Manuscript Releases, vol. 6 [Nos. 347-418]


MR No. 392—James White Biographical Items

Henry's health is good. Edson is not very well. Baby seems to be in perfect health. He is a great fat boy. Is three months and a half old and he weighs 17 pounds. He is good natured, seldom cries, is very playful and active. He has but one fault, that is, he is afraid of singing. My health is quite good for me. But James, poor James, I think he must leave the work sometimes and have quiet rest. I fear at times his life will fall a sacrifice to his incessant labors. I ask again your prayers. I do want to see you very much. I have about as much as I can do to take care of my three children. You have seen Henry, well Edson has more life and roughery than Henry so you must know my hands are full.—Letter 5, 1854, p. 1. (To “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” December 16, 1854.) 6MR 297.1

I saw that God had qualified him who had to stand at the head of the publishing for his station, and if he did not fill his place, God would remove him from it. God had the oversight of the work. I saw that this was an important place.... When Satan was exulting that he had his prey and that he would lay him in the grave, then God's hand interposed and He put bands around James and strengthened him to fill the place He had put him in.—Manuscript 1, 1855. (Fragments.) 6MR 297.2

Dear Sister, it would be impossible for me to go into a recital of the sufferings I have passed through, the anxiety, and the dread thought that I should be left a widow, my dear children without a father's care. The scene has changed. God's hand has mercifully been reached down to our rescue. My husband enjoys good health, and my children are rugged. They never enjoyed so good health before. Little Willie is healthy and very pleasant. 6MR 297.3

I never took so much comfort with my family as now. Our family has always been so large. But now we only number eight and I can enjoy the company of my children. They can be more under my own watchcare, and I can better train them in the right way. All of us are united for the blessing of God, and morning, noon, and night His sweet blessing distills upon us like the dew, making our hearts glad and strengthening us to fill our place and glorify our Redeemer.—Letter 2a, 1856, p. 2. (To Brother and Sister Loveland, January 24, 1856.) 6MR 298.1

Please write if you intended that the boys should have steady employment in the office until your return. Henry says you told him he could do as he pleased, work in the office or about home, after the hurry was over in the office. I told Henry I did not so understand it. I thought one day each week could be spent about home, the rest of the time in the office. Please write your wishes and all will be well. We want to follow as you think best in these things. I do not see much to be done at home.—Letter 12a, 1860, p. 2. (To James White, October, 1860.) 6MR 298.2

When we went to Monterey last summer, for instance, you went into the river four times and not only disobeyed us yourself but led Willie to disobedience. A thorn has been planted in my heart from that time, when I became convinced that you could not be trusted. I am not easy any time, whether at home or abroad.—Letter 4, 1865, p. 4. (To Edson White, June 20, 1865.) 6MR 298.3

Either the operator at Battle Creek or at Detroit was negligent. We went on board the sleeping car by crowding and pushing and jamming our way through a crowd of people who could get no berths. We found two empty seats and occupied them, but they were taken and every berth was taken. I was sent to the forward car for a berth, but our names were not registered anywhere. I went back to the rear car and waited the movement of events. It was all hustle and bustle. 6MR 299.1

James had endured the journey thus far well, but it was close and stifling in the sleeping car, and it was a long time past nine o'clock before things were in any degree settled. Your father seemed languid. I begged the man who had charge of the sleeping car to find us berths. He was kind. He did for us all he could. Said there were no berths. I told him one double berth I must have, for it was a case of absolute necessity. He finally prevailed upon a gentleman to give up his lower berth to your father. 6MR 299.2

After lying a short time in his berth and resting, he wished to go to the saloon. I helped or steadied him along. He seemed more languid, and while helping him back I saw his face grow very white and he was pitching forward to the floor. I raised and held him and called aloud for help. The manager in the sleeping car kindly, tenderly, and firmly supported your father to his berth. I succeeded in opening a window in his berth and a strong wind blew upon us all night. Willie and I could obtain no berths.—Letter 2, 1866, p. 1. (To Edson White, September 12, 1866.) 6MR 299.3

Father grows feebler every day. He is very white and his face is pinched. I do not think he will live over a month. He is liable to die any day or any night. We have sent for your aunts Mary and Lizzie to come immediately if they would see father alive.—Letter 16, 1866, p. 1. (To Edson White, October 14, 1866.) 6MR 300.1

We took him back to Michigan, and ceased not our prayers in his behalf. All winter he remained an invalid. We did not lose courage. We had the assurance that God would raise him up, and we believed he would yet be able to work in the cause of God. I thought my husband should have some change, and we took our team, faithful Jack and Jim, and ventured a journey to Wright, Michigan. 6MR 300.2

In this matter I was obliged to move contrary to the judgment of my brethren and sisters in Battle Creek. They all felt that I was sacrificing my life in shouldering this burden. For the sake of my children, for the cause of God, I should do all in my power to preserve my life. His own father and mother remonstrated with me in tears; physicians looked pitifully upon me and said, “You will not realize your expectations. There was never known a case where one was afflicted with paralysis of the brain and recovered.” 6MR 300.3

I answered them, “God will raise him up.” In answer to the appeals of father and mother White that I had done all that was in my power, and I must not attempt impossibilities, that my life was precious, that I had children that needed my care, I answered them, “As long as life is left him and me, I will make every exertion for him. That brain, that noble masterly mind, shall not [be] left in ruin. God will care for him, for me, for my children. Satan shall not exult over us. You will yet see us standing side by side in the sacred desk, speaking the words of truth unto eternal life.”—Manuscript 1, 1867, 10, 11. (“The Sickness and Recovery of Elder James White,” written about 1867.) 6MR 300.4

When we entered the waiting-room at the depot at Kansas City, we found it crowded with emigrants of the lower class, who were so filthy in their persons and clothing as to be absolutely repulsive. The huge box stove was heated to redness, and every window was tightly closed. The sickening sensation which we experienced in that atmosphere was absolutely overpowering. We could not endure it. It was a cold morning, but we took our hand baggage, climbed a hill some distance from the depot and there, seated on a ledge of rock beneath a tall oak tree, with the frost lying on the ground around us, we ate our cold lunch. Refreshed by our walk in the keen morning air, we returned to the depot and were soon on our way to Pleasanton [Kansas]. 6MR 301.1

And now you will wish to hear something about the meeting here. We have had excellent freedom. The people are hungry for the Word of God. Some were one week coming in their large covered wagons. One man traveled in this way 300 miles; he spent ten days in making the journey, and did not reach the campground till the last day of the meeting. Delegates came from Missouri, begging for help in their state. Such entreaties I never heard before.—Letter 16a, 1870, pp. 3, 4. (To Edson and Emma White, October, 1870.) 6MR 301.2

I have no special news to write you, except I greatly desire to see your face and look forward to the time with great pleasure.—Letter 44, 1874, p. 3. (To James White, July 17, 1874.) 6MR 302.1

All will be rejoiced to see you here and none more so than your Ellen. I pray for you earnestly that God would bless you and strengthen you, and I believe He will.—Letter 47, 1874, p. 1. (To James White, July 23, 1874.) 6MR 302.2

We arrived here this morning, all safe, considerably tired. The elders were looking anxiously for us both; were much disappointed in not seeing you. They say there was great disappointment upon the Vermont campground among all, but the Lord helped Brethren Haskell and Butler and they had an excellent meeting; but this did not cure the disappointment of the outsiders. There was a great turnout, expecting Elder White and wife from California would be there. They say the outsiders listened with attention and candor to the preaching.—Letter 49, 1874, p. 1. (To James White, August 28, 1874.) 6MR 302.3

Now my dear Husband, do not, I entreat of you, do too much.... I think you might remain in Battle Creek if you would not do those things that God has not called you to do. God has not called you to lay sidewalks or move privies, but to be a counselor to His people and aid them in large and important plans.... 6MR 302.4

We must have a strong hold of God. We must not look at the tumultuous waves. Look to Jesus and walk by faith. One touch, one word, one look from Him can remove disease, despondency and gloom. Look up, dear Husband. Look up, not down; not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen, which are eternal.—Letter 51, 1874, pp. 1, 4-6. (To James White, September 10, 1874.) 6MR 302.5

You must not lift and carry any more burdens than you are now bearing. You should be laying off instead of increasing objects for which you will be solicitous. We are both descending the hill of life. Your hair is already white. Mine is growing gray fast. Our physical powers are weakening. Our mental powers will be enfeebled, I fear, with the physical.—Letter 49, 1876, p. 5. (To James White, April, 1876.) 6MR 303.1

I get no light in dreams or in any other way to attend campmeetings. I pray for light. I cannot go upon any other's light. God will lead me. It will do our people good to be without my labor this season.... 6MR 303.2

You are happy and cheerful. I am the same. The Lord has in His providence arranged matters that we both can work and not get in each other's way. I accept His providence and will do my work to His acceptance with His divine aid.—Letter 23, 1876, pp. 1, 2. (To James White, May 10, 1876.) 6MR 303.3

I am worn; your father is worn. We both work too hard. We pray that God will give us strength and wisdom to work discreetly. We dare not follow our own judgment and feel that it would be dangerous to walk in the sparks of our own kindling. God is our hope and strength. 6MR 303.4

We see a very great work to be done in the world and we cannot endure the thought of failing in physical strength now. I look all over the field and I see none who could fill your father's place. His head to plan and his life of experience to balance the inexperienced is very essential. God has a work for us to do and we need the help, the encouragement and confidence of our people to do this work.—Letter 41, 1876, pp. 1, 2. (To Edson and Emma White, August 24, 1876.) 6MR 303.5

He [James White] does not suffer bodily pain but his great trouble is battling with depression of spirits. He seems to feel that he has wronged me very much. He goes back to the letters he wrote me when he was in California, and you and I attended the camp meetings. He feels that he has committed a great sin that the Lord can hardly forgive. My work is to comfort him and to pray for him; to speak cheerful, loving words to him and soothe him.—Letter 13, 1877, p. 1. (To W. C. and Mary White, September 3, 1877.) 6MR 304.1

Your father is painfully conscientious which makes it hard for him to cling to faith for himself, but he is steadily coming up and he views the case of your mother very differently than he has for the last ten years. He thinks he must have been blinded by the enemy. The scales have fallen from his eyes. We are in perfect harmony in views and feelings. I never enjoyed his company so much in years as I do now.—Letter 16, 1877, p. 1. (To Edson and Emma White, September 7, 1877.) 6MR 304.2

We are seeing already the beneficial effects of this move from Oakland. Father's mind is diverted. He eats more liberally and it does not injure him. He sleeps like a baby from the time he retires till five or six o'clock a.m. He is cheerful. He is so pleased with his home. He tries to do what he can and is busy from morning till night about something. He spends some time in writing. His mind is very happy dwelling upon Bible subjects. I am glad for every step he advances, climbing the hill of health.—Letter 43, 1877, p. 3. (To W. C. and Mary White, December 25, 1877.) 6MR 304.3

I have felt greatly perplexed to know just what to do in the case of your father. He seems to have mind enough, but is forever studying his own feelings, which eclipses faith. He gets habits and notions, such as wetting his head and hands and feet. All these are innocent, but carried to excess are doing him great injury.... The restlessness, wanting to be riding continually, is very difficult to manage.... These habits keep his mind centered upon himself.... I feel so sorry for poor Father.—Letter 18, 1878, pp. 1, 2. (To W. C. White, March 20, 1878.) 6MR 305.1

For eight months I have been on a constant strain of anxiety and now I feel the care lifted somewhat. I feel as though I was running down like an old clock but I shall rally again soon.—Letter 65, 1878, p. 1. (To W. C. White, April 2, 1878.) 6MR 305.2

Why are you thinking Elder Loughborough the man for Old England? ... I should select others before him.... Hurrying Loughborough to Old England is in my mind an oversight in judgment.—Letter 39, 1878, pp. 2, 3. (To James White, July 8, 1878.) 6MR 305.3

I am worn out with anxiety and this journey has nearly killed me. My ambition is gone; my strength is gone, but this will not last if we can have a fair chance. I hope that by the cheering light of the countenance of my Saviour, I shall have the springback power.—Letter 20, 1879, p. 2. (To Mrs. W. C. White, May 20, 1879.) 6MR 306.1

We will spend next winter in California. I never want to risk another winter east.—Letter 3b, 1881, p. 3. (To Elder and Mrs. W. C. White, April 19, 1881.) 6MR 306.2

Father has excellent health. He has worked hard on the place here; put in more than one acre of strawberries, some raspberries, more than an acre of potatoes, several acres of corn, fifty hard maples, many peach trees, pear trees, and two long rows of pie plant.—Letter 4a, 1881, p. 4. (To Elder and Mrs. W. C. White, May 15, 1881.) 6MR 306.3

Tuesday morning it came to me distinctly, “Go to Iowa; I have a work for you to do.” I should as soon have thought of going to Europe, but I told your father my convictions, that I should go with him or alone. He seemed surprised and said, “We will go.”—Letter 5a, 1881, p. 4. (To Elder and Mrs. W. C. White, June 14, 1881.) 6MR 306.4

I was taken back to the Sanitarium. Sunday [the day after James White's funeral], I rode out to my home on a bed. Brother John, Willie, Mary, Edson and Emma and Brother John's son-in-law [came] in three different teams. Brother John and his son-in-law were greatly delighted with our home but I was too feeble to sit up at all and the light of my home had gone and henceforth I should love it for his sake who thought so much of it. It just met his taste. It is grandly beautiful but how can I ever regard it as I could if he had lived?—Letter 9, 1881, p. 4. (To “Dear Brother and Sister,” October 20, 1881.) 6MR 306.5

You must know that it is a great loss to me [to be] deprived of the wisdom and ability of my husband to help me plan, to bring in means, that mine is steadily decreasing.—Letter 61, 1884. (To John White, November 27, 1884.) 6MR 307.1

Released November 21, 1974.