“I'd Like To Ask Sister White ...”


Chapter 7—Could I Read Some of the Letters You Wrote to Your Children?

Volney, Iowa

December 24, 1856

My Dear Children:

Here we are, twelve miles from Waukon. We have had a tedious time in getting thus far. Yesterday our horses for miles had to plow through snow very deep, but on we came, feeling confident that our mission was of God. Last Monday we could get no food that was fit to eat, and therefore rode in the coldest weather I ever saw, from morning until night, with nothing to eat but one apple. Oh, how thankful I shall be to see home, sweet home, again, and my three dear boys, Henry, Edson, and Willie. LASW 86.1

Children, strive to do right, and love the Lord for His merciful kindness to you all. Obey those who have the care of you as you would your parents. Be kind to each other, and yield to each other’s wishes. Read the precious Word of God. LASW 86.2

You should be thankful for your comfortable home. We often suffer with cold on account of unfinished and open houses. Last night we slept in a chamber where there was an opening through the top for the stove-pipe. If it had stormed, it would have come direct in our faces. Pray for us. Unless the Lord opens the way for us to return, we may be blocked in with snow, and have to remain all winter. LASW 86.3

I hope, dear Henry, that you are a good boy, and are happy in doing right. We received your letter, and were much pleased to hear from you. Be faithful, children, in all things. LASW 87.1

The Lord will soon come and take the good and holy to Himself. We want you to live among the pure and holy angels in heaven, and wear a crown of gold, and eat of the tree of life. Trust in the Lord at all times. Listen to the voice of conscience. LASW 87.2

Love God and you will have His approving smile. What a thought, to have the great God, the Maker of the heavens and the earth, to smile upon and love you! Dear children, seek for this, pray for it, live for it. LASW 87.3

Your Affectionate Mother 1 LASW 87.4

Topsham, Maine

September 20, 1859

My Dear Children:

We received your letters today. We are now in our old home, at Brother Howland’s. I am writing in the room where we first commenced housekeeping. In this room we prayed for you, Henry, and when the hand of death seemed to be upon you, the Lord in mercy raised you up in answer to fervent prayer. In this room we have suffered poverty and trial, yet Brother Howland’s family were ever true friends to us in time of need. In this room we have realized the signal power of God, and enjoyed the rich blessing of His salvation. This room is endeared to me by past recollections. It is called my room. LASW 87.5

I feel very anxious for the salvation of my children. Especially you, Henry, my eldest son, whose life God has so graciously spared. LASW 87.6

Dedicate yourself to God in your youth. Love Him and serve Him. Render to God a life of cheerful, willing obedience. Tell the Lord your desires, and heartily repent of your sins. Seek His forgiveness with all your heart. He will bless you. He will love you with more than a father or mother’s love. We want you to be happy, and saved with the redeemed. LASW 88.1

Your Affectionate Mother 2 LASW 88.2

Topsham, Maine

September 20, 1859

My Dear Little Willie:

I will write you a few lines, as I have written to Henry and Edson. LASW 88.3

As we were riding in the cars, there were three children in the seat before us, one of them a little boy about your age. He was dressed prettily. He had a pretty face and curly hair, yet he did not behave prettily. He disturbed those who sat near him by his loud, sharp voice, contending with, and annoying, his sisters, giving them no peace. They threatened to tell their mother, but he did not seem to care for this. He behaved so rudely that we were all glad when he left the cars. LASW 88.4

I thought then how bad I should feel if my little Willie were so disagreeable. Now, Willie, that wicked boy’s pretty clothes and handsome face did not make people love him. His behavior was bad, and made those who had the care of him ashamed of him. All seemed pleased to get rid of the troublesome little fellow. If Willie acts prettily, if he is gentle, kind, and obedient, his father and mother, and all good people, will love him. LASW 88.5

Your Affectionate Mother 3 LASW 89.1

Iowa City, Iowa

March 14, 1860

My Dear Willie:

We have not forgotten you, my dear boy. When we see other little children around, we long to get our little Willie in our arms again, and press his little soft cheek and receive his kiss. In about five weeks we shall be at home again, and then, Willie, we will work in the garden and tend the flowers, and plant the seeds. You must be a good sweet little boy, and love to obey Jenny [Frazier] and Lucinda [Hall]. LASW 89.2

Give up your will, and when you wish to do anything very much, inquire, Is it not selfish? You must learn to yield your will and your way. It will be a hard lesson for my little boy to learn, but it will in the end be worth more to him than gold. Learn, my dear Willie, to be patient, to wait others’ time and convenience; then you will not get impatient and irritable. The Lord loves those little children who try to do right, and He has promised that they shall be in His kingdom. LASW 89.3

When you do right and overcome wrong feelings, the Lord smiles upon you. Although He is in heaven, and you cannot see Him, yet He loves you when you do right and writes it down in His book; and when you do wrong, He puts a black mark against you. LASW 89.4

Now, dear Willie, try to do right always, and then no black mark will be set down against you, and when Jesus comes, He will call for that good boy, Willie White, and will put upon your head a wreath of gold, and put in your hand a little harp that you can play upon and it will send forth beautiful music, and you will never be sick, never be tempted then to do wrong, but will be happy always and will eat of rich fruit and will pluck beautiful flowers. Try, try, dear boy, to be good. LASW 89.5

Your Affectionate Mother 4 LASW 90.1

On the cars from Albany [N.Y.] to Springfield [Mass.]

November 4, 1868

Dear Sons Edson and Willie:

I will try to write you amid the jostling of the cars. We are on our way to visit your Aunt Sarah, who is very low with consumption. Poor sufferer! We have hastened to her as soon as we could after the close of the Olcott meeting. LASW 90.2

Dear children, seek to be Christians, seek to possess the graces of humility. Don’t seek for pomp, for show. Lay aside everything of foolishness, for all this is evidence of a shallow character, of a superficial mind. A thorough, substantial character looks above parade in dress, in deportment, in actions. Keep learning, my children; you will never be too old to learn, and never old enough to graduate. Ever keep the position of learners. Be self-reliant, yet teachable. Realize your individual responsibility, yet at the same time encourage a habit of looking after others’ happiness, of seeking to do others good. This was the work of our divine Lord. Jesus came not to be ministered unto, but to minister to others. If we would labor to imitate Christ we could not but be happy. LASW 90.3

There is much that I might write, but I cannot at this time. We give ourselves to the work of God and hope you, our children, will help us in the laborious, self-denying work before us. Don’t fail to pray, to keep in a praying mood, and you will be fortified against Satan’s temptations. LASW 90.4

Yesterday we put in a box some things for Battle Creek. In the basket in a small box I put two shirts. By changing the necks they will be right for you. In love to you, my dear children. LASW 91.1

Ellen G. White 5 LASW 91.2