Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 20, 1883

White, W. C.

San Jose, California

June 11, 1883

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 171.

Dear Son Willie:

I have heard nothing from you but thought I would write you a few lines. I have been unable to write even a simple letter since coming here, until last Sabbath [when] I was strengthened to write thirteen pages to Elder [J. N.] Andrews. Brother [B. L.] Whitney seems to be so long getting off. I feared he might not get the light for him; therefore, I wrote him again, and this did not seem to injure me. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 1

I think, Willie, had I not gone to Lemoore or Los Angeles I should have been obliged to stop all the same. My mind has been a blank. I could not think or act, but I seemed to arouse at one time, one week ago Friday. [I] felt urged to write and also telegraph to Oakland to retain the men from Healdsburg there who intended to go to Stockton, until a letter was received from me. I felt certain that it would prove fruitless, their going there, but would positively hedge up our way when the tent should be pitched there. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 2

This is an important, as well as a hard, field. Our forces were insufficient and are still not all that should be here. There was work enough for twenty men to go through this city at the very time the interest was awakened. The surrounding counties are to be visited. My team is used by Brother Ings all the time, and far more progress could be made were my other horse here. When such an effort is made as is being made here, the forces should not be scattered all over the field. Let them concentrate the workers where the harvesting is to be done. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 3

I wrote to Elder Waggoner to send the men calculated to go to Stockton here, for these few weeks would be to them the best school they could ever have to obtain a knowledge of how to work. And if we had Wheeler and Hicks here it would be as it should be. All would have just as much to do and be educated how to work. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 4

Sending men into such a place as Stockton to canvass is only to arouse the powers of Satan to make efforts to counteract the influence, with no persons qualified to withstand him. Those here have a regular training school. They have a Bible class every day, and Brother Ings talks with them. Our meetings opened last Friday evening. Could not get ready before, but everything seemed to come so natural, without urging. A large lot with good barn on it was obtained free—just opposite, across the road, facing the tent. There was a good humble house of five good-sized rooms. I advised Elder Healey to hire this for his family. He did so, for ten dollars and [a] quarter per month, [with] water furnished. The street cars run directly by the tent. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 5

Friday night there was a good attendance. Sabbath we did not give an appointment for meeting, but ourselves all met under the tent. I talked to them about thirty minutes. All took part in the meeting and Brethren Scott and Iambs expressed their thankfulness that they had the privilege of laboring where they could have daily instruction how to labor. There was a good spirit in the meeting. I have not dared to speak to the public yet, but expect to be able about Tuesday. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 6

I am of good courage but shall not dare to write until these pains leave my head. Yesterday Brother Ings went to see Brother Bowers, who lives at the Miller’s. He says he gave you a deed to have his property arranged so that the cause will get it, but he has heard nothing from it since. Brother Ings told him that the plan he proposed would not work, and probably you saw it so, and this was the reason that you had not reported or done anything about it. Please write in reference to this matter. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 7

Brother Ings is very active, teaching and working. Appointment was given out last night for me to speak Tuesday night. I shall talk with Elder Healey in regard to having meetings Sunday afternoon and evenings. He thought the people would not come out, but I think this is the all important day to secure hearers. Of course there is but little to report. Brother Ings is getting acquainted with some hopeful cases. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 8

We talk to the workers that they must do their missionary work with a spirit of prayer, and that they must come close to the people and not feel that after giving a paper or securing names their work is done. They have Satan and his angels close at their elbows to counteract every effort they may make. As they walk the streets, they must pray for grace and for the angels of God to be round about them. Unless they do, the craft of the devils will turn aside the efforts made, and the truth [will] not find access to hearts, and thus the whole city may be warned in vain. We must individually have grace that we may not be ignorant of Satan’s devices, but that we may work effectually, [with] wisdom in [the] wrestling contest with the principalities and powers of darkness. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 9

This missionary work is a great work but must be conducted with great wisdom. The workers must be connected with God themselves, settled, rooted and grounded in the truth, and able to give to every man that shall ask them the reason of the hope that is within them with meekness and with fear. Watch and pray and pray and watch is the all-important thing for the workers. Without this their efforts will be of little account. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 10

Oh, how important that the workers be so closely walking in Christ’s steps that no slur shall be cast upon the truth they advocate! Oh, we have a cunning devil to work against! Christ alone is mighty and fully able to match his power, therefore we must have Jesus with us every moment. We are sleepy, stupid, and do not sense the arts and gins and snares of Satan set for unwary feet. Therefore we must know how we step that every move is in God. Self must not come in here to make itself heard. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 11

The destruction of souls is the regular employment of Satan and his agents upon the earth. The salvation of souls is the work of every follower of Christ, however weak. When selfish interest is made first and the salvation of souls comes secondary, if at all, that man is working on Satan’s side, for his very pretensions are a snare to lead others off the track that they shall not consider the kingdom of God and His righteousness first. Satan is getting the start of all such workers. The salvation of souls comes first, always, for Satan as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour. We must snatch souls away from his path. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 12

We must have clear foresight, discernment, and faith, and work as if to save a perishing life of which some carelessness on our part might be the cause of death. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 13

Missionary work! God help us to understand it—what it is and how we must engage in it. Every missionary should be wholly the Lord’s, pressing forward to attain to the perfection of Christian character. The standard of piety must be lifted high. Every species of idolatry must be sacrificed. Souls, precious souls, must be saved. Souls for whom Christ has died must be urged to embrace the truth. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 14

One man, when the church in Scotland was making some resolutions to compromise the faith, to concede their staunch principles, was determined never to yield a jot or tittle. He went upon his knees before God and thus pleaded, “Give me Scotland or I die.” His importunate prayer was heard. Oh, that the earnest prayer of faith may arise everywhere, “Give me souls buried now in the rubbish of error, or I die! Bring them to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.” 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 15

We must carry the burden of souls upon our hearts; every selfish consideration must give way to this. The cost of the blood of Christ shows the value of the soul. This must come first with us. Our own selfish purposes must be held subordinate. 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 16

In love, 4LtMs, Lt 20, 1883, par. 17