Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 10, 1872

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Ottawa, Kansas

July 4, 1872

Portions of this letter are published in 9MR 80; 15MR 129.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

I dropped you a line yesterday in such a hurry I cannot remember a line I wrote. I wished to send it by Willie to Ottawa. He goes again today six miles for the mail. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1872, par. 1

Will could not wait for me to finish my letter. He brought us a letter from you, and letters from Addie, Miriam, and Adelia Van Horn, which Father is now answering. We are glad you have an enterprising spirit, but we would say, Make haste slowly. Move understandingly and surely. We are satisfied of several things. The most prosperous church will backslide under the most powerful preaching unless the people awake to the necessity of individual effort. The followers of Christ cannot advance and grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus unless they are, individually, workers. If they do nothing themselves and expect to retain life and vitality, they will be disappointed and then fall into temptation and great spiritual weakness. It is the workers who become strong and efficient. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1872, par. 2

Second, I know that one of the greatest sins that the church is guilty of is that of being cold and indifferent in regard to the spiritual interest of the brethren and sisters. Each should feel a responsibility resting upon him to see that his brethren and sisters prosper in their religious life. The church has had great privileges and her prosperity lies within herself. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1872, par. 3

Third, every member of the church should feel that it is a sin especially offensive and insulting to God to make profession of following Christ and yet be novices in spiritual and religious matters. They dishonor God when they do not adorn their profession and become intelligent Christians, serving God with increased knowledge from principle. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1872, par. 4

We are glad to see the Review and Reformer as lively and interesting as they are. We hope that these publications may continue to increase in interest. In order for our papers and pamphlets to be what they should be and what they can be, God’s blessing should attend them. There should be much prayer for wisdom and grace. If God blesses, all the reproaches of our enemies will be turned against themselves. We are engaged in a great work, and this work is of such infinite importance that it must not be done negligently or slothfully. Work, work while the day lasts. All your plans and all your anticipations will be of no account unless you have firm faith and trust in God. May you both take the right position, is our prayer. We pray for you daily that your life that has been preserved by a miracle of God’s mercy, may be devoted to the service of God. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1872, par. 5

Do not, either of you, my children, be content to live merely for yourselves. Live to bless others; live to shed bright rays of light upon the pathway of others. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1872, par. 6

You may be anxious to hear in regard to my sister, your aunt. You have never seen her. She is an understanding, intelligent woman, living, I think, up to the best light she has had. She is a powerful singer. This is as much her talent as speaking is mine. I think I never heard a voice that would thrill the soul like hers. We are having a most precious time. They have a very pretty location. The house is small, but convenient for this country. Brother Clough and Caroline are intent upon our remaining over. We have a meeting in the large stone schoolhouse Sunday. The appointment is being circulated. We should have left this place Friday, could we have received the letter from Sister Chamberlain. But as we get no information either from Josey or her mother, we shall not stop to call upon them. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1872, par. 7

In much love. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1872, par. 8