Dear Edson & Emma,
My dear children, I am desirous that you should know Christ by experimental knowledge of Him yourselves. You should obtain an experience for yourselves and be His earnest, faithful servants, manifesting perseverance and zeal and energy in the work and cause of God. Seek to exemplify Christ in your lives. Seek to adorn your profession. Take an exalted position in divine things, seeking to perfect Christian character.
You, my children, have given your hearts to one another; unitedly give them wholly, unreservedly to God. In your married life, seek to elevate one another, not to come down to common, cheap talk and actions. Show the high and elevating principles of your holy faith in your everyday conversations and in the most private walks of life. Be ever careful and tender of the feelings of one another. Do not allow either of you for even the first time, a playful bantering, joking, censuring of one another. These things are dangerous. They wound. The wound may be concealed, nevertheless the wound exists, and peace is being sacrificed and happiness endangered when it could be easily preserved.
Edson, my son, guard yourself and in no case manifest the least disposition savoring of a dictatorial, overbearing spirit. It will pay to watch your words before speaking. This is easier than to take them back or efface their impression afterwards. Brother Winslow has made his married life very bitter by a dictatorial, ordering spirit, savoring of the arbitrary. He has made his wife’s family much trouble by the set will savoring of perverseness.
Edson, shun all this. Ever speak kindly; do not throw into the tones of your voice that which will be taken by others as irritability. Modulate even the tones of your voice. Let only love, gentleness, and mildness be expressed in your countenance and in your voice. Make it a business to shed rays of sunlight, but never leave a cloud. Emma will be all to you you can desire if you are watchful and give her no occasion to feel distressed and troubled and doubt the genuineness of your love. Yourselves can make your happiness, or lose it. You can, by seeking to conform your life to the Word of God, be true, noble, elevated, and smooth the pathway of life for each other.
Edson, you, my dear boy, have to educate yourself in practicing self-control. God help you, my much loved son, to see the force of my advice and counsel to you. Be careful every day of your words and acts. Yield to each other. Yield your judgment sometimes, Edson; do not be persistent if your course appears just right to yourself. You must be yielding, forbearing, kind, tenderhearted, pitiful, courteous, ever keeping fresh the little courtesies of life, the tender acts, the tender, cheerful, encouraging words. And may the best of Heaven’s blessings rest upon you both, my dear children, is the prayer of your mother. Manuscript Release, vol. 20, 333, 334.