Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 16, 1866

White, J. E.

Kensington, Connecticut

October 14, 1866

Portions of this letter are published in 6MR 300; 10MR 28-29.

Dear Son Edson:

I received your letter, which I should not excuse for its brevity were it not written under the peculiar circumstances which you mention. I was anxious in regard to the check. I suppose ere this you have received my present of winter underclothing. It was a great satisfaction to think that you will be well clad this cold winter weather. I am anxious to learn all about how you are situated, what progress you make, and how your time is occupied out of school. You know I must feel a deep interest in all these little things. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1866, par. 1

Last Sabbath I spoke twice to the church in this place, two hours in the forenoon and two in the afternoon. They are not much advanced on the health reform. They seem to be aroused some, and may make the needful change which health and happiness require. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1866, par. 2

Father grows feebler every day. He is very white and his face is pinched. I do not think he will live over a month. He is liable to die any day or any night. We have sent for your aunts Mary and Lizzie to come immediately if they would see Father alive. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1866, par. 3

Stephen [Belden] is doing well. He has five smart, intelligent children. I never saw a more industrious, thorough-going boy than Frankie. He is a great worker. So is his brother Charlie. Stephen has a melodeon. Ellen plays upon it quite well. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1866, par. 4

Ashfield. I received a letter from you night before last. Yesterday I came to this place; shall spend the Sabbath here. Ashfield is between eighty and one hundred miles from Berlin, Connecticut. Next Sabbath I expect to spend in Abbington, Connecticut, the Sabbath after in New York City, the next at Hubbardsville. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1866, par. 5

Yesterday after I left the cars I rode twelve miles in the stage. The scenery was beautiful. The trees with their varied hues, the beautiful evergreens interspersed among them, the green grass, the high and lofty mountains, the high bluffs of rocks—all are interesting to the eye. These things I could enjoy, but I am alone. The strong, manly arm I have ever leaned upon is not now my support. Tears are my meat night and day. My spirit is constantly bowed down by grief. I cannot consent that your father shall go down into the grave. Oh, that God would pity and heal him! Edson, my dear boy, give yourself to God. Wherein you have erred, frankly acknowledge it by confession and humility. Draw nigh to God and do unite with me in pleading with God for his recovery. If we chasten our souls before God and truly repent of all our wrongs, will He not be entreated, for the sake of His dear Son, to heal your father and cause him to think and act rationally? 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1866, par. 6

I received a line from Brother Abbey, which you wrote to him requesting a letter returned. I don’t know what to do about said letter. In all probability you have written to Brother Lindsey to have the letter returned to you. I will say when you write anything you do not wish Father to see, put it in an envelope with my name upon the letter, then enclose in an envelope to Ira Abbey. By that means I can get anything you wish without his knowledge. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1866, par. 7

Edson, you know my wishes concerning you. Be true, be faithful to the teaching you have received, true to your own conscience. Be free to write all your mind to me, for I will seek wisdom and advise you the best I can. God bless you, Edson. Give your heart to God. Without His blessing you cannot be happy. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1866, par. 8

Write me often, direct to Connecticut, as you have done. Your aunts Elizabeth and Mary will be in Connecticut, either this week or next. In love to you, Annie, and Lucretia. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1866, par. 9

Your affectionate mother. 1LtMs, Lt 16, 1866, par. 10