Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 28, 1885

Walling, Addie

Christiania, Norway

November 3, 1885

This letter is published in entirety in DG 159-160.

[To Addie Walling:]

Brother Whitney returns today on his way to Basel, Switzerland. Edith Andrews is steadily failing. I think this climate is better than Basel for my lungs. There has been much labor brought upon me through the love-sick sentimentalism of the workers in the office. I hope, my dear girl, you will keep free this. You will gain the confidence of all whom you respect if you are reserved and do not encourage the attentions and the society of young men. If I had time, I would write you some things I have had to meet here and in every place where I have been. Edith, poor child, is not fit to die. She has attracted attention to herself and had a few favorites and neglected those who were worthy and good because they did not just meet her taste. These few she lavished her affections upon—thought her perfection, and have petted her, and she petted them and idolized one another. So, you see, God was left out of the question. This sentimentalism has injured the usefulness of excellent young men in the office and unfitted young girls for their work. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1885, par. 1

I talked very plainly with Edith, and she does not seem to sense her condition. I have written to her, and I think she will now see her mistakes. She has had no experience in genuine religion, but has everything to do now in her feeble condition to know Christ and the power of His grace. O that she had learned this while in health. I do hope you will not be deceived, Addie, as this poor child is. I hope you will be an earnest, true Christian day by day, seeking God in prayer. Do not be so busy you cannot give time to read the Bible and seek the grace of God in humble prayer. Follow no one’s example or custom in dress or in actions. If they lead to indifference and worldliness, do not express vanity in dress, but dress becomingly, neatly; but seek earnestly to be meek and lowly of heart and be obtaining a rich experience in the things of God. Learn to overcome vanity which exists in the heart that is not sanctified through the truth. Do not be forward, but be retiring and modest. You will now be by many looked to and criticized to see how you will come forth from Sister’s White’s teachings. Do not misrepresent me, but seek to give influence by your course of action. Ever be true, open, sincere, and frank. All affectation despise. Keep yourself aloof from young men. Let them know that there is one girl who will not be crazy and bewildered at their first notice and attentions. I want you to be prepared to travel with me and help me, if I want you. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1885, par. 2

You see those who have married cease their improvement and settle down to a dwarfed life. Be not afraid to tell me your whole mind and to seek counsel, and I will give you all the help I can. But above everything else, preserve self-control and a self-possession and womanly ways without appearing to know everything. Do not claim to know too much. Be modest in conversation, for people will be disgusted if a young girl talks as if she knew a great deal. You may evidence your wisdom by works, but do not do this by words and self-praise. Be cautious, discreet, and humble. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1885, par. 3

We want to learn daily in the school of Christ. Now, my dear daughter, I have written you much more than I expected to write, but I may not get a chance to write very soon again. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1885, par. 4

I am glad you do not live in Italy, at least in this valley, for women and girls have a hard lot. They work very hard, and fourteen hours per day, and obtain less than twenty cents per day. We need missionaries all through this valley. There are men who live high, who are paid as missionaries, but who do nothing in missionary work. They eat and drink and have a good time. They are supported by societies from England. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1885, par. 5

Yours, Aunt Ellen. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1885, par. 6