Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 8a, 1881

White, W. C.; White, Mary

Charlotte, Michigan

July 27, 1881

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 165, 167.

Dear children, Willie and Mary:

We left Battle Creek last Thursday. Brother Burrel was holding meetings in Charlotte and sent an urgent request for us to come and speak to the people Sabbath and First Day. We came and have labored up to this time. We return today to Battle Creek. Edson comes next Sabbath and First Day to labor in the Sabbath school interest. There will be a Sabbath school convention. There has been but a small congregation and limited interest until we came. I have spoken four times, Father three times, to a large, interested audience. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 1

After we returned from [the] Iowa and Wisconsin camp meetings, I was quite sick; could not sleep or eat. Doctor said it was catarrh of the stomach. With this I felt [a] continual burden for Battle Creek. The church was dead and I had entreated Brethren [S. N.] Haskell and [G. I.] Butler to do something for the people right at the heart of the work, but they offered some excuse and did nothing. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 2

My burden for the cause of God was so great I could not sleep. I spent considerable time, after all were asleep, in supplication to God for help. We were thinking of going to Colorado, but my work seemed to be pointed out for Battle Creek, and, accordingly, I went at the work. The Lord gave me freedom before the people. I spoke Thursday night, Friday night, Sabbath morning and afternoon, followed by a social meeting. I read a large number of pages to Dr. Kellogg and Father. The Lord gave me a message for the people. They were stirred. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 3

Sunday night I spoke to the office workers. Here I had special freedom. Monday night, meetings again in the tabernacle; Tuesday night I called all the responsible men of church and institutions and read the document I had written expressly for the benefit of Dr. Kellogg and Father; Wednesday night, meeting in [the] tabernacle. Up to the time I had commenced this work, I was sick, but the Lord gave me strength. I did not get to rest until near midnight and labored all through the day, writing. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 4

Wednesday night I felt I must have rest. A nervous twitching seized my thumb, and I could have no control over it. It jerked continually. I feared paralysis. Father decided to go to Charlotte; this would be a change. I have labored here, but it has been mingled with rest. The burden has not pressed me so heavily. I return home today much stronger than I came. The weather is cooler; that is favorable for me. It is now almost cold enough for winter clothing. These extremes are bad. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 5

Last week I had Sister Mattie King and Mary Chinnock make you a dress and sack. I sent it by mail—registered it. I hope it will be a good fit. I also sent a skirt that you can wear with a light sack. I have taken great pleasure in making you this present. If I had not been doing so much, I might have gotten up something for Willie, but this is not as easy as [it is] for you; Mary will not make pants. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 6

Dear children, I have been alarmed at the state of things. I think Father views matters in a different light. In some things I think he is striving hard for the Spirit of God. He seems more humble, more guarded in words and actions. He has a hard battle before him. I shall help him all I can. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 7

I think I know that Dr. Kellogg has pursued a course no Christian should take to tear down your father, but I shall not allow it. Why do men always carry things to extremes? They cannot stop when they have gone far enough; but if the course of one is questioned, they will not feel content till they crush him. This brings upon me the necessity of defending, and here is where I am today. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 8

The very things they complain of in Father they are doing themselves [to] a tenfold degree. They show that if they were in his place, they would not do half as well as he has done. The very men who would condemn him for sharpness in words and for dictating and being overbearing are tenfold more so, when they dare to be, than he has ever been. They have crowded him out of positions, alleging this as their reason, when they do far worse than he, and the matter is not helped a particle. I know what I am writing about. They have less self-control then he has had. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 9

This is expressly developed in the spirit and manners of McCoy and Dr. Kellogg. I am sorry to see that Elders Butler and Haskell are as much influenced by Dr. Kellogg’s words and statements as they are. But he is a great talker and colors matters by his own strong imagination. I have felt crushed and heartbroken for months, but I have laid my burden on my Saviour and I shall no longer be like a bruised reed. In the strength of Jesus I assert my freedom. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 10

I have come out decidedly and plainly. I told Dr. Kellogg just as I have written you. There will be some change, some way, I am assured. I told them I had been in continual fear that my husband’s mistakes and errors would be classed with the testimonies of the Spirit of God and my influence greatly injured. If I bore a plain testimony against existing wrongs they would say, “She is moulded by her husband’s views and feelings.” If I reproved my husband, he would feel I was severe and others had prejudiced me against him. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 11

I was crippled, but I should be so no longer. I should act perfectly free. They might think of me as they pleased. I would give them reproof, warning, or encouragement as the Lord should give me. The burden of their questioning and doubts should no longer grieve me and close my lips. I should do my duty in the fear of God, and if they would be tempted, I should not be responsible for this. I would cut my way through in the fear of God. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 12

I will write more in reference to this by-and-by. I told Marian [Davis] to send you a copy of a letter written to Elder Haskell some time ago, but she could not remember whether she sent it or not. Then I sent you the only copy I had. The paper was ruled with red. Now please send me the first, best-written copy if you have it. If not, send the last one, on red-ruled paper. I can find neither copy, and I want one very much. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 13

You never make any suggestions in regard to the articles for [the] Signs. It would be well for you to express your mind in some way about them to Marian. We were glad to receive your letters. Write just how you are in health. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 14

Do see if someone cannot take your place and you drop this heavy weight of responsibility. I have fears for you both. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 15

We think we may spend the winter in Healdsburg and write, but don’t know as the way is prepared for us. Let us know your mind. 3LtMs, Lt 8a, 1881, par. 16

Mother.