Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 44, 1876

White, W. C.; White, Mary

Richmond, Maine

September 2, 1876

Portions of this letter are published in 7MR 288.

Dear Willie and Mary:

We are in camp. Well situated; good board floor; bedsteads well clothed; chairs, table and stove. It has been very dry here. No rain for four or five weeks. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 1

Last night it commenced raining and it has rained most of the day today. This shower is very refreshing. It will lay the dust. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 2

It is now noon and the sun is shining cheerily. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 3

We are having excellent meetings. They are tokens for good. The brethren seem to come to the campground with a mind to work. Every social meeting has been lively. Intelligent testimonies have been borne. There is a young man from Greece who has embraced the Sabbath. He came upon this coast in a vessel—a sailor. He seems to be truly converted to the truth. There are those of other tongues who have accepted the truth and whom we [believe] are capable, promising men. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 4

I listened this morning to a most intelligent testimony from a Swedish brother. This young man has talent that he can improve in the Master's service; will he consecrate to God all his talents? Brother Law bore an excellent testimony. He stated that Abraham gave tithes of all that he possessed to Melchizedek. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 5

We are living under the Melchizedek priesthood and he could not see why the same duty was not required of us as we were now living under the Melchizedek priesthood. If it were obligatory upon Abraham to give tithes of all he possessed, it certainly was obligatory upon us. He said I have become deeply interested in this matter and think we are behind our duty. This Brother Law is rich and through the influence of his wife has retained his means hoping she would have a better mind and spirit. These words coming from Brother Law caused joy to many hearts. May God lead our brother, is our prayer, to the full light. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 6

Sister Stickney of California bore a clear, sharp testimony in reference to the first and second and third angels’ messages. She rejoiced that she had heard and accepted these messages and the testimonies that went with them to reprove wrongs. Old Elder Nason is on the ground. He talks well for an old worn-out soldier. Brother Smith preached under the tent this morning. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 7

Sunday morning

The day is beautiful, the air cooled and purified by the refreshing showers. It is calm; a gentle breeze is stirring but not enough to disturb the speaking. We expect quite a turnout today. The people are already coming in. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 8

We had a most solemn interesting meeting yesterday. I commenced speaking at the stand but the wind blew so hard, swaying the trees and rustling the leaves, we thought best to repair to the tent. I spoke from Malachi, third chapter. After speaking above one hour I called those forward who were unconverted, and also the backsliders and those who felt that they had sins upon them that separated them from God. Before our effort closed, sixty-five came forward. Deep feeling pervaded the meeting. There was much weeping, many confessions made, well wet down with tears. Parents were pleading for their children, and youth were soliciting the youth to give their hearts to God. In speaking and entreating sinners, I stood upon my feet about four hours. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 9

This meeting was, in many respects, a victory. The Spirit of God pervaded the meeting. Mothers confessed that they had neglected the spiritual welfare of their children. They had not instructed them as they should and prayed for them and borne the burden of their souls upon their hearts. Others said they had been indifferent to the condition of their children while they were impenitent and the enemy was gaining the advantage over them. There was a general conviction that, as parents, they had not sensed their great responsibility and had neglected their sacred trust in their duty to their children. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 10

I had painful reflections as I reviewed our solemn faith, our high calling and yet how many are living in the daily neglect of duty. We are professedly waiting for the Son of God from heaven. We need the regenerating power of God every day as watching, waiting ones that we may serve the living God. We should not now be neglectful of a single duty but should watch with diligence the first dimming of our lamps lest spiritual slumber should paralyze our senses. There are too many content with spasmodic religion, trusting in feeling and emotional impulses. Many have lamps but have not the oil which is the Holy Spirit. The grace of God in the heart is the oil in the vessel with the lamps. A theory of the truth alone will represent the lamp; the grace of God, the oil. The patient, waiting ones, called the wise ones, will be connected with heaven—nourished by the great reservoir of power, faith, love and patience [in] readiness to meet our Lord. Who can comprehend this position for God’s people in the world but not of the world! “The world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. ... But when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:1-2. Life! Life! should be manifested in every action. Life, holy life, in every service, in prayer, in exhortation—life shown in deeds and works in diligence and faithful activity. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 11

Evening

As I come into my tent from a long, protracted effort the sad intelligence meets me [that] Brother Diggins is dead. The faithful standard-bearer in San Francisco has fallen. He has been as a balance wheel to the church. We greatly deplore his loss. Who will supply his place? “Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13. Sweetly will this faithful soldier of the cross repose in Jesus until the Archangel’s trump shall sound to call forth the precious sleepers from their dusty beds to a glorious immortality. California has met with a great loss. We know not what they will do without the intelligent, decided counsel of one of the noblest men in the cause of God. His sterling integrity has won the love and affection of all his brethren and sisters. Oh! must the earth hide this precious jewel from our sight? When we visit California again shall we no more meet Father Diggins and receive the cordial greeting and look upon that venerable countenance beaming with kindness and love. And thus it is. One loved one after another closing their probation, laying off their armor and resting in the silent chambers of the tomb till Christ, who holds the keys of death and the grave, shall open the prison houses of these held captive by the king of terrors. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 12

Sad, sad news to us. We could ever feel that this was one who would not be swerved from principle and we could trust him—he would be found on the side of right. California appears darker than ever since this light has gone out. May God in mercy, pity the lukewarm and half-hearted ones in California, for we greatly fear that they will not know the things which make for this people until the blessings which might have been theirs shall be forever hid from their eyes. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 13

Dear children, I hope you will walk closely with God. Do not trust to your own strength but trust in God, the Mighty God of Jacob. He will be to you all that you can desire. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 14

I have just looked out upon the ground. There is quite a good representation of people who are listening to a discourse from Brother Smith. Your father speaks [at] half past one o’clock. I speak at three, and one of us will speak this evening. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 15

Mary and I visited Aunt Lizzie. She was very glad to see us. All [are] as well as usual. Brother and Sister Stickney, Barbara, and her youngest sister are on the ground. They will remain here till October. They will not be at the camp meeting in California. They seem to be enjoying this meeting. Our testimony is, here in Maine, gratefully received and acted upon. The brethren respond to our efforts. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 16

A call has come in from Brother Haskell for me to lecture to the Temperance Club in Boston but I do not think I can do this. Their regular meeting is Thursday night. I could not get through to Rome until the Sabbath. I shall decline the invitation. We keep worked down all the time. But since the weather has become cooler we all feel better. We do not hear one word from Edson. Why doesn’t he write? How is he prospering? God bless my children. 3LtMs, Lt 44, 1876, par. 17