Epistle Number Three. DEAR SISTER ——: I think you are not happy. In seeking for some great work to do, you overlook present duty, lying directly in your path. You are not happy, because you are looking above the little every-day duties of life, for some higher and greater work to do. You are restless, uneasy, and dissatisfied. You love to dictate better than you love to perform. You love better to tell others what to do, than with ready cheerfulness to take hold and do yourself.
You could have made your father's home more happy had you studied your inclination less, and the happiness of others more. When engaged in the common, ordinary duties of life, you fail to put your heart into your labor. Your mind is reaching forward and beyond, to a work more agreeable, higher, or more honorable. Somebody must do these very things that you take no pleasure in, and even dislike. These plain, simple duties, if done with willingness and faithfulness, will give you an education that is necessary for you to obtain in order for you to have a love of household duties. Here is an experience highly essential for you to gain, but you do not love it. You murmur at your lot, and make those around you unhappy, and are meeting with a great loss yourself. You may never be called to a work which would call you before the public. But all the work we do that is necessary to be done, were it washing dishes, setting tables, waiting upon the sick, cooking, or washing, is of moral importance; and until you can cheerfully and happily take up these duties, you are not fitted for greater and higher duties. The humble tasks before us are to be taken up by some one; and those who do them should feel that they are doing a necessary and honorable work, and that their mission, humble though it may be, is doing the work of God just as surely as Gabriel, when sent to the prophets, was doing his. All are working in their order in their respective spheres. The woman in her home, doing the simple duties of life that must be done, can, and should, exhibit faithfulness, obedience, and love, as sincere as angels in their sphere. Conformity to the will of God makes any work honorable that must be done.
What you need is love and affection. Your character needs to be molded. Your worrying must be laid aside, and in place of this, cherish gentleness and love. Deny self. We were not created angels, but lower than the angels; yet our work is important. We are not in Heaven, but upon the earth. When we are in Heaven, then we shall be qualified to do the lofty and elevating work of Heaven. It is here in this world that we must be tested and proved. We should be armed for conflict and for duty.
The highest duty that devolves upon youth is in their own homes, blessing father and mother, brothers and sisters, by affection and true interest. Here they can show self-denial and self-forgetfulness in caring and doing for others. Never will woman be degraded by this work. It is the most sacred, elevated office she can fill. What an influence a sister may have over brothers. If she is right, she may determine the character of her brothers. Her prayers, her gentleness, and her affection, may do much in a household. My sister, these high qualities of mind can never be communicated to other minds unless they first exist in your own. That contentment of mind, sunniness of temper, affection, and gentleness, which will reach every heart, will reflect back to you again what your heart gives forth. If Christ does not reign in the heart, there will be discontent and moral deformity. Selfishness will require of others that which we are unwilling to give them. If Christ is not in the heart, the character will be unlovely.
It is not a great work and great battles alone which try the soul and demand courage. Every-day life brings its perplexities, trials, and discouragements. It is the humble work which frequently draws upon the patience and the fortitude. Self-reliance and resolution will be necessary to meet and conquer all difficulties. Secure the Lord to stand with you, in every place to be your consolation and comfort. A meek and quiet spirit you much need, and without it, you cannot have happiness. May God help you, my sister, to seek meekness and righteousness. It is the Spirit of God that you need. If you are willing to be anything or nothing, God will help, and strengthen, and bless, you. But if you neglect the little duties, you will never be intrusted with greater.