Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 17, 1872

White, J. E.

Santa Rosa, California

September 28, 1872

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 280; 2Bio 357.

We have not seen Brother Loughborough. He is expected from Petaluma in about one hour. We came from San Francisco in an elegant boat, thirty-seven miles, then took the cars for this place, fifteen miles. The ride on the boat was very pleasant. This morning we attended the first meeting in California. We met with the brethren and sisters of Santa Rosa and we had a good meeting. The brethren and sisters nearly all came upon the platform and were introduced to us. They greeted us with heartiness and cordiality. Your father spoke with freedom upon the reasons of our faith. I followed, speaking about fifteen minutes. 2LtMs, Lt 17, 1872, par. 1

I think I shall enjoy this country very much. All say we have come at the right time. They say had we come earlier, the heat would have weakened us. January and February, they say, are the very best times in the year to visit California. I think the good providence of God has ordered our course thus far. 2LtMs, Lt 17, 1872, par. 2

Today has been oppressively hot, like July. We found fruit of every variety in the market—fresh figs in abundance, apricots, grapes, pears, peaches and tomatoes. Sweet potatoes are the same price as Irish. They say strawberries are in market, and green peas and string beans. Muskmelons are large as great pumpkins. 2LtMs, Lt 17, 1872, par. 3

We are in Brother Loughborough’s large house. It is very convenient; has large bedrooms and good chambers for a story-and-a-half house. We are heartily welcomed here. Brother Loughborough says the house is ours. We may do what we please with it. These two children are, it appears to me, the best children, the most quiet and peaceable, I ever saw. The mother controls them in a quiet way, without noise, severity, or bluster. The two seem very happy together. 2LtMs, Lt 17, 1872, par. 4

We think we shall enjoy our visit to California, but it is like July here now and the change is so great from the mountain air that we hardly know what to do with ourselves. Your father and Elder Loughborough are upon the campground, ten miles from here, preparing the ground for the meeting. This letter must go to the office tonight. I have some description of the scenery on the journey to write when my eye is better. Have another cold. Inflammation has settled in my eye. 2LtMs, Lt 17, 1872, par. 5

We all have an experience to gain and crosses to lift. If we study our own pleasure and gratify our own desires and taste, we shall be found wanting in the day of retribution and rewards. If we live to do others good and to glorify God, we shall not be considerate of ourselves but shall seek to be of use in the world, blessing humanity, and we shall receive the blessing of “Well done” from the lips of the Master. [Matthew 25:21.] 2LtMs, Lt 17, 1872, par. 6

We should live for the next world. It is so wretched to live a haphazard, aimless life. We want an object in life—to live for a purpose. God help us all to be self-sacrificing, less self-caring, more forgetful of self and selfish interest; and to do good, not for the honor we expect to receive here, but because this is the object of our life and will answer the end of our existence. Let our daily prayer go up to God that He will divest us of selfishness. Poverty is keenly felt by some, but Christ can make it a great blessing. I have seen both rich and poor, and have decided that the poor, with Christ for their portion, have true riches and are happiest. 2LtMs, Lt 17, 1872, par. 7

I have seen that those who live for a purpose, seeking to benefit and bless their fellow men and to honor and glorify their Redeemer, are the truly happy ones on the earth, while the man who is restless, discontented, and seeking this and testing that, hoping to find happiness, is always complaining of disappointment. He is always in want, never satisfied, because he lives for himself alone. Let it be your aim to do good, to act your part in life faithfully. 2LtMs, Lt 17, 1872, par. 8

There is hurry and excitement. Men feverishly invest their capital of money in bonds and stocks, become wealthy in a day, and yet are unsatisfied. They continue to invest with insane expectancy. The bank stock goes down, the millionaire in the morning is a beggar at night and the way they think best to end the matter is with pistol, rope, or the waters of the bay. Money is a blessing when those who use it consider that they are the Lord’s stewards, that they are handling the Lord’s capital, and must one day give account of their stewardship. It is the love of money which the Bible condemns as the root of all evil—such love that when a man loses money the precious life God has given him is made of no account because money is gone. Money is a precious gift of God, to be received gratefully and used discreetly with all fidelity. It will prove a snare to all who overreach, who get it dishonestly, who hoard it while the poor suffer. The saved in God’s kingdom will be rich, as well as honored and glorified. 2LtMs, Lt 17, 1872, par. 9