [Hebrews 11:27.] 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 25

This revelation of the character of God is plainly delineated that man may learn the lesson as to what God is, and learning this, may ever see his own human weakness and inefficiency, and may realize that his strength is alone in God. When this lesson is learned, all the self-exaltation is gone, for there is nothing given it to feed upon. The case of Korah, Dathan and Abiram is written for the admonition of those who live in these last days. These histories are to be studied. Aaron was made mouthpiece for Moses, and because Aaron and Miriam were honored with a part in the work, they thought they were equal to Moses, and were indeed a very essential part of the great whole. They felt that credit should be given to them, and that Moses should not have all the honour. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 26

Let the human agent consider that in any position where God has placed him, he must put entire confidence in God. The righteousness of the unfallen beings of the eternal world, and of the inhabitants of this world, fallen because of sin, is conditional upon their <faithful> obedience to the law of God, which is holy, just, and good. All created beings must derive their life from God. Not one can be, or do, good only as he lives in daily dependence upon God. And not a soul is righteous any longer than he is in vital relation to God, the source of all virtue, of life, of love, of power. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 27

A plant can retain its vital properties only as it is in vital relation with the soil, the air, the light, the dew, the showers. Even so much we be in relation with Christ. But too many give undue prominence and glory to mere human and earthly elements, and lose sight of the divine power; as the result they are held fast in the slavery of wrong habits and practices. The moral attributes are weak because they are not strengthened by constant exercise to meet every emergency that shall appear in the life experience. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 28

The judgment of God has been questioned because it did not act in harmony with the perverse and degenerate will of man. God is misinterpreted by human agents who feel sure they understand and know themselves better than God knows them. They ask, <as you have done,> “Why does God do this?” And, “Why does God not do that?” Their own finite ideas would prescribe for God and mark out His way, seeking to bring Him to their own human standard. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 29

An illustration was given me of a tree full of beautiful fruit. I was shown Fannie gathering the fruit, some ripe—the best—some unripe. She put it in her apron and said, “This is mine, it is mine.” I said, “Fannie, you are certainly claiming that which is not yours. That fruit belongs to that tree. Any one may pluck and enjoy it, but it belongs to that tree.” 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 30

The power of discerning good and evil is an attribute from God, and unless the human agents are in vital connection with God, they cannot discern spiritual things. They will call good evil, they will call evil good. The prayer of Solomon was, “Give thy servant an understanding heart, that I may judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad.” [1 Kings 3:9.] The attempt to gain supremacy is a terrible snare to the soul. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 31

There is an influence <of self-exaltation and glorification> that is as poisonous malaria, even among those who think they are engaged in missionary work. Self is interwoven in all they do; they feast upon sympathy, and hunger to receive praise; they gather their power from human beings, who are erring, wanting in discernment, panting for approbation. When those of a like character associate together, it is not to partake of angels’ food, but to eat of the fruit which is as the apples of Sodom. All who link themselves with those who will praise and flatter them are binding their souls in unholy bonds; and unless they break these bonds and fasten their affections upon God, they will too late find themselves naked, destitute of the robe of Christ’s righteousness. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 32

I am <now> in great trial. I see that Fannie has not understood spiritual things. She knew not that she was entertaining <Satan’s flatteries in> vain thoughts, flattering thoughts, of herself, her capabilities, and her efficiency. The precious ore has become so thoroughly mixed with the dross that on every favorable occasion the dross appears. There is exaggeration <with her of her own supposed superior> ideas and sentiments, there is a surface work, a wonderful activity, but O, so little of the genuine meekness and lowliness of Christ. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 33

When I take the position which I am sorry, very sorry, to take, that I cannot consistently continue the connection with Fannie by entrusting her with my writings as I have done, some will misjudge me because they think she has sincerely repented; but the fact that she has not had respect for the writings will endanger the work I am called of the Lord to do. The fact that her mind could be tampered with <so often, again and again> by the enemy, that she could be led to regard the writings as she has regarded them, will place them at a disadvantage. This past experience has given a mold to the thoughts and has fashioned the mind and judgment. I can see no safety in trusting the matter the Lord shall give me in the hands of one of such unstable, unreliable developments of character that a balance wheel is needed constantly, else she will be running off on a <side> track where Satan may choose to lead the way. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 34

Fannie is so wrapped up in her own <exalted> estimation of herself that any contrary influence that has been brought to bear upon her mind meets with a resistance that is according to the attributes of the enemy. The surroundings, the impulses, give tone and character to the whole life. There are too large and important interests at stake in this matter to be lightly imperiled. Should <I consent that> Fannie remain in connection with the work, there would be a constant burden of foreboding upon me, for these elements of character are not easily changed. The work which she has handled, she does not always appreciate as necessary or essential, <and, if she dared, would mold them all over.> 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 35

The Lord God is a discerner of the thoughts, as well as a hearer of every word that falls from human lips. He can make crooked things straight by disconnecting certain elements from His work. But should I attempt to vindicate my course to those who do not appreciate the spiritual character of the work which is laid upon me, it would only expose myself and the work to misconception and misrepresentation. To present the matter before other minds would be useless, for there are but few who are really so connected with God <[who] see beneath the surface appearance> as to understand it. This work is one that I cannot explain. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 36

To take the step which I am now convicted must be taken causes me much suffering of mind. When I state that Fannie never has loved the character of the work, I state the truth. She has never <yet> discerned its nature, and her nature and temperament are such that I am convinced that unless there is an entire transformation of character she will never know more of it than she does at present. It is as a rock of offense for her and others to stumble over because they do not know and, <unless they are converted they> can never know the inwardness of its <sacred> bearings; <it is all outside of them,> having never experienced the nature of it for themselves. The mortification of failure and the anguish of mind that Fannie is now passing through, I cannot mistake for <repentance or> conversion or transformation of character. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 37

Just before coming to this country, in order to help Fannie I consented to make another trial, after she had given me to assurance which she now repeats, that her feelings in regard to the work had wholly changed. I followed my best judgment, <against all my friends who knew Fannie’s course of action,> hoping she had gained wisdom from God and would really love the work. I knew that she was naturally unbalanced in mind, but thought that through the light given of God, the appeals constantly made presenting definite reproofs to some and general reproofs to others, she would learn the lessons that it was her privilege to learn and become strengthened in character. Thus she would obtain wisdom to prepare the precious matter placed in her hands, so that it might work for the saving of her soul as well as the souls of others. But she has been so occupied with other things, which opened for her different avenues to engross the mind, that she does not give proper time and due consideration to the work. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 38

She dashes through the matter with scarcely an idea that it is anything important coming from God, and that it must be duly cared for. She supplies <her> words that in her human judgment she supposes are better than the words in the manuscript <which I have to critically guard.> She accomplishes a large amount of work in a way that is not the best. Sacred things are made common and are treated in a very careless, indifferent, and <irreverent> manner. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 39

Now, those who have but little experimental knowledge of my work do not see why Fannie cannot do this work better than any one else. Certainly she is capable, they say. But she has accustomed herself to work with a rush; she has not felt that she was handling anything sacred, and she has put her spirit and her feelings into the work. My prayer is that God will convert the poor child, that she may understand the leadings of His Holy Spirit. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 40

The character of Saul is a marked one. There was strength and weakness combined. Gifts of talent were bestowed upon him; and had he consecrated these gifts wholly to God, he would not have dishonored himself by his own transgression. Contradictory elements were bound up in his character, and he worked at cross purposes with God. At times he revealed marked simplicity, and then was guilty of manifesting a jealous and overbearing spirit. He would be very tender and full of sympathy toward some <who pleased him,> as the notion came upon him, and then would be unjust and cruel toward his best friends. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 41

When brought under the influence of sacred and vocal music, he [Saul] would catch the spirit of devotion and pour forth the most impassioned expressions of lofty eloquence in ecstasies of praise and prayer. While under this excitement, he would give himself no rest day nor night until the reaction came. Then his strength failed, and he was exhausted. When the paroxysm of wild excitement and inordinate zeal had spent itself, he would reveal his old disposition. When his will was crossed, he was in a fury, and his words and deeds were of a character entirely dishonoring to himself, and more dishonoring to God. Good and evil were ever in collision, evil ever striving for the supremacy. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 42

Fannie, unless you are born again, and take yourself in hand, unless you seek the grace of God every day and every hour, making God your shield, you will meet with the loss of your soul. The great strife of your soul has been for recognition, <praise [and] adulation.> You have deceived yourself, and deceived others, in regard to your true standing religiously. Human beings, deceived by your apparent zeal, give you credit for advanced spirituality, and mind acts and re-acts upon mind. You enjoy human praise and think that persons give you due appreciation, when they are not perfect in wisdom; links are formed with human agents that bind the soul away from God. Are these delusions to last until it is too late to seek that help which cometh alone from God? Will precious souls, in their supposed trials, perplexities, and disappointments, seek counsel alone from God, not from erring, finite human beings? 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 43

The path of obedience to God is as the shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day. We are to climb the rounds of the ladder. <God is above it. His light is shining on every round of this ladder.> It is by the difficult steps of faith and self-denial that the top of the ladder is reached. To all who choose to be guided by their own judgment and impulses, life will be a failure, for they discard God’s ways and follow the human, perverse, passionate will. They are bent upon having their own way. God has a special work for every one to do, and those who do this work trustingly, in the meekness and lowliness of Christ, will do it well. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 44

Take heed lest these warnings be lightly regarded and you go far into the paths of worldliness in dress, worldliness of practices, and at last find that the door is shut, and you are <a foolish virgin> outside. 9LtMs, Lt 7, 1894, par. 45