An Appeal to the Youth

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Green Spring, Ohio, March 2, 1858
My Dear Henry and Edson: Dear children, your mother has not forgotten you. She thinks of you many times every day. We hope you will be good and faithful children. I have been thinking, what if either of you should be taken sick and die, and your father and mother see you no more? Would you be prepared to die? Do you love God better than any one else? Can you forget your play to think of God, to go away alone and ask him for Jesus' sake to forgive your sins? I know that much of your time is taken up with your studies, and with doing errands; but, dear children, don't forget to pray. The Lord loves to have children pray to him. And if you really repent and feel sorry for your sins, God will forgive your sins for Jesus' sake. {AY 42.1}

When you do wrong don't conceal your wrong, but heartily and honestly confess it. This I believe you will do. I have confidence in you that you have tried to do it. Continue to do so, and we shall love you better than if you kept your wrongs concealed. God loves honest-hearted, truthful children, but cannot love those who are dishonest. Be obedient, dear children. God has been very merciful to you and to us. Your parents have to travel from place to place among the people of God to try to do them good and save souls. And the Lord has inclined sisters Jenny and Martha to come into our family, to feel an interest for you, to love you, and to care for you, that we may leave home feeling free. They are not related to you. They make a sacrifice. What for? Because they love you. When you grieve them you grieve your parents also. It is not a desirable task to have the care of children if they are ungrateful and disobedient. If you perseveringly try to do right, you will make them happy, and they will feel it a pleasure to deny themselves to have a care for you. When asked to do anything, do not say, "Wait a minute, till I do this." It is unpleasant to repeat to you the same things. Now, dear children, obey because you love to, not because you are driven to. I shall have confidence that you will do as I wish you to. I shall confide in your honor, your manliness. {AY 42.2}

Many times I ask myself the question, Will my dear children be saved in the kingdom? I cannot bear the thought of their being shut out of the City with the wicked. I love my children, but God says that only the good and holy can be saved. And if you will overcome your wrongs, love one another, and be at peace among yourselves, the Lord will bless and save you. You cannot be good, or do right, in your own strength. You must go to God and ask him for strength. Ask him that his grace may influence your hearts, and make you right. Believe the Lord will do it; trust him to do it. You can be little Christians; you can love and serve God. {AY 43.1}

Be good to Willie. Love him. Teach him right things. If you do wrong, you not only sin yourselves, but you teach him to sin. When you do wrong, you teach him to do wrong; so double sin rests upon you. Always act as you would like to see Willie act. Always speak pleasantly to him, and try to make him happy. {AY 44.1}

Your affectionate Mother

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{AY 44.2}