Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 9, 1870

McDearmon, Emma

Marion, Iowa

June 9, 1870

Portions of this letter are published in 2Bio 290-292.

Dear Sister Emma [McDearmon]:

I have just written a letter to Edson. As he is in Wright and you in Battle Creek, it will be necessary for me to write to you. We are now upon the campground. 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 1

We spent a very pleasant week in Washington [Iowa]. I wrote more in one week than I have written in six weeks at Battle Creek. We had no interruptions, although I have not spent all the time in writing. I walked in the beautiful garden, worked in the field weeding out strawberries until I become so lame I could not move without much pain. Sunday we had two meetings in a meetinghouse in Washington. The people invited my husband to speak. We had a good congregation and good interest to hear. We had freedom in speaking to them. 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 2

Monday I wrote all day until nearly dark. Then we packed up for a two days’ journey, rode three miles that night to Robert Kilgore’s and tarried with them. We did not get to rest until ten o’clock at night. We were awake at four. We were on the way on our journey at five o’clock. We halted for breakfast;—five double wagons well loaded at seven. Out upon the open prairie, James and self walked about one mile and half. We were willing to ride when the wagons came up. At noon we halted in a beautiful grove. We then overtook the teams from Pilot Grove. There were then thirteen wagons well filled with men and women and children. There were about one hundred in all. At night we tarried in a grove. Tents were pitched and we then held a meeting in the large tent. The neighbors flocked in. My husband spoke and I followed him. We had an interesting meeting, singing, talking and praying. We retired to rest but I was too weary to sleep, until about midnight. We arose at half past three and were on our way at four. We found all had the tents down and packed. Ours was soon ready and again our caravan started. Order was observed by all. At half past six, we halted on the prairie and built a large fire and all came together for a season of prayer. We then ate of our humble fare and were soon on our way again. At one o’clock we were on the campground and were faint and weary. We felt refreshed by eating a warm dinner. Our tent was pitched in the afternoon and we made our beds. Had a good straw bed to lie on and we slept sweetly the first night. 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 3

They held one meeting last night. Have had two today. Shall have another this evening. This is a most beautiful grove for a camp meeting. We feel so anxious that this meeting should be a great blessing to all assembled. We feel an assurance that God will [let] His blessing rest upon those who with humble hearts have come to work for God. 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 4

I wished to say a word, Emma, in regard to your marriage. We make no objections to your marriage; think it may be best. But, Emma, I fear it would hardly be right for you to leave your parents just as they are. Your mother will feel your loss sadly. Would it not be best to remain with your mother a short time? Do you not feel that you have some duty in this matter? Do not neglect your parents, for you are under sacred obligations to them. I have nothing to say if your parents think it best for you to go by yourselves this winter. But if they think you ought to stay with them and would feel the loss of you greatly, do not leave them till they feel it is best. 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 5

We feel an interest for you children and shall be happy to see you happy, but you must not let your pleasure come first. Be unselfish and you will never regret it in the end. This winter you can be getting things together to keep house and it will be better than to begin before you are half prepared. 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 6

We wish you may have wisdom to move in the counsel of God, dear Emma. I would entreat of you to make earnest preparation for the better world. Be true to God and your own soul. Do not on any account permit your mind to be [so] engrossed with your own interest that you will forget your Saviour and cease to feel the obligations you are under to Him. You profess to be a servant of Christ, a follower of the meek and lowly Jesus. Exemplify in your life the life of Christ. Be sober and watch unto prayer. The Lord will bless and strengthen you to glorify Him. Do not, I beg of you, be influenced to pursue a wrong course. Keep your soul free from condemnation. As a servant of Christ, wait upon Him; seek and inquire what you can do to honor Him. But do not seek your own pleasure. May the Lord help you and Edson to make an entire surrender to God, as you give yourselves to one another to share each others burdens, trials, disappointments and joys. 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 7

But bear in mind that if you lay up a treasure in heaven, you must be engaged in the work now. Do good. You have the ability. Bless others with your influence. Seek to elevate the minds of all to eternal things. Do not engage in unprofitable conversation; but let your words be seasoned with grace. You can attain to a higher state in holiness, you can hold communion with God and enjoy the approbation of God. 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 8

Oh, Emma, Satan is busy, so earnest, persevering and untiring. He will out-general you unless you are guarded. You must be earnest; you must be zealous, persevering. Your eternal interest should come first. Serve God with a humble heart with an eye single to His glory. Let your pride die. Live for God and leave everything that would hinder your service for God. I leave these lines with you. 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 9

Dear Emma, I have hopes for you and Edson, that you may prove a blessing to others. God grant it, is our prayer. 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 10

In much love to Burles and Nettie, I remain, 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 11

Your true friend, 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 12

In love. 2LtMs, Lt 9, 1870, par. 13