Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 22, 1874

White, W. C. [?]

Santa Rosa, California

April 28, 1874

Portions of this letter are published in 2Bio 412.

[To Edson or Willie White:]

We are home again. Sunday the house of worship was crowded with attentive listeners. Elder Canright spoke to the people with clearness and freedom. Your mother addressed the people in the afternoon. The Spirit of the Lord seemed to be impressing hearts. My own soul was refreshed while dwelling upon the encouraging promises in the Word of God to those who are obedient. 2LtMs, Lt 22, 1874, par. 1

Sister N., from San Francisco, is with us. She will make her home with us. She has seen trouble because her husband is a lover of strong drink, which always weakens the power of natures to do right and increases the power of natures to do wrong, deranges reason and makes a man worse than a brute. Under the influence of liquor, men will do those things which, when sober, they would have shuddered to have thought of. I can but pity the wife of a man who touches, tastes, or handles liquor. 2LtMs, Lt 22, 1874, par. 2

This liquid poison is used more freely here in California than in any other state. Vineyards are plentiful. Wine and liquor can be manufactured at little expense. I rejoice that my sons are strictly temperate. Whenever you have the opportunity, sign the pledge. Even if you have already done so, put your hand and name to the pledge although you may not feel that you are yourself in the least danger. I would not object to placing my name to fifty pledges if in so doing I could influence one wavering soul that might be in danger of indulging in the social glass. We have a testimony to bear upon temperance. Wherever in our journeys we go we see men of station, talents, and ability who have felt secure in their “moderate drinking,” as they called it, but who, by moderate drinking, have educated themselves to become common drunkards. “Touch not, taste not, handle not” [Colossians 2:21], is the safe path for all to travel. Total abstinence would do great and wonderful things for society. It is the moderate use of the dangerous article which makes drunkards. 2LtMs, Lt 22, 1874, par. 3

My son, stand by the cause of temperance. You, in your small might, can do but little, but that little done in wisdom may save more than a score of souls. We depend upon young men who have not been brought under the habits of intemperance. Responsibility rests on you, upon every one of us individually, to do what we can by contributing the influence of our example to bring into disrepute the use of wine and strong drink. 2LtMs, Lt 22, 1874, par. 4

Young men may use their influence in a variety of ways. Unite your ardent strength with those of mature age. We must be wise, be diligent, be persevering and untiring. God will help us. 2LtMs, Lt 22, 1874, par. 5

We are expecting a dispatch today to call us to Oakland, where our tent will be pitched. Local option is now in strong agitation there. We will do our part by voice and vote to close the liquor saloons in that beautiful city. Pray for us, that God will strengthen us to do His will. 2LtMs, Lt 22, 1874, par. 6

We see work to be done everywhere in battling for truth and holiness. We feel the necessity of a careful examination of our own hearts lest after all we may not secure the prize of eternal life. We need to criticize ourselves lest some marked defect of character shall be strengthened rather than repressed. I know if we trust to ourselves we shall fail. All who follow Jesus must bear the cross of self-denial. Crucifixion of self is necessary at every step in the path of life. 2LtMs, Lt 22, 1874, par. 7

I see many whom I fear are trusting to a superficial experience. They claim to believe in Christ but they do not the works of Christ. This is a cheap faith that is not made perfect by works. We must make an entire surrender of ourselves to God, and make it the daily study of our lives how we may glorify Him upon the earth. In doing this, the cross must be lifted. In following on to know the Lord we shall know that His goings forth are prepared as the morning. We shall, as we advance, have a more clear and correct knowledge of the truth. Do not fail to obtain a deep and rich experience in the things of God. And may the “God of peace sanctify you wholly and preserve you blameless to His appearing” [1 Thessalonians 5:23], is the prayer of your 2LtMs, Lt 22, 1874, par. 8