Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 16, 1872

White, J. E.; White, Emma

San Francisco, California

September 27, 1872

Portions of this letter are published in OHC 242; 2Bio 356-357.

Dear children, Edson and Emma:

We are now on the boat on our way to Santa Rosa to meet Elder Loughborough. He expects us tonight. We arrived at San Francisco at ten o’clock. Before getting into the city we crossed the water on a ferry boat. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1872, par. 1

On the boat we met Brethren Conkrite and Stockton. Our first greeting to California was a present of a most beautiful bouquet of flowers of every variety, and very fragrant. These brethren were overjoyed to meet us. They conducted us through the crowd to the street car. We stepped on the car and were taken two miles to Sister Rowland’s. There we met and were introduced to twenty brethren and sisters who greeted us as cordially as we were ever greeted in our lives. These friends had waited at the house of Sister Rowland until twelve o’clock at night to receive us. We did not get to rest until a still later hour. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1872, par. 2

In the morning we awoke suffering with severe cold on our lungs. I had taken this cold in Colorado. We rested on the first easy bed we had seen for months. We enjoyed it much. Sister Rowland has welcomed us to her house for one year if we will accept it. She has a good home, well furnished. She is worth forty thousand dollars and has the sole control of her property. Sister Rowland accompanied us to a sister’s in the morning. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1872, par. 3

Walking the streets of San Francisco, looking at the gardens, we were apparently in midsummer. Flowers of every type and hue grew in luxuriance and abundance everywhere. Fuchsias grow in open grounds, out of doors, summer and winter; roses of every variety were trailing above trees or lattice work in a natural, homelike manner. Many flowers I could not name, having never seen them before. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1872, par. 4

We are nearing the place where we must leave this pleasant boat for the cars. I am in the ladies’ cabin, where I could be retired and write to you, my children. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1872, par. 5

Last evening after getting to Santa Rosa, we took three letters from the office from G. W. Amadon, I. D. Van Horn, and J. E. White. I think, Edson, we have received your letters, but in most every case Father has sent you letters just before yours reached him. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1872, par. 6

I am glad to see you ambitious and not content to settle down satisfied with your attainments. Genuine success will only follow earnest effort and wearisome toil and privation. It is a sin to be always discontented. That unrest and discontent which ends in fretting and complaining is sinful. But the discontent with one’s self, which urges on to more earnest effort for greater improvement of the mind, for a broader field of usefulness, is praiseworthy. This discontent does not end in disappointment but in gathering force for a higher and more extended field of usefulness. Only be ever balanced by firm religious principle and a sensitive conscience, having ever the fear of God before you, and you will certainly prosper in becoming fitted for a life of usefulness. And may the unrest you now manifest in regard to your position of labor in this life be seen in regard to your interest to improve in spiritual attainments. Be just as dissatisfied with yourself in this particular. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1872, par. 7

Be anxious and earnest to grow in grace, seeking for a more distinct and intelligent understanding of the will of God concerning you, striving earnestly for the mark of the prize before you. Christian perfection alone will win the spotless robes of character which will entitle you to stand before the throne of God among the blood-washed throng, bearing the palm branch of everlasting victory and eternal triumph. I want to see you and dear Emma aspiring, seeking to qualify yourselves not for honor or glory here, but for usefulness and duty that you may bless others with your influence. I want her to get hold of that earnest ambition which shall lead her out and away from herself, and make her strong to endure rebuffs and trials and disappointments, and make her self-sacrificing. 2LtMs, Lt 16, 1872, par. 8