Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 28, 1880

White, James

Walla Walla, Washington Territory

May, 20, 1880

Portions of this letter are published in UL 154.

Dear Husband:

I have spoken three times in Walla Walla. There seems to be some interest to hear, but the church has dwindled down considerably, having had no help to keep them in good working order. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 1

We have had beautiful evenings. Mary and I have made it our home at Brother Woods’ since we came here one week ago this morning. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 2

Elder [S. N.] Haskell has remained in Walla Walla city, three miles from here. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 3

My cold is not as severe on me as it was. If I could sleep nights, I think I should feel quite well. Some nights I do not lose myself until about two o’clock in the morning and it is daylight at three. So you see my sleeping is small. But I rest myself in the hands of the Lord. He will take care of me. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 4

It is now two weeks since we have heard one word from either you or any of our friends. We seem to be nearly out of the world here. The mails are long in coming. We expect Elder Colcord is in Walla Walla, and he may bring us mail from California. I feel anxious to hear from you and would be better pleased to see you. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 5

I shall rejoice when our pilgrimage is over and I can lay off my armor at the feet of my Redeemer. I see much to be thankful for continually and very much that causes me grief and sadness, but the Lord is good. His mercy endureth forever. We have long fought side by side in the battles for right, and if we can be victors at last, how precious will be the victories gained through Jesus Christ. One thing reconciles me to my work and separation from my friends: that is, the saving of souls from death, the turning of many to righteousness and to enrich the garner of God with precious sheaves. For this I can deny self; for this I can endure anything. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 6

I am not seeking for honor or distinction, but to be true and faithful at my post of duty anywhere. Sometimes I fear I am selfish. I long for rest so much and there is so much heartache, so much perplexity to know just what to do when moral power among our own people seems so weak. And I see that they need to learn the very first principles, the ABCs of practical godliness. I fear, greatly fear, that very many will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and found wanting. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 7

My soul is at times in such inexpressible agony for our own people that I cannot sleep. My nights are passed in continual prayer. If those who have the truth would awake, if they would show by their words and actions that they possess Christ as well [as] profess Him, and there were personal efforts made for those out of Christ, I know we should see of the salvation of God. Ample provisions have been made for everyone of us that we may be strong in God, if we will avail ourselves of the privilege. What can I say and what can I do to arouse the people? I can do no great thing, no wonderful work, but I will do what little I can and trust the Saviour of men to do the rest. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 8

He loves the souls for whom He died better than we. He paid an infinite price for every soul. They are the purchase of His blood; therefore His love is exercised toward them every moment of their existence. We are not to feel that they are inferior, or to exalt ourselves as superior, but just do our work in all humility and lowliness of mind and let the Captain of our salvation exalt us if He deems us worthy of any honor. Eternal redemption never looked so exceedingly precious as at the present time, and I never felt more deeply [in] earnest to overcome on every point as now. There must be no defects in our character—not one. Every spot and wrinkle must be effaced by the blood of the Lamb. Our own peculiar traits of character will disappear when the transforming power of the grace of God is felt upon our hearts. The fruits we bear in patience, kindness, forbearance and self-denial, will testify of us that we have learned of Jesus. The fruit of the tree testifies if it is a good or corrupt tree. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. By their fruits ye shall know them. Let us so speak and so labor that our fruit may be unto righteousness and we letting our light shine forth in good works. Profession is nothing. A godly life, alone, will God approve. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 9

Our self-control under provocation and reproaches, our serenity under trying circumstances, will convince those around us that Christian experience is a living reality and to the possessor a wellspring of joy. O, it is this out-beaming of light in the Christian character which testifies its value and dispels the shadows of doubt and reveals in its pure, clear light the loathsome character of sin and shines in contrast in cheering rays borrowed from the throne of God. It shines with a calm, steady and unclouded radiance and lights the way of the benighted sinner to heaven. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 10

I am determined to gain the victory of self. I am determined my life shall be hid with Christ in God. I will beseech the throne of grace for power, for light, that I may reflect it upon others, that souls may be saved. The great [desire] in this age of the world is for more power. I want more grace, more love, more deep and earnest living experience. The Christian who hides in Jesus will have power without measure, awaiting his draught upon it. Living faith unlocks heaven’s storehouse and brings the power, the endurance, the love, so essential for the Christian soldier. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 11

Husband, let us not fail of the eternal reward. We have suffered too much on the field of battle to be conquered by any foe now. We must be wholly victorious. We want our last days to be the most triumphant. It may be so. God would have it so. If we pray much and diligently use the means within our reach, we shall not falter, we shall not fail. Let us be instant in prayer and make our lives fragrant with good works. We shall then grow like a tree planted by the river of waters. His leaf will be always green and the fruit be ever abundant. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 12

God will bless us with physical, mental and moral power if we are faithful to employ the means He has given us. We will not try to be reaching after height in social position or to be accounted as the first in the ranks, but if we can be true and faithful at our post of duty; we shall succeed, we win the crown of glory. Let God regard us true. Let God pronounce us faithful and it is enough. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 13

Let us crucify self at every point and lift up and magnify Jesus. We want no worldly honor. I care not for it. I want the “Well done” from the lips of my Redeemer to fall like music upon my ears. [Matthew 25:21.] For this I will labor. I will do right because I love the right. I will obey God at any cost to myself, and the crown will be given by and by. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 14

From your Ellen. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1880, par. 15