"Comfort ye my people"

A little child who had been left much to the care of a kind but ignorant nurse became deeply imbued with the belief in ghosts. The beautiful forest near her home was for her the abode of mysterious and unfriendly spirits, while the depths of every green shrub concealed hideous shapes that lurked in the shadows. The darkness, too, was peopled by unknown and terrible foes that threatened constantly to destroy her, and so strong was the influence of these fears that whenever she found herself alone, her terror was expressed in piercing outcries.

The mother at length discovered the cause of the little one's distress and lovingly explained to her the falsity and unreality of her fears. The child's faith in her mother made it easy for her to accept as true all that was told her of the reality of God's constant presence and loving care, so that any appeal to the old terror was afterward met with the positive declaration, "There are no ghosts, for my mother told me so." With this comforting assurance all superstitious fears were overcome, and the world became for her a place filled with love and beauty.

This state of mind continued until the phenomena of death came for the first time into the child's experience. Because the kind mother was ignorant of the vast depths of the Father's love, the child received, instead of comfort, a stone that pressed heavily upon her heart. That which had been done in accordance with the will of God, as she was told, did not seem a very loving thing. Why did He make the little children and their mothers die when they wanted so much to live and be happy? If He was omnipotent, why did He let Satan enter the hearts of people and make them sin? Why did He not destroy Satan? Deeply she pondered these questions in her heart, but because her mother had assured her that the explanations given her were true and right, her childish faith sorrowfully accepted this travesty of God's love. A new terror, however, took the place of the ghosts of her infancy. She was now afraid of God, and even more afraid of that mysterious being who was called the devil.

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July 31, 1915

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