Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3

270/473

Lt 29, 1879

White, J. E.

NP

November 10, 1879

Portions of this letter are published in 2MCP 649-650; OHC 81; TDG 323.

[First part missing.] ... My heart yearns for my children. I have only two. And, when it has appeared that we might have to part with our Willie, it has seemed that we could not bear the thought of not having one child to whom we could look, who would be a comfort to us while we are growing worn and old and gray. But I suppose words will do no good. If they would, we should have seen some result of our labors on these points before now. We have hope that God in mercy will let the scales fall from your eyes, and that you may see that your heart has not been reconciled to God, and His will has not been done in you. I know that you are not right with God. Our prayers follow you continually. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1879, par. 1

God seeks our real happiness. If anything lies in the way of this, He sees it must first be removed. He will thwart our purposes and disappoint our expectations and bring us through disappointments and trials to reveal to us ourselves as we are. In physical infirmities, a physician who understands his business gets at the cause of the difficulty and however painful the process removes the hindrances to health and the enjoyment of life. Sin is the cause of all our woes. If we would have true peace and happiness of mind, sin must be removed. But when the mind is blinded to sin, when its nature is not understood, how shall it be removed? If the mind refuses to open to conviction and builds itself up in self-justification, what can be done to let heaven’s light into the darkened chambers of the mind? How can those who do not sense sin and do not realize the deficiencies in their character feel the consequences of their course sufficiently to make thorough work for repentance? Oh, this fatal deception upon minds! It will shut the gates of heaven against many. I see many self-deceived. They mistake their true character and their relation to God. They encourage false hopes which paralyze exertion and delude the soul. Oh, may it not be to their ruin! 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1879, par. 2

No one can afford to go on in self-deception, for eternal interests are here involved. Oh, how many that I know, for their cases have been shown me, who are similar to yourself, who look upon sin as a little thing when viewed from the standpoint of men. Many take counsel of their own wishes and desires and follow their inclinations and finally conclude that sin is not so very offensive, not so terrible and dreadful in the sight of God. Sin that may appear little, that may be termed little by the blunted conscience, is so grievous a thing in the sight of God that nothing but the blood of God’s own Son could wash it away. This fact places the true estimate upon sin. God will never tarnish His glory to come to our ideas and views. We shall certainly have to come to His. Just in proportion to the excellence of God is the heinous character of sin. Oh, what a state the world is in. My son, my dear son, do not be discouraged; and do not cherish a spirit of fault-finding. Forever cease to find fault with and censure others. Look to your own heart and discern hidden sins and confess them and let God heal them. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1879, par. 3

Jacob was afflicted because he had made a mistake in his life. He was cast down to the very depths. Alone, weary, dispirited, tortured by the recollections of his past errors, and overwhelmed with apprehensions for the future, he laid him down to rest, his head pillowed upon a stone. Had Jacob’s conscience been clear, his heart would have been strong in God. But he knew his present perplexities; his fears and trials were in consequence of his sins. This reflection is what embittered his life. Jacob was repentant, yet he did not feel easy under the wrong he had done. Through tribulation and through physical and mental suffering he could only have hope to find his way again to the favor of God. He lay down in sadness, with a heavy heart, repenting and yet fearing. He expected that new trials would meet him on the morrow as he pursued his weary way. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1879, par. 4

There was no friend nigh to speak a comforting word to Jacob, no one to tell him he had in his sincere repentance done what he could. But God’s eye was upon His servant. He sent His angels to reveal to him a ladder of brightness reaching from the earth to the highest heavens, and angels of God ascending and descending upon this glorious ladder, which showed Jacob the connection and intercourse constantly going on between the two worlds. When Jacob awoke his difficulties had not vanished entirely, but he had such confidence in God that he was comforted. In humble gratitude of heart he adores his Saviour and especially honors even his stony pillow. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1879, par. 5

Oh, the wonderful condescension of God! He is ever ready to meet us, even in our infirmities, and to encourage us by His presence when we have done all on our part to make an entire surrender to Him. Heaven is open to man. God will be entreated to do these things for us. The future may seem dark before you, but God lives. Make Him your sure Friend. Do not let a murmuring thought escape your lips, except it be against yourself. Let not a breath of censure be given to any one. Be willing to make your way up slowly, Edson. It has been because of your impetuosity that you have failed over and over again. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1879, par. 6

Oh, my son, place yourself in connection with heaven. Break down every barrier and let the Saviour into your heart. Let self die. Surrender your will and die to self now, just now, and leave God to make your way for you. It is a blessed thing to be in sympathy with heaven, to be awake to catch the first tones that come from your heavenly Father. Time is very short. Get ready while probation lingers. I want you and Emma to slight not the warnings I give you. I have followed you both with entreaties, faithful reproof, and warnings. Have you heeded them? Or have you chosen your own course? The angels are always happy, not merely because all their surroundings are cheerful and glorious, but because they have a spirit in sympathy with God. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1879, par. 7

God is just as willing to bestow His blessings upon you, Edson, if you comply with the conditions He has given in His Word, as He was to bless His faithful ones in all ages of the world. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1879, par. 8

Remember, a blessing was promised Naaman if he would perform a humble duty, but he refused at first because he saw humility in the requirement. But he afterwards repented of his indignant refusal to comply with the prophet’s directions, and as the result gained a healthful, happy life. Had he refused utterly he would have lost a rich and holy blessing. Edson, you may be inclined to think lightly of the present opportunities and reach so high, so far above yourself that you may fail to realize anything. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1879, par. 9

Angels weep over the infatuation of men, and it will be the turn of the deceived to weep by and by over their own insane actions when they find themselves gone too far to retrace their steps. They strengthened propensities which they ought to have subdued, and these tendencies to evil have finally bound them and made them captives. Now, Edson, now begin as never before to live for God, having His glory in view. He alone can help you and He alone can strengthen and bless you. Yield your independence, poor erring sinner, before God. Meekly bring all your burdens to the feet of Jesus and leave them there. Do your very best in California in any position. Do not come to Battle Creek. Make a success in California, I entreat of you. If you do not set type, take hold of some work; but I advise you to take any position assigned you and show your ability by care, thoroughness, and stick-to-itiveness. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1879, par. 10

Love, 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1879, par. 11

Mother.

Please send my bright green wrap, not the dark green; send red merino dress with pleats. 3LtMs, Lt 29, 1879, par. 12