Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Ms 34, 1896

Words to the W. C. White Household

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

November 27, 1896

Previously unpublished.

I was unable to sleep after eleven o’clock. In the night season I had been instructed of God. I have been made to feel deeply. One stood in our midst. Willie, his wife May, and several others were present. Words of deep import were spoken. The Speaker said, addressing W. C. White, There is need of taking heed to all the light which the Lord has permitted to shine upon your pathway. Your family needs the transforming influence of the Spirit of God. There is not a heavenly atmosphere circulating through the house. The enemy is busy with his temptations, and should the members of the family view their daily experience, when they were brought face to face with truth, they would be startled with the representation. They would see that their daily lives are not after the divine similitude. In the light of truth they would see that their religious experience is not a living reality; that they are living much as the non-professor lives, cherishing much the same spirit, doing the same work, enjoying the same atmosphere. Your religion must be based on faith, real, deep, heartfelt faith, made perfect by works. There must not be self-pleasing. The life of Christ in this world must be our Pattern. He lived not to please Himself. 11LtMs, Ms 34, 1896, par. 1

The Speaker addressed my son, W. C. White, as a laborer together with God. He addressed May as one who was standing under great responsibilities. He said, You must be steadfast in the faith once delivered to the saints. You will find it a very pleasant life to walk with Jesus. But there is danger of becoming careless, deficient in piety and devotion. You have new responsibilities, and these precious children are the gift of God. Study your Bible in faith. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. You need to draw nigh unto God; as parents, humble yourselves before Him, ask most sincerely for an understanding heart to know and believe and obey every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, as revealed to you in His Word. Faith does not originate with yourselves nor proceed from yourselves. It is a gift of God. You must both consider and move in your family as united, wise teachers, always acting from principle, never from impulse. 11LtMs, Ms 34, 1896, par. 2

Your family is too large. Connect with your family only those who move with wisdom and calm judgment. It is not wise to associate together those who are only children in experience. Can these elements, mingling together, have a proper uplifting influence over one another? If any one is brought into your family, it should be one who is a true teacher and will act her part in the molding and fashioning of character. Your children are of such an age and temperament that they especially need quiet time to read the Bible, time to study the Word. There is a misapprehension as to what constitutes true education. The children need to become familiar with the little duties of life, the part of the work they are supposed to be fitted to do. Their work should pass under examination. They should be taught to do it thoroughly and well. This class of education should receive special attention; it cannot in any wise be neglected. The coming year must show a large improvement over the past year. Every one of the family should have the matter urged upon them to improve in caretaking, in the formation of orderly habits, in the care of clothing. The garments should be kept clean and neatly mended. 11LtMs, Ms 34, 1896, par. 3

Your daughter Ella has lost much in her character-building during the year 1896. Addressing Willie, the Speaker said, You have had great light. From the light the Lord has been pleased to give, you know that light must not be ignored, or hidden under a bushel. All who receive light must shine as lights in our world. From the head of the family to the youngest member, God has taken you into covenant relation with Himself. His angels are watching to see how they can minister unto your family, how they can work with your children, that they shall reflect the likeness of Christ in character, conforming to the divine image. There is altogether too much stir and bustle, noise and confusion, disorder, untidiness, and general forgetfulness of God in daily duties. Your family are in danger of keeping the form of godliness in profession of faith when you have lost the reality. Be careful, watch and pray, else you will grasp the shadow, and lose the substance. 11LtMs, Ms 34, 1896, par. 4

A cold, dead faith is worthless. You are warned of your danger; be armed against temptation by prayer and watching thereunto. Let a living faith run like threads of gold through the daily experience in the performance of little duties. Then all the daily work will be of such a character as to promote Christian growth, the vital principles of faith, trust, and love for Jesus will penetrate into the most minute details of daily life. “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.] There will be a looking unto Jesus; love for Him will be the continual motive, giving vital force to everything that is undertaken. There will be striving after righteousness, a hope that maketh not ashamed. There is no need of discouragement. Jesus loves you all. He has not forgotten, and He never will forget, the self-denial, self-sacrifice, the consecration to the work. 11LtMs, Ms 34, 1896, par. 5

The Speaker addressed the children, Ella and Mabel: There must be a striving most earnestly for the grace of Christ. The experience and education of the former child-life is becoming indistinct, obliterated. There are altogether too few thoughts of Christ. The Lord has permitted responsibilities to increase in your family not to depreciate, but to bind the family in firm links together. These little ones will need an influence that shall not tend to draw away from Christ, but to bring them in faith close to Christ. You need to have a far clearer, deeper sense of what constitutes true religion in practice. 11LtMs, Ms 34, 1896, par. 6

In the performance of household duties, careless, neglectful habits are being formed. The house-work should be done with as little noise and confusion as possible. The study of books is not to be made primary, to the neglect of home duties and the discomfort of the family. Everything must be done decently, and in order. This is the most valuable education the children can have. This is the light which the Lord has given. The habit of disorder now indulged will, unless corrected, be carried into every phase of life, and the life will be spoiled for usefulness, spoiled for true missionary work. The fewer members in the family, the less work will have to be done, 11LtMs, Ms 34, 1896, par. 7

He addressed Ella and Mabel: You are both entrusted with a precious gift from the Lord. You both have had precious opportunities to learn how to use your abilities to the best account. Your mother needs your help as members of the firm. The eldest daughter should make her studies secondary. She has need of a kind of education which she is sadly neglecting. Be true to home duties. Take heed to the counsel and instruction of your mother. Respect her words, obey her requests, for this is a part of your education that will fit you to become a member of the family above. Ella, God has a work for you to do which you have not appreciated. Teach your younger sister by precept and example. Be faithful in the little duties. Be a real, living Christian in the home. Let Christian principles rule the heart and control the conduct. You can bind up your heart with the heart of your mother. Heed every suggestion that she makes, but do not make it a necessity for her to tell you what you should do. Discern for yourself. 11LtMs, Ms 34, 1896, par. 8

Notice for yourself if all things in your bed chamber would be pleasing for the heavenly angels to view. Have everything in such nice order that when the angels of God shall pass through your room, they may see nothing defiling or disorderly, nothing to taint the purity of the atmosphere. Special directions were given to the armies of the children of Israel that in their tents and around their premises everything should be neat, lest the angel of God should pass through their encampment and see their uncleanness. Would the Lord be particular to notice these things? He would, for the fact is stated, lest in viewing their uncleanness he could not go forth with their armies to battle against their enemies. In like manner all your actions are noticed of God. 11LtMs, Ms 34, 1896, par. 9

Let it be your first work to see that everything in your room is put in order, the dirt and dust carefully removed. Let nothing that would taint the atmosphere remain in the room, for it is an offense to God. Remove it as quickly as possible. Let the kitchen be kept sweet and clean. Books are to be laid aside for their proper season, and no more study should engross the mind than can be attended to without neglecting the household duties. God is displeased with the habits you are forming, which, unless corrected with perseverance and resolution, will overcome you for time and for eternity. Form correct habits, even in your dress; let the appearance be neat and attractive, for angels in heaven are taking notice of these things. Your habits in everything, in dress, in work and study, may be right, praiseworthy, such as to make you a help and comfort to your mother, who has a large and constant responsibility in the care of the two little children. 11LtMs, Ms 34, 1896, par. 10

What a blessing you can be to your mother in helping her as one of the family firm, and in helping yourselves in the formation of correct habits. Then she will not have you as a constant source of anxiety and discouragement. You are old enough to learn your lessons of duty from the Word. Watch against a disposition to put off the very work that should be done at the proper time and in its proper manner. It will be a very easy matter for you to form habits of neglect by failing to do the very things that should be done at the right time. Slackness and neglect will testify against you, and unless these faults are neglected, they engraft upon the character the enduring habits of disorder and untidiness, which it is very difficult to overcome. Few are aware of the controlling power of habit. But it may be made a power for good instead of evil. You may fill your place in the household as a thoughtful, caretaking, practical Christian, working for Jesus, doing the little duties which are often disagreeable, but which must be done and not delayed. 11LtMs, Ms 34, 1896, par. 11

These two children, Ella and Mabel, are the Lord’s stewards in the household, to do their duties with thoroughness and fidelity. You can be lights to others, but your present development of character is displeasing to God. The Lord has given you both diversified gifts; these are to be carefully cherished, to perfect the order and completeness of the household. In doing your daily duties promptly, neatly, faithfully, you are missionaries. You are bearing witness for Christ. You are showing that the religion of Christ does not, in principle or practice, make you untidy, coarse, disrespectful to your parents by giving little heed to their counsel and instruction. Bible religion, practiced, will make you kind, thoughtful, faithful. You will not neglect the little things that should be done to give a neat, wholesome appearance even to the kitchen, which has shown unfaithfulness. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” [Luke 16:10.] 11LtMs, Ms 34, 1896, par. 12