Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 111, 1890

White, W. C.

Lynn, Massachusetts

December 18, 1890

Previously unpublished.

Dear son Willie:

I received your letter and draft in the hall last evening, where we had gone to attend my appointment Wednesday evening—in a pouring rain. I was glad to hear from you and glad of the draft. We had borrowed money to buy our tickets from Elder Robinson, but as we must have money in order to travel, [and] may not see you at all in Washington, we will let the matter stand as it now does, and Elder Robinson makes me debtor to the conference. Certainly the conference cannot expect us to travel without money. I had twenty dollars of my own which I have had to use in traveling and in getting shoes and some little things for winter. 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 1

In regard to Philadelphia, Elder Robinson is anxiously waiting to learn something from you in regard to the matter of the meetings in Philadelphia. There should be some understanding in this thing. I do not know anything further than Washington. Brother Robinson has no light and you have none. I think I will return home after the Washington meeting and unless there is a decision that I had better attend the meetings following the Washington meeting. I think, as the means of the conference is limited and your work important in Battle Creek, it would not be advisable for you to come to Washington. Sara and I will get along with the help Brother Washburn can give us. Of course, it is my choice to have one of my children with me, but I would not be childish if I am entering my sixty-fourth year. Hitherto the Lord hath helped me, and my health is good. 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 2

I speak evenings and go home and sleep well; this, you know, I have been unable to do for years. I realize the blessing of the Lord resting upon me and His presence with me in a sensible manner. I realize that I have a testimony from the Lord which the people need, and which they feed upon like hungry sheep and respond to in a decided manner. 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 3

In regard to the movements Edson is making, I can only say I am sorry. It does not present itself to me as moving in the counsel of God. Certainly, the office he already has, he fitted up to suit himself, and why does he not use it in the place of adding expense to expense? 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 4

In regard to the breaking up of the family I do not understand the matter. It is so sudden, it almost takes my breath away, but it does not look right to me for the reason [that] I do not know what these hasty movements mean. I am not yet prepared to make changes that sudden and the whys and wherefores unexplained to me. 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 5

It is a pleasure to be with my children, to have them with me. Emma and I have never disagreed. She has been kind and respectful and thoughtful of me. But I will not moralize upon these things till I know more about them. 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 6

I have written some things in regard to the spiritual interest of the entire family which I think was in place. I want to have a family, and [I want] it to be a good, devotional family. I want that every soul shall be just what the Lord wants them to be. I want [that] the fear of the Lord shall circulate through my family and my house. Certainly, I felt at one time such a pleasant prospect of Edson connecting with the work in a special manner, but as he seems to have no inclination to do this, notwithstanding all the light given him of God concerning the matter, I gave that up and have not urged him and shall never urge him more, and shall never keep his mind stirred up on these things. For I think when I began to work earnestly in this direction, the enemy works so much more earnestly upon his mind in an opposite direction, and prevails, that I will let Edson fall in the hands of God. I have nothing to say and build no impossible hopes, but leave all things in the hands of God. 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 7

I have felt keenly the want of spiritual help in my family from all, and it has been a burden to me; and it has brought great sadness to my heart; and I have prayed and entreated the Lord to set things in order in my home. When I know that Edson has for years disappointed the Saviour, robbed God by misapplying his talents and has been losing a rich experience which I have been shown that he might have, because he was inclined to follow his own inclination, I can but feel a depression and very much anxiety in regard to his eternal welfare. I feel that God looks upon all things and weighs actions, and his going so persistently and continually against the light causes me to tremble for his soul. I think this last move is a piece like all the other moves made, a Christless move. If he had cleared his soul by humble confession, if the household had shown that they were anxious to come up to the help of the Lord and written to me to relieve my mind, Edson and Emma and all the workers, I think God would have looked with pleasure upon such action. Then our souls would have been in a better condition, and I should have felt relieved. But as all my solicitude and all my warnings and appeals seem to make all more earnest to have their own way at all hazards, I will keep still, although my heart may be oppressed. The breaking up of the family will not cure the matter. It is a work to be done between God and their souls. 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 8

I have, myself, a determination to have God’s will done in, by, and through me. I see the end of all things is at hand. Christ lived not to please Himself and I am His property, bought with a price, and I will glorify God in my body and my spirit which is God’s. I cannot save the souls of my own children. I can only commit them to God. I am made aware that I am as much alone in the world as if I had no children and as if there was not one to whom I can look and rely upon among brethren, friends, or relatives and have, therefore, nothing to be disappointed in any more. I stand alone, yet not alone, for God is with me. This I know without any question. 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 9

I do not wish, my son Willie, to add one jot or tittle to your burdens. I do not feel that you would slight your mother or in any way neglect her, but your work is of a character [that] I cannot depend on you justly and not do you harm in adding to your perplexities. You may think this is a queer strain, but nevertheless, I have felt that I was looking matters squarely in the face, and what my future course may be the Lord knows. He hangs a mist before my eyes that I shall only see the present, and I am content it should be thus. I am resting in the love of God with a peaceful trust and a happy assurance. I am not worrying about the future. I know the Lord will do all things well. I am always inclined to look ahead and to make plans, but I have committed myself to God and all that I am into His hands. I am ready now to go to California any time the Lord may direct, ready to go to Australia or to go to Europe, or any place in the world the Lord may see fit to send me. I am His property and I lean heavily upon the arm [of] God, and it is strong and will bear me up. Do not interpret what I have written as the slightest reflection on you, for I do not feel thus. You have your work, it must not be neglected for it demands all that there is of you. I gave you to the Lord before you were born. I gave you to the Lord after you were born. You are the Lord’s. Do His will and His work and you will receive a crown of glory that will never fade away. 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 10

You can let Edson read this if you think best. In much tender sympathy and love. 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 11


P. S. Do not feel that you must come and in our great expense. I shall feel all right about the matter. Now I think we will get along nicely in Washington. 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 12

We take the cars from Boston tonight, nine o’clock, and go through without change to Washington. Arrive there at 11 o’clock a.m. 6LtMs, Lt 111, 1890, par. 13