"Bessie," she began when ready for the talk, "I have some important things to tell you today. I wish to speak of your future. There comes a time in the life of every girl when she must change from childhood to womanhood; she can not always remain a child. Until this time arrives, she is very dependent and must lean entirely upon her parents' advice; but as her mind begins to mature, she should be taught the necessity of weighing matters well and of finding out God's will.
"Until the present time all you have done has been at the suggestion of your parents, but it will be different in the future. With your teaching, you are able to look to God for a part of your direction. I shall continue to advise, and, if necessary, to punish you; but I want you to take things to the Lord in prayer and become satisfied within your heart that my advice is according to the Word of God. You must not think you haven't needed the teaching and the guidance you've had thus far in life; and you'll need more careful training than you've ever had. The point I want to impress upon your mind is that there's an element within you, called self, that you must learn to control. At times self will arise and cause you to feel that you know some things even better than Mama. That is the time to remember that Mama has had more experience than you; that her judgment is better than yours; and that you must rely upon it until God helps you to see a matter as she sees it. That was the way you gained the blessing from that experience a few days ago. In this way you will learn the lessons that are so important to your future.
"There are many other things, my dear, that I want to talk to you about soon, but you must be patient a little longer. In the meantime, however, you may ask me any question you please, and I'll answer you. Don't go to other girls with these things, but come to me. I'm always glad to explain to you anything that seems strange. When you're old enough to desire the knowledge and to form the questions, you're old enough to receive an answer to your questions. Come to me often: what seems strange to both of us we can take to God in prayer, and let him teach us.
"Another thing you must do is to turn away from bad associates. Avoid girls who say, 'I'll tell you something if you'll promise not to tell your mother.' Remember that anything you could not tell me would not be worth hearing; for it's sure to be something unclean or vulgar. Conversing with such girls won't help you to draw close to the Lord nor to know his will concerning you. Much less would it help you to meditate upon the pure and holy things of God. To elevate your soul, Bessie, you must become serious, and seek only those companions whose conversation is kind, gentle, and modest. I believe your desire is to become more like Jesus and to prepare for heaven. So, my child, meditate upon God, and you will grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. Misspent moments are so much of life and character thrown away; be careful to use them all in God's service.
"Here's a little poem you may learn. It may help you to control self and to value your moments as you should."
Oh, my precious little moments,
May I lade each one with something
For I would not have them enter
Golden moments, as you carry