Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 10, 1871

White, J. E.

Washington, Iowa

June 8, 1871

Previously unpublished.

Dear Edson:

We have just received and read your letter. We are sorry for your disappointment. We shall send your letter to Willie, for we have our place set to the same plants. We had no plants when you sent for them. Brother Kellogg had and we obtained yours and ours of him. It is a shame to be disappointed so, after spending labor upon them and waiting for fruit and finding a very poor yield. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 1

Dear children, may not this prove to be your case, represented by the plants, in a spiritual sense. We hope your dear Saviour will not turn from you in disappointment as you have from your plants because of their unfruitfulness. May the dear Saviour who has patiently waited for you to yield fruit, decide to wait another year and more fully prove and test you; and if you bear no fruit, He may say, “Why cumbereth it the ground? I have come again and again, year after year, to find fruit upon this tree but I have as often been disappointed. If it bear no fruit this year, I will cut it down.” [Luke 13:7-9.] 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 2

If you are so disappointed about a few strawberries, how can your Saviour, who died to redeem you, regard your case of indifference, coldness, and ingratitude for His great love manifested for you? May God help you not [to] build your hopes in this world of disappointment and sorrow and losses. Let your treasure be accumulating in heaven, for all that you invest in the enterprise of everlasting life will prove sure capital every time. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 3

We have felt, Edson, that it was not wise for you to have your hopes too high in regard to your crops or small fruit. We have felt that it was a mistake for you to hire so much and pay out means when you could not be sure of returns that would warrant this. We are always liable to drought and reverses. If you would do what you could do by perseverance and steady labor, yet not hard and violently, smiting not the work, you would get a little something ahead; but you are, I see, determined to learn by experience instead of taking advice. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 4

Nathan Wheeler is an invalid with heart disease. Doctors said he was liable to die at any moment by over-exercise or if he became weary. He took hold of our place that was run down, that needed almost everything done to it. He has worked steadily and perseveringly without hired help, and we find our seventeen acres in a good condition. Everything is done thoroughly and is flourishing. He has a very fine piece of wheat. He has set an acre and half of raspberries, and in regard to strawberries is in a worse condition than yourself. He took up the plants on the place here and set them. They prove to be an inferior brand. Weeds grow fast here. He has expended a great amount of labor to keep down the weeds, and his strawberries are like the common field strawberries. He had about a half acre to plants. His raspberries are the best growth we have ever seen for the first year. Nathan has economized and worked within his means, and this will have to be your battle, my son. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 5

If you would do only the work you were able to do yourself, and not overwork, and let the land you cannot tend well be put in wheat, raising your own bread, so that if your small fruits fail you may depend on other crops, and if you have not thirty dollars a month to hand out to hired men, you will work yourself clear from debt and will have the satisfaction of knowing that by your own labor and calculations you have succeeded to climb the hill, you will be self-reliant upon a good basis. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 6

You have made a mistake, Edson. I have made a mistake, in helping as much as I have. I have encouraged you in pursuing a course of dependence for which I am sorry. Will you forgive your too-indulgent mother? Do not build your hopes too high. If you make God your trust and serve Him with faithfulness, His blessing will attend you. If you become selfish and irreligious, you need not expect that God will prosper you. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 7

You need not have murmuring feelings or be dissatisfied with your father. He has done liberally by you and if you had felt gratitude and a willingness to be advised, he would have felt that he could safely do more and not incur the displeasure of God. We fear God. We are working for the interest of our Master whose servants we are. We dare not follow impulse in regard to our children. I have done so too much. God help me to move with His glory in view. You, my dear boy, are not, I fear, a servant of Jesus; but your own slave, studying your own pleasure and following your own will. Your will has controlled you too long, notwithstanding to follow it has caused you much trouble. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 8

We have just returned from the Iowa camp meeting. It was a very large meeting and yet there is to be another meeting in the State. Eighteen were baptized. We had freedom in speaking the Word. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 9

My health is not good. Dropsy afflicts me much. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 10

With much love to dear Emma. We feel an interest for you both that you prosper in temporal matters, but are far more anxious that your prosperity in spiritual matters shall be the first, as Jesus has recommended. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 11

You have our prayers and love. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 12

Your Mother. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 13

We shall not attend the Illinois camp meeting. Write us at Washington. 2LtMs, Lt 10, 1871, par. 14