Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 32, 1875

White, J. E.; White, Emma


September 10, 1875

Previously unpublished.

[Edson and Emma White:]

I was shown if Edson had respected his father’s counsel in regard to his course at Ann Arbor, he would have saved himself great trials, but he thought he knew what would be for his advantage and he pursued his own course. Had he prospered it would have proved his ruin. He and Emma gradually departed from God in a manner which, as they now look back upon, astonishes themselves, but this work did not begin at Ann Arbor. It was the work of years. The Lord had warned and admonished and pointed out the right way and clearly revealed the wrong way. These reproofs were not regarded; [or] the light cherished. These children chose their own course and with it the curse which ever follows such a course. They were self-deceived. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 1

Their course was without wisdom or principle. They left God and His wisdom to follow their own course which was foolish and unconsecrated. They dishonored their Redeemer whom they might have honored. They might have saved souls, but they were stumbling blocks to those who might have been warned to turn from error to truth, from sin to holiness. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 2

I was pointed back to the infancy, childhood, and early youth of Edson. The battle of Satan commenced in his very babyhood to separate him from us and lay him in the grave. God sent His angels in answer to prayer, time and again, to ward off the evil angels and give him to us by sparing his life. The work of Satan to hinder us in the commencement of work has made Edson a special subject of his wrath, for the work of extending the light by the publication of the truth was connected or commenced with the life of Edson. This life has been critical and marked because of Satan’s determined effort to oppose the work we were doing in publishing the truth. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 3

The life of our son has been interwoven with our first efforts to extend and exalt the truth by its publication. Satan was permitted in the providence of God to contend for the life of the child. Our tears and prayers and faith saved the child, for angels were sent to our help so that the efforts which Satan calculated would dishearten and discourage our efforts entirely were the means of bringing us closer to God to plead and wrestle in faith until victory came to us. [This victory] so far increased our courage and our hopefulness because, by these special victories gained, we knew we had the favor of God, that we were strengthened to do the very work in sending out the light of truth which Satan hoped to discourage us altogether in doing. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 4

Edson suffered indeed in his babyhood and childhood for the truth’s sake. Satan has had a special spite against him because his supposed victories were turned into complete defeat and that which he thought would prove a failure to us was a rich victory. Time and again the life of our son was nearly gone, but the prayers of faith saved him to us and gave us increased love for God, increased zeal to carry forward the work which Satan was seeking to defeat. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 5

As Satan failed in the attacks upon his life, he has been just as zealous in seeking to destroy his soul. The Lord has had a part for Edson to act in His cause, but Satan was determined he should not do this work or be qualified by devotion and consecration to unite his interest with us. Satan has well known that he could in no way work so well to weaken our hands and discourage our hearts as to tempt and deceive our own son to withstand all our efforts, and his example and influence tell against the truth rather than in its favor. Satan would gain a double purpose in this. He would not only cause us discouragement but the abilities or talents that the Lord had given Edson, as steward of His grace, to be employed with the high purpose of doing his Master’s bidding and promoting His glory, he would use to his own account. Satan has been wide awake to hurry Edson on, from step to step, with high hopes that he would never realize [in] aspiring to do some great work. With his mind fixed on this, thinking to do great service, he was neglecting the important experience for him to gain daily in fitting himself to do his Master’s service by a willingness to do a small work, to work on his limited talents, doing what he could to the best of his ability in any situation where he may be placed. The best use of the few pence entrusted to him to use for his Master’s service, with a solemn sense of his responsibilities to use aright the ability he already possessed, would have given him confidence and courage and faith, and the Lord would have entrusted him ere this with higher responsibilities. The Lord looks for and requires [of] each of us returns proportionate to the amount of entrusted capital. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 6

Edson failed because he did not give his heart to God and watch and pray and make a business of serving God. He allowed self to come under the power and control of the enemy. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 7

Christ has done much to save Edson. If he is lost, it will be because of his own sinful neglect to improve the gifts and cherish the graces of the Spirit of God. Christ has paid us the wages of His own blood and agony to secure our willing service and unquestioned obedience. As the gift of God in giving His Son is without a parallel, the ingratitude of refusing or even slighting the gift is manifestly unparalleled ingratitude. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 8

Edson has wasted many years of his precious life. He has pleased the enemy and made angels weep. At Ann Arbor he grew more and more indifferent and careless. He neglected self-examination and prayer. Edson and Emma seemed to be deluded. They thought [that] to be advised and counseled was an effort on the part of others to abridge their liberty. Edson thought he could manage wisely. The Lord allowed him to follow the bent of his own mind, the promptings of his own nature. He removed His light and His love from him. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 9

Satan perverted everything his father might do which did not agree with his mind as a determined effort to work against him. This was the very work Satan wished to succeed in. Edson had neglected the little duties of life which is the essential part of education in practical life. He had not felt his mutual obligation devolving upon a minor to his parents. He had to the great injury of himself and injustice to his parents neglected these more private duties of practical life to follow out his own ideas. In doing those things that pleased his fancy, he lost golden opportunities of developing a symmetrical character. He failed to cultivate his moral powers. He neglected to keep his baptismal vows. He did not keep his heart with diligence. He did not improve the advantages he might for the improvement of the mind and morals; he was therefore weak in moral power. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 10

His mind had been left untasked to enjoy variety and change; therefore he lost command of his mind. He could not concentrate his mind on any one thing long enough to make a success of anything. He failed of perseverance and close application. Edson has to himself excused his failings. If this or that or the other thing had been different, he should have succeeded in his undertakings, but he seldom blamed himself as the cause of his poor success in life although he had a better chance than most boys of his age. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 11

He needed personal discipline and to learn the true art of how to economize his means rather than to please and gratify his inclinations. He would lay his plans and they seemed so flattering to him that it was like taking out the right eye or cutting off the right arm to yield these plans and purposes and follow the judgment of others of greater experience. It has been very hard for Edson to yield his cherished notions and schemes. He thought he could make some dash, or invent some means to get money at a stroke, without having to go through the slow routine of toiling and in climbing from the lower to the topmost round of the ladder. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 12

Edson has not had a correct knowledge of self. Religion to him has not possessed interest. The one great thing has been how to get means fast, and he had a faculty of spending faster than he gained. He has tried this and that and changed from one thing to another and failed in everything because God has blown upon all his efforts. Prosperity would have ruined him but adversity has been his blessing. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 13

Edson has neglected personal discipline of the feelings and of the affections which must be under the control of enlightened reason and a sensitive conscience in order for the right keeping of the heart. The levities of the world have attractions for Edson. Especially has Satan made most earnest efforts to lead Edson on to imperil his soul for gain when separated from our influence. He has not cultivated a love for devotion and religious impressions. He has had too many exciting projects to occupy his attention to be devotional, watchful, and prayerful. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 14

Emma has not helped Edson. They have both been too well satisfied with the happiness of living for and loving each other and concentrating their thoughts and care and anxiety upon themselves. Emma has a selfishness in her disposition [that] she is not aware of. She thinks of herself, works for herself, lives to please herself, consults her wishes and her pleasure, her tasks, and her desires. [She] is more like a petted, indulged child than a caretaking, useful, self-denying woman, bearing the share of life burdens she is capable of bearing. By exercise in useful employment [she would] lose sight of herself, [and] cease to think and plan for herself. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 15

I was shown that God is not pleased with the life that Emma is living. She is not answering the purpose of God in her life. She naturally sinks into [a] state of performing, to live without care, without bearing responsibilities; and the less she does is becoming less and less inclined to labor. She has too much time to humor and pet her ailments instead of rising above them and forgetting them. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 16

The Lord in His providence opened the way for Edson to come to California. He could not have a favorable chance in Michigan to reform and live a new life. It is a hard place in Battle Creek for those who have erred, especially the youth, to rise. There are not nursing fathers and nursing mothers to help anyone to the light and to inspire [him] with hope and courage. But nearly all are ready to lend a helping hand in pushing them down the hill to the very bottom. God in His providence pitied Edson and could see and know him better than his own father, better than any of his brethren. His love has been greater than the love of a father, more tender and deep than the love of even a mother. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 17

The temptations and trials he has met in a new country have been severe, but although the Lord was pruning, yet He pressed in love. While He permitted the fires of the furnace to kindle upon Edson, He kept His eye intently fixed with pity, tenderness, and love, that the fierce flame should consume nothing but the dross. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 18

God will work for Edson if he will cling to His arm. Men and his own brethren will misjudge his motives, misconstrue his words and actions, and censure when they should approve, but this should not shake his hold on God. He will be tested; he will be tried. Satan has been playing the game of life for his soul. He has succeeded in ruining one Christian grace after another, and Edson has been losing fearfully until Satan felt that his triumph was almost complete. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 19

Edson became alarmed at his condition and again aroused himself and with zeal and earnest, painful anxiety entered the contest anew to win back the graces Satan had gained. He has not been wholly unsuccessful. Angels are looking with pleased triumph upon the success he has made, the victories he has gained. Every temptation resisted, every effort on Edson’s and Emma’s part to deny self and to manifest disinterested benevolence is recorded in heaven and will be as jewels there to be received as their heavenly treasure if they succeed in overcoming. What a thought—angels, pure angels, interested in the salvation of sinners! There is more joy in heaven among the angels when one sinner repenteth than over ninety and nine just persons who needeth no repentance. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 20

Courage, faith, and persevering watchfulness are necessary in order to make a success of perfecting Christian character. It is not battlefields or the stake alone that demand courage. There are even those at hand who will at the very time when their words of encouragement would be like balm to the spirit, if they see a chance to censure and press the erring to make him feel and deepen his perplexity, will take advantage of the circumstances and discourage rather than encourage. But all these are to be borne cheerfully for Christ’s sake. If we suffer for evildoing and take it patiently, we do no more than we should do; but if we suffer wrongfully for welldoing and take it patiently, we shall come forth as gold purified and shall share the glorious reward. When in welldoing we shall become weary and discouraged, God’s angel may be commissioned to bring us messages of mercy from the heavenly throne. Whatever seeming failures and disappointments we experience, we should not fling away our shield of faith, for that is the time we need it. We should not despair and say it is of no use. That which to our eyes may read failure, with eyes enlightened the Spirit of God, may be divine success with God. That which the world reads as success, may be to us terrible defeat and calamity as far as our eternal interests are concerned. You have a work to subdue self. Emma has a work to understand the defects in her character and to overcome them. Selfishness underlies the springs of action and is having an unconscious influence upon Edson. The disposition to live and plan for self is entirely contrary to the gospel plan and will, unless seen and decidedly overcome, prove the shipwreck of both of you. It is dangerous rocks that will grind your vessel unless you are guarded. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 21

It should not be your study, What will best please me, but what would please God? What is duty? What influence will my course of action have upon the lives of others? What influence will it have upon my spiritual prosperity? Christ pleased not Himself. He is our example. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 22

A radical change must take place in both your hearts, in your plan of action, your motives and aims in life, if you make a success in gaining the immortal life. You have a work to do to prepare yourselves and others for the better life to come. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 23

When Edson came to California, he purposed in his heart to live an entirely different life, but it was not easy or natural for him to commence to climb from the lower round of the ladder that he might become successful. He wished to reach the upper rounds without persevering effort or persevering patience on his part. He was in a hard place where Satan could tempt him and annoy. He had not spiritual strength. He was being tested and proved. He was inclined to be superficial because he had not acquired habits of thoroughness. He had to war against his own natural inclinations to plan and invent and become scheming, but he labored hard. He tried to do his duty. He tried to cultivate self-control and to die to self. It was like the death struggle, but this was his test, this his trial. Every victory he gained angels looked upon him with pleased triumph. The prayers which have been offered in his behalf God had heard and when the boy of so many prayers made sincere efforts to reform old habits, heaven rejoiced. I saw when Edson would become discouraged and reckless, neglect strict watchfulness and prayer, the angels looked sorrowful and grieved. I saw Edson seeking to do good in bearing responsibilities in connection with the cause of God. As he did this in a spirit of humility and dependence upon God, his feeblest efforts would be accepted and valued in accordance with the spirit and motive with which he worked. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 24

God has been seeking to draw Edson near to Himself, away from his errors, away from his own spirit, his own plans, and from following his selfish inclination, that He might impress his heart and [he may] be sanctified through the truth. If he would surrender his will and his way even now, He will accept his efforts to glorify His name. Edson needs self-knowledge. He should understand wherein he is particularly deficient and wherein are his strong points, and then seek earnestly to [strengthen] the weak points in his character until there is a good degree of harmony in the powers of the mind. He should make special effort to give to the powers of the mind their due balance. He needs the help of Emma not to discourage his efforts of self-denial, but to encourage and strengthen them. Emma needs to cultivate unselfish actions and be less self-caring, if she is [to be] a happy, contented, satisfied woman. Her unrest of feelings has its influence. If she lifted with Edson the lesser burdens of life cheerfully, which she can and should bear, she would be a happier woman and would not have time to center her thoughts upon herself. She is rusting from inaction. She is disinclined to bear responsibilities. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 25

Above all things you should both overcome selfishness. You would do well to become acquainted with the motives which prompt to particular actions. It is essential that you study carefully as disciples of Christ how to overcome the defects in your characters and seek to have harmonious characters, that you may not when engaged in the work of God bring a wound upon His cause. You need to cultivate self-denial and steadfastness of purpose in denial of self. You need to cultivate spirituality and earnest yet humble zeal in the cause of God. I was shown God's Spirit illuminating His Word and you were rejoicing in the light and beauty of the Scriptures. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 26

Your father has had a true and unselfish interest in the cause of God. This was in his estimation higher than any earthly consideration, nearer than any earthly relationship. His fears that the cause of God might in some way suffer through neglect on Edson’s part led him to make remarks to Brother Butler in reference to Edson’s connection with the work. His great caution lest the cause should suffer from any unfaithfulness of Edson’s, and he be made responsible for his errors, prompted him to mention his fear to Brother Butler. He feared to have Edson entrusted with grave responsibilities. And if on investigation it was seen that he did not do the work with faithfulness, they must not allow the cause to suffer because Edson was his son. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 27

Brother Butler should have had a careful and thorough investigation of the way Edson was doing his work. And if he was doing as well as others would do with his years and experience, he should have given him good counsel and words of encouragement. He was a father of children, and should have been a father in Israel. If Edson’s course proved on investigation to be unfaithful, then he should have made the facts to appear first in laboring with Edson. He and Elder Loughborough should have taken the matter up according to the Bible rules and talked with Edson in a kind, Christian manner with the object of saving him as they would labor to save any poor sinner. To this work God has called them. These men both neglected their duty in a marked manner. The course these leading men pursued towards Edson was such as no Christian can be justified in pursuing toward one of their fellow men. There was no justice in their course. They did not deal justly, neither did they show that they loved mercy. They both had a favorable opportunity of showing their real character of labor under peculiar circumstances. They revealed themselves as greatly deficient in Christian charity and wise discipline to the erring. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 28

Brethren Butler and Loughborough thought that they were pursuing a correct course, but their discrimination and judgment in the case of Edson was greatly perverted. Brother Butler in making public the errors and failings of Edson to a large number of the brethren, when he had no positive ground to charge him with unfaithfulness in his work in California, was all wrong. Such a course pursued with even those who are found to be in error would tear churches limb from limb. All this was done with Edson not present. No chance was given him to explain matters to answer for himself before a just set of men. He was misstated and charged with dishonesty. He was critically watched and everything that did not appear clear and plain at first sight was set down as dishonest dealing, advantaging himself to the disadvantage of the office. And thus everything was watched suspiciously and set down against Edson on appearance as dishonest. A scoundrel would have had as fair treatment at the hand of justice as Edson received at the hands of his brethren. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 29

No one, even Elders Loughborough or Butler in their work, if critically watched with jealousy, every word and act made the most of, would have stood a poor chance in some of their transactions, for both of these brethren are liable to make mistakes and do make errors like all mortals. But the willingness, even joyfulness, that these brethren evidenced when they thought they had found something they could fasten upon Edson, grieved the angels of God. It is not this spirit that angels manifest when they minister to poor mortals. The young men, [the] Allens, who had just embraced the truth, were put upon his track to hunt up evidences of Edson’s dishonesty and he was made a serious offender for anything they could not see through or explain to their satisfaction. These brethren dealt with a young, inexperienced boy as neither of these would have endured. They would have left the office in their independence. And in their own youth they would have endured far less than they could now have borne with their more mature experience. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 30

Especially would Brother Butler have manifested his natural independence. He would not have endured the test as well as Edson did. These brethren flattered themselves that they had a zeal for God, but it was a zeal without knowledge and without being tempered with love. Brother Loughborough had gotten along harmoniously with Edson. But as Brother Butler related to him the reports he had heard and the knowledge of things left unsettled in Battle Creek, he related all as settled facts. The cautions of my husband he took in a greatly exaggerated light and carried forward the matter in this case as my husband would never have dealt with anyone although he has been called severe and critical. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 31

What kind of a spirit took possession of Brother Butler is difficult to explain. He poured out the most severe, condemnatory reproaches upon Edson, which came upon him unexpectedly and seemed to almost paralyze him. He was too much surprised to say a word in vindication of himself. There was not love or sympathy in all this, but in a hard, harsh, overbearing manner Brother Butler charge and accused and condemned, and without giving him a chance to say anything, left him. There were no tears of sympathy shed, no words of pitying tenderness, no nursing fatherly feelings, but the feelings of a judge. No prayer was offered with and for the supposed erring one. Had God thus dealt with Brother Butler’s youthful waywardness, had He dealt thus with his errors of more mature years, sad indeed would have been his condition. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 32

I write this out quite fully, for I have been shown the cruelty, that is from time to time manifested in dealing with brethren who are supposed to be wrong, in a stern, critical manner without seeming to have the milk of human kindness, is wrong. Christ gave us no such an example in His life. These brethren would have driven Edson from the office. This they designed to do if severity and harshness would do it. But Edson felt that he dared not go. He felt if he left the office, it was his last chance and all would consider him guilty. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 33

Those connected with Edson in the office soon saw and knew how he was regarded and were put on their guard and felt that there was no virtue in respecting him in his position. There was, by some, [a] manifestation of selfishness. God will place us in varied positions in His providence to test us, to prove us and reveal what is in our hearts. If our hearts are right and unselfish, it will be seen. And it will be recorded in the books in heaven. If otherwise, this will be manifested. But I saw a very decided change in those who were working in the office. When working for themselves and when working for others, when their efforts were to bring gain to themselves there was diligence and interest and perseverance that did not exist while they thought themselves were not to be the gainers. Whoever has felt this spirit has a work to do for himself in overcoming selfishness that no one else can do for him. Little acts, little words and deeds, reveal the true state of the heart. Edson and Emma are not altogether clear here. Their works savored too much of selfishness. Inasmuch as we are not our own, we are not to feel a selfish feeling in regard to laboring exclusively for ourselves. There are many of excellent capabilities [who employ these to advantage] when these traits of character are to be exercised to improve their own condition, but connect them with the cause of God where their keen foresight and close management will not particularly advantage themselves in a money point of view, and it is entirely a different thing. The abilities they manifested in worldly business transactions for themselves are not employed in the service and to the advantage of the cause of God. If men are called to labor in the advancement of the cause of truth in any department or branch of the work, the principle upon which each should act would be to bring the rest of his powers to bear upon that particular work to which the Master has called him. If God has placed one in connection with His work, it is not merely that himself may be advantaged, but as God has given ability to do something so he is bound to use his talents in producing tangible results. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 34

There is no department of the work of God but that is as constantly under the eye of God as is the preaching of the Word, and those engaged in any branch of the work are just as responsible as is the minister of the gospel. He who said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” has inspired His apostles to write, “Be not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” [Mark 16:15; Romans 12:11.] God calls for unselfish workers. He will bless only this class. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 35

Those connected with Edson in the work had a sharp eye to their own interest. These were closely interrogated and if they had any word to say to Edson’s disadvantage which these ministers could use in the smallest matters, they made a point of it and dwelt upon it eagerly, interpreting every action possible to dishonest motives and perverted principle. But those connected with Edson in the work were not unselfish. They were critical to discover any act which savored of selfishness in him, but if they had as critically examined their own acts and their own motives, would have discovered if Edson was selfish, they were so in a greater degree. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 36

Edson saw selfishness in others that he thought justified sharp practice with himself lest he should not be worsted. This was not right in him under any circumstances. It always pays in the end to be wholly unselfish even if it is never appreciated here in this world of avarice, selfishness, and fraud. The knowledge that God reads every thought of the mind and is acquainted with every action of the life should be enough to guard every one who fears God from selfish acts. God marks every motive and every deed and He will reward finally as their works have been. Edson should ever feel that God will reward every act of right doing, whether those about him appreciate it or not. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 37

When Elders Loughborough and Butler are placed upon the track of anyone they suppose need close dealing, they have not that liberality of soul, that noble generosity, to stop when they have pursued the work to a reasonable extent. They do not either of them discriminate. After Elder Loughborough was informed by Brother Butler in regard to Edson, he then began to let his imagination work. He had seen some things he could not justly understand and he worked up many things in his mind; and these men, like detective officers of justice, began to think there was a virtue in working up the case to convict Edson of downright dishonesty and villainy. God was not prompting them to this, but their own peculiar traits of character were being revealed, which they should understand and overcome, and deal with no others as they have dealt with Edson, for with what measure they mete it shall be measured to them again. Edson is not free from temptation and danger. His past experience has been very deficient and its influence will bear its marks on his future life unless he is constantly guarded. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 38

Brother Loughborough was deceived in regard to Edson. [When] he heard the reports of Elder Butler, he was ready to press forward matters without sufficient evidence. He was cold, unapproachable as an iceberg. He was critically severe and ironical and overbearing. He was suspicious, and the past life of Edson really gave them a cause for fear but not to do as they did. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 39

The principle these brethren started out to work upon, [was] the motive to save [money]. In taking the responsibilities in regard to the printing of a paper upon the Pacific coast, they worked at matters they did not understand. They took a narrow view of matters. In limiting the wages to as low a price as those working at Battle Creek was not good judgment or wisdom. At every turn in California is expense; it is not thus in Battle Creek. God would have equality and justice exercised toward all. There is no justice in crowding down men who have ability to conduct the work [of] printing a paper, [paying them] below common hands of day laborers at a business that is less confining [and] requiring less exercise of the mind. It is a wrong to gain money to the cause in pressing the laborer to the lowest possible figure, with the principle before him that he must sacrifice because [he is] connected with the work of God, as those [who] sacrificed at the commencement of the work of publishing when the supporters of the work were few. Where there was one then there are a thousand now. A very few should not do all the sacrificing. Let this sacrificing be shared by believers in the truth and let strict justice and equality be maintained at any cost. The cause of God can afford to be fair and be exact in its dealing and not allow a farthing to the upbuilding of itself that is unjustly gained. A penny pressed out of the poor man is not only an abomination to God in any business enterprise but more so in a work professing to be the special work of God. God will look with abhorrence upon means gained to the cause by oppressing the hireling in his wages and presenting the means thus gained as an offering to Him, with one hand placing in the treasury, while with the other hand grinding down the poor man’s wages by working upon his conscientiousness, because he is connected with the work of God. Such acts will surely bring the curse of God. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 40

The faithful men in Battle Creek have had less than they have earned. Brain labor especially is the most wearing kind of labor and should command its value. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 41

Brother Saunders manifested as great [a] spirit of self-sacrifice in the price he offered to work for, in connection with the cause of God in publishing the paper, as [did] Elder Butler in his labor. But this Brothers Butler and Loughborough did not see and realize. It was an error on his part making the propositions of Brother Saunders so public and giving the readers of the Signs to understand the work was hindered by Brother Saunders in his unwillingness to sacrifice. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 42

Everything in California moves in a less economical basis than in the East. The very same plan carried out in California that is practiced in Maine would be looked upon as niggardly and would cut off the influence of those who move in so narrow a groove. If these brethren had breadth of calculation, they would have seen that they were narrowing down important labor to a point of real injustice to those employed, for they could not live upon the price placed upon their labor. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 43

Elder Loughborough and Elder Butler made no fair investigation of matters, asked no explanation. After Elder Butler left, Elder Loughborough kept up his plan of dealing with Edson, for he thought he was unsafe and must be watched. He thought that Edson was not faithful in his time but they were not proper judges in the matter. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 44

Edson's quick foresight and ready tact and knowledge of composition would have been a great help to Brother Loughborough. He could have saved Elder Loughborough much perplexity. He could have done much better if left free to act himself than it was possible for Elder Loughborough to have done. The lack of knowledge Brother Loughborough had and being placed on his guard thinking he must watch Edson narrowly, kept him from receiving that help Edson could give him. He felt that it would be too great a satisfaction to Edson to consult him and for him to be instructed by Edson whom he was holding up to others in the light of a criminal. He therefore took a reserved position, was uncommunicative, unpleasant, and austere, and although he knew that they were dependent on Edson to do the work, yet he treated him as though he had no confidence in him. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 45

The Lord is still calling after Edson and if he will submit to God, He will even now use him as an instrument of righteousness. But if Edson and Emma both could realize how fearful a thing it is to be wanting when God weighs characters and motives, they would walk very circumspectly. Edson, I saw angels are grieved at your ways and manners so much like the joking, trifling spirit of the world when you are with worldlings. You do not maintain a spirit of dignity in keeping with our position and our faith. Wanting, I saw written against both your names in the heavenly record—no injustice here if found among our nearest relatives in the world, no mistake made here, none at all. To be pronounced wanting when judged by the most compassionate Friend, One who even gave His life to save you, is a fearful matter. To be wanting when the judgment sits and the books are opened and the eye of the final Judge turns to see whose names are found written in the book, Oh, that I could make some appeal that you would feel and sense your accountability before God. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 46

You, Edson, are not your own. You, my dear and much loved daughter, are not your own. Therefore you have no right to live for yourself, to choose your own course and make your own independent plans as though you belonged to yourself exclusively. Whatever you do, you can never cease to be responsible to God for your time, your mental and physical powers. God has appointed you to do His work not yours. God has given you talents to improve to His glory. He holds you responsible for not only your faculties and the opportunities, but He holds you answerable to use these well and [to] turn your God-given time and powers to accomplish much, and not to rust with inaction. Nothing short of being co-laborers with Jesus Christ will meet the mind of God. Your accountability to God must be accepted, felt, be met, in order for you to be His acknowledged children. When these responsibilities are met, you will be carried up, above, and away from selfish feelings, selfish motives, and every impure action. You will both feel that you have a great and glorious purpose in life, something to live for, and you may claim health and spiritual strength. You will, under a sense of these God-inspiring impulses, become earnest, cheerful, and strong. You will find, dear children, a life of good works a happier and far more profitable life than that of searching after happiness in selfish gratification of your wishes, your desires, and to follow your inclinations. You may become strong to bear burdens and discouragements and difficulties in life. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 47

You will both become spiritually strong by the consciousness that you are doing the work God has assigned you in a manner to receive His approval. You are neither of you required to be imprudent and reckless of your physical strength. With prudent care-taking habits, to bring your taste and appetite to the principles of health reform, would do much for you. Both of you have not lived up to the light God has given you. Emma has not felt that she could bring herself to discipline in this point when all that was required was a little self-denial and to call willpower to her aid. This work of health reform is positively necessary in your cases. If all your habits are right, you will have health to do much good and live useful lives and honor God and bless humanity. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 48

All your powers and all your blessings are centered in God. He is the Source of our strength. Emma imagines too much that she is an invalid and that her life is short at the longest. Supposing this was the case, will it prolong her life by yielding to feebleness and infirmity? If she would prolong life, she must put to very best account the powers God has given her and strengthen her mind, strengthen her willpower by doing, by persevering exercise. She will not preserve life by shunning everything like taxation, but she should not carry this to extremes. If she can forget herself, forget that her sister sickened and died, and feel that her life is not a chance, but in the hands of a wise and infinite God who can preserve or cut it short as shall best glorify His name, and she then go forward trustingly, hopefully, she will prolong her life and also have a record in heaven of a life filled with good works. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 49

I testify to you, my dear daughter Emma, that you have a work to do for yourself to deny self and be self-forgetful and make your life active, helpful, and useful. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 50

God is not unequal. He will not require of some earnest labor and the bearing of responsibilities and burdens, wearing His yoke, while others are careless of their time and are really studying how to kill time, thinking of self, planning for self, trying to seek their own happiness, but neglecting the very duties God wants them to do. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 51

My dear Emma needs to cultivate earnest, self-denying industry and prudent economy. Emma will not, cannot, be happy in living for herself. She is not developing but dwarfing from inaction. The mind and muscles must be taxed in order to properly develop. God has given to each of us work. He has left us talents to improve. Those who shun work and personal responsibility will have an account to render to God by and by for the good which they might do and have not done—trees in the vineyard but not fruitbearers. Watch, pray, and work is the life of a Christian. God has work for Edson and Emma to do. The reckoning time is coming. The talents used or abused must be accounted for. The good and faithful servants receive the heavenly benediction. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 52

You have not a moment to lose. Too much time has already gone into eternity with its burden of record. You cannot afford to venture any longer to pursue the perilous path you have taken. You can now at this late date make a success of perfecting Christian character, but it will require efforts, constant dying to self, constant help from God. Money cannot buy for you a pure heart or a single victory or a peaceful conscience. I know your dangers. I know your adversary. I know from whence your help must come. Many are looking upon you as if you would make a failure of establishing a character of strict integrity, of developing an unselfish character before God, and being used as an instrument for good. But I have yet strong hopes. My prayers and tears are bottled up in heaven. God will give you another opportunity, another day of privilege that you may prize the blessings of “this thy day.” [Luke 19:42.] Oh, the love of Christ, more generous, self-denying than a mother's love! Christ has been more deeply afflicted by your ingratitude and disobedience than any mother ever could be. Christ has called for you with yearning, pitying tenderness. He has labored for your salvation more earnestly than any human parent ever has for an only son. Will you respond to such love, such tenderness? 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 53

Watch, and pray, do not neglect these duties for any earthly advantage. The eternal life is to be preferred before this poor life of disappointment, pain, and sorrow. Heaven, heaven, if you obtain it, you must give all. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 54

The course of Elder Butler and Elder Loughborough toward Edson was decidedly wrong. It will not answer for them to act out the same to any others as they have to him. They were too eager to find wrong, too ready to condemn and very zealous to make him feel, not considering themselves were liable to temptation and liable to mistakes and had in their past experience, especially Elder Loughborough, erred and needed pitying tenderness. There was not even kindness and Christian courtesy, saying nothing of sympathy exercised towards him. Stern justice without the presence of the twin sister love was brought to bear to condemn without grounds. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 55

They supposed they had some grounds but unless they knew for a positive surety they were guilty of a great wrong to pursue the course they did toward Edson. God cannot favor any such a course even toward the most erring. There was absence of tender pity. If they thought him guilty, he surely needed this. All this exulting spirit was not the Spirit of Christ. This spirit of strong feelings and strong talk is in danger of doing great harm. The opposite qualities should be exercised and thus when we consider the infinite price Christ has paid for the redemption of the soul, then we can appreciate its value. Shall we be indifferent to the saving of a soul for whom Christ has paid so dear a price? 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 56

Edson has had great light. He has not cherished the light God has given him. In his blindness he chose his own course independent of his parents. He did not seem to have moral power to resist the temptations of the enemy. Disappointments and crosses he allowed to irritate him. He has been his own worst enemy. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 57

God works in a mysterious way to save His children from the devices of Satan. Our heavenly Father proves us by trials and afflictions. The darkness that surrounds our path, the difficulties that obstruct our way, are the questionings of God, “Lovest thou Me?” [John 21:15-17.] 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 58

I have been shown that Edson has in his past life encouraged a spirit of retaliation. He has let strong feelings take hold upon him and has magnified the feelings and actions of others toward him. He needs the grace of God daily. If he relies upon his own strength he will certainly fail. He has neglected the education he might have had. He is now deficient of that experience which he would now appreciate. He has been slow to remedy his defects of character. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 59

Yet I saw that God was of tender pity. His merciful dealings have not ceased toward Edson. God loves him and His merciful hand is stretched out still. God designed [to] bring him over the ground and test him again and again until he can bear the test of God. If he refuses to learn the lesson God would have him, He would bring the test a little closer and still more severe. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 60

Edson has had high hopes. His hope and courage are large. When he has failed in one scheme it has not disheartened him from immediately engaging in another. He has ventured much in carrying out his own plans, but the Lord has set His hand against him in order to save him from ruin. Again, while in California, Edson has been tested. He has not, upon some things, been rightly judged, and while separated from his friends and sorely pressed he has stood the test in many respects nobly. But Edson has a great work before him and he should labor earnestly to gain new and precious victories over self daily. He should guard himself closely against talking of others’ wrongs and putting a construction of evil on others’ actions. He has permitted himself to dwell on others’ faults and to judge their motives. The lesson he has had of others judging him wrongfully and putting a wrong construction upon his actions should lead him to be careful that he does not fall into the same error himself. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 61

Edson has experienced the distress and anguish that one can make others feel. He should seek to cultivate feelings of tender, respectful pity for the erring, and reform them by kindness and faithful labor, rather than to make their case a subject of comment and place them in an unfavorable light, and dwell upon their errors and make the most of the defects apparent in their character. He has felt that he could present Elder Loughborough in a very unfavorable light and hurt the confidence of his brethren in him. This would be a sin in him which would be reflected back upon him again. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 62

We are living in a dangerous time. Especially are the youth beset with strong temptations. Satan deceives with false hopes. The young need spiritual fathers. There are many teachers but few spiritual fathers. One spiritual father is of higher value than a score of teachers. The youth are exposed to temptations to indulge depraved appetite in using tobacco. If a youth in this evil age stands free from this evil habit, thank God for this. If he does not indulge in intoxicating drinks, thank God for this. If he does not visit the theater or play cards, thank God for this. If he does not destroy his virtue by lasciviousness, thank God for this. There is hope of those who escape these fearful snares of Satan, but these are not all the temptations that beset the youth. A thousand temptations are on every hand and if young men maintain a virtuous character, if they are enabled to shun the path of the destroyer, thank God for that. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 63

If the ministers of Christ would feel their responsibility that they are teaching for eternity, that they are tracing impressions upon the tablets of the soul that are imperishable, we should see more fathers in Israel and less judges. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 64

There is too little love in the labors of ministers and too much controlling and governing. Any act of injustice done, even to a child or youth or the young of more mature age, will do much to alienate the affections. Even if this be exercised by parents it will alienate the affections and weaken the influence, for even if they do commit errors that need to be corrected, they will imagine and feel that only oppression is in every act of discipline, even though the discipline be of itself just and deserving. If parents and teachers would remember that they are sowing for all time, and eternity too, they would move with due caution and earnest prayer. Love seen and felt by those we are dealing with will be reflected back upon us again. The youth are the younger members of the Lord’s family and He holds those who profess to be His followers, responsible for their treatment of the youth among them. 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 65

I was shown that there have many of the young been lost through the injudicious training from their parents. There has been a too critical watching for faults, and these wrongs have been made the most of, and no secret has been made of the supposed errors of the children. A course has been pursued to stir up all the evil in the nature and has encouraged the development, [Remainder missing.] 2LtMs, Lt 32, 1875, par. 66