March 15th, 1916
Received by James Padgett
I am here, Prof. Salyards.
Well, I was telling you of the object of man's life on earth, and the necessity for his doing certain things, in a general way, in order to bring to mankind the happiness which might be theirs while on earth. Now I desire to go into a little in detail with reference to these matters.
As has been written you before there is only one way in which man can attain to the supreme happiness, which the Father in His goodness has made possible for man to attain to, and which, when once obtained, can never be taken from him. But there is also another kind of happiness which is not, in either its nature or results, the same as that which I have just referred to; and man may obtain it in a way and by a method which are different from those which are necessary to obtain the first kind.
Man was originally created good and pure and happy, and only by his disobedience did he lose these qualities, which, when lost, finally made him approach somewhat the likeness of the lower animal, although the latter is probably not so unhappy as man became, by his fall from the state of the high condition of his creation.
When in his original state, he was happy in what we called, and what was, his natural love, which he fully possessed, and needed nothing additional to make him happy. This condition made man his own master, as it were, and the Father's Divine Love was not necessary to develop him more as mere man than he then existed. He was pure and free from sin and in perfect harmony with God's laws governing his creation.
But after the disobedience he lost this harmony, and in doing so, lost also the power to preserve in himself the happiness which was his by right of creation; and he also soon realized that as this power left him, his dependence upon himself became less and less effective to keep him in a condition of purity and contentment, and, as a consequence, he became less than perfect man, and has been such ever since that time.
Now with the other qualities that were given him at the time of his creation, there was, and is, one that he has never been deprived of, and one that he has never realized his inability to exercise, although he so often exercises it wrongly; and that is the will, which is the greatest of the natural attributes that man possesses, for even God will not attempt to control that. I mean in the way of compelling.
And this quality is the one that, more often than any other, will help man to again attain to that state or condition in which he was the perfect man; but while this is true, yet it is also one of the greatest obstacles to attaining to that state.
Upon man himself, very largely depends the success of his regaining his pristine purity and harmony with the laws that govern his being, and he must understand this fact; for if he should believe, and rest in the belief, that other men or other instruments controlled by men, can rescue him from his present condition of in-harmony and unhappiness, he will be disappointed and his salvation will be a long time delayed.
But the exercise of this will power in the proper direction will depend upon other things that he must possess in order to insure his return to his first estate. Among these are the necessity for his obtaining knowledge that will enable him to know himself and the relationship of himself to what is true and good. This knowledge will come to him as he examines himself and learns the difference between right and wrong, and this I mean in its general sense, for right and wrong mean harmony or in-harmony with the laws of which I speak, and not right and wrong according to the several circumstances of men, for these differ, and what may be right or wrong to one man will not be to another.
And man by proper contemplation and observation may learn the difference between right and wrong, in the sense in which I use the terms, and be enabled to embrace or avoid those deeds or thoughts that come within one category or the other. Again, he must realize that there is such a thing as the natural love being a part of him, and a thing which may be possessed and cultivated to such a high degree that all men will be brothers to him and the children of one common Father, who has Love and care for all alike who are content to remain the mere man.
Again, he must realize that he has a Father in God, his Creator, and that that Father has a love for him which will always bring to him happiness and peace, if he will only respond with his own love; for man must have an object of worship and adoration, even when he possesses only the natural love, and he must learn that his love must go out to the Father in faith and confidence. There are many other things that he may learn by contemplation and meditation as I have said.
Many qualities that are desirable will flow to man from the knowledge that there is a Father who loves him, and that he has or may have a love for that Father, and also for his brother man. In fact, from these two subjects of knowledge, everything else may come to man that will make him the perfect man in harmony with the laws of his creation, and a pure happy and contented creature.
Now, when man obtains this knowledge - and here observe the distinction between knowledge of these things and the possession of them - he will naturally try to obtain all that knowledge shows him may become his to possess, and then will come into operation the great will power, and by its exercise there is nothing that can prevent him from arriving at the goal of his desires. In this way, one can, in a sense, be his own redeemer, but he will find the struggle hard, and the obstacles to be overcome, many and repelling.
There are many mortals who have a wonderful development of this natural love, notwithstanding the fact that they are living in sin and in in-harmony with the laws that I speak of, and who will find from that fact alone that their progress will be more rapid and easy when they come to the spirit world, on their journey to the state of perfect man. I do not believe that any mortal can ever attain to this condition while in the earth life, but he can lay the foundation for a rapid progress after he becomes a spirit. The temptations and desires that beset him as a mortal, at this time, are so great, that rarely can he become that perfect man while on earth.
But the time will come, I believe, when men will become perfect even while on earth and in this I have reference to his natural love merely. While, as I say, for man to obtain this state of perfection, he must depend upon himself to a very large degree, yet, it will be comforting to him to know, that there are hosts of spirit friends who are with him, trying to help him to obtain the knowledge of which I have spoken; and in his contemplations and meditations they are with him suggesting to him and impressing on him the thoughts of truth that help him very much to understand the right from the wrong, and they also sustain him, in some degree, in the exercise of his will in the right direction.
So from this it must become apparent to man that a very important thing in the determination of this great problem as to what is right and what is wrong, is the kind of associates that he may have, and this applies to the mortal as well as spirit companions. And man must know this, that as his desires and appetites on earth attract to him companions of similar desires and appetites, so; also, does the same law of attraction operate in the case of his spirit friends.
Now, in all this, I have no reference to the redemption of man by the possession of the Divine Love of the Father, for such redemption, and its way of saving man, are altogether different from those of redeeming him in his natural love. In the one case, when he has found the goal of his desires, he becomes a merely perfect man and nothing more. In the other case, he becomes an angel of God, Divine is his nature, with no limitation to the progress that he may obtain, and the happiness that may become his.
And - Oh, man! Why will you be satisfied to become merely a perfect man, when you may become a Divine Angel of the Father's Kingdom, with immortality assured? Man may not know it, but it is a fact, that it is easier, and the way is shorter to become a Divine Angel, than to become a perfect man.
So my advice to all men is - and I speak what I do know from a knowledge that comes to me from experience and possession - to seek for the Divine Love of the Father with all their strength and efforts, and then they will become not only the perfect man, but will obtain that which our first parents never obtained, but which was theirs for the proper seeking, as it is all men's.
I have written enough for tonight and will close.
Your old friend and professor and brother in Christ.
Joseph H. Salyards