SPIRITUAL LEADINGS.—JESUS A CONSCIOUS PRESENCE THREE DAYS.—LOSS OF LIBERTY BY COMPROMISING.—THE PRICE PAID TO BE REINSTATED.—DISGRACE TO BE A MILLIONAIRE
I had once while in Medicine Lodge, a heavenly rapture for three days. My Savior was my constant companion. I saw no form, heard no word. But His dear face was just behind and looking over my right shoulder. He was a conscious presence and the deep peace was beyond any experience I ever had. I shunned the society of persons. I would talk to Him, would sing and play the accompaniment on the organ. I was particular about my home work. While I saw no face, or form, I realized that His was a sweet, smiling, gratified expression, and it told me I was pleasing Him. I did not seem then to think this anything wonderful, and have often reproached myself for not setting more store by this at the time.
There was a period of from six months to a year that I was terribly haunted by a feeling as if hung over a precipice. I was hanging only by a rope above my head held by a hand out of a cloud. At night or in the day, it was the same uneasy dread of falling. The precipice below was black and horrible. There were banks on each side. At last I swung over, landing on the right side. Oh! the relief!
When I first began to pray in public I was very awkward, never could make any but what one would call a disconnected prayer, that never seems to be impressive in an audience.
I asked an old-fashioned sister, who I knew was a saint, to tell me what was wrong in my testimony. “I do not have liberty when I speak.” She said: “You do not praise God enough.” I began to pray for a spirit of praise. Shortly after this I was at prayer-meeting, was praying for a spirit of praise. It was put in my mouth I rose to my feet and began to say: “Praise God; Praise God!” repeating it over and over. Oh! how sweet to use and hear those words! I could scarcely repress the impulse to use them all the time. For a long time after this, when the Bible was read or testimony struck me as being just right, I would audibly say: “Praise God!” This was a “gift”, for I had never felt the impulse before. I have in a measure left this off, but I use it all the time, when I hear good news, or see what pleases me. “He led captivity (sin) captive and gave gifts unto men.” Ever since I received the “baptism of the Holy Ghost,” I have liked one church about as well as another. I go to all even the Catholic. I fast on Friday and use the sign of the cross. Fast, because my Savior suffered in the flesh on Friday; use the sign of the cross, because in the cross is salvation. Meditations on the cross always lift heavenward. ’Tis the royal way, I want to keep it always in view, want it to be the last I see. We who bear the cross continually in this transient life, will wear the crown continually in the eternal.