Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 7, 1869

White, J. E. and Emma

Wright, Michigan

June 27, 1869

Portions of this letter are published in TSB 17; 7MR 241-242.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

My heart is drawn towards you. I feel it duty to say a few words to you. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 1

I have the deepest interest in the prosperity of you both. My dear Emma, there is not a person I could take to my heart as heartily as yourself. Yet I advise you not to be in haste to consummate your marriage. Move cautiously, weigh every move. You are making a move which will be lasting. Therefore do not move hastily. Do not get entirely swallowed up in this one matter, marriage. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 2

I just took up a book and these words my eye fell upon. “And they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” Matthew 25:10. What preparation are you both making for the marriage here referred to? Are you seeking with such earnestness the white raiment, which is the righteousness of Christ and which will insure you a position within the doors, a right to the marriage feast? Will you closely investigate and see if you are ready, if you have on the wedding garment, pure and white? 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 3

Here is a momentous subject. The marriage feast has been prepared. The word of gracious invitation has gone forth, “Come for all things are now ready.” [Luke 14:17.] 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 4

Will you either or both of you insult your Lord by making excuses? I have bought a yoke of oxen and must needs prove them. I have bought a piece of land and must needs go and see it. The third excuse, I have married me a wife and therefore I cannot come. These excuses all seem weak, showing a deficiency of good judgment. The first should have proved his oxen before buying; the second should have seen his land before making a bargain; the third should have not been hindered by the wife but both should have come immediately. It is just such flimsy, foolish excuses we frame for not being in earnest to secure the wedding raiment. A time is coming when the door is to close upon all probationers. If unready, their cry, “Lord, Lord, open unto us,” will not be regarded. The fearful words will fall upon the ear with terrible weight, “Depart, I know ye not.” [Matthew 25:11, 12.] I want to arouse you both to seek first the kingdom of heaven and the righteousness of God, and all things shall be added. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 5

Here is an enterprise which should engage the powers of the mind. But how many will make the trifling excuses brought to view in the parable of the marriage supper. This heavenly entertainment was prepared for their special benefit, but they turn from it to some slight inducements which they think will serve themselves better. They reject the invitation and the door is shut, and too late they seek admittance. What a loss will lazy, slothful professors realize too late they have sustained. All who remain unready have an influence to keep others away in the same state of unreadiness as themselves. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 6

A slothful man is one who doeth his work by halves, just so is the slothful man in the enterprise of everlasting life. He is slothful in doing his work for heaven. He may by odd spells work at the point, but if anything arises to divert the attention, the work is neglected. A spirit of self-justification in a wrong course is fostered and the conscience is eased by resolves at some future time to be diligent in seeking a preparation needful for the trying day before us. Self-righteousness will be found insufficient to form the wedding garment which is the righteousness of Christ. A thorough preparation is the only recommendation we will find available in the great judgment before us. Your souls, my children, your souls are of more consequence than every other consideration. What preparation have you made for your souls. The slothful fail to bear fruit and in the day of God, out of their own mouth will they be condemned. “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25:30. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 7

Wherein are we found to be profitable to God? We can so be found only in one sense, in bearing much fruit to His glory; in being active in securing others in the service of the heavenly King; in seeking by holy, irreproachable lives to so exemplify Christ that others shall be constrained to acknowledge that there is a power in the truth in Christian religion which transforms the soul by the renewing of the mind. Our natures are changed by the power of divine grace. Unless this transformation is seen in the life by the fruits of the spirit all the pretensions in that direction are of no weight; therefore although there may be a form of godliness, yet unprofitable, slothful servant is stamped upon the character of their entire religious experience. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 8

Every way I turn I find those who I could truly address, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.” Galatians 6:7. Now, my dear children, I do not want you to be of this number. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 9

There is great danger of deceiving ourselves and thinking we have a readiness for the day of God, when we shall be found having our own righteousness and not the righteousness of Christ. You may anticipate happiness in a certain course, but if your trust is not in God, your happiness will be as the morning dew. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 10

Time, precious time is passing and you must not be found slothful. Your souls are worth a thousand worlds. Satan is fearfully in earnest, and will you be slothful? Satan is diligently working to keep you out of heaven by leading to sin and slothfulness. You see all around you diligent for the things which perish, and will you be slothful in seeking the kingdom of heaven and the righteousness of God? Be wise in the things which concern your eternal interest. Make thorough work here, secure the immortal treasure. Let this be your highest ambition. The crown is to them that run, and is at the finishing of the race, the end of the race. Will you heed the injunction of the apostle, “So run, that ye may obtain?” 1 Corinthians 9:24. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 11

May the Lord bless and strengthen you in your every effort to overcome self and live unto God. He will keep you in the work of overcoming. Engage in it decidedly, determinedly, and may your example lead others to a life of consecration. Let your light so shine that others by seeing your good works shall be led to glorify your Father which is in heaven. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 12

I have written in a cold room this morning without a fire. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 13

In much love from the one who regardeth your souls. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1869, par. 14