Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 18, 1876

White, J. S.

Oakland, California

April 1876

Portions of this letter are published in 7MR 279; 9MR 34.

Dear Husband:

I have arisen early to write you. I rested well during the night after speaking to the people. For this I feel very grateful. After speaking I can seldom sleep. I praise the Lord for His goodness to me. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 1

Last Sabbath, I spoke to the people with great plainness in reference to the reproofs the Lord had sent to ancient Israel which they would not receive in regard to the burning of the roll which Jeremiah gave to Baruch, the Scribe, to be read to the king. I spoke with the demonstration of the Spirit. I made the matter so very plain they could but feel it. We had some strangers in who listened with the most profound attention. Brother Charles Jones followed with appropriate remarks. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 2

About one dozen bore good testimony to the point. All were prompt and I believe the meeting was a profitable one to the church. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 3

Sister Willis and I had a long talk. She walked with me from meeting. I feel great sympathy for her, as I understand some of her trials. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 4

Mary Clough and I walked about two miles Sabbath afternoon. She is good company, ever kind, tender to me, and perfectly companionable. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 5

Last night I again spoke to the people. This was my text: the words of Christ to the twelve, “Will ye also go away?” Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” John 6:67, 68. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 6

I had perfect freedom. I never felt more sensibly the especial help from God than while speaking. The people sat as if spellbound, wide awake, although the meeting did not close till after nine o’clock. The Spirit of God was upon me. The hall was full. There were nearly as many outsiders as believers. I never saw so many out before. Some came and looked at first a little amused, as if it was sport to hear a woman speak and as if they were to hear some rabble that would be amusing to them, but they soon wore very serious faces and many shed tears. Most I had never seen in the hall before. I do not speak smooth things to the people. I do not say peace to the wicked and I think that many tremble at the word of the Lord. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 7

I do not love to have you speak so much against California, as though it was no use to labor for them. They have not had the experience with us, and know not our life, as those the other side of the mountains. And yet our most severe and cutting trials that have bruised the soul and worn the flesh, have been experienced by us in connection with those who know us best. The cause in Oakland is in its infancy. The people who need help the most should not be left to perish while those who do not need help as much shall have the labor. Christ says, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Mark 2:17. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 8

Jesus came to a heartless, thankless people. He wrought for them in His mighty works. He healed the sick; He raised the dead, and yet they cried for a sign to be given them whereby they might believe. Wicked generation, seeking for a sign when God had given them the most powerful evidence of His mission. Jesus did not leave His people in darkness because His love was unrequited and He was unappreciated. If California needs help because of her darkness, may we patiently instruct them as Christ would do if He were here on earth. Personal slights and lack of personal appreciation should not turn us from the work. It is God’s work we are doing, and however hard, however unappreciated, if we do our part, if we sow the good seed, we shall by and by see at last some fruit. This is all Christ saw during His life and ministry on the earth. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 9

My heart is not discouraged or weaned from the people in California. I feel that God will bear with them more than those who have had our labors, who have known our work, and yet refused to respond to our efforts. How few have even a religious experience in Oakland, how few have had any knowledge of present truth, [having been] converted from the world. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 10

We will not become weary in well doing. I want to labor where my help is the most needed. If I cannot through the strength given me of God help this people, who can? The enemies of our faith shall not triumph because we give up this field to Satan. No, no. God has been leading out to the establishment of His work in California and His eye is upon the work. There will be many sifted out who will not bear the proving, but others will come in and take their places. There is work to be done here and someone must do it. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 11

I am not one bit discouraged. Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, met with insult, abuse and constant opposition by His own people, notwithstanding He gave them the greatest evidence of His divine character. What then may we poor, finite, failing, sinful mortals expect? I feel like humbling myself before God and without complaint or repining do what little I can and trust in Jesus to make it fruitful. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 12

This is my work. I must do my work and trust the Lord to do His. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 13

I feel very cheerful. I rest well nights generally. I have great freedom of spirit, and feel that I am in the way of my duty. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 14

At present I do not have light to leave my work of writing. I shall never have as favorable opportunity again. If the Lord directs, I may come east about August or before, after my book is written out. I do not want anything to draw me away from my work or divert my mind till it is written out. Meanwhile, I shall continue to do a little something to help them here where I see they need help. My daily cry is to God for help, for strength and heavenly wisdom to move in the light. I fully believe I shall have light. My heart is fixed to lean on the Everlasting Arm as I have never done before. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 15

I miss you but I am so glad you are free and cheerful and happy. I believe you are in the path of duty and God will sustain and bless you, but do not lean on and depend too much on the approbation of your brethren. If you do, you will surely meet with disappointment. God will shake us from every prop. He alone is our stay, our support, our strength. We will cling to His arm with increasing strength and firmness and never let go. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 16

I feel that the communication is open between me and God, but I am not confident in my own strength. It is the strength of Jesus alone that can enable me to do, persevere and do my work with acceptance. I am reaching out daily for more of the Spirit of God. I have some very precious hours of meditation which I prize highly. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 17

I am very earnest that you should be free in God, but not earnest, [that] you should find your support and happiness in relying too confidently upon your brethren. The mighty One will bear you up. His arm will encircle you and me. He will be our strength and our righteousness. If we are unappreciated here, so was Christ. What can we expect better than He received? He did His work. We will do ours with cheerfulness, not looking to ourselves but to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 18

The breakfast bell rings. I must go down. May the Lord guide you and me is my constant prayer. Jesus will help us. I have the assurance of it daily. In simple, humble faith, will we trust in Him. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 19

Much love to yourself and dear friends. 3LtMs, Lt 18, 1876, par. 20