Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 16, 1867

White, W. C.

Topsham, Maine

December 10, 1867

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 50-52.

Greenville, Mich.

Dear Son Willie:

We received a letter from you and also from Brother Maynard soon after our letter was mailed to you. Today we came to this place from Norridgewock. One hour since Rebekah brought us quite a pile of letters. We were really glad to find a letter from Sister Maynard, Sister Betsey, and yourself. You were quite liberal this time. Thank you all for your favors. If you knew how we prize a letter or letters from you, you would be prompt in writing. I have no fault to find with you; you have all done well. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1867, par. 1

Last Thursday morning we rode eighteen miles to Athens. We found the people needed help very much. I spoke Sunday morning, then we had a meeting with the church especially, then a praying season with the family we had tarried with, for the object of helping some cases in great darkness to whom I had in the name of the Lord borne a straight testimony. It was a most solemn occasion—parting, perhaps never again to meet the same persons until the judgment. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1867, par. 2

We started at five o’clock for Norridgewock. Brother Ira Rodgers had taken us in a wagon. He exchanged that for a sleigh, as the night before we had a fall of snow—about two or three inches. It was extremely cold, and a sleigh was preferable to a wagon. We came wrapped up with all the clothing we had. We came thirteen miles in one hour and a half. It seemed sometimes as though we almost flew over the ground. But it was intensely cold and we came near freezing. We tarried with Brother Cyphers to warm. My fingers suffered terribly, but they were not frozen. The last five miles was from Skowhegan to Norridgewock, alongside the river. A keen breeze blew directly in our faces. I was so unfortunate as to freeze my face pretty severely. It is very sore. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1867, par. 3

This morning we rode on the cars but could not keep warm by any means. The air circulated about our feet, chilling them. We are now in Brother Howland’s hospitable home. We are now sitting before a fireplace. My stand is drawn up to the fire and I am writing you. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1867, par. 4

I am entirely relieved in regard to you, but I have been not a little troubled about you. I am thankful you are in so good a home. I have perfect confidence in Brother and Sister Maynard and I am more attached to those dear children you associate with than to any other children among all my acquaintance. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1867, par. 5

We commence meetings here in Topsham this week, to hold over Sabbath and first day. We hope to see the work of God progress. We have labored earnestly in public and from house to house since we came to this state and we trust a good work has been done. We leave the results with God. It has been hard toiling—hard, hard, hard. Now we leave this field of labor. We have seen the work of God, but everything has moved so slowly. But we will thank God that they have moved at all. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1867, par. 6

Your father and Brother Andrews are talking as fast as they can talk. Addie Chamberlain is crocheting by my stand. Sister Howland is doing the same by another corner of my stand. Brother Howland is putting on a large log in order to throw out the heat. Beckie is standing behind me untangling a snarl of worsted. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1867, par. 7

Willie, please write me how you employ your mind. What progress do you make in the school of Christ? Are you seeking for humility? and are you trying to speak and act in that way which will increase your confidence in God? Do you pray? Watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation. Temptations may be all around you, yet you are safe as long as you do not enter into them. Many of us are overcome by Satan because we walk right into temptation. Now dear son, watch and pray lest you be inclined to enter into temptation. It is your business to keep aloof from everyone and everything which will have a tendency to lead you away from duty and divert your mind from God. Your will must be in submission to the will of God. If there are boys or girls whom you know are evil, you should remain away from them—not place yourself in their society. If compelled to be in the society of those who are evil, you are not compelled to enter into or engage in their evil. You can, by prayer and watching, remain unsullied by the evil manifested about you. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1867, par. 8

Ever seek to exert a good influence, that God may approve of your works. Remember you are forming a character for heaven or for destruction. Oh, that you may form a good Christian character! You are daily stamping a record of your life by your course of action here. Let all your acts be such that you would not be ashamed to meet them in the judgment. God’s eye never slumbers or sleeps. This all-seeing eye is ever upon you. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1867, par. 9

Now, dear child, be not led astray by any one. While you associate with Johnny, try to lead him to God. Talk to him in regard to his duty to love God. But in no case let Johnny have an influence over you, to divert your mind from the right or from duty. I hope Johnny will be led to give his heart to God and to devote his life to His service. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1867, par. 10

I hope that George and you will strengthen one another in doing right, in loving right, in loving prayer, loving to do your duty, loving faithfulness, honesty, and uprightness. I have great confidence in George. He is a boy of good principle. Love one another, help one another, pray with each other, and for each other. Exert a good influence over the younger members of the family. May the Lord bless you. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1867, par. 11

In love, from your Mother. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1867, par. 12