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The choice of a lifetime

Counsel on the importance of spiritually fulfilling relationships.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to receive a letter from a prophet? Would you have the courage to open the envelope and read its contents?

Even though the language is rather forthright, these letters were written under the inspiration of God and addressed to young people to help them make the right choices relating to their courtship and marriage.

At no time in life is the right kind of counsel so important as when two young people contemplate marriage. The Lord loves us and wants us to have both eternal life and happy homes. Perhaps the reading of this letter will help us have both. So open Mary Anne’s envelope and read what the Lord wrote her that may also have been written for you.—Editors.


Essex Junction, Vermont
August 22, 1875

Dear Mary Anne:

I have been shown some things in reference to you which I dare not withhold longer because I feel you to be in danger. God loves you and He has given you unmistakable evidences of His love. Jesus has bought you with His own blood, and what have you done for Him?

You love yourself, love to enjoy pleasure, and love the society of young men; and you fail to discriminate between the worthy and the unworthy. You have not experience and judgment and are in danger of taking a course which will prove to be all wrong and result in your ruin. You have strong affections, but your inexperience would lead you to have them placed upon improper objects. You should be guarded and not follow the bent of your own mind.

We are, my dear child, living amid the perils of the last days. Satan is intent upon corrupting the minds of youth with thoughts and affections and sympathies that they think are real genuine love which must not be interfered with. This I was shown is your case. You little know how very anxious and how great burdens your parents have borne for you.

You have not honored your father and your mother as God requires of you. The sin which exists in this generation among children is that they are “disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” And this state of things exists to such an extent that it is made a subject of prophecy as one of the signs that we are living in the last days of time.

God has claims upon you. He has blessed you with life and with health and with capabilities and reasoning powers that you may, if you will improve, or you may greatly abuse by yielding these powers or qualities of mind to the control of Satan. You are responsible for the ability which God has given you.

You may, by making the most of your privileges, fit yourself for a position of influence and duty.

I was shown in my last vision that there are many of the young in Battle Creek who have not the fear of God before them, who are not at all religiously inclined. And there is still another class who are scoffers. Among the latter is Arthur Jones. He has all his life been rebellious. He has dishonored his father and his mother. The restraint of home and parental authority he has despised and rebelled against. He has not been subdued. A rebellious spirit is as natural as his breath. He is quarrelsome at home, disobedient, heady, highminded, unthankful, and unholy. Such a spirit you are favoring. You are allowing your affections to go out after this boy. Stop just where you are. Do not allow this matter to go one step farther.

I was shown that he was a scorner of religion, a miserable unbeliever, a skeptic. He makes sport of religious things. He puts on a fair exterior to keep favor with you, but his entire life has been rebellious at home and rebellious against God.

No matter how he talks and deceives you, God looks upon him as he is, and I warn you not to cherish feelings of affection for this young man. Sever all intimate and close connection with the young man. He is unworthy of your love. He will not respect you if he will not respect and honor his parents.

You must not be ready to dispose of your heart’s affections. You are young and you are unsuspecting. You will surely be deceived unless you are more guarded. God has purposes for you which Satan wishes to defeat. Give yourself unreservedly to God; connect with heaven.

Do not be led away from your Redeemer by an irreligious young man, a scorner of sacred things. Sever the intimacy existing between you at once. Do not follow your inclination, but follow your Savior. Eternal life, my dear child, eternal life you want at any cost. Do not sacrifice this for your pleasure, to follow your own feelings, but give yourself to Jesus, love Him and live to His glory.

Take these words written, act upon them and God will bless you abundantly. Take reproof as from God, take counsel and advice given in love. . . .

Will you, from this time, make an entire change in your life and seek to know what is the will of God concerning you? Neglect not this time of privilege, but here, right here, lay all at the feet of Jesus and serve Him with your individual affections. God help you to break off the shackles Satan has sought to bind upon you.

In haste and much love,

Letter 30, 1875


This excerpt is taken from the book Letters to Young Lovers (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1983), pages 53-55. Seventh-day Adventists believe Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.

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