Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 57, 1874

White, J. E.

Battle Creek, Michigan

October 28, 1874

Previously unpublished.

Dear Edson:

Your brother Willie has been very sick with fever, requiring constant care for more than two weeks. We have had fears for the result. Some days he seems to improve, and then again he has a relapse. We have treated him at home. I have done this besides doing much writing. I am some worn. Willie is exceedingly nervous. He is usually so calm that it seems all the more singular for him. We have had very precious seasons of prayer for him according to his request. The blessing of the Lord has rested upon him and us in answer to prayer. 2LtMs, Lt 57, 1874, par. 1

My son, there is one earnest desire with me, that you should consecrate yourself wholly to God, to do or suffer His will. Do not be content to be weak in religious experience. Be truehearted, make a business of serving God. Do not be content to live in the world to please yourself. Make it the purpose of your life to possess undaunted courage and resolution to do something and not wait too long getting ready to do something. Do your work, do it now, to make the world better. Take courage from the words of inspiration, “Ye are strong ... and ye have overcome the wicked one.” [1 John 2:14.] Obey the command of the Captain of your salvation. “Quit you like men, be strong” [1 Corinthians 16:13]—men who will do and suffer by living for God; men who will battle against all wrong, especially every form of intemperance. Anything you may do in humility for Christ is great and will surely bring its reward. The majesty and greatness of Him to whom you give your service makes the service great. 2LtMs, Lt 57, 1874, par. 2

Christ will make the smallest service, the humblest talent you employ, wholly excellent through His infinite greatness. Do not wait and watch for some large thing to do, some honorable position to fill, or sit idly and do nothing. Take hold of small duties; do them well. The opportunity is now yours to improve. Whoever is willing to do anything, that he may serve the Master, will find work close at hand. Christ is now calling for young men to enlist under His banner and carry the cross through the world, resisting the current of worldliness and wickedness in high places and in low. Go forward to battle and to victory. There are many who fail because they are anxious to reach the topmost round of the ladder without the effort of climbing one round and then another. You may safely distrust yourself, but in God’s power you may have all confidence. Be humble enough to commence at the lowest round and carefully, perseveringly, climb. Be faithful in the little duties, the small responsibilities, and you will then be trusted with larger duties. 2LtMs, Lt 57, 1874, par. 3

As soon as the enemy sees your purpose to connect with the work of God, he will assail you with temptations. You will surely faint and fail unless you trust in a higher power. Satan knows the weak points in your character and he will work to overcome you on these points where you are the least guarded. If overcome, do not give up in despair; begin the battle over again. Subdue self. You are in danger of speaking and acting from impulse. My son, be guarded here. “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” James 3:2. 2LtMs, Lt 57, 1874, par. 4

The Lord wants us to triumph over the enemy, and if we fail to bear the test of temptation, He will take us over the ground where we failed and give us another trial that we may correct the error of the past and conquer the enemy in the place of being conquered. We may fail the second time, but He will bring us over the ground again and give us another trial until we shall conquer. 2LtMs, Lt 57, 1874, par. 5

You will have repeated disappointments and severe discouragements, but again I would lead you to the Rock that is higher than you. Fasten your hands in the crevice of the Rock rent for you. Work in a humble manner, laying off your natural independence, and climb, climb for your life, round after round. You will make or mar your future. We do not want that people should have confidence in you because you are our son, but because you have, through perseverance and patience, earned a reputation for yourself. Oh, how many humiliations we might be saved from in life if we would be willing to be as Christ was—meek and lowly of heart! 2LtMs, Lt 57, 1874, par. 6

Take any position your brethren may give you, and with fidelity work your way up, toiling, battling against self; and victory thus gained will be sweet. Heaven is worth everything to us. We can obtain it by patient continuance in well doing. 2LtMs, Lt 57, 1874, par. 7