Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 32, 1876

White, J. E.; White, Emma

To Dubuque, Iowa

June 14, 1876

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 174; 7MR 285-286.

(On the train from Marion to Dubugue.)

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

We have just closed one of the most interesting camp meetings we have ever attended. The Lord gave us a testimony for the people which seemed to be received by them. 3LtMs, Lt 32, 1876, par. 1

Monday morning I spoke from the words of Christ to Nicodemus. “Ye must be born again.” [John 3:7.] The spirit and power of God rested upon speakers and hearers. All present seemed to be deeply affected. The depth of feeling was more general than is usually seen. As I stood inviting those to come forward who wanted to fully dedicate themselves to God, sinners and backsliders, my heart was deeply affected. I felt indeed that souls were making decisions for eternity. I knew that if the eyes of those present could be opened, we should see angels of God walking through the congregation and although unseen by mortal eyes, the presence was felt. 3LtMs, Lt 32, 1876, par. 2

Three hundred came forward for prayers. We then gave them opportunity to express their feelings and one hundred and thirty testimonies were borne. Frequently four were on their feet at once, talking and confessing with tears their sins and their departure from God. I never saw it on this wise before. As the result of the meeting, forty-eight were baptized. All went to their homes encouraged and many were signally blessed. 3LtMs, Lt 32, 1876, par. 3

We are happy in this work. Many times we are disappointed in our expectations but then when we see the Lord working with our efforts, and souls coming to Christ, we forget the weariness, disappointments, and trials which we meet in connection with this work and feel honored of God to be permitted to have a part in it. We have had some very precious seasons of prayer with some who were discouraged and almost in despair. We rejoiced with them as light shone into the darkened chambers of the soul. The Lord has indeed encouraged our hearts and strengthened us for our great work. We do believe fruit will abound to the glory of God as the result of this meeting. 3LtMs, Lt 32, 1876, par. 4

Let your prayers, my children, go up to heaven in our behalf, that God would bring souls who are in the darkness of error to the knowledge of the truth. Light, precious light is shining on every page of the Word of God. It is the man of our counsel. When we study its pages with a heartfelt desire to learn our duty, angels are close beside us to impress the mind and strengthen the imagination to discern the sacred things revealed in the Word of God. 3LtMs, Lt 32, 1876, par. 5

Every thought, word and act, we should bring to the test of God’s revealed will. In all things the inquiry should be, Will this please God? Will it be in accordance with the teachings of His Word? And when there is an indecision of mind in regard to duty, our natural hearts will plead for indulgence to follow inclination. But let us ever take the safe course, however much self-denial it may involve. Let us be determined to run no risks where eternal interests are involved. I feel like urging you to study your Bible with interest and be qualifying yourself for the work of God. But everyone who is entrusted with this work must be faithful soldiers of the cross of Christ. They must be an active, wide-awake Christian. 3LtMs, Lt 32, 1876, par. 6

Dear son, Edson, guard faithfully your thoughts. Keep every approach to your heart well fortified. You must put up the bars against the approach of Satan. Watchfulness at one point while others are neglected will not avail. The careless neglect of one sentinel will imperil the entire army. The neglect to guard one path to the fortress may prove the loss of the city. I read a narrative which I will write to you. 3LtMs, Lt 32, 1876, par. 7

“The Romans once nearly lost their capital and their nationality, by a trivial neglect. They were closely besieged by these terrible men, the Gauls. They shut themselves up in their capital, and placed guards every night to prevent a surprise. But there was one point they did not guard. The capital stood upon a rock. On one side this rock was deemed inaccessible. They did not therefore place a guard there. The wily Gauls discovered a path by which it might be scaled, and in the dark nights with silent stealth, they climbed these crags. On they sped unseen. Deep were the slumbers of the Romans, vain the watchfulness of the sentinels. On, on the Gauls urged their way. They reached the summit. Very soon the unguarded Romans will perish! But no. God has a work for that ironhearted people to perform and choosing some birds, the sacred geese kept in their temple, as His instruments, they made unusual cackling. The Roman sentinel wonders, searches on all sides and discovers the foe in season to arouse his companions in arms, and hurl the adventurers down the steeps they had adventurously climbed. None were saved, but it was a very narrow escape from extermination.” One unguarded spot placed them in this peril. 3LtMs, Lt 32, 1876, par. 8

One duty neglected, one defective point in your character, one act of self-indulgence, may result in a train of circumstances which may prove the ruin of the soul. There are perils before us which we must meet, and our only safety is in God. Let your light so shine before men as to exert a saving influence in the world. You must not feel content to make no special, direct effort to save the souls of others. Gather with Christ and you will be a co-laborer with Him. God bless you, my children. 3LtMs, Lt 32, 1876, par. 9