An Appeal to the Youth


Plum River, Ills. March 25, 1861

My Dear Sons, Henry, Edson, and Willie,

I have been troubled in mind in regard, to you. The evening after the Sabbath I dreamed I was watching over Edson. He had been very sick, and was dying. Oh the anguish of my heart in that hour. I could not have the evidence that he loved God, and was prepared to die. I called Henry to me and told him that he and Willie were all that were left me. The three-fold cord was broken, and how lonely we all felt. I thought in my dream of the death-struggle of my dear babe, and next of Edson, and then of the unprepared state in which he died, and it seemed that my heart would break. I awoke myself weeping aloud. AY 66.2

Dear children, this dream has caused me to reflect, and has cast a sadness upon my spirits that I cannot immediately throw off. You are none of you too young to die. Do you understand the plan of salvation? Your righteousness cannot recommend you to God. I do not think that you are yet adopted into his family. Our sins caused Jesus to die a shameful death, that through his sufferings and death we might receive pardon. Can we receive the forgiveness of sins before we feel that we are sinners? and before we realize the sinfulness of sin? I think not. When we repent before God of our sins sincerely, we shall feel that without the pardoning blood of Christ we must perish. If we cast ourselves in our wretchedness wholly upon the mercy of Christ, and feel that unless he saves us we perish; when we yield our own will, our own way, and plead for Jesus to control our will and actions, then we come into a position where we can receive and appreciate pardon and the forgiveness of sin. AY 67.1

I am not writing to reprove you, children. You have been very kind, obedient children to us—sometimes wayward, but not stubborn. I hope you do not look at others who act wrong, and flatter yourselves that you are righteous, because you do better than they, but think seriously upon the good instruction you have had, and then inquire if you should not be far in advance of what you are. In short, have you not had sufficient light to yield your hearts to God, and love to follow Jesus, and be influenced by his sweet Spirit? AY 68.1

Your affectionate Mother.