August 10th 1864
I have been to Person and spent several days very pleasantly with the children of my departed Sister Cornelia Thaxton. I feel that the Lord has blessed them for the sake of their angel Mother, the Lord will provide for them. I believe, I pray that they make shining lights in the church of Christ, they are all sprightly, promising children. I feel like their Mother is in Heaven. I met with several of my old acquaintances in Person, I spoke a word for Christ, I told them what the Lord has done for my soul. I done it in order to stir them up to walk in the way to Heaven, my soul was happy.
Willie Robertson died last night at 10 o’clock. Brother Gannon will preach his funeral at Union tomorrow. I hope this affliction will be sanctified to the good of his parents. We all have to be corrected and chastened to make us humble. The Lord is judging his people, he turneth man to destruction and sayeth return ye children of men, it is intended for the good of us all. I feel more faith in God, I have so many answers to prayer. The Lord is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, it is my meat and drink to do the will of God. I delight in his service. I do enjoy reading the scriptures, and communion with God, who is my best friend, he hears and answers my prayers. My soul is happy, I will praise him with joyful lips, Hallelujah!!!!
Our quarterly meeting was held at Union on Sat. before the fourth Sunday in August, Peter Doub was presiding elder. My daughter joined the Methodist church on that day and was baptized by brother Gannon. I was very glad and thankful to our Heavenly Father.
My dear Willie arrived home safe last Monday from the army, he is in fine health, has a furlough for 30 days. Oh how thankful I feel. I have felt that I have been sanctified. I have the blessing of perfect love, I hope, my faith in God is strong, he comforts my soul and refreshes me by his holy Spirit, he answers my prayers. I feel that God loves me and owns for his child pardoning voice I hear I can no longer fear, I will praise him, as long as I live. Glory and honor to Jesus, he is my precious Saviour.
Source: Mary Jeffreys Bethell Diary, 1853-1873. #1737-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/bethell/menu.html