Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 31, 1880

White, W. C.

Milton, Oregon

May 27, 1880

Previously unpublished.

Dear son Willie:

Our meeting here is moving well. We have had quite a battle but there have been the revealings of the power of God from time to time. Yesterday morning I bore a plain testimony to Elder [I. D.] Van Horn and to those of the church who had made pledges and then backslidden from God and had not kept their pledges. Some had paid, but very reluctantly. I had freedom in relieving my soul of a burden which has nearly crushed me, but I think there is a general receiving of the testimony and light is breaking in. I spoke to our people upon the subject of temperance for two hours yesterday afternoon—one hour in the morning meeting and two hours in the afternoon meeting. Thirty-eight names were added to the list of pledges teetotal. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1880, par. 1

This morning Elder [I. D.] Van Horn made a thorough, humble confession. The Spirit of confession came into the meeting and there were many brokenhearted confessions made. I spoke in this morning meeting about half an hour with great clearness and power. We are laboring with all our might to instruct the poor, neglected sheep here in practical godliness. We hope to see more clearly the power of God here. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1880, par. 2

It seems a long time since we left you at Oakland. It is three weeks today and it seems as though it has been two months. Three weeks more and then we hope to cross the ocean again and meet you in Oakland. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1880, par. 3

Willie, I hope you will not neglect to improve your gift in speaking. Take some Bible subject and make remarks upon it. Whenever you can, educate yourself that you may speak familiarly upon the Scriptures. Improve your mind, my dear son, in every way possible. Do not allow your powers to become dwarfed which would unfit you for speaking the truth to others. You want to grow in the tact of familiarity [in] teaching the Word of God. This is my only ambition, that you should do the greatest amount of good to others. In blessing others you will be blessed. Be on hand at the prayer meetings and be faithful to duty. Then seek to encourage life, zeal and devotion in the religious services. A living church will be a working church. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1880, par. 4

I wish every man and woman would feel that they are individually responsible for the life and prosperity of the church. Oakland is a missionary field and if the church will do their duty and be vigilant, earnest, wide-awake Christians, their influence will be exerted outside of the church. They will not be content to work only for themselves. They will be sociable, showing heartfelt sympathy for all they are brought in connection with outside of the church. There is not one, however weak in the church of Christ, who cannot be of some use to others. But it is the want of religion, practical religion, that makes many of the members of the Oakland church so selfish, so fond of dress, idolizing themselves and dishonoring God. Will you say this to them for me? They must be converted or they will be found unworthy of eternal life. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1880, par. 5

There are names upon the church books who are unacquainted with the Spirit of God and are none of His. If they will seek the Lord while He is to be found and call upon Him while He is near, He will be found of them. He will accept only [those] of a broken heart and contrite spirit. All vanity and all pride, levity and unbecoming behavior, must be put away with our youth. Unholy passions are frequent guests in the chambers of the soul. Pride, envy, jealousy, evil surmising and even hatred are borne in the heart and are awakened into vigorous action by unholy flirtation. Young men giving attention to young girls indulging in a courting spirit—the influence of this is demoralizing upon the church. The laborers in the printing office, if they indulge in this evil so prevalent in this age of the world, will be only a curse to the office, a curse to the church. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1880, par. 6

Jealousies [and] rage are cherished in the hearts, if another receives attention they thought was once given to them. There is evil passion excited, conversation is uncharitable, unjust and criminating. The spirit is charged with bitterness. All this spirit has been indulged with some of the young ladies in the office. They know no more of the spirit of self-denial, of consecration to God, than the veriest sinner. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1880, par. 7

If the rules of the office had been so strict that no such courting or flirtation should be carried on, the church would be in a more healthy condition. But the church is [so] burdened with this class of unconsecrated, unholy characters whose influence is to corrupt, that she is crippled in her efforts and her light shines forth but dimly to the world. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1880, par. 8

If these young persons would seek for true conversion to God, light and courage and power would come to the church. The church needs the help of these youth; if they were possessing Christ as well as professing Him, there would be light shining forth from them in good works. They could be so devoted to God they would not dare to follow their own mind and their own judgment, but would devote themselves wholly to God and in working to His glory, strengthening themselves that they may work still the work of God in a broader and more thorough manner. God calls for the church in Oakland to connect with Him and be living lights, shining to the world. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1880, par. 9

Dear son, I must close this, but do seek to help the church in Oakland. 3LtMs, Lt 31, 1880, par. 10

Mother.