Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 40, 1878

White, J. S.

Salem, Oregon

July 3, 1878

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 86-89.

Dear husband:

Our good camp meeting is ended and yet we hope not ended in the fullest sense for its influence has been felt upon the community around and especially has given character to the cause of God upon this coast and will be long felt by our brethren. It will tell for eternity. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1878, par. 1

Monday, the last day of the meeting, Elder Loughborough spoke in the forenoon and I spoke in the afternoon as illustrated by the apostle in his ladder of eight rounds. 2 Peter 1:3-11. The Spirit and power of God rested upon me. I then invited those who wished to seek God to come forward, and those who felt that they were unready for the appearing of Christ and desired here to consecrate themselves unreservedly to God, to separate themselves from the congregation and come forward. Nearly all in the tent responded. We had a most solemn time. The presence of the Lord was indeed in our midst. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1878, par. 2

There was one man named White who had introduced himself to me upon the steamer to whom I gave reading matter. He was traveling as a reporter for the secular papers. He came to our meeting on Sunday. We had some conversation. I inquired in reference to his faith whether he had received Christ as his Saviour. He said he had not, but knew that he ought to do so. He said his mother was a Christian and it was a matter of great anxiety to her that he was not. I tried to speak to him appropriate words in reference to giving himself to Christ. This afternoon he was among the number who came forward for prayers. I supplied him with reading matter, and he has promised to search for himself to see what is truth. He has read the Bible and is not ignorant of its requirements, but is not acquainted with our doctrines. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1878, par. 3

In the evening I spoke again in reference to the advancement of the work of God under difficulties and sought to have our brethren feel that there were responsibilities which God had left upon every one of them who received the truth to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth, not the salt that had lost its savor, but salt that had all its saving properties. This we could be if we connected with Jesus Christ and were imbued with His Spirit. I felt it duty to urge upon them the necessity of broader plans, enlarged views of the work, and they prepared to move as the providence of God opened the way. I told them if they were wide awake to do all on their part to warn the world, that they might prepare for the great day of God, they would have power to stand against the moral darkness that was prevailing everywhere. If God saw that they were earnest and faithful and energetic in doing their work with an eye single to His glory, He would imbue them with His Spirit and would impart to them greater light and power; and as the work progressed, I believed there would be a printing house on this coast that they could with greater advantage get our Bible truth before the people. We had no time to waste in indifference, in worldly speculating, for Satan was taking advantage of our carelessness and lack of promptness. He was persevering in his efforts, doing his work and showing his executive ability to ensnare, deceive, and destroy, while ministers and people were generally letting him have things his own way. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1878, par. 4

The prayers of Christ’s followers should be to God day and night to lift up a standard for them against the enemy. God would impart wisdom and power to those who would use it to His glory if they asked Him in faith. Those who use their ability and means to do what they can in every way they can, God will increase their ability to do. If we indeed have become partakers of the heavenly benefits, having a knowledge of the sacred truth of God for this time, we are to do all in our power to warn the world, to prepare for the day of God. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1878, par. 5

Tuesday morning we had our parting meeting. Brother Raymond was ordained. It was a precious hour with softened hearts. We bid our friends farewell, knowing that we should never meet many of them again in this world. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1878, par. 6

We reluctantly parted with our dear friends from Walla Walla who took the train at seven o’clock on their homeward route. Our acquaintance with them was very pleasant and although we may be separated across the continent, yet we shall never forget the interesting hours spent in the worship of God on this camp ground. The sweet blessing of God has rested upon us from the commencement to the close. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1878, par. 7

Friday morning as I stood before the people, speaking to them in our early morning meeting, the blessing of God rested upon me in great measure, while speaking in reference to this camp meeting, that hearts were beating in sympathy across the continent with the hearts there assembled, that prayers were ascending to heaven in behalf of the people convened. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1878, par. 8

My mind was for a moment carried to Battle Creek. I spoke of my husband, his work and present affliction, when he seemed to be distinctly pictured before me with a divine light above and around him, his countenance expressing peace and inexpressible happiness. I shall never forget this sight presented to my imagination, for I know that God had a care for His servant and His love was toward him, His everlasting arms beneath him. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1878, par. 9

I must close this now. I bring one student for the college with me as far as Oakland. There may be some one found to accompany her father. She is an only daughter. I want her to board at our house and receive all the attention she needs. She is a girl of rare promise as you will discern when you meet her, only 15 years old now. Her parents love her, but not unwisely. They are unwilling to part with her, but feel that it would be best for their daughter; and it is no small struggle in her mind in regard to this matter, separating from her parents and going out from under the home roof among strangers. Her parents are young in the faith, but thoroughly converted, and are doing their utmost to advance the cause of truth in Salem. They are pillars in the church. They are enshrined in my heart and I can, if situated conveniently for her, take this child in my mother's heart and act as far as I can the part of a mother to her. She is delicate, and our bracing climate in winter East will be an advantage to her rather than an injury. She expects to remain from her parents four years until she shall obtain a classical education. Her coming will in all probability bring her brother, perhaps others. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1878, par. 10

Elder Van Horn and Brother Raymond go to Walla Walla to labor together. Brother Jones is a promising young man, calls great congregations and is an acceptable speaker. He will labor about Salem in this part of the field. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1878, par. 11

In much love to Willie and Mary, Addie and May, our little ones and Aunt Mary. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1878, par. 12

Your Ellen.