Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 21a, 1875

White, W. C.

Eagle Lake, Minnesota

June 27, 1875

Portions of this letter are published in 11MR 134.

[To W. C. White:]

I send you manuscript for [the] paper, written mostly while the cars were in motion, in depots, and in almost every inconvenient position. We are now in the midst of camp meeting. Everything is wet in consequence of two days of rain. 2LtMs, Lt 21a, 1875, par. 1

We were hindered on the road. At Wyoming [Minn.] we were told there was a washout and the cars would not pass over the road until next day. We tarried at Jewel Hotel, hired a room, and engaged in writing. Next day we took the cars, rode about 16 miles, then came to a sudden standstill. The freight cars had, in passing over the break in the road, broken through; so we waited in the cars from two o’clock until eight before the break could be repaired. I improved this time in writing. We did not reach Eagle Lake until three o’clock in the morning. While waiting on the track for breakage to be repaired, the heavens gathered blackness. We had a severe storm of thunder and lightning, rain and blow. We learned this storm had spent its force before it reached us. 2LtMs, Lt 21a, 1875, par. 2

Everything on the ground was wet—clothing, straw, and grounds. Although riding all night, we did not dare to sleep in the wet tents. We attended meetings, and at once entered upon our labor. Our good brethren pitched our tent and brought us dry straw from a distance. This morning I spoke to the Scandinavians through an interpreter. I was intensely interested myself and the people listened attentively. Their countenances lightened up as words of life cheered their hearts. Their gratitude of soul for the truth melted their hearts and tears flowed freely. We spoke of the work in California among their countrymen. There is an interesting company of Scandinavians here. We feel the deepest interest in their behalf. They are generally sensitive, and any neglect they would interpret was because of their nationality. 2LtMs, Lt 21a, 1875, par. 3

Willie, I am anxious that you should fit yourself as the Lord’s messenger to show others the way of salvation. You must have time to attend college. It is essential that you have much active exercise. While you devote hours to study, be considerate and give equal exercise to the physical. For what purpose did God provide our bodies, supplied with joints, sinews, and muscles, but to be exerted in industrious occupation? In order to keep the organs properly balanced, every teacher and pupil should have physical exercise. The body having its due proportion to taxation with the mind will help the intellect to put forth stronger and more vigorous effort without injury. 2LtMs, Lt 21a, 1875, par. 4

I wish we could arouse the minds of teachers and students that all study and little exercise, with the object of securing the greatest amount of education, will defeat their own purpose. Work the brain and work the muscles as well, and be temperate in eating, if you would have a sound mind in a sound body. Let the student engage in stirring business, if it is no greater work than sawing wood or chopping wood in winter. Manufacture something. If you can do nothing else, walk, walk with a will. Some time should be spent in the open air each day. 2LtMs, Lt 21a, 1875, par. 5

“Professor, of what did your brother die?” said the Marquis of Spinola to Sir Horace Vere. “He died, Sir,” replied he, “of having nothing to do.” “Alas, Sir,” said Spinola, “that is enough to kill any general of us all.” 2LtMs, Lt 21a, 1875, par. 6

I know that you will put your whole mind in whatever you undertake. If you study you will be inclined to study too hard. Be cautious, my son, and do not obtain your knowledge at the expense of health. What advantage would be your knowledge if with it you are broken down in health? Secure physical powers as the most important education you can have, then lay in your stock of knowledge and you will, with the blessing of God, succeed anywhere. 2LtMs, Lt 21a, 1875, par. 7