Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 42, 1879

White, J. E.

Battle Creek, Michigan

November 21, 1879

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 334.

Dear Son Edson:

I have just read your letter. You write intelligently in reference to the course to be pursued in the office of publication on the Pacific coast, and had I confidence that your present state of feelings would be lasting, I should breathe more freely. But your impressions and convictions of the Spirit of God have hitherto been like the morning dew before the sun. The work has not gone to the depths of the soul, making a radical change. Warnings and counsel have followed you at every point. The trouble is, Edson, you will not be managed. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1879, par. 1

You are continually devising and executing plans. You have managed the council in a great degree, and you have a faculty of clothing your propositions with such a dress that others are inclined to view things in the light in which you view them. They do not look upon matters deeply and carefully, in that sensible, practical light in which they should. You are ardent and you take a very hopeful view of matters. You think everything is coming out all clear and you have frequently, to gain your purpose and get consent to your plans, kept back a part of the truth which, if known, would bring out a different decision. When your plans are adopted, frequently the council is in blindness as to what they are doing, and matters come out in every way differently from what was expected. Satan places his magnifying glasses before your imagination, and then you move with exaggerated expectations, and failure and loss are the sure result. You have managed too much. You seem to have a frenzy to manage means, and were half your zeal to spend means manifested to economize and retrench and save, there would be a very different condition of things in the office. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1879, par. 2

Your having no horror of debt is bad for you, bad for the office. I do not think that the true state of the financial standing of the office should be known, for it will be its ruin if it is. Your only course is to make no rash moves. As you say, do the best you can, and wait and see what the Lord will do in the case. I cannot now say decidedly whether the Lord will give you another trial in connection with the office. I dare not by word or thought let my motherly feelings gain the least advantage to run the least risk of imperiling the office. It is safe to look to God and to trust in Him, to show great diligence in regard to time and earnestness and perseverance to do anything. You have taken your case in your own hands and told what you would do and what you would not do. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1879, par. 3

You have lessons that you must learn if you would be an heir of heaven. Your case is not hopeless. There are provisions made for you if you will comply with the conditions laid down in the Word of God. But you are headstrong. You will lead, but not be led. To overcome self is a battle that is before you which will require constant grace from God. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1879, par. 4

How matters will come out in the office eventually I know not. One thing I do know, that Satan is waiting to take every advantage of the circumstances as they exist at the present time, to make capital out of it over which he will exult and God’s people be discouraged. In your own behalf I do not wish you to be deceived. Our time here is short at best, and we want every move we shall make to tell in the strengthening and the advancement of the cause of God. You have not been true to yourself or true to the interests of the cause of God, because you have not battled with your own peculiar temperament which has all your life kept you under a yoke, a galling yoke, and neutralized all the good you would do. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1879, par. 5

I want you this time, if possible, to see your mistakes, your defects, and make most earnest reformation. Let your cry be to God, Convert my inmost soul. Plead with God for the transforming power of His grace. Hold fast to your Saviour as did Jacob, until God shall not only reveal to you yourself, but shall reveal to you Himself, and you shall see in Jesus a strength and support, a brightness and power you have never sensed and realized. Your soul’s salvation is in great peril, and now do not, I plead with you, deceive your own soul. If your faith perseveringly grasps the promises, you will prevail. This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1879, par. 6

As long as you are true to yourself, no adverse power of earth or hell will be able to destroy your peace or interrupt your communion with God. If you fear God, you need not walk in uncertainty. If you please Him, you will secure everything which your soul requires. The language of an eminent Christian was, “There is nothing in the universe I fear, but that I shall not know all my duty, or shall fail to do it.” 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1879, par. 7

Let these words be your motto: Stand up for Jesus, though it may require any sacrifice, any self-denial. Stand up for Jesus; anywhere, anywhere, stand up for Jesus. Do all your work as though you could see through the veil and God’s eye were directed full upon you, taking cognizance of every action. He hath purchased you with His own blood; and when you need His help, call upon Him, and you will have it. It is then Jesus will stand up for you. Let your short, uncertain life be a continual preparation for the future immortal life. Temptation is allowed to come upon us to discover the character we possess and to improve our defects. There are continual solicitations to sin which are disguised to deceive and allure the soul to ruin. Satan will transform himself into an angel of light, and he is constantly plotting to rob God of His glory in the destruction of souls. I beseech of you for your soul’s sake to resist the devil that he may flee from you. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1879, par. 8

Hang your helpless soul on God. Follow the light given you of heaven. Give up your selfishness, your self-assurance. Solicitations to evil will meet us on every hand, and a thousand voices will beat on us to follow to our ruin. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1879, par. 9

I do not think Frank Belden and you should be associated together. You are too much alike. You hurt one another. Frank, poor boy, might have been a smart, capable young man, having a power of influence for God. But he is a spendthrift. He has no moral power to resist evil. He is not in favor with God. He might make a useful hand in the office but he will not see himself and reform. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1879, par. 10