Going through my mother's papers, I found a note about the letter. It had to have been written before she passed away in 1998. She'd shared the letter with me when I was a teenager and questioning my faith but it was nice to find the story in writing.
Here's what my mom had to say:
"When I was in college, I began to doubt my salvation especially as I attended philosophy classes where we studied all the great theories of the world. I wrote to my father and expressed this doubt and whether or not God might be calling me to some special service. On his way to work on April 24, 1940, he stopped at a hotel downtown, wrote me the following letter and sent it Special Delivery - Air Mail."
You are not the first person, even in our own family, to have the feeling you express.
I have wondered, as I have observed this condition through the rears, if the key to the situation does not add up to about this:
People who confess Christ at an early age and join the church do not have the weight of actual sins to be repented for and relieved of, hence do no t have the deep highly emotional experience of grace that those who find peach in Christ after years if willful sin.
Later, having served more as a matter of habit, perhaps, that of duty impelled by the love of Christ, which Paul said "constrainteth us" to go in his service, we begin to wonder whether or not our foundation experience is secure. Get this straight and depend and rely on God's Word, rather than on your feelings and personal analysis of the situation:
FOUR SIGN-POSTS ON THE WAY HOME
1. Our Salvation rests upon God's love for a lost world. John 3:16
2. There is no work to do beyond believing in Christ. John 6:28,29 John 1:11-13
3. This belief (trust) must be expressed openly. John 12:, 42,43
4. The complete promise. Rom 10:10
DO NOT jump to the conclusion that you CANNOT satisfy the Lord's demands upon you without undertaking some kind of SPECIAL WORK in the Kingdom. What the Lord NEEDS right now WORST OF ALL is a great host of consecrated folks to LIVE for him every day in an unassuming , quiet fashion (as your Mother did).
WHAT YOU NEED NOW is likely NOT salvation, but to definitely commit yourself to the WILL of the Lord for your life, giving Him the FIRST PLACE in your life plans- CONSECRATION for the unfailing of the Spirit. INVITE Him in for leadership.Luke 11:11-13
Must hurry to work
Two things strike me:.
My grandfather wrote with capitals and underlining, making his points clear to my mother.
The remark about the quiet faith of my grandmother who had passed away two years earlier. He is reminding my mom of her mother and the example she set for her.