The Upward Look


Ye Visited Me, June 24

Remember them that are in bonds. Hebrews 13:3. UL 189.1

Yesterday, by invitation, I spoke to the prisoners [near Salem, Oregon]. Sister Jordan, a very amiable woman in the faith, took me in her carriage.... I was surprised to see so fine a company of intelligent men. Oh, so sad! So many young men, younger than our own dear boys, so bright, and looking as though they might fill any position in society. You would not dream that they were prisoners, only as you looked upon their strange dress. And this was so neat and clean. There was nothing repulsive in their appearance. UL 189.2

The superintendent first ushered us in and then, at the sound of the bell, the heavy iron bolts were drawn back with a loud noise, and there swarmed from their cells one hundred and fifty prisoners. Then we were locked in with them—the warden, superintendent's wife (a Southern lady), Brother and Sister Carter, Sister Jordan, and myself. The prisoners sang, led by Brother Carter. There was an organ. The performer was a young man, an excellent musician, a man of promise—yet oh, how sad, a convict! I engaged in prayer and every brow bowed. They sang again and then I addressed them. UL 189.3

They listened with the most profound attention as I spoke from these words: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). I then presented before them Adam's sin, his fall, and the gift of God to redeem Adam's failure; the love here manifested to save man from sin and ruin. I dwelt upon the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, the victory gained in behalf of the race, and how man may overcome the seductive snares of Satan by making Christ his trust. UL 189.4

I dwelt a few moments upon the nature of sin; that sin was the transgression of the law, and how through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ the sinner might be saved with a full and free salvation. But he is not saved by the merits of the blood of Christ while he continues to transgress the Father's law.... Christ died to evidence to the sinner that there was no hope for him while he continued in sin. Obedience to all God's requirements is his only hope for pardon through the blood of Christ. I dwelt largely upon the great reward to be given the final overcomer—the crown of life that fadeth not away to be placed upon his brow. UL 189.5

The people listened with the most solemn mien, and the tearful eye and quivering lip showed that their hearts, although calloused with sin, felt the words spoken.—Letter 32, June 24, 1878, to James White, who was traveling in the Eastern United States. UL 189.6