Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 321, 1905

White, J. E.; White, Emma

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

November 27, 1905

Portions of this letter are published in 2MR 252-253. +Note

Dear Children, Edson and Emma,—

I had entirely forgotten that yesterday was my birthday until I had returned from my ride just before dinner. Then I found that Sister King, my matron, had as a surprise to me invited to dinner May White and her children and Ella May and Dores Robinson. I had been so busy that I had not thought of its being my birthday, and I was, as Brother Starr used to say, “plumb surprised” to find such a large gathering and two tables set in our dining room. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 1

We partook of a nicely prepared meal, after which we went into the parlor and engaged in a season of prayer and sang a few hymns. The Lord came graciously near to us as we offered up hearty thanksgiving to God for His goodness and mercy to us all. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 2

Our little gathering was very pleasant. Sister Ings sent down a beautiful bouquet from the sanitarium, and some one else sent flowers from St. Helena. Sister King presented me with a small silver-plated water pitcher, just such a one as I had been thinking of purchasing. I was glad that there were not more presents; for when I receive so many things I feel that I must do something in return. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 3

All our family were not present. W. C. White is in College View, Mabel White is in the sanitarium at Paradise Valley, Sara McEnterfer, Maggie Hare, and Helen Graham are in Oakland for a little change. They expect to be absent about one week longer. We have staying with us Elder Behrens’ little girl, ten years old, a niece of Sister King’s. Her mother is taking treatment at the sanitarium. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 4

Last night after I had gotten to sleep, a wind storm arose. The bed-screen was blown over, and the shutters hanged. Sister Peck came and rearranged everything, and I soon fell asleep again. I awoke once or twice in the night, but did not get up till four o’clock. This was another victory gained in sleeping; for the previous night I had slept nearly eight hours. For this I feel very grateful to my heavenly Father. I offered up a prayer of thanksgiving to God, took a cold sponge bath, lit my lamp, and wrote eight pages before breakfast. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 5

I am very thankful that I can relish my food. My diet is simple, but nourishing. Cooked onions is quite a common dish for me now. I am taking time to ride out more than I have done. The last week, I have been out for an hour or more each day, except one. I desire to keep my mind clear, that the Lord may impress me with the precious truths for this important time. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 6

I am certainly in excellent health for me, notwithstanding the fact that I am handling many important matters. I am endeavoring to repeat those portions of our early experience that will strengthen the faith of God’s people. I shall try also to get out soon the history of the work done in the southern field. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 7

The last work of Moses was to recount to the children of Israel the history of their experiences. He laid before them the blessings they had received and also reminded them of the mistakes they had made and the dealings of God with them because of these mistakes. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 8

O that all might realize the rich promises of Christ and keep their faith strong, cherishing the tenderness and compassion of our blessed Saviour. I am pained as I see how many are losing the rich blessings of God, because of their narrow ideas as to His great goodness and mercy and loving-kindness. He “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 9

It is our privilege individually to lay hold of the advantages that Christ has provided for us. By our thoughts and words and actions we make or mar our own happiness. No one is able to intercept one ray of light from our soul if we will comply with the necessary conditions. Our heavenly Father is not hard to propitiate. In the gift of His only begotten Son, He has expressed for the human race a love whose greatness can never be estimated. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” “He that spared not His own Son, but delivereth Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” [Romans 5:8; 8:32.] 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 10

One loses much by allowing his mind to dwell upon his sorrows and trials. He is spiritually weakened by the contemplation of the mistakes of his brethren and by speaking to others of their disagreeable, objectionable traits of character. In this way one may make for himself a dark and disagreeable experience. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 11

It is not a sin to be happy—to be able to say from the heart, “Praise the Lord, O my soul.” [Psalm 146:1.] Much is to be gained by keeping ourselves in a cheerful frame of mind. The contemplation of the love of Christ should lead every soul to express praise and thanksgiving for His great and wonderful gift. Would that every one might look away from that which is dark and forbidding and open his heart to the impressions of the love and generosity of our heavenly Father! 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 12

We need to educate our minds to understand what Christ is to us, what contradiction of sinners He has endured for our redemption. Why did He come to this world? He might have kept His place in glory and left man to perish in his sins. But for our sakes He left the royal courts, laid aside His kingly crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that in human form He might meet and conquer the wily foe. By partaking of His divine nature men may escape the corruptions of sin. Christ in His life worked out the sum in addition that is found in the first chapter of Second Peter: 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 13

“And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” [Verses 5-9.] 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 14

Edson, you need to do a work with your own individual self. Refrain from every word of blame or of complaint against your brethren. Take yourself to task, and in humility seek to gain that strength that comes by beholding Christ. Hear His gracious invitation: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] Why should you wait? Why not come to Him now? 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 15

“Take My yoke upon you,” He continues, “and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Verses 29, 30.] 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 16

Will you take these words of Christ, and will you go to work as the apostle has advised? No longer brood over your supposed injuries. Cease to surmise evil; for evil surmising will lead you into a path in which you will find neither peace nor rest, a path where you will have a checkered experience that you will regard as unexplainable. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 17

It is time to change the past order of things. Take yourself in hand. Repent, repent of your sins, “and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” [Acts 3:19.] Humble yourself before God. Pray simply and earnestly for a new heart, and believe that God will hear you. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 18

Peter continues: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:10, 11.] 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 19

You are not appointed to the work of confessing the sins of your brethren. Search your own heart thoroughly. Let your heart break before God. It means much to you to take God at His word, and hold on with an unfailing grip. Your Lord is of tender pity and compassion. This assurance of making your calling and election sure is worth everything to you and to every one who will seek to fulfil the conditions. In these words of Peter you may find your life insurance policy. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 20

“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.” [Verse 12.] 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 21

There are many who have a knowledge of the truth, but who need to set their hearts in order before God. Work intelligently for your immortal inheritance. Do not depend on others to pick you up and place you on vantage ground. You can do more to free your own soul from its burdens than any one else can do for you. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 22

Sing with heart and voice, “There are angels hovering round.” These holy, loving beings are commissioned to minister to all who seek, that they may find; to those who knock, that it may be opened unto them. Angels are hovering round, and they will assist you, if you will give them an opportunity. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 23

“There is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth than over ninety and nine just ones that need no repentance,” who are not willing to bestir themselves to come to Christ. [Luke 15:7.] 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 24

It is now bed time, and I must close. I praise and glorify my heavenly Father; for He is the true friend that never faileth. 20LtMs, Lt 321, 1905, par. 25