I am of Norwegian parentage and was raised a Lutheran...

I am of Norwegian parentage and was raised a Lutheran of the strictest kind, and lived in a large Norwegian settlement where the English language was spoken very rarely. From childhood to the time of confirmation, I was kept studying the Scriptures and Lutheran comments on the Scriptures, and at the time of rehearsals with the pastor I had the Bible's contents pretty well committed to memory along with the Catechism, Bible History, the Lutheran books of explanation, and the Psalm book. These books we had to learn so as to answer correctly any question they saw fit to ask, and that before the whole audience. Then we were to kneel before the altar, resume the covenant of baptism, and acknowledge this teaching to be our firm and sincere belief and only way to salvation.

There was where my struggle began. I compared passages of the Bible as I had learned them, and it appeared very dark to me. I believed in a God, but could not comprehend a God of logic and Principle from this teaching, and to go and testify to a lie was a horrible thing to do; and to go to rehearsals until I believed this, I knew would make me a worse liar, and I would be pointed out as a heathen, infidel, etc. I dared not approach our pastor on these subjects, and the only one to whom I could speak was my mother. After explaining what she thought was the meaning she told me to do as Jesus said, "Enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

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