Christ Triumphant


Vice Does Not Triumph Over Virtue, March 31

And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison.... But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. Genesis 39:20, 21. CTr 97.1

Wherever you may be placed, you must be fortified by firm principle. Enter life determined by the help of God to cleave close to whatsoever things are honest, true, lovely, and of good report. The fear of God, united with the love of that which is noble, pure, and elevating, will guard you from a dishonest action.... How pleasant, how satisfactory, will be the recollection all through life that though exposed to many and fierce temptations, your hands were unstained by dishonesty, and your heart undefiled by cherishing temptation.... CTr 97.2

What a lesson for all youth we have in the history of Joseph. Here moral integrity was preserved under the strongest temptations. How fierce and seductive was the assault upon his virtue! Coming from such a source and in such a form, it was the most likely to corrupt a youthful mind. Joseph was saved by his religious principles, which led him promptly and firmly to resist the device of Satan. His tempter, defeated in her purpose, wickedly sought to ruin the youth whose virtues she could not corrupt, and accused Joseph of the very crime he would not commit.... God made the imprisonment of this faithful youth the means of his elevation. Had it not been for this wicked act of Potiphar's wife, Joseph would never have become prime minister of Egypt. CTr 97.3

Although vice seemed to triumph while virtue was trampled in the dust, Joseph did not make his lot worse by repining. He possessed genuine religion.... God was teaching Joseph important lessons. He was preparing him for a position of trust, honor, and usefulness. Joseph learned to govern by first learning to obey. He humbled himself, and God exalted him. The religion of the Bible never degrades the receiver; on the contrary, it elevates and ennobles all who accept and obey its teachings. The fear of God is a strong defense for the youth. With this shield they may pass through the most corrupting scenes uncontaminated. CTr 97.4

My dear son [Edson], do not get above the simplicity of a humble Christian life. Let the character of Joseph be your character; let his strength to resist temptation be your strength. Your efforts will be successful if you make them in the strength of God. Jesus is a present help. May the blessing of Jesus ever rest upon you is the prayer of your mother.—Letter 20, 1868. CTr 97.5