Examine Yourselves

     Dear brethren, "examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith." Many present may immediately respond, "Why, yes; I am in the faith, I believe every point of the truth." But do you practice what you believe? Are you at peace with God and with your brethren? Can you pray with sincerity," Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors? or are you estranged from your brother, because you suppose he has injured you? Are there no heartburnings among you? Is there no bitterness in your hearts, no envying, no jealousy, no evil surmising, no misjudging of your brethren? Is there no emulation, no desire for special favor and honors, no wish to have the supremacy? These feelings do exist to a greater or less degree among brethren.    

     Some of you seem to be earnestly struggling for forgiveness of sins, for freedom in God. Do you deserve the pardon that you are seeking? No, you do not; nevertheless, it is given you. And do you withhold from your brethren the forgiveness and affection of which you do not think them worthy? Would you have God deal thus with you? Deal with your brethren as you wish God to deal with you. If we expect our prayers for forgiveness to be heard, we must offer them in a forgiving spirit. We must forgive others in the same manner and to the same extent that we ourselves hope to be forgiven. The hard-heartedness that professed Christians manifest toward one another is not Christ-like, but savors of the Satanic. We must every one of us open our hearts wide to the love of Jesus, and encourage pity and affection for our brethren. 

RH, April 29, 1884