Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2

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Lt 3, 1873

White, J. E.

Santa Rosa, California

January 21, 1873

Previously unpublished.

Dear Son Edson:

I have thought it would be best to write you and Willie separately. We have been spending Sabbath and first day at Healdsburg. We had a very good hearing, but I should judge that the outside interest was very small. Elder Stephenson was out Sunday forenoon and afternoon. We took dinner with the son of Brother and Sister Young, who has moved his family at Healdsburg. We were treated very courteously, but we fear this young man has but little sense of the value of the truth. The work has not reached deep enough to have him feel that without Christ he can do nothing. He is self-confident and superficial. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1873, par. 1

God grant, Edson, that you may overcome the deficiency in your character, and earnestly and with a strong will be determined to go to the bottom of things and not be satisfied merely to skim over the surface. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1873, par. 2

Be careful, Edson, and do not let your mind be in Battle Creek. Put all that there is of you into your labor. Do not move by jerks or starts, but move cautiously, understandingly, and in the fear of God. Do not have your interest divided, for you may never have as favorable an opportunity again for study. Be a man or die trying. You have lost years of your life because you have not had stick-to-it-iveness. You easily become wearied and love change. This you have been overcoming, and I hope will fully overcome, until you can be thorough, settled, rooted and grounded. You should move from principle, not from impulse and inclination. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1873, par. 3

Edson, God will help you if you ask Him in faith. Pray much; do not get above the simplicity of the work. Do not think too highly of yourself but be modest in regard to the appreciation of yourself. Oh, my son, I pray for you that life with you may not prove a failure. God will be your Counselor. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1873, par. 4

In regard to the weather, the two weeks past have been much like July in Michigan. The sun shines beautifully. Flowers are blooming. The earth is carpeted with living green. The madrona and manzanita trees are in bloom. The wheat fields are looking very beautiful. We have not known anything of winter here. We have had rain for two weeks and during the rainy weather we had as many pleasant days as we usually have in Michigan. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1873, par. 5

We have had good letters from Emma. We hope that you will both be prospered of the Lord. Your father is improving in health. He has laid off his care and anxiety for Battle Creek, in a great measure, and he is now turning his attention to his health. Sister Hall is well as usual. My health is very good. Elder Loughborough is in good health. His family is usually well. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1873, par. 6

Let not your studies make you forgetful of God. Everything should be secondary to our eternal interest. As the body needs daily food that it may be healthful and strong, the soul needs spiritual food that it may be nourished and strengthened daily for duty and trial. There is no happiness in that man’s heart whose hopes, sympathies, joys and life reach no higher than this world. Real happiness is only realized by those who hunger for the bread of life and who thirst for the water of life and drink freely of it. Upon kings and nobles, the most exalted and the most wealthy, there is written “wanting.” Their earthly treasures cannot take the place of heavenly peace and joy. They may be content with gold and earthly treasures, yet Christ says to such, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.” [John 4:13.] 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1873, par. 7

The skeptic and atheist may apparently be unconcerned and happy, but the eye of faith discerns written upon such, “wanting.” There is unrest. They are drifting to sea without a compass or anchor. Upon the Saviour, the Bible truth and real religion, the eye of faith can discern the sequel of the precious words of Christ. “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14. You must drink freely of the bread and water of life if you would have strength and grace and flourish in the Lord. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1873, par. 8

In much love, my dear son, 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1873, par. 9

From your Mother. 2LtMs, Lt 3, 1873, par. 10