Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 23, 1879

White, J. E.; White, Emma

White’s Ranch, Colorado

August 5, 1879

Portions of this letter are published in 4MR 210-214.

Dear children, Edson and Emma:

We are now living for the time being on the Froget place. There is a very good house of three rooms. The surroundings are much more pleasant than at the old place at the mill. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 1

We found Bro. McDearmon and family occupying two rooms in a chamber. Brother Olmstead occupied the lower part of the house. It was located in a low spot where all the drains [were] to conduct the refuse from the buildings, taverns, and stores on the main street. We encouraged them to come to the mountains. They could have the use of the Froget house and pay nothing. They are here. We are all living together. We can come and go when we please, and our goods are safe, for some one will be at home. They all like the mountain much better than Boulder City. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 2

The church at Boulder was organized last Sabbath. Twenty-seven united with the church. About ten more, it is expected, will unite. We had hard labor in Boulder. I spoke twice under the tent and three times to our people especially. I had a very pointed testimony to bear to Brother Olmstead and Brother Cornell. If these men had moved with wisdom, seeking to honor and glorify God, had their lives been unselfish, had their works corresponded with their faith, there would have been a church with a healthy influence in Boulder. Oh, what an account these men, professing to be children of God and yet showing the Satan side of their characters, will have to give! Retarding the work of God is a fearful matter. The record of these men who profess righteousness and do not exemplify the life of Christ in their words and acts will be such that they will never want to meet in the judgment. The “well done, good and faithful servant” [Matthew 25:23] will be spoken only to those who have been faithful and unselfish, being good and doing good. We have had a hard battle, and there is a more favorable appearance. There are openings for the truth every where, but Elder Cornell has no courage to labor (I suppose in consequence of his past life) and has no burden for souls. I told him the reason he has not been connected with God. He does not love to search the Scriptures; he does not love the hour of meditation and of prayer; and therefore it is impossible for him to have spiritual strength. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 3

Angeline Cornell will prefer papers or fictitious story books to the Bible. The story books fascinate and create a disrelish for the reading of the Scriptures. Thus the mind becomes fanciful and narrows down to the things with which it is occupied. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 4

My testimony was especially to them upon this point. I could write many interesting things, but I am limited for time. All are talking around me, and it disturbs me some. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 5

Dear children, I beg of you to be very careful of your deportment. Never, never feel that you may release your diligence to watch unto prayer. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 6

Edson, you wrote to me last expressing some things that have troubled me. My son, you must not trust to your own strength or have too good an opinion of your own attainments, for I have continual fears lest Emma and you both will become careless and neglectful of your duty, that self-indulgence will deprive you of the precious blessings that are only realized by the self-sacrificing, humble, meek, and lowly ones. You need to cultivate the graces of the Spirit of God. You have had great light, great privileges, and you will be responsible for all this amount of light. A voice has been speaking to you both from heaven for years, reproving, warning, and encouraging. Have you felt as you should the importance of cherishing every ray of light that has shone upon your pathway? 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 7

Emma, I was shown that your time is not always the best employed. You dwarf your mind in reading books that cannot improve the mind. The Bible you should make your study. You can do a great deal more good than you now do for the Master if you were only a thorough, self-sacrificing, devoted Christian. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 8

Not one of us can live to please and gratify self and yet have the approval of our Redeemer, who lived not to please Himself, but to do others good. Our daily record is going up to heaven. What shall that record be, our own course will determine. There [are] but few real missionaries for God in our world, but few who will work the works of Christ, but few who will love their neighbor as themselves, but few who will serve God with their undivided affection, and but few who will win the eternal weight of glory. According to the light received will be condemnation of every individual. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 9

God is speaking to us through His Word, pointing out the path of faith and righteousness as the only path to glory. All who have the Spirit of Christ will place high value upon the Scriptures, for they are the oracles of God. They are as actually a divine communication, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it,” (Isaiah 30:21), as though its words came to us from Isaiah, syllabled and in an audible voice. Oh, if people only believed this, what awe, what reverence, what prostration of soul would attend their searching of the Scriptures which show the way to eternal life! The Scriptures are the Word of the living God to man, a message from heaven. Every true child of God will love to peruse it, to study it. And if they read it prayerfully, in humility, yet with hope and faith and confidence, it will be a lamp to their feet, a light to their path, and they will not walk in darkness. The more they search for knowledge, the clearer will truth shine; and yet they may never quit their searching, for there is an infinity still of knowledge of light and truth. God would have you both diligent students of His Word. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 10

I have been shown that Edson will search the Scriptures to a limited degree, and his light and knowledge and ability to understand the Word of God will be limited to his researches and his prayer in humility and faith for a knowledge of the truth revealed in God’s Word. Light is sown for the righteous and truth for the upright in heart. There may be one hundred able men in the Scriptures where there is one now. But few hunger and thirst for divine knowledge revealed in the Bible, and the result is inefficiency and weakness as far as spirituality is concerned. God will not work by miracles to solve the mysteries of His Word to the lazy, careless, inattentive student. If you, my son, want to be a strong man in the understanding of the Word, search the Scriptures with a humble, prayerful heart. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 11

Emma should read her Bible more and story books less. In reading fascinating story books, she loses all relish for the Scriptures. God has been speaking to His people in the testimonies of His Spirit, in the Spirit of prophecy, to lead the minds of His people to the Bible teaching, and these lie upon the shelf, neglected, unread, and unheeded. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 12

Edson, I want you to keep one fact before you; that through your neglect to work constantly, earnestly, and perseveringly to perfect Christian character, you have, through the temptations of Satan, become wayward and your energies crippled, your capacities contracted, your desires worldly and selfish. Your “soul now might be as a watered garden whose waters fail not.” [Isaiah 58:11.] Your own soul refreshed, you would be constantly refreshing others, Christ in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The souls you win to Christ will be heirs of immortal life, thus the life of Christ in you will be manifested to others, charming, winning, and gathering them to Christ. Heaven is worth a lifelong, persevering, and untiring effort. Those only who prize it as the pearl of great price and will sell all to obtain the precious treasure will come into possession of it. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 13

Christ has made an infinite sacrifice for man, and man for whom so great a sacrifice has been made that he might have eternal life is now called upon to make sacrifices on his own account and in his own behalf. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 14

Edson, very many professing to be followers of Christ are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. We hope that your influence will be such as will not lower the standard of Christianity. All know that my position is a responsible one, constantly teaching, reproving others of faults, and seeking to impress souls with the solemnity of the time in which we live and the importance of eternal life. And if my own children are careless and constantly lukewarm, without religious zeal or fervor, they counteract the influence that God would have me exert. Souls will be lost through heedlessness and lack of devotion and piety. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 15

I leave these lines with you, having a burdened soul that you both need this. You forget so easily and slide away from God so naturally that you need to live hourly, daily lives of watchfulness and prayer. 3LtMs, Lt 23, 1879, par. 16