Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 12, 1903

White, J. E.

St. Helena, California

January 11, 1903

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 19. +Note

My dear son Edson,—

I have just read your letters. I want the reformatory work of which you speak to be carried on firmly and decidedly. This can only be done by following the counsel of the great Teacher, who gave His life for the world, and whose we are by creation and by redemption. His directions are full and complete. “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” [Matthew 5:23, 24.] 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 1

When our duty is so plainly marked out, why do so many church members go contrary to a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” and speak of their difficulties to those who know nothing in regard to them or in regard to those whom these difficulties concern? Jesus the great Teacher has told us what our duty is. Our gifts, our prayers are not acceptable to God while we leave this duty undone, and let the poison of envy, evil surmising, and jealousy take possession of our souls and spoil our union and happiness. Oh, how much unhappiness would be spared, and how many evil thoughts would be quenched, if believers would take up the work that Christ has said must be done to prevent evil thinking and evil speaking. 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 2

A few words of explanation might change entirely the views of those who have been at variance, cherishing bitter feelings. We cannot be obedient to the law of God until we put out of the mind all differences, until we allow our hearts to be softened and subdued by the Spirit of Christ. Our prayers are hindered by our pride of heart, by our refusal to confess faults and to remove wrong impressions. We are to make every effort in our power to remove every stumbling block from before the feet of our neighbor or our brother. My son, make every concession that it is possible for you to make. Do not leave on a suffering mind a misconception that an advance in humiliation and tenderhearted interest would remove. Satan will be sure to come to that mind with the temptation to misconstrue and to make a mountain out of a molehill. A mind that easily stumbles over hurt feelings will conjure up mistaken ideas of all kinds. 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 3

The Lord Jesus has given special directions as to what each of His “little children” is to do. When we pray, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us,” do we do our part to answer this prayer? [Matthew 6:12, 14, 15.] Let us remember that if our brother has aught against us, we are to leave on the altar the gift we have brought to God and be reconciled to our brother. Then we are to come and offer our gift. This is the only way in which we can keep in our hearts the peace of God. And is it not worth an effort to have this peace? Were not Christ’s directions given to be carried out to the letter; and if they were carried out, would not much sorrow and alienation and misunderstanding be spared? 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 4

“The meek will He guide in judgment; the meek will He teach His way.” [Psalm 25:9.] How thankful we should be for such favors. It makes the heart light to try to remove burdens from other hearts. We are enjoined to cultivate peace and unity. Our prayers are not efficient while we suffer a fellow worker to misapprehend us. If we are not to blame for the misunderstanding that exists, we can perhaps make an explanation that will remove the misunderstanding. If we are to blame, we are certainly under obligation to God to relieve the suffering of one of the members of His family. If we have left a wrong impression on his mind, we must do all in our power to remove this impression. 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 5

There are certain duties that we must perform in order to answer our own prayers. We ask the Lord for His grace and blessing. Then we must see if there are in the way of our receiving this blessing any obstacles that we must remove. Before we can be free, we must take these obstacles away. 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 6

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] Thus man becomes a laborer together with God, removing every stumbling block from his own way and from his brother’s way so that nothing shall hinder their spiritual progress. This he must do, or his own soul will be under condemnation. 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 7

“This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith.” [1 John 5:4.] I will pray for you, my son. I remember the church and work in Nashville in my prayers as we assemble for morning and evening worship. I want you all to remember that you are to live your prayers. Daily you are to strive to live in unity with one another. Allow no variance or strife to enter the church. “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] You can have sweet fellowship with one another if you will that this shall be. Never, never lose sight of the light and glory of God. Strive for unity. This is the best medical missionary work that can be done. 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 8

I wish to say to you, Edson, and to brother W. O. Palmer, that while you are to be a help to each other, I do not regard it as advisable that you engage together in the same line of work. Brother Palmer is a man of leading mind. He thinks and moves independently. It is the same with Edson White; therefore each should have his own line of work, over which he has supervision. Each should feel that he has opportunity to use his faculties to plan for his appointed work and to carry his plans through to success. If you both try to plan for the same line of work, you will get in each other’s way. Will you please remember this? You can labor in separate lines of work, and it is best for you to do this. 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 9

Brother Palmer must not take on himself much responsibility until his health is such that he can do this with safety. At present, he is to keep himself as free as possible from perplexity and taxing labor. Edson, be careful not to encourage Brother Palmer to do too much. He must guard himself. His circulation is not good, and when his mind is worried and perplexed, he is injured physically. He should have work that will enable him to stay out of doors in pleasant weather. 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 10

You are both men that can do much more, and with greater satisfaction to yourselves, if your work is pleasing and in no way forced. 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 11

May the lord help you to consider these suggestions. You should each work where you can have elbow room, and where there will be no weakening of your individual capabilities. A word to the wise is sufficient. 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 12

My heart is drawn out in prayer for you both. May the Lord abundantly bless you; for you are both under His orders, pledged to do His will. I pray that the mist that has been gathering may roll away, and that each worker may see the saving grace of Christ. Look unto Jesus. Have faith in God, and He will be your exceeding great reward. 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 13

I will now close this letter and see if I can get it in tonight’s mail. 18LtMs, Lt 12, 1903, par. 14