Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 54, 1878

White, J. E.

Plano, Texas

November 15, 1878

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 99-100.

Dear Son Edson:

I have thought there was no need of my writing to you because Emma would keep you posted. There are some things she may not write you. We were sadly disappointed to find her family so very bad. They all looked like corpses. I never looked upon a more distressed picture in my life. They were all so weak. They could not help themselves. They would one be sick after another, and one could not wait upon the other. I think that they were weak from impoverished diet. You see they had no money to buy food and no one who could cook food if they could buy. It is a positive necessity that Emma remain with them until they shall become strong enough to take care of themselves. Their courage was gone with everything else. Emma’s coming brightened them up wonderfully. We tried to help them. I gave Sister McDearmon forty dollars from my own purse to use for the necessaries of life. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1878, par. 1

Father bought bags of flour, a barrel of apples, nuts, sugar, etc. He bought one cotton mattress and one husk overlaid with cotton. It is seldom I have seen such destitution. I have bought several things for their comfort. Father left McDearmon his fur coat to use, for his blood is so low he cannot bear the least chilliness of the air. We have done what we could for them. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1878, par. 2

Now you must not urge Emma away from them, for her leaving I think would kill them. She is needed there. Should you once look upon them, your sympathies would be aroused and some tears would be shed. Father says it would take two of them to make a shadow. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1878, par. 3

Sister McDearmon is nothing but a skeleton. Hattie looks as if consumptive. Joseph has but little strength, and the little girl Nettie is far from well. She is pale and her face like marble. Little Homer is so pale and looks as if attending a funeral. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1878, par. 4

Emma would be as glad as you would be to have her come to California, but she does not leave her parents, and you must not make it too hard for her by urging her away. I think her parents will make very effort to sell and return to California with Emma. They are trying to sell both in Wright and where they now are living. They have just moved in their new house which is very comfortable and roomy. Then we have bought them two good beds. Father has lifted the mortgage from their place so that all worriment for the present is over. If Emma had not come when she did, her father would have been on his way to Wright to see if he could not complete the sale of his farm, for two hundred and twenty dollars must be raised by January or he loses his place worth fifteen hundred dollars. We were glad we accompanied Emma to her home, for we felt they needed just the help we have given them. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1878, par. 5

Dear Edson. We hope you will put your entire trust in God, bear the proving of God. You must bear the test of God as you have not yet fully borne it. You may be a polished instrument for God’s use if you will only overcome. My dear boy, be patient, cultivate meekness. Do not be careless and joking with the hands. Be sober, be watchful, be prayerful. Have an eye single to the glory of God. Others may not judge you correctly, but remember Jesus, your Redeemer, was not appreciated, and He was the Majesty of heaven. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1878, par. 6

Now, Edson, Jesus is your pattern. Be patient, be courteous, be slow to anger, control your own spirit always. Lean heavily upon God. And put your trust in Him fully. The bell is dinging, dinging, dinging, for me to take the stand, so I will say goodby for this afternoon. I put this in with Sister Hall’s. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1878, par. 7


I am short of envelopes and put this in the Lucinda’s. Emma is real well and cheerful. She has ridden horseback like a general. It does her good. Mother. 3LtMs, Lt 54, 1878, par. 8