“This beautiful morning of January 1, 1881, I greet the children and youth of the Instructor with a Happy New Year. The old year, 1880, with its burden of records, has passed out, and the new year, with its prospects, hopes, and labors, has come.
My dear youthful readers, will you not pause, while standing upon the very threshold of 1881, and inquire of your own hearts what has been the character of the life record that has passed up to Heaven for you? The past year’s record, be it good or evil, cannot be changed. If you feel that your past life has been almost a failure, how much reason have you for gratitude to God that your probation did not close with the old year!
Another year now opens its fair unwritten pages before you. The recording angel stands ready to write. Your course of action will determine what shall be traced by him. You may make your future life good or evil; and this will determine for you whether the year upon which you have just entered will be to you a Happy New Year. It is in your power to make it such for yourself and for those around you. If you connect with God, you may make bright sunshine in the family circle by thoughtfulness of others’ comfort, putting away all discontent, and being cheerful, courteous, and obedient, or you may pursue a course that will bring a dark shadow upon the hearts of those who have ever loved you, watched over you, and cared for you from your earliest infancy.
Will the youth who read the Instructor ask themselves the question whether they are a blessing to their parents, or a source of anxiety and a curse? It would be a great satisfaction to them to know that you are trying to be dutiful and kind; but nothing can give them so much real happiness, this new year, as the knowledge that you have made Jesus a gift of yourselves, and that your daily prayer is, “My Father, be thou the guide of my youth.” Begin the new year, then, by giving yourselves to God, if you have not already done so; and every day you spend in his service will bring blessings to you and all connected with you.”
Excerpt from Youth’s Instructor, January 5, 1881
The remainder of the article can be found HERE