Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Ms 4, 1875

Trials of James White



Previously unpublished.

I was shown in 1875, at the time of Elder Littlejohn’s disaffection, some things in regard to the present and the future. While a spirit of jealousy, evil surmisings, and criticism was prevailing in Battle Creek and other places, I saw that if my husband would stand firmly, putting his trust wholly in God, he would not be overcome. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 1

There was a Witness in every assembly for meetings, in every house, in every spot and place, and a register was kept of all the words and actions of the children of men. While some were surely working under temptation to discourage my husband and weaken his influence, he had in Battle Creek many strong friends who would not be influenced against him, and the Lord God of hosts would not suffer his feet to be moved, his spirits to be broken. If he would put his entire confidence in God, He would not allow the actions of the tempted ones who were being employed by the enemy to do his work, to weaken his influence in reality. Their words were unjust, their feelings strong and unreasonable. An infatuation was upon them. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 2

They could not see that they were murmurers, slanderers, helping the enemy to weaken the faith and courage and hope of the servant of God; but just as certainly as he looked to Jesus and trusted in Him, he would have moral power. And more, the Lord would give him physical strength to do a good and great work in connection with the publishing house and His cause in general. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 3

It is the Lord who has chosen him and made him a man of wisdom and experience among a thousand. He has schooled him in adversity. He has given him clear foresight, penetrating insight into matters and things connected with His cause. The Lord had, in His providence, made him one of God’s men, a man of opportunity, a man for the place, possessing executive ability in a large degree. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 4

But the Lord alone can sanctify and make his talents wholly efficient by His indwelling Spirit. It is his strength to take everything to God in prayer, and He will hear him when he prays. God lays no burdens upon any one so heavy that he cannot find time to pray, for prayer is drawing in the vital breath of heaven. Then while looking in holy faith and perfect trust to the Author and Finisher of his faith, he must feel that his prayers are heard; he must take God at His word. He must not ponder over the defections of his brethren; he must not be discouraged as he sees apparent defects in their characters, for if he does this he unconsciously loses the elevating, upholding power that carries him above all that would discourage. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 5

The unfaithfulness of some who claim to believe the truth seems to him strangely inconsistent with their profession of faith and their course of unconsecrated action. He deals with these decidedly and sharply, for he cannot tolerate them. The ones reproved and unconsecrated turn from him and regard him as their enemy. The men who ought to have helped him did not do their duty and stand in their lot and place and give their support to that which was wholly right. The unjust murmurings and complaints of those who knew better than to do as they did, have been to him like drops of bitterness and gall. He has felt wounded and bruised. He has pondered these things, grieved over them, poured out his soul in prayer, and has nearly fretted his life away, while some looked upon his hurt soul and were not grieved, but exultant. Again and again has the Lord raised him up and spared his life to help forward the work, to lead onward and upward as the providence of God opened the way. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 6

Said my accompanying angel, God is leading out a people onward and upward to holiness and heaven. Satan, the leader of all disaffection, of all rebellion, tempted Eve in Eden and through her tempted Adam from his holy innocency and purity to believe a lie in the place of believing the truth. He is doing the same work with double earnestness and zeal today, for he knows that his time is short, and he will increase his efforts in the place of diminishing them. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 7

Oh, how Satan has used every agent he could employ to cause disaffection and break up the confidence of our people in the testimonies. If he could strike my husband away from the work, if he could silence his voice, if he could palsy the power of the hand that traced the burning words of truth in the papers, books, and pamphlets, what a triumph he would have! And some who have been warned and reproved would also triumph with the great adversary of souls. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 8

Satan has worked through his various channels to accomplish this evil work. God will permit men of limited experience in every way to come in, men who do not know how to walk by faith, men who do not have the spirit of self-denial and sacrifice. Satan could insinuate himself and a mold be given to the work and workers contrary to that which the Lord has been constantly setting before His people in His Word and through the testimonies of His Spirit. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 9

The Lord has hitherto exercised a special supervision over His servant, because he looked to Him constantly for counsel, holding in check the devices of Satan and that his enemies shall not triumph. There is a necessity for some one of experience, whom the Lord has been leading and directing by His voice, to have a leading, holding influence among His people. There are occasions when it would be sin to withhold reproof, to withhold rebukes. There is a need of men who have excellent judgment in the ways and works of God, who will, in the Spirit of Christ, set in order things that Satan is constantly at work to derange and confuse. He would put his own mold and superscription upon the work and have it pass for the mold and superscription of God. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 10

There will be those among us who will never submit to be reproved or to be counseled any more than did Satan in heaven or Judas upon earth. The first intimation of questioning their course drives them to retaliation, murmuring, and a spirit of self-justification and revenge by separating themselves from the work. Thus it was with ancient Israel; thus will it be with modern Israel. Some will not submit to be disciplined. They are not in the habit of being thwarted or opposed in any of their plans. Nevertheless this is no evidence that reproof is not needed and that strict discipline should not be exercised. This is not an agreeable work, but a work that is essential to the prosperity and health of all our institutions and for the salvation of the soul. But there are men who are full of defects, who when reproved are stubborn, self-righteous. These will never see heaven if they are not converted. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 11

Many have placed my husband in a false position and have done all that they could do to hurt and bruise his soul and destroy his influence; and when he becomes discouraged and grieves over the mistakes and sins of his brethren, those who have done him wrong rejoice to see him feeble in physical and spiritual power and say, There, you see what a spirit he manifests? In the days of Christ, He—the Majesty of heaven—was watched to find occasion against Him. The most was made of any words He might utter, to array them against Him, misinterpreting not only His words, but His motives. So it has been in our experience. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 12

These things were weakening my husband’s courage, and therefore his heart’s action was enfeebled and his hold of life weakening. These temptations to a worn mind, to a man who had been in active warfare so many years and bore the scars of the conflicts through which he had passed, were exceedingly painful for him to endure. He kept speaking of the injustice of these things. They were among the furnace trials to purify and refine us and should not rob us of hope. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 13

I was shown that Satan’s power has its limits. The Lord permits him to go so far in tempting, and no further. He puts His boundaries beyond which Satan cannot pass. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 14

My husband sinks down into a discouraged state of mind, dwells upon the dark side, and is strongly tempted to murmur and complain of his brethren. They really give him occasion to be tried and tempted and to think he is nearly friendless. I have been shown at such times for his encouragement that he has an unfailing Friend in Jesus Christ, who was full of tender pity, sympathy, and love. The iron of indifference, the coldness and unsympathetic spirit were never seen in the words or in the deportment of Jesus Christ. His heart was ever touched with human woe. He was not a Friend merely to a select few, but to the ones who needed a friend. The ones who needed help and lifting up received it. His heart was open to receive all the burdens, all the woes and griefs of poor, wounded, bruised souls. His arm was not shortened that it could not save. His ear was not heavy that it could not hear. He never turned impatiently away from those who asked His counsel, He never repelled a repenting soul. His arm was mighty to save, strong to deliver, and He has given His pledged word never to turn from or to treat indifferently and unfeelingly any who solicit His attention and His help. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 15

The clouds and darkness that sometimes enshrouded the pathway of my husband were not to evidence the displeasure of God. He must look up through the dark shadow that Satan casts before his pathway to eclipse the view of Jesus, that he shall not look upon His precious, gracious, forgiving image and see His glory. The words of Jesus to him are: “Look and live.” [Numbers 21:8.] “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5. I heard His voice, saying, “Fear not, neither be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8. “I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee (by My free Spirit); yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10. “I pledge My word, I will be to thee a present help in every time of need, if My servant will only trust in Me and cleave to Me and resign himself into My hands. Let him leave in My hands his brethren who have not clear discernment, who had not the tenderness and love of Jesus, for I judge righteously. Be strong in the strength of the Mighty One. The eye of faith must be uplifted from the annoying, aggravating things which Satan instigates unconsecrated men to do. Trust ye in My love. Look, ever look, and the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness will shine upon you. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 16

“Since the world was cursed by sin, it is no longer a paradise of virtue and innocence and holiness. The fragrance and beauty has departed, and its inhabitants defile the earth, and the curse is continually multiplying upon it because of the sins of the inhabitants thereof. The people who claim to know Me and to have a knowledge of My ways are asleep. They do not see, they do not consider the dangers, and discern not the workings of the adversary of souls. 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 17

“The neglect of prayer, the neglect of being God’s witnesses, will weaken moral power for exercise in spiritual things, in spiritual strength, in spiritual growth. Neglect of religious duties as God’s witnesses must not be seen in any men who bear responsible positions in connection with the work of God. This neglect imperils the soul, weakens faith, separates the soul from the Source of its strength and its power. This is the very thing Satan desires—that the working, living agents shall cease to watch, cease to pray, cease to take an active part in religious meetings—and Satan has the door all open to find ready access, to impress mind, and to lead to doing many things that displease God; and they become an offense to Him.” 2LtMs, Ms 4, 1875, par. 18