Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


In Anticipation of the Wedding

The anticipated marriage of Willie White to May Lacey had his mother's hearty approval. In the several months leading up to the wedding, she had frequently spoken and written of the qualities of this young woman about to become her daughter-in-law. “May Lacey,” she wrote to Edson, “is like a sunbeam all the time. We appreciate her very much, and Willie will be greatly blessed in his union with her.”—Letter 119, 1895. In another letter to Edson she bubbles over as she writes a rather glowing description of May: 4BIO 193.2

May has been three terms in the school and has developed a talent for a worker, giving Bible readings and visiting. She loves the truth and loves the Lord and is content with anything. Everyone acquainted with her loves her, and everyone who knows of this engagement says she is just the one for Willie White. She is a good performer upon the piano or organ, and reminds me of Mary [W. C. White's first wife] as she acts this part in meeting. She has a powerful voice that can be cultivated. 4BIO 193.3

She loves me and I love her. I wish you could see her. She is about as tall as Mary, her eyes the color of Mary's eyes. She has a similar forehead as Mary had, she is of a sweet disposition, will never stir him up and make him nervous. She is just the one I should choose. I have not seen anyone I have cared to take Mary's place in my family relation before, but this is all right.—Letter 117, 1895. 4BIO 193.4

A few weeks later, ever becoming better acquainted with May, she extolled her qualities in a letter to Willie: 4BIO 194.1

She is not one of a painfully sensitive nature who will imagine slights and conjecture many things to feel hurt over. Her sound good sense forbids this.... You need exactly such a temperament as May.—Letter 145, 1895. 4BIO 194.2

W. C. White wrote to his brother Edson: 4BIO 194.3

Do not look for a little sallow, pinched-up body, nor for a “stuck-up” lady. She is a good, big, wholesome woman, as full of life and goodness as can be. May is as tall as I am, and weighs a few pounds more. I tip the scale at 148, and she, at 153. Her vitals have not been crushed by corsets, nor her spirits by idle ambitions. Wherever she is, there is sunshine and comfort and peace.—7 WCW, p. 182.

Ellen White learned that her prospective daughter-in-law had some financial obligations, for two ministers had advanced money to assist in meeting the expense of her schooling. She also observed that because of a stringency of means, May's wardrobe was rather limited. “I will pay the bill of the schooling myself,” she wrote to a friend.—Letter 107, 1895. May's father, on a fixed pension in a time of rising costs in living, was unable to give the help he would liked to have done. “We are ... fitting up her wardrobe,” Ellen White wrote, “and we hope she will be prepared for her married life with a real becoming wardrobe, but not expensive or extravagant.” Characteristically she added, “You know that is not my besetting sin.”—Letter 117, 1895. 4BIO 194.4