Manuscript Releases, vol. 14 [Nos. 1081-1135]


MR No. 1125—Edson White and Health Reform

(Written May 25, 1869, from Battle Creek, Michigan, to “Dear son Edson.”)

My writing will not be very good, for one eye is bandaged because of acute inflammation. But as Brother McDearman is going, I can send by him. I will say a few words. 14MR 312.1

We feel very anxious for you. We are desirous that you should form a good, Christian character, and be approved of God. We hope that new scenes will not interest and engross your mind so that you will neglect the great salvation dearly purchased for you by the Son of God. We hope you will show true principle [even though you are] now away from us. We have in diet been strict to follow the light the Lord has given us. You are acquainted with that light, and we trust you will have the fear of the Lord continually before you and will respect the light He has given and be no less strict than we have been. 14MR 312.2

I have feared for you as I have marked how little control you have had over your appetite and your desires. I have mourned in secret over it, and have prayed the Lord to enlighten your mind and quicken your conscience that it might be sensitive and tender, susceptible to the influence of the Spirit. 14MR 312.3

We have advised you not to eat butter or meat. We have not had it on our table. I should hope you would feel that we had advised you for your good and not to deprive you of these things because of any notions of your own. 14MR 312.4

You have lessons of self-control to learn [that] you have not yet experienced. You should have rules to regulate yourself, your diet, your labor, your hours. All this you need to do now to discipline yourself. Have fixed principles. Represent the health reform. All know that we do not put butter on our table. If they see you, our son, eat the things we have condemned, you weaken our influence and lower yourself in their estimation. They see at once that appetite is stronger with you than principle, that notwithstanding all our labor to bring the people of God up to denial of appetite, we have no influence with our own children. When they can get meat or butter, they will eat it, or Edson will.... 14MR 313.1

It is time you set to work to redeem the past and to now turn about squarely. You now are forming new associations in a new church. God will prove you now to see what character you will develop in the new relations in which you stand. Stand for the right. Maintain it manfully. You will be watched to see if you carry out our teachings to others. Will you dishonor us or honor us by regarding the instructions we have borne from the mouth of the Lord to His people and to you? Oh, my son, get up from the low, selfish, indolent, slothful position you have been occupying where the curse of Meroz could come upon you, and work from a higher standpoint than self-gratification and merely to please others and be passable in the eyes of poor, erring mortals. Oh, my son, my dear son, my love for you is strong, and my love for you will not die but increase as dangers thicken. 14MR 313.2

Don't let yourself down to talk cheap talk and be unguarded. Watch, watch, watch, and pray lest ye enter into temptation. Oh, be where you can subdue your desires and will, and be controlled by the will of God, submissive to His Spirit. Do not act as though the services of Christ were irksome, but leave your will submerged in the will of God. Eat and drink to His glory. Oh, Edson, I want to hear you yet speaking the truth to others, but it must be in you before you can teach and practice it. 14MR 313.3

It is so dark I cannot see to write. Good-by. May the Lord bless you, my son. Your Mother who loves you, Ellen White.—Letter 5, 1869, pp. 1-4. 14MR 314.1

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

April 11, 1985.