Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)
Lt 18, 1878
White, W. C.
March 20, 1878
Portions of this letter are published in 6MR 305.
Dear Son Willie:
I have felt greatly perplexed to know just what to do in the case of your father. He seems to have mind enough, but is forever studying his own feelings, which eclipses faith. He gets habits and notions, such as wetting his head and hands and feet. All these are innocent, but carried to excess are doing him great injury. Read the letter written to Dr. Kellogg. He no sooner leaves one freak notion than he takes up another; and thus he goes on, from one thing to another. If he is criticized he feels hurt, as though his manhood were ruined. Oh, I wish he would jealously maintain the dignity of his manhood. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1878, par. 1
Sometimes I am inclined to let him do just as he pleases and see where it will take him; and then I feel that that would not be best, and try to arouse his moral sensibility. The restlessness, wanting to be riding continually, is very difficult to manage. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1878, par. 2
He has nearly lost the use of his hands through constantly wetting them. When he does not keep them wet, they are so dry and hot he becomes exceedingly nervous over them. He will pull off his stockings very many times a day to see if his feet are hot or cold, just as though he could not become sensible of the fact without this performance. All these habits keep his mind centered upon himself. His thoughts are all on himself, planning for himself. Oh, what can be done? I am weary of this ceaseless vigilance and yet seeing it can do no good. If he were only across the plains to the Health Institute, I should feel relieved. He has no faith for himself. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1878, par. 3
If only Sister Ings were with me and would share my responsibility! But I received a letter I will enclose from Brethren Bourdeau and Andrews. You can see for yourself how matters stand. Sister Ings never wanted to go to Europe, and she would be glad to be with me. But now they are there. I do not believe it to be her duty to go and nurse Sister Bourdeau, by any means. Yet you can see the influence of Brother Andrews is brought to bear upon her for this purpose. But Sister Ings should never nurse the sick. Her life is too precious to be thus spent. But you can see how matters stand. Why it should be urged by Brethren Haskell and Canright, after the letters received from Elder Andrews for them to still continue their journey when he wrote plainly they could not help him, is singular to me. I feel crippled greatly. And unless my husband shall arouse from his invalidism soon he never will, and what will become of me the Lord only knows. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1878, par. 4
I feel so sorry for poor Father. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1878, par. 5
Walling has written for us to come there and spend the summer. Can you meet us there and visit Colorado a while with us? Would John Kellogg accompany you and take a little period of rest in the warmest weather? What think you? 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1878, par. 6
I cannot bear this responsibility of caring for my husband alone. No Lucinda or any children to advise or counsel with. I received Addie’s and May’s letter. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1878, par. 7
Love to you all. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1878, par. 8
Is there not some faithful business man who attends the school in Battle Creek who could go into the office and fill the place of secretary or bookkeeper? There have been several now discharged who ought to have been months ago. Johnson, Henry, Carroll, Lizzie Ward, Bell Pratt, and two others whose names I cannot tell. There will be almost as much work done now as before and nearly one hundred dollars saved every week. Good, truthful, substantial hands are wanted here. What about Samuel and Mary; cannot they come on and take hold of the work here? These outside parties are not to be depended on at all. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1878, par. 9