Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 41, 1876

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Campground, Groveland, Massachusetts

August 24, 1876

Portions of this letter are published in 6MR 303-304.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

We arrived on the ground last night about eight o’clock. I am now able to sit up and although cold, I am sitting writing by a stove with fire just kindled in our stove. I was taken very sick on the Vermont campground—was unable to sit up for two days. The third day I sat up but [was] greatly reduced in flesh and strength. The meeting closed Tuesday morning, yet we remained on the ground until all had left except those who were to do the work of packing up and clearing provision stands and ground. We took down our tent, and all lodged in tent connected with provision stand. We left the ground at seven o’clock, rode one mile and a half to depot. On the train we met Moses White and had quite a visit with him. He had just been visiting his father in New Hampshire. We learned from Moses [that] our train took us very near where his father lives. They were usually well. 3LtMs, Lt 41, 1876, par. 1

Our campground in Vermont was very rough under foot, but the grove was very fine. The scenery was delightful—mountains and hills decorated with trees and foliage. It seemed very much like Colorado scenery. This ground is very good—trees are pitch pine, very much like the old Lancaster ground. 3LtMs, Lt 41, 1876, par. 2

I slept none last night—lost myself twice only. I am feeling better today than I feared I should considering my wakeful night. We receive but very few letters from you, but we are glad to hear from you whenever we are so happy as to receive a letter. We feel very anxious to have rest. I am worn; your father is worn. We both work too hard. We pray that God will give us strength and wisdom to work discreetly. We dare not follow our own judgment and feel that it would be dangerous to walk in the sparks of our own kindling. God is our hope and strength. 3LtMs, Lt 41, 1876, par. 3

We see a very great work to be done in the world and we cannot endure the thought of failing in physical strength now. I look all over the field and I see none who could fill your father’s place. His head to plan and his life of experience to balance the inexperienced is very essential. God has a work for us to do and we need the help, the encouragement and confidence of our people to do this work. We need especially the help and sympathy and unwavering confidence of our dear children. We deserve their love, their tenderest care to relieve us from every unnecessary burden to cheer our hearts. In doing this our children would be staying up our hands as Aaron and Hur stayed up the weary hands of Moses in battle. Our life has been a constant battle and march. When we come where our children are we want them to feel that they will be glorifying God by making extra efforts to speak kind, tender words and to reflect light instead of darkness. We want our children to bear us up with good, cheerful words, by their fervent piety to rejoice our hearts, and with their younger strength to put their shoulders under the loads instead of letting them fall heavily upon us. We cannot endure heavy taxation—we should fall under the load. Children, will you help us? Will you show an example to youth of filial respect and devoted tenderness? It is your duty to fill the responsibility that rests upon you as children to your parents, whom God has especially honored with a responsible work to lead out in His cause. 3LtMs, Lt 41, 1876, par. 4

We may come to Oakland. If we do this winter, I want you, Edson and Emma, to be very earnest to redeem the time and show that you know what duties belong to obedient children. These claims we have, as parents, upon you and we want you to receive the blessing of the fifth commandment. Hold your parents in honor. Do not let your feelings control you, but let the principles of pure religion shine forth in words and acts and deeds. I believe that we may be a very happy family if our children will realize their duty to their worn parents, and will be faithful to do their duties lying right in their path. Selfishness must be put away from you, my dear children. You need to cultivate a love to help and honor your parents. Cling to God, dear children and He will never leave nor forsake you. You want the spirit of freedom in your own hearts, freedom in your house, freedom in the church. Plead with God, Edson and Emma, until you know that you are dying to self. No pride, no worldliness, no ungodliness can stand when Christ appeareth. The pure in heart alone shall see God. You will need to both strive earnestly if you keep the victory over the temptations of Satan. 3LtMs, Lt 41, 1876, par. 5

You must not yield to temptations, but when tried, reveal the grace of God reigning in your heart, that you are being sanctified by the refining influence of the truth. You want the saving power of God daily. You need to cultivate a love for religious exercises. Let not your talents be buried in the world. Work for Jesus; become efficient laborers for God. Put on the armor, my very dear children, and seek opportunity of being a blessing to others. Jesus lives to be your burden-bearer—your support. Look to Him and live. 3LtMs, Lt 41, 1876, par. 6

Brother Haskell is going to Boston and I must close for this time. 3LtMs, Lt 41, 1876, par. 7

In much love, 3LtMs, Lt 41, 1876, par. 8