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[Letter from Young John Allen to Mellie Houston, April 12, 1858]
April 12th 1858
Your letter, with my Dear Mollie's encosed, reached me on Saturday evening but as I had other engagements then I could not reply immediately, but now, the very first opporutnity I haste to respond.
I am truly glad to hear that Sweetie has recovered and that you are all well. I am especially more than glad to hear from Dear Mollie, for it is seldom indeed that I get a word even indirectly from her.
I tell you, Mellie, the great untried future is near at hand with both of us. We are now nearly through College, and about to step forth upon the arena of action and responsibility - I know it. I feel it. I comprehend it. I sometimes
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tremble and almost shrink back, as she said of herself, but he who ""giveth more grace""I find ever near and faithful to sustain and embolden one.
Yes Mellie, as Mollie hinted, the days of duty are coming. "the days" "of separation perhaps forever on Earth," , are at hand. But "I feel" sure [unclear] no doubt "she does", yea, "I know she does", that though it be a solemn and fearful reality, yet with a [added] heart steadfastly fixed on God and the great object of our Mission here and the exceeding great recompense of reward that awaiteth the finally faithful in heaven, that she is willing to spend and be spent in the Lord's Service. Yea wiling to leave "all, all"and follow Jesus even though his Spirit shall lead us to the uttermost parts of the earth.
Yes Mellie, she tells me that she "loves you", that she loves the children, her Sisters, that she loves her home, that she loves her kindred and friends, that she loves her native land, that she loves you all but that she "loves her Savior more than all these and consequently feels it no pain in comparison to part with them with the promise and full prospect of again meeting you all in heaven.
Mellie, I believe, yes, I know, that I love My Dear Mollie with "all my heart", and I love you and her little sisters too, but I feel that with Mollie, I love my Savior better than all else and that to serve him I am willing, yes and "I expect", soon with her to adopt these or similar sentiments, which were expressed by me under circumstances no doubt very similar to what ours may be. Yes Mellie, these are even now our feelings and our Sentiments. "That we love our native land, All our friends, connections and happy country, That we love our home, its joys and "dear ones", All its scenes of sacred peace and pleasure. But that we are willing "to learn them all"- Far in heathen lands to dwell. Yes as my dearest one said we must "sacrifice all these to the calls of duty and the claims of humanity".View image of page
"My Dear Sister",shall I call you so, I am glad that you are assigned to the will or at least, what seems to us, to be the will of Christ in this matter. the call is come to our ears, the conviction that we should respond rests upon our hearts, and our very souls now yearn to live for God, even though it be at the Sacrifice of all earthly good but Dear Mellie, I must stop- I will however answer My Dear Mollie's questions and I desire now if you please to send all this letter down to her. Yes our destine, My dear One, is to be decided forever in a few more weeks: at the Gen. Conference in May, 'tis true. Yes, Mellie, Prof. Sasronett [unclear] "knows all about you, who you are, where you are and what you are" as nearly I could tell him, recollect Mellie he is our representative at the Meeting of the Bishop and Missionary Board and you will see immediately the propriety of having our [deleted] the communication in reference to you, which at his request, in view of these things, I made. That was is [added] a part of the matter to be considered all [unclear] and he asked me to tell him all.View image of page
In May therefore, our case wil perhaps be finally decided, and as I have not expressed nor you either, any prediliction, nor had any peculiar or decisive impression in reference to any place, or people, I hardly [unclear] hesitate to say [deleted] to say, if they receive us at all, that as our church has only one Foreign [added] Mission Station and only one other in contemplation, that our future home will soon be fixed in China with our Brothers & Sisters there already, tear in page [unclear] in Bogata in South America, where they contemplated establishing another foreign Station. My Dear Mellie, those things are facts, stubborn and true; I feel them, deeply feel them so, and oh! how soon shall we have our destiny marked out in reference to this anxious and important matter in a few more short weeks we shall know "their" decision and our home. Oh! I feel today that I am a pilgrim and a stranger here - that I would not "a foot of land possess nor a cottage in this wilderness".
But rather ""the Lord's will not mine be done"".View image of page
I expect, Dear Mollie, to attend the Gen. Conference also, at least for a few days. Our College course will terminate and we be [sic] examined on the last wednesday in this month. 20 of my class are going up to Nashville in a body &c.
I will then be at home about 3 weeks earlier than if we were not to go there & and I will, Dearest One, communicate with you just as soon as I hear the decision of the Board and let you know our prospects and, the disposition made of us &c.
In the meantime, Mollie, do please for my sake, answer Miss Mollie Yarbrough's letter that she intends sending you this week, answer it before please. She stands related to a dear friend of mine as you do to me and they feel as we do, and she is particularly desirous of becoming acquainted with you and your feelings on this subject. You must write freely, My dear. I know her well, tell her all your heart as you would "the one yo love best". My "dearest one", when I do begin to speak with you I hardly know how nor when to desist. However I have told you the most important ad interesting matters, which I cannot conceive it wrong even in this manner to tel you. You must now, Mollie, have and eye to these things, 'watch and pray", live for the issues of these measures let them be go [sic] or stay, live for eternity, live for heaven, live forever. My dear Mollie, I am wholy thine and both are the Lord's I trust entirely.
Thine Own till we meet in happy union forever
Young J. Allen
My dear Mellie, you can send this "letter all", and you will then see and understand at what juncture, at what crisis My dear Mollie and I have arrived - those things are all facts as I have already stated,the issues of which we are now awaiting.
Mellie, be reconciled to the Lord, and unite your prayer with ours for the Lord's direction. May he abundantly bless and prosper you. Please send this immediately to Mollie, I'll send hers to you some other time as my letter is rather large now.
Your devoted B
Young J. Allen