Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7

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Lt 36, 1892

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Preston, Victoria, Australia

May 5, 1892

Portions of this letter are published in TMK 56. +Note

Dear Children:

I have thought that I would not write letters to anyone to go on this next steamer. My hands and arms and shoulders are weak and painful. I can get but little sleep; but I am not discouraged. I stay my soul upon God. I have not seen Willie for six weeks. He wrote that he should be away six or eight weeks longer. I was in such a condition of health it was thought advisable by many in Melbourne for me to go to Adelaide, five hundred miles from here. The climate is better and drier there. But I find no fault with the climate. If I had been properly cared for in the beginning of our stay in Melbourne I should be all right. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 1

All here feel very bad over our going away to Adelaide. We thought we would have to go before Willie returned; but my helpless condition, unable to walk, unable to use my hands or arms but very little, made me feel that we could not go to Adelaide without special help. We would leave the family here and try the climate which is much milder than Melbourne. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 2

Willie received a telegram from me at New Zealand to come to Melbourne without delay. He is now in Sydney, and will be home in one week. I have had no one to counsel with. I dared not move without counsel. Sometimes everything looks dark. I received a letter from Brother Mason, saying that Elder Olson’s father desired his money that he had loaned me; but where the money is coming from to pay him, I cannot tell. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 3

In the last mail came a letter from a bank in Battle Creek asking me to settle a note of two hundred and fifty dollars, and was signed with my name, making me responsible, “as the note was not paid by the Central Manufacturing Company,” it said they should look to me for the payment. Will you please tell me about this matter? I cannot understand it. It will be difficult for me to pay my interest money, and then the notes due to those of whom I have hired money; and the notes to which my name was signed, you gave me the most positive assurance that I would not have to pay a cent on them. I do not know whether or not there are any more notes that will demand settlement from me, because I signed them in order that you might have money to do a large business on Christmas and New Year’s. Well, I will see Willie, and talk with him about the matter, for I cannot understand it. He never has intimated that I should have to settle these notes. I will try not to worry about these things. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 4

We have been at great expense to move to Adelaide. I hope we shall not be compelled to move. We have the best home here for our work. It is in a good situation for the Australian work. All we have for carpet is a few little old strips of carpet which we packed around our goods when coming from Healdsburg. Two small rugs cover the two front rooms. We have very little furniture because it is so high and we did not bring much with us. We use dry goods boxes in place of furniture. I thought there was no use spending a great deal of money for furniture when we may have to leave here in so short a time. I purchased a carriage, for that was necessary in order for me to keep my health, and a cow that we might have healthful milk. The extra things which we could do without we have not purchased. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 5

I do so much want to remain here; for we are comfortably situated, though the last rains against the west side of the house penetrated the walls because the bricks absorb the moisture, and they had plastered the rooms right next to the brick. We may have to move. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 6

I have felt a very strong desire to see you both; it has seemed to me that I must see you, and must talk to you, especially to Edson. I hope and pray that you will not enter into the enterprise which you mentioned in W. C. White’s letter. For I know that there is danger for your soul. We have hoped and longed and prayed that you would respond to the light the Lord has given you in regard to your duty and the work He has given you to do. He has given you ability, made you apt to teach. Satan has come in to separate you from God, and to tempt you with fascinating prospects, and you have been allured from your diligence to God. “Wherefore do you spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfieth not?” [Isaiah 55:2.] Satan has devices prepared one after another to catch your soul. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you; draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.” [James 4:7, 8.] The crown of life is for those who run the Christian race with patience. When you surrender yourself without any reservation, your Redeemer will accept the offering. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 7

I have many things to write, but cannot now, for I have been too full of pain to write for the mail that goes next Friday. Edson, I see your danger of going on to the end of the chapter, following the fascinating presentations of the enemy to make money by this enterprise and that new thing. Now stop just where you are. Do not sell or bind your soul, body, and spirit as you have done even to free yourself from debt. You have been robbing God of the service He requires of you. Has He not paid the ransom money for you? Are you not His servant? “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] Satan has deceived you again and again. Do not bind yourself to any engagements to undertake a new business. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 8

Your first work is to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. If this Christian experience had been gained, the sacrifice of your will and your way fully made and maintained, giving yourself to the Lord, and working in any vocation according to the will of God, what service you could have rendered! And what kind of labor think you would stand highest in the approbation of heaven? What enterprise would be dearest to the heart of Him who so loved the fallen race that He gave His life that man should not perish, but have everlasting life? Now to every man He has given his work, and the work dearest to the heart of Christ is that of drawing souls to Him. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 9

God has opened to your mind the Scriptures. He has given you clear ideas of His Word that you should communicate the same to others. You are not at your appointed work. Just as soon as you resist the insinuating temptations of the devil, then you will begin to see these temptations in their true bearings. Has God made you a chosen vessel unto Him? He has; and it makes my heart ache to see how you have disappointed yourself and disappointed Jesus who has given you your work. He has commanded you to carry to others the light of truth, the warning message. What are you doing? Entangling yourself with the things of this life, working hard and laying up no heavenly treasure, and no earthly treasure. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 10

Is it not time to stop and consider? When you shall once consider as Jesus would have you, you will break with the enemy, you will consecrate yourself to God, you will fall on the Rock and be broken and the superscription of Christ will be placed upon you. You will give yourself to the work to labor intensely as far as circumstances would admit, to save perishing souls. The feelings that press upon my soul as I write to you on this matter I cannot restrain. I love you, Edson. I want to see you doing satisfactory work in which you will not meet with continual disappointment, wearing out your strength of physical and mental powers and nothing to show for it. I cannot endure the thought that this thing shall be protracted. Take hold upon this matter in earnest. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 11

Of yourself you can do nothing. But as you fall broken upon Jesus Christ, He will supply you with His abundant grace. Pray for the power of God to cleanse, to purify, to pardon you and place yourself as soon as possible under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel. Work, work lies all around you and God has entrusted you with talent to work. This is your first business, to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Edson, grieve not the Holy Spirit of God. Whatever discouragements you have received from others, if you had just taken it all to the Lord, and kept at your duty, doing your appointed work, the Lord would have given you His grace and His power, and you would have come off more than conqueror through Him that hath loved you. Disobedience will not bring you peace, never bring you satisfactory joy. Be true to your own soul, be true to your God. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 12

Dear son, Edson, I cannot forbear from urging you to make a decided change. Jesus is now before the Father as your atoning sacrifice. Christ’s invitation is to you, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Only in the fullest surrender is there peace and rest for you, my dear son. Just as long as you struggle to maintain your own way, there is no rest, no peace for you. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 13

If you have the mind of Christ, He takes you into daily communion with Himself, and transfers His own spiritual likeness to you, and sends you forth as His spiritual representative. Your likeness to Christ reveals Christ to the world. You cannot open your heart to the world, or leave it unfortified without losing your distinctive character as a Christian, and being guilty of treason against the Lord Jesus whom you have solemnly promised to serve faithfully. I know that the image of the earthly must be effaced from your mind and soul, and the heavenly impress received, even the likeness of Christ. He wants you to stand in the light of His countenance, not that you may absorb and conceal His presence and glory, but as a living human agent be a medium to transmit the light and the glory to others. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 14

You have enrolled yourself as a subject of Christ’s kingdom, His servant to co-operate with the heavenly intelligences, to apply your hand to the vast machinery of His providence, to rescue the souls to Himself for whom He died, who are now in Satan’s grasp. He has promised you His Holy Spirit to qualify you for the work. No halfway work or divided heart will God accept. Choose ye this day whom ye will serve. I entreat of you for Christ’s sake to die to spiritual pride. Humble yourself as a little child, and have one purpose in view—to make thorough work for eternity. If you lose heaven you lose everything. If you win the crown of life you have gained everything. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 15

Remember I am praying for you in the night season and in the day. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Look at Jesus, the Majesty of heaven. What do you behold in His life history? His divinity clothed with humanity, a whole life of continual humility, the doing of one act of condescension after another, a line of continual descent from the heavenly courts to a world all seared and marred with the curse, and in a world unworthy of His presence, descending lower and still lower, taking the form of a servant, to be despised and rejected of men, obliged to flee from place to place to save His life, and at last betrayed, rejected, crucified. Then, as sinners for whom Jesus suffered more than the power of mortal can portray, shall we refuse to humble our proud will? My son, study day and night the character of Christ. It was His tender compassion, His inexpressible, unparalleled love for your soul, that led Him to endure all the shame, the revilings, the abuse, the misapprehensions of earth. Approach nearer Him, behold His hands and His feet, bruised and wounded for our transgressions, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, that by His stripes we are healed. Lose no time, let not another day pass into eternity, but just as you are, whatever your weakness, your unworthiness, your neglect, delay not to come now. Just as you are, come. Enough time has passed into eternity with your divided service. Now, just now, decide to give yourself to Jesus. You cannot change yourself, but Jesus can, and Jesus will, if you will let Him. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 16

Jesus has looked with grief upon you while you have allowed the solicitations of Satan to deceive and allure you to accept of his presentations, to accept of worldly enterprises. The call of Jesus to come to Him, the presentation of a crown of glory that fadeth not away, the life, the eternal life that measures with the life of God, has not been of sufficient inducement to lead you to serve Him with your undivided affections. One long life-struggle you have maintained to get a standing place in your own way, and what care, what terrible perplexities, what anguish of mind you have suffered! How much you have loathed yourself, and yet you have hugged to your heart your own way. 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 17

Be no longer on Satan’s side of the question. Make decided, radical changes through the grace given you of God. No longer insult His grace. He is saying with tears, “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.] Now Jesus is inviting you, knocking at the door of your heart for entrance. Will you let Him come in? I feel that you must not delay. Come just now, come surrender to God, confess your backslidings, turn fully to Jesus, and He will make you free. <I write with the deepest, tenderest feelings toward you, and do not let the enemy make you believe otherwise. In much love, Mother.> 7LtMs, Lt 36, 1892, par. 18