Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 51, 1876

White, J. E.

Oakland, California

January 1876 [?]

Previously unpublished.

Dear Edson:

I have been able to sleep but two hours the past night. I have been pleading with God in your behalf. I awoke at half past eleven, strangely exercised in mind for you. I was deeply impressed that you are in a critical situation. It seemed forced upon my mind, that which I have felt several times before, that you come up to about so far in your efforts to get free, but you stop short and are not making thorough efforts, thorough work, and you will slide back to your old position. The words our Saviour spoke to Nicodemus are forced upon my mind with a power I cannot throw off: “Ye must be born again.” [John 3:7.] And unless you experience this new birth you will never be qualified to minister in sacred things. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 1

Your standard of righteousness is too low. There is a necessity for you to make more earnest efforts, more thorough work; in short, be thoroughly converted, or you will have no strength to meet the conflicts and the battles of this life. I know where you should stand and may stand. I fear you only just commence at the work; you do not carry forward the efforts you begin to make, and then you sink back into the old rut. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 2

Now, Edson, I have been praying for you nearly all night, for I feel that you need help from the only One who can help you. You have not, I fear, felt subdued. You have not fallen upon the Rock and broken yet. Self will be strong in you for the mastery. The old man must be crucified, with his deeds. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 3

I am fearful that you will not be earnest enough to know Him whom to know aright is life eternal. This will require much prayer and constant watchfulness. Be willing and anxious to make thorough work. Surrender all to God. Fall on the Rock and not be bruised but broken. A thorough work must be done for you which will carry you out of yourself, and beyond yourself, to a power that is able to save you fully. As a family we need to gather light from the Source of light daily and scatter light in the pathway of others. We need the Spirit of God witnessing with our spirit that we are indeed children of God. We need a deep and living experience in the things of God. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 4

Come to the foot of the cross, dear son, and humble your heart before God. If you obtain freedom in Christ you must make an effort for it—not one or two efforts and then cease, but a strong, determined, persevering effort that will not be satisfied short of a thorough work. Oh, my son! God wants His salvation to come to your house. He is knocking at the door of your heart for admittance, but you have not cleared away the rubbish sufficiently to let Him in. Open the door and invite Jesus in. I am sure that if you come to God aright He will accept you and bless you. Do not wait for feeling. Come just as you are. Jesus will receive you and refine you from all dross. Now is your time. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 5

You are not prepared to take hold of the work in the Office and exert a sanctifying influence unless you are consecrated to God and looking to Him and relying upon Him constantly for strength and power to resist the temptations of Satan. I know that unless you feel your need of constant help, and rely upon God’s promised power, you will fail. Satan will have far more power and control over your mind than the Spirit of God. The enemy will suggest [that] you accept and follow his leadings, and unless you are determined to make thorough work I know you will fail. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 6

The salvation of the soul is no trifling matter. Agonize to enter into the strait gate, for many shall seek to enter in and shall not be able. Are not your efforts more like that of the seeker? You have good resolutions but do not carry them out. Can a fountain send forth sweet water and bitter at the same time? Cleanse the fountain and the streams proceeding from it will be pure. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 7

I speak and write for your good. I want your life, the little time allotted you, to be for some purpose. But it can never be until you lay the foundation right. You must build your structure on Christ. You trust too much in yourself, your efforts. Come, oh come to Jesus, with much prayer and with a broken heart and contrite spirit. Wrestle with God as did Jacob till you prevail. Get your mind off of every living mortal and then let the work be between God and your own soul. Life and death are at stake. I beseech of you to make thorough work for eternity. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and in due time He will lift you up. Do not wait for Him to humble you. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 8

You want salvation. Jesus wants you to have it. And when you do all that is required on your part He will do all He has promised. We are none of us fitted for the work of God without a daily living experience in the things of God. We connect, I fear, too closely with the world and are content to meet the world’s standard. We do not feel our own weakness and the need of the Spirit of God. Therefore, we make so many failures. God wants us to connect with Him. He wants that we should perfect Christian characters. It will not answer to give to God a divided heart. He has claims to all there is of us. We must not halt between two opinions. If the Lord be God, serve Him. If Baal, then serve him. This half-hearted business of serving God is disgusting in His pure eyes. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 9

Says the True Witness, “I would thou wert cold or hot; so then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. ... I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed; ... and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Revelation 3:16-18. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 10

You want the heavenly anointing; you want pure and undefiled religion before God. In short, fall upon the Rock and be broken before it shall be too late to do this. My soul yearns for you, Edson. Will you meet the mind of God and purify your soul before God and be a Christian in every sense of the word? Will you dally and make halfway work? Do everything thoroughly in regard to your eternal interest. Will you, oh, will you suffer precious time to go to waste while you are chasing shadows? Your plans and your prospects seem right and bright to you, but how do they appear to God? Time is precious and eternity near. We want to make sure work for eternity. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 11

And when it shall be said, “Give an account of thy stewardship” [Luke 16:2], can you meet your record with joy? How does the matter stand? Every act will be revealed, with the motive that prompted it. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 12

I dare not encourage your laboring in the Office unless you are connected with God. You want Jesus with you, then your influence will be unto salvation. I pray daily that you may not accept of a false hope. May the scales fall from your eyes to see and to feel your true condition and not rest till you do. Do not try to slip over the matter and make a half-work of this matter. God is not to be trifled with. I do beg of you, for your soul’s sake and for Christ’s sake, to make thorough work that will bear the investigation of the judgment. Build sure now, if you have never done so before. You cannot afford to make a mistake in the matter when eternal interests are involved and where a mistake would prove your ruin. If I know anything about the Spirit of God, you need to take advance steps that you are not taking. I must be true with you. But in love I tell you to dig deep. Let the fallow ground of the heart be broken up. Die to self. When this experience is gained, God can use you in His cause and accept you to do His work. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 13

Do not justify self and find excuses for your wrongs and mistakes. Will you come to Christ just as you are, all sinful and polluted, and surrender to God, not to please others, to seem right in their eyes, but to meet the mind and purpose of God in having all your powers sanctified to His use? Great light has shone upon you. You have had evidences of His love for you, showing you that He wanted to save you. All this light you are responsible for. How poorly have you followed it! Your own ideas and plans may seem so certain and sure that you may bend all your energies to carry them out, and in doing so you have failed repeatedly. Oh, that you would come so near to God that Satan could not have control of your mind. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 14

I now leave you in the hands of God. I have written this between the hours of two and five o’clock, after devoting two hours to prayer. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 15

Your Mother. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 16

(No one knows I have written this.) 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1876, par. 17