Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 88, 1894

White, W. C.

George’s Terrace, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia

February 6, 1894

This letter is published in entirety in FBS 28-32, 123.

Dear Son Willie:

The mail received a letter written by me yesterday. Emily copied a part of it and two pages I said she need not copy and so I did not send them. You may not obtain anything but a confused idea of the matter which has been the cause of great suffering of mind to me. In Battle Creek, Fannie pleaded hard and with tears to come with me to engage with me in the work of preparing articles for the papers. She declared she had met with a great change, and was not at all the person she was when she told me she desired to write herself and could not consent that her talent should be buried up in the work of preparing my articles for the papers or books. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 1

She felt she was full of the matter and had talent she must put to use in writing, which she could not do connected with me. I said, “I release you now, Fannie,” but she persisted that she must hold on to the preparation of some articles when she went to Ann Arbor, and not entirely let go. Marian persuaded me this I had better do, for it would be a great discouragement to Fannie if I refused her request. Fannie stated afterwards that these articles were the means of saving her from ruin. You know I was so unwise as, it appears to me now, to grant her request to come with me to this country and throw in her interest heart and soul as she persisted with many tears she would do, and she was very positive she would never cause me sorrow and perplexity again because of her pride and self-ambition and self-will. How this has been fulfilled, you know something [of], but very little of the real facts in the case are known. But all that occurred in Preston was one series of sufferings and distress and agony of mind to me on her account. The Lord gave me in Preston the most blessed experience of my life. He made me to have peace and rest in the love of His presence, and His grace kept me cheerful, happy, and joyful. While God was working with me in a most wonderful manner, the enemy was working just as decidedly with Fannie. And that working has continued from that time till the present. Warnings were given me, but I did not act upon them, thinking I would be at Melbourne much sooner than I was. The delay, in consequence of the camp meeting we decided to have in Wellington, kept us in New Zealand for a much longer period than we anticipated. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 2

I was greatly pained during the camp meeting in Brighton at the positions of trust given to Fannie in placing upon her so fully the responsibility of the children. I knew that others ought to know it was not a proper thing to do, in consideration of her make-up in character. Others should have been connected with her to make up for deficiencies she could not discern existed in herself, but others ought to be intelligent to discern these defects and guard on every point against them, in placing her in so responsible a place. But I was not able to change the order of things, and I positively could not unite with her in that work for reason of the warnings I had received while in Preston and New Zealand. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 3

After you had left Melbourne, I felt very much distressed. I had a burden, a great burden, for the future of my work, and I could not discern how to change the order of things. Again the warning came, “Fannie is your adversary, and is misleading minds by entertaining the suggestions of Satan as did Eve in Eden.” Her love of ambition, her love of praise, and her idea of her own ability and talents was the open door Satan had entered to not only ruin her soul, but to imperil the work given me of God. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 4

While I was depressed in mind, and distressed almost beyond measure, as to what was the matter now, and how I should meet it, Elder Starr was burdened and thought I should not be left in darkness in reference to the workings of the mind of Fannie. She had made statements to Elder Starr which I think I mentioned in my former letter, asking him if he thought it was right to give all the credit to Sister White for the published writings when others had so much to do in their preparation, and she made strange statements to him which shows a mind influenced by the power of Satan. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 5

In the conversation I had with Fannie, I asked her to tell me what she would have done. Should it be published Mrs. E. G. White, Fannie Bolton, and Marian Davis are a company concern in these productions? “O,” she says, “I do not know, I do not know. I have been tempted. I am full of pride.” Well, considerable was said which I cannot take time to write. I have told her plainly, I dare not employ her longer, for the door of her heart was open to any and every temptation. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 6

In the place of her voicing the suggestions of Satan as the voice of God, why did she not, like a faithful worker, open the matter to the one concerned. Why did she not utter a word to me, but go to Emily and May and talk with them? I find she has talked with Colcord and his wife, Sister Salisbury, and how many others remains to be developed. Is not this the work of a traitor? What harm could not such an one do me in sowing doubts and questionings in the minds of those who have not an experimental knowledge in the work given me of God? 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 7

She says to Elder Starr, “I have some precious thoughts the Lord gives me, and I have expressed these to Marian, and the next thing she puts them in Sister White’s articles on the life of Christ, and they are supposed to be her thoughts.” And to have her talent buried up and unrecognized beneath the writings that pass for Sister White’s she does not think is right. Who has supposed she was putting her words and her ideas in the place of the words and ideas given to her in the writings of Sister White? “O,” she said to me, “I have put my life into those articles published.” 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 8

Now, it is not a correct statement. I want not her life, or words, or ideas [put] into these articles. And the sooner this bubble is burst, the better for all concerned, the necessity for this wonderful talent be understood, and Fannie come to her senses. I have now no knowledge of how we shall come out, and what I shall do. I am afraid that Fannie cannot be trusted. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 9

I told her she had been sowing the seeds of evil, like thistle’s seed, that she can never gather up. A person with so little judgment and caution that cannot discern from cause to effect, but goes on in her own perverse imaginings, and pours out the suggestions of Satan into other minds is not to be trusted. It is the work of a traitor. If she has done the work, which she has represented to other minds she has done, so that she thinks credit should be given her for her talent brought into my writings, then it is time that this firm is dissolved. If she has done this work, which she has represented to others [has] been as much her talent, her production of ideas and construction of sentences as mine, and in “beautiful language,” then she has done a work I have urged should not be done, again and again; and she is unworthy of any connection with this work. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 10

Now it remains that the articles be examined critically and decisions be made accordingly, for this must not go with only a passing notice. The leaven has been placed in other minds and not one suggestion expressed to me, the only one to whom these thoughts should be expressed. What did she think these persons could do to relieve the situation to whom she has opened her mind so freely? She was in the house with me in Preston, and she talked with May Walling, and Emily Campbell who was newly connected with me and my work. I was in the house. She could speak to me any time, but not one word or hint of this matter came to me. For two full years this leaven has been affecting her mind, and how many other minds the judgment alone can reveal, of putting the whole work under a cloud and doubt. Is it human or divine? The work God has given me has been placed in her estimation on a level with her own productions, and this is the impression she has given. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 11

As near as I can represent it to you is, that she has in a most exaggerated way represented as though the productions from my pen were more the mold of her talent than anything from me, that she made it all over, thus she has represented to me. I told her that “I have placed the writings in your hands and repeated to you over and over again that I wanted my words and my ideas to appear in every case.” She must not substitute her words or her ideas. I want not my words to be changed for her words. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 12

She stated that W. C. White had read articles she had done just according to my directions in preparing, and he told her she must do more to it, etc. Now I am in trouble and this matter must be settled. I think Fannie’s influence is not good, and while she appears to be a zealous worker, she is awfully busy, yet the influence is not of the right quality. I told her I could not see how I could feel the least safety in keeping her connected with me. I had had no harmony of spirit with her. And if she could be so thoroughly deceived when she claimed to be imbued with so great a missionary spirit, and to be so zealous a worker in the cause, what could I expect in the future? 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 13

The light given was, “She is your adversary.” The light given me on one occasion was that of Aaron and Miriam. They both occupied a prominent position. Both stood in estimation of the people, only second to Moses. The very same spirit that first brought discord in heaven, sprang up in the heart of Miriam, and she repeated to Aaron her thoughts, that due credit was not given to them. She had ability to place this matter in a light to gain sympathy, as though she had been kept out of sight, and her talent not recognized, neither was Aaron’s. Please read the history and that written in Patriarchs and Prophets, pages 368-371. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 14

Aaron had been mouthpiece for Moses, and Miriam was a teacher of the women. But now come whisperings between the brother and the sister in murmurings and jealousies against Moses, and they were guilty of disloyalty, not only to their Leader appointed of God, but God Himself. This burden of jealousy for their own honor and glory were not left to be planted in the minds of the camp of Israel, but the Lord who reads the secrets of all hearts takes this matter in hand. For the matter left to go uncorrected would create a rebellion in the camp of Israel. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 15

“And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him I will speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” Numbers 12. [Verses 5-8.] 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 16

What words have been spoken by Fannie? Hath not God seen the spirit of jealousy, the spirit of ambition and pride struggling for human honor and recognition? This history is designed as a warning to all who will pursue a similar course as Aaron and Miriam. He who reads the heart will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the councils of the heart. Those who give place to Satan’s suggestions, in their desperate efforts in panting for recognition of talents they flatter themselves that they possess, will be so blinded by the enemy that they will not discern sacred things in distinction from the common. They will bring accusations against those whom God has called to act in certain positions in His cause. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 17

I have now written you quite fully, and I leave it with you to act as you shall judge best. Marian has not discerned the inward working of this matter, and has been deceived and affected in a degree by Fannie’s statements of the case. We are now compelled to look deeper than the surface. But I leave this matter for you to do as you think best. I am in a very grave perplexity and when I see how Satan works to take the very ones who ought to be intelligent and sharp as steel to understand their position before God, and their privileges and honor to have a part in the work, become disloyal, surmising, and whispering evil and putting the same into other minds, it is time decisive measures are taken that will correct the disaffection before it shall spread farther. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 18

I will now say, we are all generally well. I, of course, am not but troubled and perplexed. After you read my letter, send me word by telegram, when I may expect you. Letters are expected today from American mail. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 19

Please make close inquiry in regard to the horse and phaeton and household goods. We can drive the horse through. Stephen has been with his trap more than half-way to Sydney, and says he will drive through if we want him to. You can inquire whether it is best to go by boat, and the expense of duties and freightage, and write as soon as you ascertain. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 20

Much love to all in the faith. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 21

Since writing the enclosed, Elder Starr has had a long talk with Fannie. Now she is just beginning to see the perverse spirit she has had, and how much I have had to bear with her ever since she has been in Melbourne. She now says it is all right if she is separated from the work, that she had brought it upon herself, and if the decision is that she goes to America, she will submit and do anything they may counsel her to do. She is now humble and seems to see herself, but I leave it with the judgment of others to decide what is best to be done. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 22

If you see it is not possible for these persons that I have named to come back to Melbourne, adjust the matter as you deem best. I think now the evil is stayed, but it seems to me Fannie has not any just appreciation of the work. She places it on a level with common things and handles is as such. Now she is very anxious to remain in Australia, but I am fearful to have her influence in this country. Would it not be best for her to return to America now that she is in a state of submission? Should she be entrusted again with the work, would not this subdued feeling soon wear away and as she had not very fine points of character, will not the same spirit come on her and she bring the writings down to her level? 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 23

I speak to you now freely and you must do that which seems to be the best. When I am to get my workers I know not, but I will trust and have faith that God has someone for me. If not, the writings will have to stop for the papers. I do not want that your business should be all broken into, but understanding the case you must move intelligently as will best serve the cause of God. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 24

Please consider what objection will come in if we drive our horse and phaeton to Sydney; would it be wrong? Please inform me all you can in reference to this matter. Had I best sell? I dislike to leave the horse and carriage and have to buy anew in Sydney. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 25

We are now pleasantly situated. Sister Tuxford is pleasant and May doing well. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 26

In much love. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 27

Elder Starr’s American mail just came. His brother John writes he has given himself unreservedly to Jesus and he has peace, the peace of Christ. He writes well, and I am so thankful for the poor soul. Our mail has not come, [it] is at the Echo office—will come tonight, have telephoned for it. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 28

Fannie is writing to all she has spoken to upon this matter of which I have written to you. She seems determined to make thorough work, poor soul. I am distressed, yet relieved, and now I mean to trust in the Lord fully. O, I need more faith. 9LtMs, Lt 88, 1894, par. 29