Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10
Lt 85, 1895
White, J. E.
Norfolk Villa, Granville, N. S. W., Australia
October 7, 1895
Portions of this letter are published in 4MR 265.
Dear Son Edson:
I have been troubled all through the night season in regard to you. I was in a room where a few seemed busily engaged. I thought I was turning to leave and my guide said, Wait. Then I heard your voice, Edson, making plans in reference to many things you would do, in the investing of means preparatory to making large improvements and business speculations. These were talked of by you with much enthusiasm, and you were making great calculations. My guide stepped up to you as a listener to your proposition. He had heard your conversation, and he then said, I have a word of caution to give you. The Lord has been gracious unto you. When there was no arm to save, His arm brought salvation. He pitied you, and He made you free in His love, and gave you His word to give to the people. 10LtMs, Lt 85, 1895, par. 1
The plans you are devising will not all prove to be the wisdom of God, but your own wisdom. You are not in all respects a safe business manager. All men are not to be relied upon. Their words are deceiving you. You need to walk very cautiously, or you will invest means unwisely and walk in the sparks of your own kindling, if you trust to your own plans. Listen to the voice of your Leader. Follow not your own imagination and counteract the precious work the Lord has been doing for you. Speak guardedly, walk carefully and humbly with God, then you will not enter into any unwise plans as you are contemplating. Be careful how you lift financial responsibilities. Your work is to hold forth the Word of life. 10LtMs, Lt 85, 1895, par. 2
I tried to get hold of the ideas and plans, but I could not hear your words, and the guide did not specify, but he said, Will you learn wisdom from the past, to keep at your God-given work and not bind yourself up in a variety of schemes which will work unfavorably for you? Make no unwise investments. Owe no man anything. Do not bind up borrowed money, making future calculations too abundantly to repay, for this has been your weakness. Your only safety is in walking <cautiously and> softly before God, holding forth the Word of life, receiving the precious light given you of God, for He has chosen you as a light bearer. Let others see you have met with a transformation in character, and that you have learned to plan in God and walk in God, and if you look to Jesus He will walk with you. Keep under the ambitious projects which Satan designs to tempt you to engage in. God has undertaken your case, and He will lead you safely and will make you a co-laborer with God. 10LtMs, Lt 85, 1895, par. 3
You are being tested and proved. In God is your power to overcome temptations. You will come forth as gold seven times purified. But bind about your imagination, for it will be, as it has been, a snare to you. Trust not in your own inventions, lest you make shipwreck of faith. Enter into no schemes which your own finite judgment shall devise and consider safe, perfectly safe, for it is a net prepared to entangle you in the end. Many would rejoice to have their prophecies concerning you come true, that you are not reliable. Pay every debt as God shall open the way. Leave not a single claim that man shall have upon you. Stand up in your God-given liberty as a free man. Many more words were added, but I cannot go farther now. 10LtMs, Lt 85, 1895, par. 4
Your mother. 10LtMs, Lt 85, 1895, par. 5
Edson, Fannie Bolton has no longer any connection with me. Willie, I think, will go to the next General Conference. I want you to bind yourself to no special engagement, for I have full confidence that you are needed in this field, that you shall help me and Willie. He is weighted down with burdens. If you could help me and counsel with me, I have a large amount of writing that could be brought into shape. And if you do not remain more than one year, I want you to come. We need just such help as you can give in the matters that you present before the people. New South Wales is an excellent climate. 10LtMs, Lt 85, 1895, par. 6
If you can get someone to enter the Southern field in your place, and unite yourself with us, we could together work to get out the class of books you desire. I need you. Marian says, If I could only have Edson to read the manuscript of The Life of Christ, what a help he would be to me. Willie cannot give time to this matter. He has his line of work <as counselor,> and he moves very cautiously, and he cannot be called off. We need you to plan with us and we [to] plan with you. This, you know, the Lord has shown over and over again, that you and your mother and brother should stand shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, judgment to judgment. This is a great field and we must work it as it never has been worked, and you are one who could be more help to me than anyone in all these colonies. I need you and should have you. 10LtMs, Lt 85, 1895, par. 7
And now, while matters are so favorable as they are concerning you in Battle Creek, come to us and you can be my helper. I wish you could be here before Willie leaves for America, then you could take his place in accompanying your mother where she will have to go to speak to the people. I want you and Emma, my children. I think you will not be able to endure the climate of the Southern field. Emma is naturally bilious, and here is a climate excellent for the lungs, and not malarious. My heart longs for my children. I would not ask you to leave the Southern field if I thought God would have your work there. This is a missionary field, and you can have [a] chance to work here without prejudice and jealousies arising; and you need to move carefully and retain the influence which God has given you for His own honor and His own glory. 10LtMs, Lt 85, 1895, par. 8
We need you here, unless the work seems imperative in the South. But we, or I, am in such need for the very help you can give us in preparing books for the press and in getting out the very works in the book line in simple style for the Southern field and all over the world. I think you can do more, far more, good, uniting with Marian and your mother. Why, Edson, I cannot get [a] chance at Willie to read scarcely anything I write to him. I send this to you because I have been shown repeatedly that you could, if you put your heart in the work, be a great blessing to us. Now, I send this to you. I am not going to put it in anyone’s hands to copy. You may copy and send to me. Now, my son, tell me as soon as possible what you will do. I need you. I believe God would bless you in coming to us. 10LtMs, Lt 85, 1895, par. 9