Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 31, 1878

White, J. S.

Salem, Oregon

June 20, 1878

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 85; 5MR 179.

Dear husband:

Your letter mailed the 11th came yesterday. The card mailed the 10th came in the same mail. I was glad to hear of your safe arrival. I had not before this heard anything since the card you wrote that you were within two nights of home. You report your feet and hands free from heat. I am glad to learn this. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1878, par. 1

I sent a card to Willie yesterday, stating I was feeling more natural. I am steadily improving and shall be able when the meeting opens to act my part in the strength and with the grace of God. I am invited Sunday to speak to the prisoners, about one hundred and fifty; I shall do so. Sunday evening, speak in the Methodist church. Sabbath, to our people. There is work laid out for me, and I expect to do it by the grace of God. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1878, par. 2

Van Horn and Adelia are living in their rented house, commodious and pleasant. Adelia seems quite matronly with her two children. She seems to take to the business of baby tending very naturally. Her eldest boy is a fine little dark-skinned fellow of five years old. She is, I fear, a little too indulgent. Adelia is a treasure. I think much of her. But I am confident her lungs will not stand this climate. There are very many who die with consumption here. There is too much cloud and fog and too little sunshine. I prefer the California climate to this. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1878, par. 3

Brother Jones and Frankie are here now. They are hard at work all of them fitting up the ground. There have been several camp meetings near here, but the grounds were in a terrible state, and everything was unpleasant generally. Our people are desirous of showing what a camp ground can be and should be. I think they will make a success of it. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1878, par. 4

It is nearly one week now before the camp meeting commences. Next Thursday I shall have my tent upon the ground. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1878, par. 5

The brethren and sisters I have seen here are very fine people with some few exceptions. Adelia is very anxious to return to Michigan. I do not know what to say to her. Should I give her one word of encouragement, she would go with me. But Van Horn is really needed here, but there should be some other gift with his to be very effective, I think, in stirring souls and bringing them up to the point of decision. If there could be an experienced man to come in here, I think a much greater work would be done. Elder Waggoner should not have left this field. All liked him, but he was afraid the climate would not agree with him. I am sorry he has his mind so much on himself and his infirmities. As long as he dwells on these things, he will be inefficient everywhere. We must get out and away from self if we are of any use in the great work of God for these last days. I never felt the greatness of the work as now. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1878, par. 6

I feel the testimony within me; and for some weeks my mind has been exercised that it was not my duty to set myself down to writing while the most favorable opportunity is before me to bring my testimony before the people. I shall, I think, go to different points in California in company with a woman attendant, Emma, perhaps, and improve the favorable weather to address the people. The truth is like fire shut up in my bones, and I must speak that I may be relieved. I greatly regret that I have not done more the present season in going to different points. God has given me a testimony that no other one has, and I am responsible for the great gift. Our people in California know but little of me, but they shall be better acquainted ere long. At the camp meeting I shall meet many I have never seen, many who have been brought newly to the faith. I am not now studying what would be agreeable to me, but what is my duty. I can leave my writing [for Spirit of Prophecy] Volume Four till winter when shut in by the rains, then our good house in Healdsburg will be of the greatest service. So this is now my plan. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1878, par. 7

I have felt very lonely since you left, away from husband and children, but when engaged in active labor I shall not feel this so keenly. I shall not see the dear children before they go to Europe, but it is not necessary I should see them. I have not lived to please myself and do not wish to. It would be gratifying to be with my dear ones, but God knows what is best. I am glad you are with your friends and will have all done for you that can be done. I shall feel at rest in your case. And as to Willie and Mary, they are God’s property. I feel that God has accepted the sacrifice of yielding them wholly to Him. It was a very great trial to me when I left Michigan, last fall. I had counted so much on being with my children. The last opportunity that might ever present so favorably for their companionship, but I brought myself to the point and left them. And now they will go to Europe before we meet again; but if we never meet in this world, if we can gather about the great white throne and sing the song of triumph and victory, there I will be satisfied. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1878, par. 8

I am pleading with God for to be qualified to do my work, looking to Him to guide me and not to be turned aside or diverted from it by any circumstances. God will help me, even me, to carry out His will and glorify His name. I have many very precious seasons in secret and family prayer. And the power of God rests upon me when I speak to the people. While Collins takes care of the place, I can come and go as I please. When he leaves in the fall, I shall make efforts to get a man and his wife to be company for me, and here I design to stay, going and coming as duty dictates. I shall have no worriment about you, for you will have every care at the sanitarium. There is nothing to call me [to] the other side of the mountains. Work is to be found everywhere right where I am, enough to do which somebody must do. I am seeking closer connection with God that I may do this work, this sacred work, with fidelity. There is necessity for my having an eye single to the glory of God. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1878, par. 9

I do not expect to be at the General Conference. There is no need of me there—men of ability and influence, plenty of them there. I have committed myself to God. I do not say I shall not go, for I wait for light from God and hope to follow where He shall lead, be it in Battle Creek, in old England, or anywhere. I am not my own. God has given me an important work, and I will now as never before be faithful in this work if I fall at my post. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1878, par. 10

I feel the wants for this time. I cannot sleep nights. My heart is drawn out in prayer to God for a fitness for the work. He will hear; He will answer: I shall be imbued with His Spirit. I shall be strengthened by His might. I have not a doubt of it. Work! I need not cross the plains to find it. It is heaping up everywhere. The harvest is ripe for the sickle and so few laborers. I have no course to mark out for you, not even a suggestion to make. I leave you with your God. Seek His counsel and all will be well. You need have no fears that my judgement or ideas shall conflict with yours. God will teach us. Trust in Him. But my work must be here on the coast till I get marching orders. Should I see light, I would go anywhere, [even] if it were to Australia. I am watching and waiting and praying and working, meanwhile with all my might. Self and selfish interest shall not control me. I have risen early to get a good chance to write. I have had some very, very sad hours and some very precious ones since you left. Accept my love and best wishes. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1878, par. 11

Much love to our dear children and to Aunt Mary and Addie and May. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1878, par. 12

Your Ellen.