Born and reared in a home where the Bible was excluded,...

Born and reared in a home where the Bible was excluded, and surrounded throughout my early youth by strong Germanic influences, I awakened quickly to the fact that my American schoolmates had some indefinable thing that I did not possess. At five years of age, upon entering the public school, I first learned the English language. Soon, in a childish way, came questions about God, for I was vaguely conscious that there was One who watched over me. In the schoolbooks there were occasional excerpts from the Bible, and it was not long before a feeling of humiliation came over me at never having even seen that wonderful book.

It was not until I was thirteen, however, that the Bible and the Christian religion became a controlling factor in my life. At that time I entreated permission to attend a Sunday school, and it was reluctantly granted, with the expressed hope that I would soon become "disillusioned." Church attendance became my greatest joy and I studied the Bible, though with a blind faith in it. When, at sixteen, I realized that the Christian religion was dearer to me than life itself, I secretly joined the church, though I knew it was at the risk of being disinherited.

February 8, 1919

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