Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Lt 77, 1904

White, W. C.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 12, 1904

Previously unpublished. +Note

My dear son Willie,—

This morning I found under my door your letter to May, sent from Washington. She sent it over last night after she had read it. Thank you for keeping us so faithfully informed in regard to the different stages of your journey. I have prayed the Lord to direct your way so that no accident or harm should come to you. I have prayed that God would be with you at every point of your journey, and I have had special assurance that He would bless and preserve you. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 1

On the morning of the tenth we saw in the sky tokens of rain, and at two o’clock the next night I woke with so much pain in the right arm, shoulders, chest, and heart that I felt somewhat discouraged. The words, “Commit your case to the Lord in faith and trust, and He will be your Physician and Healer,” were distinctly impressed on my mind. I went from my sleeping room to my office, praying all the time for the Lord’s healing power. I committed myself to Him, knowing that He knew just what to do for me. The pain left me. Some slight indications of rheumatic difficulty remained, but I was able to go right on with my work. As we read the morning lesson at family worship, such a sense of gratitude came over me as I thought of the evidence which I had received of the love of my Redeemer and of His pitiful tenderness, that my tears flowed freely. I was kept in peace and happiness all day long. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 2

What I must have is a personal connection with my Saviour. Important decisions are to be made at every step, and while we must go forward, we must be sure to place our feet in the footprints of Christ. We must say, “Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee, E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me.” 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 3

Later. I have just come up from breakfast and will add a few lines to your letter. Yesterday I received a long letter from Brother Butler. I was much interested in this letter and shall answer it as soon as I can. There are many subjects that I wish to complete, but Elder Butler’s letter must have a response. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 4

We have stern responsibilities to meet, and the subjects that concern the advancement of the work of God should be of the greatest interest to every believer. We are to accept no speculative theories. We are to carry out no plans that God can not approve. All that we do should bring to us a stronger sense of the presence of God with us. We are to wear Christ’s yoke and learn of Him His meekness and lowliness. We shall be rewarded by finding the rest that His abiding presence brings. Walking and working in the light of His life, we shall reveal to the world, to the church, and to heavenly intelligences clearer and more intelligent views of the things of God. A recognition of the fact that the Lord God is to us all and in all, first and last and best in everything, will bring refreshing to our minds. The evidence that we are partakers of the divine nature will fill the soul with meekness and humility. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 5

Thus we are made laborers together with God. We work out our own salvation with a holy boldness, and yet with fear and trembling lest we should spoil the pattern. And God works in us, to will and to do of His good pleasure. O that we could realize the greatness of the responsibility resting on us as those chosen by God to save our own souls by drawing nearer and still nearer to His light, that we may be illuminated by the radiance of His presence. He invites us to follow Him. He will not spurn our efforts, but will encourage every step of advance. If our lives are hidden with Christ in God, we shall work in a way that will accomplish His purpose for us. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 6

I wish to tell you, my son, to move very carefully in your preparations for moving. I have no certain knowledge that I ought to break up my home here. I have no assurance that the Lord would have me do this. I have never been so favorably situated to do my work. Everything is very convenient for me. To enter upon the confusion of travel and attending meetings means much. And the matter does not rest there. When I stand before the people, I am responsible to God. If I could bear my message and then let the matter rest, the burden would not be so heavy; but I cannot. I must explain and explain, and even then interpretations are made and reports carried that bear no likeness to what I have said. The contention, the self-uplifting of those who do not know themselves is very painful to me. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 7

As in Christ’s day, the people hear with unsanctified ears and interpret with unsanctified minds and hearts. They lose the real meaning of the truths presented, and my labor seems to be in vain. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 8

Why not allow me to remain here quietly with my workers and bring out the instruction that I wish to present? Must I again go through the experience that I went through at the Conference held in Battle Creek in 1901, and again at the Conference recently held in Oakland? During these meetings I carried on my soul burdens the weight of which the Lord only knows. I do indeed dread the thought of another such experience. If I could labor among those who have not had so much light as our people have had, if I could speak before unbelievers, I should labor in faith and hope. But many of those who profess to know the truth are not sanctified through the truth. To them are applicable the words spoken by Christ to those who were satisfied with their own religious understanding and refused to accept the representation held up before them by One who knew their true spiritual condition: 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 9

“Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of the light. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 10

“These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide Himself from them.” “Though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him; that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report, and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias saith again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” [John 12:35-40.] The course that they themselves followed brought darkness upon them. Every refusal to receive the light of life made their hearts harder and more unimpressible. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 11

If I can be saved from meeting the people as I have done at Battle [Creek] and at other places, I shall be spared the intensity of feeling that comes over me when I stand before those who profess to believe the truth, while war and falsehood are in their hearts. So heavy is the burden that this feeling brings upon me that it seems as if it would wear my life away. Will it pay? Ask the brethren if it will pay. Let me prepare my books in the quiet of my home, removed from those who have blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see, and understand, and be converted, and God should heal them. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 12

With all the powers of mind and heart, I am considering the question of going East for fear that you and I may move injudiciously. I must know the will of God in this matter before I can consent to place myself where my burdens will be heavier, with no equivalent results to balance the matter. Give me this summer to myself. I have much to write, and I want to be left quiet to do this writing. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 13

You may say, “We have encouraged our people to hope that you would spend some time in the East this year, and if you do not, they will be greatly disappointed.” I know that some would be disappointed, but there are many who would have but little appreciation of the messages that I might bear them. They would not hear to a good purpose. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 14

I shall go if the Lord requires it. But it seems to me that such a journey costs too much money, too much time, and too much hard, trying work, and that the results would not be equivalent to the effort put forth. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 15

I must close this letter now, that it may go in the noon mail. I have tried to state the case as it appears to me. 19LtMs, Lt 77, 1904, par. 16