Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 27, 1874

White, W. C.

Oakland, California

May 15, 1874

Portions of this letter are published in 2Bio 430; 5MR 315-316.

My Dear Willie:

We received your letter last evening and perused it with great interest. You will see by the letter I have written you a few days since that our minds have been exercised somewhat as you express in your letter. We have no idea that you will practice, even if you go on and receive a thorough medical education. We are not anxious that you should go farther in the direction of fitting yourself for a physician. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 1

We think that you had better take hold of those studies which will fit you as a speaker and writer. It has been our earnest wish that you should be a laborer in the cause of God. We do not press this upon you, but we think your mind is exercised in this direction. We hope you will look to God for counsel and will obtain an experience for yourself. God forbid your experience should be founded in us, or that we should make duties for you or be conscience for you. The Lord will guide you in judgment. The Lord will teach you His will if you commit your way unto Him. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 2

Do not neglect to pray with earnestness for light in regard to your duty. Now is a very critical period in your life. Your entire future life will be molded by the decisions you now make. We have the most intense interest that you strike in right. We want you to move understandingly in the light of God. We will pray for you; and you pray earnestly for yourself. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 3

It would be our choice for you to labor to present the truth to others. If you feel that is the work the Lord would have you do, then you would have to shape everything to this object. You want to become familiar with your Bible and acquainted with our positions, that you may labor understandingly. If you wish to come with us we gladly welcome you. The tent is to go in California. The second large tent will be completed in about one week. We mean that it shall not be idle. In these tent meetings a thorough course of lectures is given in each place. I think it would be an advantage to you to be at these lectures, and then we can consult with you and you with us in reference to all these matters. We would be very happy to have you with us here in California. If this is your mind and your desire to be with us, Come. We welcome you here. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 4

I feel sad in regard to Edson. He could fill in almost any place if he had a teachable spirit. We would be glad to have Emma and Edson unite their efforts with ours if Edson was what a son should be, but we feel afraid to venture another trial of the matter and have him brought in conversation with your father. What do you think of Edson? Do you think he sees things in his past course—his mistakes—and will he do the same as he has done? Is he as independent as ever? Nothing would please us better than having Edson and Emma with us, but if they are thinking only of themselves and feel under no special obligation to us, they can do us no good. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 5

The tent meeting here is a success. There are large congregations out every night. Last night Brother Canright spoke upon the perpetuity of the law. He magnified the law and made it honorable before the people. After he ceased speaking a lady—a stranger—desired him to put up for her one of every book they had in print, and paid for them, expressly stating that there was to be no change returned. Brother Canright did not look at the roll of money till afterwards and lo, he found five twenty-dollar gold pieces! This is the first donation that has been made. The interest here appears to be healthy, not flashy. Our brethren now have invitations out to visit in many places. This shows a decided interest. Many are strongly convicted. The Sabbath question comes next. We can better know the true state of the conviction on minds after the presentation of this subject. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 6

We hope our brethren in Battle Creek will pray for us. Oakland is the most important place on the Pacific Coast. Everything has been, as yet, in our favor. Our meetings have been reported in the most courteous manner. The class of people in Oakland is of the very best, very much better than in San Francisco. We do not expect to pass along without Satan making desperate efforts to hinder the work. He is not asleep or dead, but wide awake and vigilant. We are depending upon the power of Jesus, who conquered the mighty foe in the wilderness of temptation. In that only “name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” [Acts 4:12], we shall meet the artful, powerful foe. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 7

Willie, God is in our remaining here this summer. There must be a good work done upon this coast this season. Your father is free in the Lord and is sustained by His power. We shall have strength and grace to do the work so important to be done. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 8

Gladly would we attend the camp meetings east if we could feel that the Lord sends us. If it were duty I would go alone, but this is questionable. Father, I fear, would not do as well if I should leave him. We ought to labor unitedly together. We have no time to dally. The work must move straight ahead and the help of all is now needed. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 9

Our influence has been needed here at this particular time in Oakland. Brethren Cornell and Canright have needed to be counselled and urged onward to have their expectations and their labors broad and extended. The narrow views our brethren are inclined to take of the work greatly hinders its advancement. We have made too little of the great truths we profess to believe. We may hold them in such an indifferent, lifeless manner that the people at large will regard the truth very much as we show our faith in, and estimate of, it. If, by words or actions, we carry the impression that the truth is not of the highest importance to them, they will be indifferent to it. We must make everything of the truth if we expect others to give heed to it. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 10

Your father has urged that everything should be done, regardless of expense, in the line of advertisements and printed articles and circulars to be scattered everywhere among the people. Large signboards are painted and set up before Brother Tay’s [Fay’s?] store in the form of a letter “A” to be read by all passers-by. He is next door but one to the post office. People are coming from San Francisco and other places daily and notices and advertisements are given daily. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 11

Brethren Cornell and Canright seem to think that if they give out the notices to a full tent night after night it is enough, but my husband will not let it go so. There is so much to divert and distract the attention. Every day papers are to be scattered. Your father has a paper to be scattered daily with a full notice of meetings and some parts of our faith. Thus effort must not be made for naught. We must act like men and women of faith, as though we were alive. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 12

Brother Canright has just come in. He says he has just called upon a very intelligent Episcopalian family who are thoroughly interested in the truth. There are quite a number who listen to the lectures as if for their lives. One woman comes three miles to hear every night. We have a meeting all day next Sabbath and Sunday. We pray that God may work and that truth may triumph. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 13

Give my love to all our dear friends. We wish to be remembered to your teacher. May the Lord lead our brother and abundantly bless him is our prayer. Write immediately. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 14

Your Mother. 2LtMs, Lt 27, 1874, par. 15