Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 18, 1874

White, W. C.

Napa, California

March 25, 1874

Previously unpublished.

Dear Son Clarence:

We are now at Napa. We came to this place last Monday, 36 miles from Santa Rosa in six hours. We have an excellent team. Our journey did not weary us but we enjoyed the riding as well as the scenery. We passed extensive vineyards and fruit orchards. We passed through very rich valleys—a mountainous country. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1874, par. 1

We met here Elders Cornell, Canright, and Loughborough. Elder Grant had pushed the matter of discussion here in Napa. He had worked in an underhanded manner through others, as though the matter originated with them when he had concocted the matter and then brought it before the people in Napa. Our people had refused to enter into discussion with him until he took back his abusive course in regard to us. Having this decision passed at the last quarterly meeting in Santa Rosa, and sent in writing to him, he seemed more than ever intent upon a discussion. He came to Napa with hopes of carrying his sanctification theory through this church but his efforts were in vain. He could not make a move. Then he struck for discussion. He said if his proposition for discussion was not accepted he should commence opposition meetings, preaching against the Sabbath. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1874, par. 2

Elder Loughborough prayed over the matter and felt that it was best to accept his challenge. Elder Canright was telegraphed at Watsonville and came immediately to Napa. Grant had held a few meetings with no apparent success. Monday night the discussion commenced. Your father was present. He was highly pleased with Elder Canright’s deportment in his speeches. He made good and telling points. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1874, par. 3

Much prayer has been offered to God. Brother Canright, while at Santa Rosa, broke his heart before God and confessed, in a season of prayer in among the manzanitas beyond Brother Hewitt’s, that he was all wrong. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1874, par. 4

Since we have met here, your father and Brother Canright locked up and walked to their place of rest. They stopped in the road and cried upon the necks of each other like two children. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1874, par. 5

Last night we put our children to bed and all went to meeting. We were deeply interested. Brother Canright spoke calmly, with clearness, making good points. Elder Grant did not make good a single point. He sought to lead Canright into the covenants and keep him wandering around in a tangle of words, leaving the vital question. But Brother Canright would not be caught. He gave him enough to handle aside from the covenants. He just touched on the covenants and then poured in all the truth he could possibly crowd into three speeches of twenty minutes each. Grant’s last speech was a decided failure. He had nothing to say. He is tied up. We are all praying that he may be confounded. He is a proud, bold defier of God’s commandment-keeping people. His self-important manners are perfectly disgusting to those who are not fascinated with his smooth, soft surface talk of sanctification. It is very evident he knows nothing of sanctification of the heart. He is a wicked man, I believe. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1874, par. 6

The church of Sabbathkeepers in this place are only confirmed in the faith by this opposition. Infidels and many unbelievers say that the evidence is all on one side, that Grant brought forth nothing to prove his position. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1874, par. 7

We humbly pray that God will give the victory to the truth, and we have some precious evidences that we shall come forth from this contest with a triumph to the truth. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1874, par. 8