The Youth’s Instructor


February 1, 1856

Thankfulness, and the True Object of Our Affections


Dear Children,

We have much to be thankful for. Yes, we have enough to cause our hearts to overflow with love and praise to our Redeemer. We should be very thankful that we are numbered with those who keep the Commandments of God. YI February 1, 1856, par. 1

Do you seek to glorify God, and honor him in your life? You should seek and pray for a spirit of thankfulness for all the blessings you enjoy, and seek earnestly for the Holy Spirit to dwell in you. If you do not possess the Holy Spirit, there is a fault, and the fault is in you; for Jesus says, “If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.” With such an assurance as this of the willingness of your Father in heaven to give you his Holy Spirit, how can you remain away from him? How can you longer neglect to ask him in confidence to perform that work in you so necessary to make you a devoted Christian? O, come to Jesus now, dear young friends, with a broken heart, and with confidence in the mercy and promises of God, plead for pardon for your past wanderings from the fold of Christ—plead in earnest prayer till you feel his pardoning love, and the fullness of his Spirit dwelling in you[.] YI February 1, 1856, par. 2

Why are the young generally so backward to talk of a Saviour's love? They can readily talk of dress, the appearance, and of things that are of but little consequence. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Those who profess to love God, should delight to talk of him they love. And if his love is in the heart, the mouth will speak it out. His praise will be in your hearts and on your lips. Your song will be “Hear, what the Lord has done for me.” Your hearts can beat with ardent affection and love for Jesus, who first loved you. YI February 1, 1856, par. 3

Why do we not hear the voices of the young, in praise to God for his love that is shed abroad in their hearts? I fear that things of less importance divert the mind, and that the affections, designed by God to be bestowed upon their Redeemer and Saviour, are placed upon others. There is an affection and attachment manifested among the young that is wrong. This uniting with a few, to the exclusion of others, and the few uniting together to praise, caress and flatter each other, is a curse to themselves and to all within its influence. It has a blighting effect upon all the young that such associate with. Spiritual death marks their track, and they leave a curse behind them where they go. They act out the foolish affection manifested by the world for each other. Those who do not profess to love God, have chosen poor earthen vessels, or weak mortals, as their gods to place their affections upon, and this is their all and in all. But we profess to have a noble Object on whom to bestow our ardent affection and warmest love. YI February 1, 1856, par. 4

The young associating together might be a benefit instead of a curse. If they had God's glory in view when they meet, they would watch their opportunity to do good, to correct a selfish, vain, trifling spirit, exaltation and pride, and help one another. But there is but little of this faithfulness manifested among the young. Many join hands to take the affections from Jesus, and center them upon each other. They unite in trifling and foolish conversation. This affection cherished among them, is a curse. Let the affections first center in Christ, pass through the right channel, be purified by his Spirit, then they will lead to a yearning of soul for each other, not to bundle together to their hurt, but an earnest desire to have all share the gift of Jesus and his love. YI February 1, 1856, par. 5

The young can find words enough to express their ardent affection for each other. They are none at loss for words. But when Jesus is mentioned, many are silent. His name does not arouse the ardent love of the soul. Why are such so dumb to the wondrous love of God? Why, at the mention of Jesus name whose love was so exalted, so devoted, so pure, do they hold their peace? Dear friends, have you no words to speak in Christ's favor? Have you no ardent affections to bestow upon Him that was meekly slain to save you from death? Why! O, why! do we not hear your voices in the full gratitude of your soul speak forth his praises? Why are not the praises of God heard gushing from your affectionate hearts, warmed by a Saviour's love? His love should call forth music from the soul and lips. What is the matter children? “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” A fountain cannot send forth sweet water and bitter. You visit the fountain of salvation too seldom. You must be devoted, yes, consecrated to God. He wants the whole heart. He is a jealous God, and he requires the whole heart, and the warmest affections. Children, arouse, to your eternal interest. Your season to lay up a treasure in heaven will soon be past. Awake every energy of thy soul. Awake and love and adore thy Redeemer. Be a living example to others, and give full proof that you are Christ's disciples. YI February 1, 1856, par. 6

E. G. W.