Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 6, 1876

White, J. S.

Oakland, California

April 13, 1876

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 27-28; 7MR 278; 10MR 33-34.

Dear Husband:

Your letter dated April 6, we received last night. This is the first letter I have had from you since April 6. 3LtMs, Lt 6, 1876, par. 1

We are all quite well and cheerful. We feel every day a most earnest desire for a more sacred nearness to God. This is my prayer, when I lie down, when I awake in the night, and when I arise in the morning, Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee. 3LtMs, Lt 6, 1876, par. 2

I sleep alone. This seems to be Mary’s preference as well as mine. I can have a better opportunity for reflection and prayer. I prize my [being] all to myself unless graced with your presence. I want to share my bed only with you. Lucinda is an exception. She seems to be a part of myself as I can make no other one. Mary is doing well, is devoted to the work. We are doing all we can every day. I fear sometimes I do too much, for I love the work and nothing is of sufficient interest to draw me from the work. 3LtMs, Lt 6, 1876, par. 3

I was very, very glad to hear that you were cheerful and happy, and that Sister Mary is so well and enjoying a little of life’s blessings. This is her due. 3LtMs, Lt 6, 1876, par. 4

Willie and Mary are closely confined to their work. They have a whole interest in it. Elder Waggoner says last night [they] had good meeting—for the city, very good. Our children attended the meeting last night; have nothing special reported. 3LtMs, Lt 6, 1876, par. 5

Our home moves forward slowly. Workmen [are] divided between our house and the meetinghouse. We are ready for plastering. Carpenters cannot do much until the plastering is done. Every little space is improved in shelves, cupboards or drawers. I think we will have a very convenient house. Our hedge is growing nicely. The things we have set out in rosebushes and a few choice shrubs are doing well. As soon as we get our house finished, the grass will be sown and premises arranged in good order. 3LtMs, Lt 6, 1876, par. 6

Everyone is talking about this corner being the best location in the city. But all these things are secondary with me, the prosperity of the cause of God is dearer to me than the richest estate, the most convenient houses and the most expensive furniture. 3LtMs, Lt 6, 1876, par. 7

My heart thirsts for the living God. I want to be a living channel of light to the world while I remain in it; and [when] my probation here closes, my warfare is ended, I shall have left a bright track heavenward. I love Jesus. I know this, and if I am permitted to dwell in His presence, O bliss, bliss indeed. I am striving for this. My prayer is for you, several times in the day, that God would put beneath you His everlasting arms and guide you in judgment. Sometimes I feel a very strong assurance that my prayers are considered graciously in heaven and will be answered. 3LtMs, Lt 6, 1876, par. 8

I hope you will not let a thought depress you. Be of good courage. Stay your heart upon God. I am trying to do this daily. As I lay off article after article of precious matter, I feel my heart leap with hope and joy that this long-delayed work will soon be accomplished. Much love to yourself, Sister Mary and all interested friends. 3LtMs, Lt 6, 1876, par. 9

Your Ellen.

P.S. It is most glorious weather. Strawberries in market, peas, new potatoes, asparagus, etc. 3LtMs, Lt 6, 1876, par. 10