“I'd Like To Ask Sister White ...”


Did Your Boys Enjoy Helping Others Too?

Thursday, March 10, 1859.—Walked to the city and back. In the afternoon Sister Irving came in. She looked sad and appeared to be chilled. Agnes cried out, “Ma, tell me how pa is.” Her mother told her he was failing slowly. For ten weeks the daughter has lived with us, and we have paid her nine shillings [$2.25] a week. All but one dollar of this she has handed to her mother. Her clothes are poor, yet she forgets herself in her self-sacrifice to her parents. We aided them some. Paid half toward a pair of boots for a little brother. One dollar. I paid one dollar fifty for a pair of shoes for the mother. Husband gave her one dollar in money. Henry gave her ten cents, Edson ten cents, and little Willie ten. LASW 52.3

We sent a little handful of dried apples for the sick one’s table. 21 LASW 52.4

The Boys

On Sabbath morning, everyone in the White household was up early, getting ready for church. Henry and Edson, the big boys, helped their little brother, Willie. Over his white ruffled shirt they made sure that the ten buttons on his jacket were all doing their duty inside the buttonholes. When ready the three boys—hair in place, white-collared, Sabbath suits pressed, shoes gleaming, Bibles under their arms—walked to the meetinghouse, followed by their parents. LASW 53.1

Usually the family could not sit together. Nearly always James was on the platform, and sometimes Ellen. Perhaps the boys occupied the front pew. If they whispered or became restless, they might feel the eyes of the congregation fixed reprovingly upon them, the White boys! LASW 53.2

Did they understand the special work of their father and mother? Only too well they knew about the long hours of work, the traveling, the counseling. And they had to say so many good-bys to their parents at the beginnings of long trips among the churches. Left at home with Jenny Frazier, or Clarissa Bonfoey, Adventist girls who assisted in the home, or staying temporarily at the homes of kind friends, the boys knew the meaning of loneliness. LASW 53.3

But one bright Sabbath morning the whole family was together, up early and on their way to church. Close your eyes. You will see them walking along the path to the Battle Creek meetinghouse—Henry, Edson, and Willie, followed by James and Ellen, arm in arm—a happy Adventist family. LASW 53.4