Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 13, 1880

White, James

Oakland, California

March 17, 1880

Portions of this letter are published in 11MR 63.

Dear Husband:

I have just received yours written March 11th. The letter written to Lizzie [Bangs] was worked in at odd moments on the cars and finished here. I knew she would prize such a letter and would read it to a great many. 3LtMs, Lt 13, 1880, par. 1

I have today visited Brother and Sister Palmer, living in Brooklyn in a part of Brother Cochran’s house. He is a music teacher. He is an Englishman, and is a firm believer in the truth and the testimonies and health reform. He went to Cochran’s to give music lessons, and they gave them reading matter and talked [to] them, [and] persuaded them to come out to hear Elder Waggoner preach. They have taken a firm stand for the truth. I took dinner with them today and visited Cochran’s. They showed me letters written by their son at Battle Creek. I call them very excellent letters. He speaks of you and me in the most reverential manner, expressing the firmest confidence in us. Speaks well of the church and college and entreats his mother not to be unbelieving, but entreats her to have full confidence in the Testimonies. I can discern nothing in the letters but good advice and correct statements. 3LtMs, Lt 13, 1880, par. 2

Sister Cochran confesses she is unbelieving, but she was certainly benefited by my visit today. I prayed with them before I left. They all united with me in prayer. Those in California have no acquaintance with me and we cannot be surprised that they do not always have strong faith in my work. I do not find it in my heart to blame them, but to seek to help them, showing an interest for them and thus making a rift in the cloud of unbelief. 3LtMs, Lt 13, 1880, par. 3

You speak of not writing particulars. I have written everything I could write, all I could learn. Things move very slowly. We are praying constantly for the Lord to help us here and lead us Himself. My mind is almost continually going out in prayer when not engaged in writing. I sent on an article for [the] Reformer as much or more than a week since. I hope it will get there in season. I feel, in reference to the Californians, we must not blame them, but show love and kindness to them and try thus to win them. We want the love of Jesus in our hearts, and then we shall work as He worked and our work will be acceptable to God. 3LtMs, Lt 13, 1880, par. 4

Elder Waggoner will go into the mountains as soon as the general meeting is over and there rest. He is down with rheumatism, unable to sit up. The trains have been delayed—sometimes nine [hours] and other days twelve—in consequence of snows. It has been unusually cold here this month and some days we hear all talking of the disagreeable northers as in Texas. 3LtMs, Lt 13, 1880, par. 5

Evening. We just returned from a season of prayer in Elder Waggoner’s room. The sweet Spirit of the Lord was with us. I felt the peace of God in my heart and assurance that our prayers were heard and would be answered. I fear lest a promise being left me, I should come short of it. If I fail to overcome the natural defects in my character, if I allow these defects to strengthen upon me and through the manifestation of them others are misled, I shall fail of the reward at last. We must be what we wish others to be. We must do as we wish others to do. We must be kind, be courteous, be pitiful. We must see the good qualities existing in others as we wish them to see the good qualities existing in us. 3LtMs, Lt 13, 1880, par. 6

March 18

It is a beautiful morning. Yesterday I suffered much with every breath. I was compelled to lie down for sometime. I have pain in my heart constantly, but I shall do just the same as if it did not exist. I want to do my duty in the fear of God. I feel that [I] may be called from my work suddenly without warning. This difficulty of the heart makes me depressed in spirits much of the time. I wish I could write you definitely about matters here, but it is not possible. No special change out of difficulties. No special rift in the cloud. Everything has to move very slowly, but we are praying constantly and earnestly for the Lord to help us, and we shall work and watch and pray. I cannot see as things are to be bettered here by Willie’s coming for a few months, for there will be the same need of a manager at the end of that time that there is now. 3LtMs, Lt 13, 1880, par. 7

I wish there could be found a man to come here as a wise, economical manager and release Willie, that he may go to Europe with Elder [S. N.] Haskell in May or June. Things in Europe need attention very much. All these necessities and wants burden my mind. I feel much of the time pressed under the weight of these things as a cart beneath sheaves. 3LtMs, Lt 13, 1880, par. 8

I think, had Elder [J. N.] Loughborough remained here having an understanding of the work, he would, by his tact and management, [have] been the means of a much larger number embracing the truth than by his going to England. Had there been one upon whom he could drop the responsibilities, then there would have been more consistency in his going; but as he could not find the man, he should have waited till he could. It is true he had some peculiarities that hurt his influence and I am thoroughly convinced that we are of like passions. Some faults and errors exist with all the laborers in the field. Not one is perfect. And forbearance must be exercised to each other. Be pitiful, be courteous. Our own faults are more grievous. 3LtMs, Lt 13, 1880, par. 9