Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)


Lt 121, 1904

White, J. E.; White, Emma

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

March 29, 1904

This letter is published in entirety in 1888 1803-1810. +Note

My dear Edson and Emma,—

I returned from Healdsburg yesterday and was in the train nearly all day. We did not dare to drive over; for there has been so much rain that the road from here to Healdsburg is almost impassible. There has been no travel over the direct road for the past two weeks. All through the month of March we have had continuous rain, with the exception of one or two bright days. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 1

I did not feel able to attend the Healdsburg meeting, but I went, nevertheless. We left home for Healdsburg Friday, March eighteen. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 2

I spoke in the Healdsburg church Sabbath morning. I will send you a copy of the report of the sermon. The meeting house was crowded, and I had much freedom in speaking. All seemed to appreciate the words spoken. But the church is not well ventilated; it is impossible to obtain that thorough purification of the air that is essential to health. I felt while speaking that I was being injured by the poison of the many breaths, and I feared that I should not be able to carry my discourse through to the end. But I did, and I was blessed in the effort. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 3

I took cold after speaking, and during the week my head ached, and I coughed a great deal. I took heavy treatment several times, and at the end of the week I was somewhat better. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 4

The citizens of Healdsburg made the request that I should speak on Sunday afternoon, March 27, that they might hear me once more. Rain had fallen continuously through the week, and Sunday was rainy and disagreeable. I had been sick and under vigorous treatment ever since the Sabbath before; but I ventured out, though so weak that I could scarcely stand on my feet without assistance. As I looked at the large congregation gathered in the church, I felt fearful that I could not make them all hear. But the Lord strengthened me, and I spoke for over an hour from the first two chapters of Revelation. Those present were much interested and expressed themselves as being greatly benefited by the discourse. I saw tears running down more than one face. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 5

Well, Sunday night I did not sleep after eleven o’clock. On Monday morning we left Healdsburg for St. Helena and passed safely through the many changes that must be made in coming from Healdsburg to St. Helena by way of Oakland. We reached home about eight o’clock. I took a hot bath and went to bed, but I did not sleep after eleven o’clock, and I rose at one. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 6

There were some things that I meant to say concerning the work in the South during the meeting at Healdsburg, but I could not say them; for my head was so weary all the time. I only attended the two meetings of which I have spoken. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 7

I had some talk with Elders Daniells and Prescott in regard to my visiting Washington, D.C. I told them that it had been a serious question with me whether I should leave home to make this trip. I told them also that should I go, I would not wish to spend more than a few months there unless, after seeing the situation, I should change my mind. If we decide to go, we shall be on our way in about two weeks. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 8

In answer to your letter, I would say, Do not take up any new methods in connection with the company that you mention. Those whom you have named as the ones who would compose this company are not in that pure, holy, sanctified state that would give assurance of success. Wait patiently. If we decide to go to Washington, we shall attend the Lake Union Conference, which is to be held, I believe, at Berrien Springs. I hope to see you there. I hope that at this meeting, most earnest work will be done to set right many things. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 9

The Lord has appointed Elder Butler and Elder Haskell and his wife to labor in the South, and there should be a proper union between you and them. Brother Wales would not be the best man for the work you mention. I hope that he and Brother Palmer will in the future have a more sanctified experience than they have had in the past. If they do not, neither of them will be conquerors. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 10

I hope, Edson, that until clearer light is given, you will not carry out the plans spoken of in your letter to me. I am bidden not to encourage you to take this step; for you would deeply regret it if you did. Were I in your place, I would positively refuse to link up with the persons you have named. Will you not counsel with Brother Haskell and Brother Butler. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 11

I have a word more to say to you. Will you not sign a pledge that you will no longer weaken or deface the Lord’s temple by working when you ought to rest. In order to have proper thoughts and in order to speak proper words, you must give your brain rest. You do not take sufficient time to rest. The weary brain and tired nerves would be invigorated if you would make a change in this respect. I wish that you and Emma could spend the summer with us here at St. Helena. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 12

We must study to discipline ourselves carefully, refusing to do that which would weaken the physical, mental, and moral strength. You need a clear, patient mind, which will endure all that may arise. You need a strong hold from above. Exercise faith, and leave the results with God. When you have done your best, be of good courage. Believe, believe, and hold fast. The enemy will try to get you to make some move which means defeat, but you cannot afford to do this. You cannot afford to make uncertain movements. You need the influence that you will gain by revealing wisdom and discretion. The time will come when you will make movements similar to the one you propose, but it has not come yet. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 13

Edson, the Lord does not want you to worry and fret over a state of things that you cannot help. He wants you to go on from strength to strength, and this you will do if you trustingly do your best. Learn a lesson of trust from the miracle of feeding the multitude with five loaves and two fishes. There were five thousand men, besides women and children, to be fed, and five loaves and two fishes were all that Christ had; yet there were gathered up, after all had been satisfied, twelve baskets full of fragments. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 14

Edson and Emma, you must have Christ formed within, the hope of glory. Then that which before seemed to you but a meager supply will prove to be a rich feast. You will be satisfied yourselves, and you will have something to give to others. Walk humbly with Christ, daily learning the lesson of meekness and lowliness. Thus your heart will become a temple for the Holy Spirit, and nothing but God alone can fill a temple where God dwells. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 15

Do not, I beg of you, look on the dark side. When the Israelites were content with the portion of manna that God gave, they found that it was sweet and full of nourishment for both [body] and soul. When they were dissatisfied, there were worms in the manna. Contentment is a blessing and discontent a curse. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 16

My son, you need the peace of Christ. God is your Father. He would have you take more time to rest, that you may have a healthy spiritual experience. He loves you with a deep and tender love. O children, there are great things before us. Edson, do not allow your mind to become in any way diseased. God wants your mind to be clear, your temper sweet, and your love abounding. Then the peace that passeth knowledge with flow forth from you to bless all with whom you come into contact. The atmosphere surrounding your soul will be refreshing. Your words will be fragrant. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 17

You need spiritual life. This life would give vigor to your soul and to your body. Spiritual life yields to its possessor that which all the world is seeking, but which can never be obtained without an entire surrender to God. You will have to say oftener than you have ever said, “Be still, and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10.] This will give your soul the needed rest. It will give you contentment in doing the very best you can. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 18

Spiritual life—what is it? It is the contemplation of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us that our lives might be sweet and fragrant, that we might have power to perfect an unselfish Christian experience, and that from us others might learn to do good. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 19

The work given you is to represent Christ. He came to this world to shed upon you His own brightness and peace. Close the windows of your heart against the atmosphere of unbelief, and open them heavenward. It is your privilege to face the light, to talk light and faith. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 20

Be affable and compassionate. Let your countenance reflect the joy of the Lord. Speak of His goodness and tell of His power. Then your light will shine more and more distinctly. Above your trials and disappointments will be revealed the reflection of a pure, healthy religious life. In the outworking of the inner life there will be wonderful peace and joy. You may reflect the beauty of the character of your risen Lord, who, though He was rich, yet for our sake became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich in the grace of heaven. As you rise above despondency into the clear sunlight of the presence of Christ, you will reveal the glory of God. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 21

We can, we can reveal the likeness of our divine Lord. We can know the science of spiritual life. We can glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are His. Do we do it? Oh, what an illustrious example we have in the life that Christ lived on this earth. He has shown us what we can accomplish through co-operation with Him. We are to seek for the union with Him of which He speaks when He says, “Abide in Me, and I in you.” [John 15:4.] This union is deeper, stronger, truer, than any other union. The heart must be filled with the grace of Christ. His will must control us, moving us by His love to suffer with those who suffer, to rejoice with those who rejoice, to feel a deep tenderness for every one in weakness, sorrow, or distress. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 22

Being partakers of the divine nature will make us willing always to reach forth a helping hand to those in need of relief. Christ’s heart was ever touched with pity at the sight of human woe. He died on the cross of Calvary to lift from man the penalty of transgression. He came to our world to make it possible for sinful human beings to obtain salvation. He wept over the sorrow and suffering that He saw on every hand. He groaned in spirit in behalf of the tried and tempted, but He would not fail or become discouraged. He must believe and press forward in order to make it possible for them to gain eternal life. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 23

Christ’s life on this earth is a perfect reflection of the divine law. In Him is life and hope and light. Behold Him, and you will become changed into the same likeness, from character to character. 19LtMs, Lt 121, 1904, par. 24