Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 182, 1897

White, W. C.

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 6, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 305.

Dear Son Willie:

Today your boys Henry and Herbert White are fourteen months old. They are toddling on their feet nicely—not very firmly yet; they can only take a few steps. The children all attend school and are, I think, advancing. They are very ambitious. Ernest and Edith are doing well. Ella and Mabel White are in good health. The whole family are doing well. The boys are full of their fun and frolic. I do not worry about them now for the room they have is comfortable and if the Lord prospers us we will have a home all ready for you to go into. We on this side of the waters shall have done our level best. And as we have not your head, there are some things you might have proposed that would suit your ideas better, but it would be very strange if this was not the case. We hope that there will be everything to please your mind. 12LtMs, Lt 182, 1897, par. 1

I have a great desire for the school, that it shall prosper; but I feel troubled because Brother Herbert Lacey has the impulsive temperament to move out after the education received in Battle Creek and would feel perfectly competent to manage everything, when he will have to obtain as a learner [the knowledge of] how things ought to be managed. He has not been to me—who has been through the experience given me of God—to ask advice or counsel as to any light given me of the Lord, that I could suggest safe methods of planning and executing, after carrying the load I have for so long that it has nearly crushed me. To keep everything in the very lines that have been presented before me is the way of the Lord. I cannot see things suggested that would lead to wrong actions. 12LtMs, Lt 182, 1897, par. 2

If he had any confidence in my mission and work as of that character that would be the best to follow, it would be better for him and better for the school. Last Sabbath, after I had spoken, Brother Herbert Lacey as chairman of the committee—which knows no more about the thinking and consideration of plans regarding the school than children—put on the paper two men to be elders of the church. One was Brother James. This I approve. The other was Gregg. Without one word said to me, or seeking my judgment, he read these names before the whole congregation. Now, this brother Gregg may learn considerable if he will place himself as a learner, but to be placed as an elder would be the most inconsistent thing which could be done. He shows he has everything to learn; to place him as elder will be his ruin. Shannon and Lawrence have done us great harm and have so leavened the mind of Brother Gregg that he has been criticizing, and I have worked with all my being to kill this satanic work in this locality. 12LtMs, Lt 182, 1897, par. 3

I was just sick at heart yesterday. Brother Hare is the man for elder, but I suppose the reason that some have preferred Gregg to him is because he has been tried with some of the workers and has spoken sharply to them. Some would have had the matter decided then and there on the spot, and the two men elected. No other names were on for consideration for choice, only these two men. 12LtMs, Lt 182, 1897, par. 4

If our school is to be left to the decision of such a board, who do not understand the work they have to do, then I will not remain in this locality or on this ground. If I am considered a cipher after carrying the load I have carried, if it is considered that everything can be run just as well as if I were elsewhere, then it is time for me to turn my face toward America. 12LtMs, Lt 182, 1897, par. 5

I will lose my life, vexed in spirit, to see the little discernment of men who are called the committee. Far better have the committee abolished than to have inexperienced men who have not depth of thought and give no thought to the work in their hands. To be compelled to have to watch everything as a cat would watch a mouse is more than I at my age propose to do. Now their names have been read before the whole church; should Gregg’s name be dropped and Brother Hare’s name placed on paper for decision, Gregg will be under temptation. The meetings have been wearied with his attempts several times to review the Sabbath school. He would act as a preacher to ventilate his own ideas and specialties. I am about worried out over ignorant, inexperienced men who have not shown ability in decisions, looking beneath the surface. 12LtMs, Lt 182, 1897, par. 6

Herbert is impulsive, and he is not an all-around man. He becomes so officious, and fails to see he has counsellors close by whom he can consult. He would carry things after his own ideas, and here I anticipate trouble. There is a large family that have less experience, and far less ability than Herbert, who will snatch at any idea that he sets before them and any impression, right or wrong, he may make upon them; and as the tongue is a member that has free action, I see trouble ahead. If there is not something done, there will be curious actions here, I am sure. I hope that Brother Hughes will have moral backbone to use his advanced experience to level up things. As for Brother Haskell’s judgment, Herbert Lacey would override it unless I had told him the position Elder Haskell was to occupy, and then it makes little difference. Not one word of advice or counsel has been asked of me by either Herbert or his wife since they have come on this ground. If anything occurs they go to May and tell her of the matter. 12LtMs, Lt 182, 1897, par. 7

Well, I stop here. Will be glad when you come back, and hope it will be soon. But now I have to get the committee together and counterwork their work. I am hoping to have something better to write to you in next letter. I shall get the committee together, and the chairman, and talk with them today after the mail has gone. 12LtMs, Lt 182, 1897, par. 8