Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 15, 1875

White, W. C.; White, J. E.

On the train nearing Chicago

May 4, 1875

Portions of this letter are published in 7MR 339-340; 11MR 132.

Willie and Edson:

We find ourselves this morning better than when we left Oakland. My pain of lungs and heart continued until yesterday. I have had, at times, pain in heart and lungs so severe I did not know but I must leave the cars; but then I reasoned, how should I improve in so doing? It was change of air I was convinced I must have, which decided me to take this journey. I would have preferred to have gone with Mary, for her good and mine, to St. Helena or Healdsburg, but as she combatted every proposition I made, I was completely discouraged in the idea of staying to do her any good. She had her mind and set purpose which our judgment and opinions would no way alter. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1875, par. 1

The next best course was to go to Battle Creek to complete my book. I knew my symptoms too well to trifle with them in the least. For five days I suffered with debility and labored breathing. Could eat little, but rested. Lay down much of the time. After we left Sherman, I began to improve a little. Tuesday could breathe better and could keep my mouth closed in breathing. Could not do this before. The air seemed purer from refreshing showers. The green fields and the trees clothed with fresh, new verdure was grateful to the eye. Wednesday, this morning, I am feeling much better. The air seems bracing and balmy. I am stronger. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1875, par. 2

I left Oakland none too soon. We have had the most favorable, pleasant trip across the plains this time than we ever had. There has been no dust or cinders. Our companion travellers have been, with scarcely an exception, agreeable [and] very courteous. We have not been crowded any of the way. Some have kept their berths made up all day. We have had an entire section to ourselves. I am rested on this journey and shall step off the car with improved health. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1875, par. 3

I wish Mary was by my side. I have not, from the first, changed my mind in reference to her case, that if she had come here to Michigan with us she would have improved her health, [even] if she had never entered the Health Institute. But as her prejudices are so strong against the East, we must let her, painful as it may be, [and] resulting as it may, enjoy them. Our prayers shall not cease for our much-loved Mary. I cannot ever have trial more severe to me than I have had the last few weeks in her affliction. I have hoped much and built my castles, but they seem to be demolished with a breath. I will strive to henceforth have more modest expectations and cling more firmly to God and trust in Him more than I ever have done. Perhaps I was making flesh my arm. My life and interest was not committed enough to God. I will now humbly wait the opening providence of God. He is good and His mercy endureth forever. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1875, par. 4

It is a terrible thing for men or women to have their own way. May my way be God’s way, my will God’s will. Self shall not enter me. I will submit my will, my way, my life into the hands of God. He will keep that which is committed to His trust. I hope the entire household will not fail to watch unto prayer and allow nothing to divert their minds from God. He is our strength and our shield and in Him we may trust implicitly. Just in accordance with our obedience and faithfulness will He prosper and strengthen and bless us in all our undertakings. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1875, par. 5

We are all aware how easy it is to conform to the world and separate our affections from God. Let us guard this point. Let your prayers come up before God like sweet incense because of their sincerity and earnestness mingled with faith. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1875, par. 6

Dear household, precious is the blessing of God. Do not feel at rest or content without this watch. Wrestle and pray until victory shall come and you shall triumph in the God of your salvation. Our hearts shall be with you. Our prayers unite with yours for the salvation of God to come to your house, that you may each seek for a deep and living experience in the things of God. Know Him for yourselves, whom to know aright is light and peace and joy. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1875, par. 7

To my dear sons I would say, you are God’s stewards. Use your time, your ability and strength to His glory. We are doing up our work for eternity. Connect with heaven and the wisdom and power from God will be given you. Do not trust to yourselves. Do not, I entreat of you, become careless in anything that you take hold of. Be thorough and God will bless your undertakings. Be humble and God will teach you. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1875, par. 8

In much love. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1875, par. 9