Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 50, 1878

White, J. S.

Ballardvale, Massachusetts

August 31, 1878

Previously unpublished.

Dear husband:

It has been hard laboring here. An icy coldness seems to close about us. 3LtMs, Lt 50, 1878, par. 1

I had freedom in speaking short upon several occasions. My words seemed to be received by the people and responded to; but yet there seemed to be something we could not touch. Yesterday I spoke with some freedom upon the sayings of Christ in regard to the man who built his house upon the rock. We have had a large attendance from the outside; from the first of our meetings a good, attentive congregation. I called them forward, and one hundred responded. Several requested prayers for fathers, mothers, children, sisters, brothers. After prayers were offered, many testimonies were borne, some very interesting. But I felt sad, the work seemed to lack depth. I knew that there were very many who needed a thorough conversion to God, who had but little sense of what constituted a Christian and their peril while remaining lukewarm. My soul was burdened for those who felt no conviction and burden for themselves. 3LtMs, Lt 50, 1878, par. 2

I listened to a very clear, sharp discourse from Brother Farnsworth upon the law and gospel. This plain, clear discourse has confirmed and strengthened many who had accepted the Sabbath. I appreciated the words spoken, yet I could not free myself from the burden which pressed my soul, and for several hours I could not sleep. My silent prayers went up to God from an anguished heart for God to be our Helper, for God to work. Oh, how helpless we all seemed without the special power of God to work with our efforts. New churches had been raised up since our last camp meeting. Precious souls had accepted the truth, and these all needed meat in due season. All needed to be carried forward to a deeper and more thorough knowledge of practical godliness. Many needed the words spoken to them which Christ spoke to Nicodemus—“Ye must be born again.” [John 3:7.] Many have not experienced the change represented by death, while another class was in a more dangerous condition, professing sanctification which I was convicted by the Spirit of God was spurious. I respected those whom I knew were thus deceived. Persons sanctified to God are very humble, meek, and lowly. Many who profess sanctification are like the pretentious fig tree, having a great display of flourishing leaves while the search of Christ reveals no fruit—nothing but leaves. 3LtMs, Lt 50, 1878, par. 3

The Lord gave me rest finally. Another beautiful Sabbath day opened before us, but I felt so very weary. My throat was sore, my courage weakening. Brother Goodrich spoke to the people with freedom and in great earnestness in the morning. In the afternoon I spoke upon the barren fig tree. The Lord blessed me. He lifted me above all my infirmities and strengthened me to speak the truth with power. It was the Lord that spoke through me. I then invited those to come forward who wanted to be Christians and those who had backslidden from God and those who were not having the evidence of the love of God. Between two and three hundred responded. There was deep feeling in the meeting. The icy indifference was broken up. Believers and unbelievers were affected to tears. Fervent and effective prayers were offered to God, and we knew that Jesus was in our midst indeed to convict, comfort, and bless. Those who came forward were then divided up into companies, occupying four tents. A minister was appointed to each tent to labor for those who had come forward and who needed help. I learn that these meetings were a success; precious victories were gained. 3LtMs, Lt 50, 1878, par. 4

Will write more today, Sunday, if I can get time. This must be mailed. Received yours yesterday where you mention your speaking in Boulder City. Glad you have put the armor on. God will sustain you. 3LtMs, Lt 50, 1878, par. 5

In haste, 3LtMs, Lt 50, 1878, par. 6

Your Ellen.

I find no mails go today. So will finish my letter. 3LtMs, Lt 50, 1878, par. 7