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.

During those early years of Christian growth, my views concerning the liquor question, smoking, card playing for money, and Sunday dances rapidly changed, and I repudiated all such things. Then came college, with its pernicious claim of "broadening" the views of young people, teaching them often to tolerate those things which are incompatible with Christian Science. I became an ardent student of the German language and customs, and was taught to admire and perpetuate them. Only during this last year has it become quite plain to me where I was so subtly being led during that period.

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February 8, 1919

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