Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 49, 1876

White, J. S.



Portions of this letter are published in PM 103-104; 6MR 303.

(I will copy that which I wrote to my husband in answer to his letter of suggestions.) 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 1

Dear Husband:

You suggest that the Pioneer sheet or missionary paper be published in Battle Creek, and urge that it would be a saving of expense. You also state that you and others have thought a paper should be started in New England or in the South, that greater interest will be taken in the paper in the locality where it is published. The South would not have the prejudice which now exists against a paper published in the North. This may all be sometime just prior to the close of the work. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 2

In regard to Battle Creek, there are not now sufficient men of capability to take care of the work they already have upon them. There is a serious deficiency in the execution of the work now. Aside from Elder Smith, there is not one who is reliable; and Elder Smith does not do all that is required for a church paper. Too many things drift into the paper that should not appear. Although he rejects many articles, yet there should be greater care of his part, and critical selection for the paper to make that paper what it might be. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 3

The missionary sheet [The True Missionary] if published in Battle Creek will be mainly composed of articles from the Review and Herald, and after the first excitement dies down, the paper will become dry and objectionable; for to answer the purpose for which it was designed, you proposed to make it up largely of selections from the Review. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 4

While our missionary sheet is not altogether what it might be, I fear it will be in no way improved by moving it from California. God has designated its location. Shall we not wait until He shall give further light on the subject? 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 5

I have been shown that our brethren East and West should manifest a deep interest in the missionary paper. They should contribute to its columns. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 6

Brother Waggoner is in danger of being too critical in regard to the communications from his brethren. While he may be at fault in this respect, with the Review there is not the care and caution which there ought to be in regard to matters that go into the paper. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 7

The missionary sheet should not contain long doctrinal articles. While there ought to be arguments presented to properly represent our faith, the articles should be spicy, original, live and practical, coming from the pens of our brethren from all parts of the field. This paper must never become a dry, stiff paper. It must contain rich thoughts and rich experiences. Our brethren are at fault in not feeling an interest to communicate their experiences in short, interesting letters. All of these communications will not be of a character to put in the paper, because some will write who have not wisdom, piety, or good judgment; and this class will be tried if their articles are not accepted and honored with a place in the paper. Nevertheless, an editor is selected for that very purpose, to decide what shall be proper and what will be unfit for its columns. If he shall become careless in his work, he will allow matter to appear that will hurt the interest of the paper. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 8

Our people can make the missionary paper published in California the very best paper in the world to serve the object for which it was established; but the interest of our brethren, especially our ministers, in this paper, which is ordained of God to do a special work in bringing souls to the knowledge of the truth, should be deepened and continually growing. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 9

I know there is a great work to be done, but our great drawback is, Where are our men and our women of ability who will put their talent to use in making the papers we now have what God designed they should be? If you should establish papers at different points, who are the men of judgment, men of wisdom, men of financial ability to carry the enterprises through, making them a success? 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 10

There is at the present moment a limited amount of funds to keep in successful operation the work already started. The present enterprises greatly need men of energy, or character, men who are wide awake, men of perseverance, of industry; and self-possession, in order to carry forward the work strongly and successfully. There is no surplus of strength or of ability or of sound judgment to be diverted from the work already established. There is no surplus of means to be invested in new enterprises or to make changes that will require means. While the work already started is not perfectly carried on, for want of men and capability, I cannot, as I view these matters, second your propositions—should they be advanced in our General Conference—for the very reasons I have specified. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 11

If papers are started in new fields it will require means to start, and means to carry them on. It will require something more difficult to obtain and command than means. It will require men of mind, men of deep piety, men of devotion, whose time and attention must be given to the work perseveringly and continuously, that it may prove a success. To establish papers in different localities will necessarily weaken, and it may be, finally supplant the ones already in operation. There is no financial strength to be spared from the papers already established, and from what the Lord has been pleased to show me I speak understandingly when I say there is no talent of ability to be spared from the work already established. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 12

Both papers need more help in this line, that the papers shall not bear the stamp of one man’s mind and of his peculiar temperament. All have their strong points and their weak points; and all have prejudices and likes and dislikes which will be in danger of cropping out in the paper. There should be several whose judgment should blend together; while one is weak in some points the others will be able to supply the deficiency. This is what God designed should exist in the carrying forward of His work upon the earth. His servants, diverse in temperament, in tastes, in habits, should all blend together and compose a perfect whole. None should feel that he can accomplish the work in making the paper all it should be without the help of another. You cannot do this; Elder Waggoner cannot do it. Elder Andrews cannot do it in his branch of the work. Elder Smith cannot do it; for these papers must not bear the stamp of any one man’s mind. Not one is sufficient of himself. All will not run in the same groove, but all will have the same object in view and all will harmonize in bringing about the best results. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 13

No one man is to pick the work up in his hands and be so tenacious for his own ways of doing the work that no one can work with him, and he can work with no one unless that one follows the same manner of labor he has trained himself to follow. We cannot all labor in the same armor. Elder Andrews is peculiar in this respect. He is shortening his days because he lifts the burdens all himself. He thinks no one can make a success unless his plans and ideas of carrying forward the work are exactly after his own order. He is not well balanced in this respect, and the work that ought to be more widespread and nearly self-sustaining, is retarded and circumscribed; but it will be difficult to correct this state of things without having an almost fatal influence on Elder Andrews. He believes his ideas and ways the only right way. Is it so? No, no. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 14

Jesus chose men for His disciples who were diverse in character, that the work should be done with perfection. There is a disposition in men to think they are the only ones who can do the work right and make it a success, when they are most sadly deficient in essential qualities which must be supplied to make the work a success. Thus it is with our beloved Elder Andrews. We must all give room for others to come by our side and work harmoniously with us, that one may supply the deficiency of another and all blend together in perfect harmony. The Review and Herald can be improved, and it ought to be made a much better paper than it is. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 15

The Signs of the Times may be made more perfect; but take away and divert the interest to a new paper and it will decrease the interest in those already established, and it will be a trial enterprise. It will not be kept alive. It will dwindle out after a time. Let all the talent and all the means be employed in building up our offices now in operation and making the papers now printed a perfect success. Do well what is on hand to do, and God will help if the workers are devoted, God-fearing, self-sacrificing men. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 16

You must not lift and carry any more burdens than you are now bearing. You should be laying off instead of increasing objects for which you will be solicitous. We are both descending the hill of life. Your hair is already white. Mine is growing gray fast. Our physical powers are weakening. Our mental powers will be enfeebled, I fear, with the physical. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 17

It may be necessary in Oregon to have cheap facilities for issuing a paper as occasion may require; when meetings are held where opponents attack in papers, they should be met. This will be done when the people are sufficiently awake to take hold of the work. Let us rest where we are until the Lord bids us move to some new enterprise. 3LtMs, Lt 49, 1876, par. 18