Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1

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Lt 8, 1868

White, J. E.

Greenville, Montcalm County, Michigan

March 9, 1868

Portions of this letter are published in 2Bio 221-222; 11MR 201.

Dear Son Edson:

We are at home again. We are thankful for this. Thursday we rode sixty miles. The snow was very deep, in many places nearly as high as the houses. While [we were] trying to get the sleigh over a fallen tree, the reach [coupling pole] broke and we were down. We had to get out in the deep snow, unload the sleigh, and lift the box off the runners. A man came along in the woods just then and helped us toggle up the sleigh. We lashed it together with straps and went on. We stood in the snow more than half an hour. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1868, par. 1

Previous to this, about ten o’clock, it commenced snowing and snow continued to fall until twelve. Large flakes coming very fast! We never saw it on this wise before. Inches of snow were piled upon us and around us in the sleigh. To make it still more uncomfortable the rain began to come. But we rode on, every hour bringing us nearer home, and we were glad to lessen the distance. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1868, par. 2

When within four miles of home we were so unfortunate as to enter upon a road open for several miles but entirely blocked up and impassable at the other end. The horses went up to their backs in drifts. We feared their getting down. After passing through fields we were told there was no possibility of getting through, and had to go back. As we passed over drifts we got out, lightened the sleigh, and again plowed through the snow, while it was steadily raining. After this we had no very special difficulties. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1868, par. 3

We arrived home about dark. Corliss had watched for us all day and had sadly given up our coming. We felt glad to step into our own house. We found letters from you and from many others. You must write us often. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1868, par. 4

In regard to Brother Bell’s school, I know not. Write us more definitely terms and studies. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1868, par. 5

I advise you above everything to control your appetite. You have a voracious appetite and are not particular about letting everything alone between meals. Your headache arises more from a violation of nature’s laws in eating than from any other cause. I shall have no fear of your head if you eat and exercise as you should and observe regularity in all your habits. You must not allow yourself to be a creature of impulse. You should reason from cause to effect. If you indulge appetite without considering the result, you must pay the penalty for all such indiscretion. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1868, par. 6

Apply yourself closely to that which you undertake. Don’t be fitful and changeable, engaging heartily and zealously in a new thing, tiring of it, and then entering into something else new. No settled purpose! Let your music be a secondary thing. It is an education you are after now. Obtain that, and don’t use precious time upon the instrument which should be devoted to study. Remember that you must qualify yourself to support yourself. Bear your own weight and lay up something to start yourself in business. To this end labor. But if you expect the blessing of the Lord to attend your efforts, seek purity, holiness, humility. Order your life and conversation so that God will bless you and we shall be satisfied. Don’t be superficial here. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1868, par. 7

Acquaint yourself with the Bible. Read Spiritual Gifts through carefully, candidly, prayerfully. Take heed to the instructions, reproof, warnings, and let your high aim be the glory of God. Consecrate yourself to God. Dig deep with solemnity. Closely search your own heart. Drag out every cherished idol, every detestable thing and put it from you. Inquire for those books I wrote you about. Inquire in meeting for Martyrs of Spain, Sanford and Merton, and if anyone has any books of ours let them return them. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1868, par. 8

In much love. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1868, par. 9

They are waiting for me. Write. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1868, par. 10