Manuscripts and Memories of Minneapolis


A. T. Jones to E. G. White, Mar. 13, 1887

Healdsburg, Cal. March 13, 1887
Dear Sister White,-

Your letter to myself and Bro. E. J. Waggoner, reached me three days ago. I have read it carefully three or four times, and have now sent it to him. For my part I thank the Lord for his goodness in showing me where I have done wrong, and shall try earnestly to profit by the testimony. I am sorry indeed that I have had any part in anything that would tend to create division or do harm in any way to the cause of God. And I shall be particularly guarded in the future. MMM 66.1

In regard to the article that you refer to in which you had shown to elder Waggoner so long ago that his position on the law was wrong, I never heard of it before. In all my association with him I never heard him mention anything of the kind. I am sorry that you have been so disappointed in your efforts to find it, for I assure you that we should have seen glad to print it in the signs, and I am satisfied that if E. J. W. had known of it he would not have gone contrary to it. MMM 66.2

About the letter that you mention, having written to E. J. W. on the subject in response to questions from Healdsburg, apparently the present school year, I think it must have been lost, for I have never heard him say a word about having received it, and I am quite sure he would have showed it to me had he gat it, for he has always been very frank and cordial with me in the matter of his articles and views on the law. Yet he may have received it and as he has not been at the college at all this year, he may have thought it not important that I should see it. It was intended that he should come here after January, but when we came to talk the situation over with C. H. Jones, it was thought best that he should stay at the office and I come to the college again. MMM 66.3

In my work here, I have not allowed the discussion of the law in Galatians to come up. Several times the question has been asked direct to me in class on that point, and I have told them that I would not undertake to settle it for them at all. I told them that some brethren honestly had one way, while others just as honest held the other, and that I would not attempt to say which is right. I know how it appears to me, but would not say that that is right, because another view might be just as plain to some of my brethren as this is to me. I have told my class here to avoid the discussion of the question of the law in Galatians, on their own part, and to avoid being drawn into any discussion of it by others. I have told them to look for the gospel of Christ in Galatians, rather than to discuss the law there, and that if others chose to discuss the law and to make prominent the question of which law it is, they could easily avoid danger by looking for the gospel underneath it all. I thought it safe to tell them this, so as to turn their minds from whatever discussion might arise, and from taking sides, and to have Christ and his salvation before them as the one great thing that is beneath and above all. I thought that if they would keep Christ and the gospel before their minds they would be sure to be on the right side whichever way the question of the law should be finally decided. With Christ before them I could not see how they could possibly go astray. I think however that I have told them I thought they would find both laws there, and the gospel-justification by faith-underlying the whole of it. I think the advise has done them good, for I have seen no disposition to raise any question or discussion, on the part of any. And I am sure the Lord has helped as I have tried to make the gospel plain to them. MMM 66.4

In the principal class-more than sixty-I have made the third angel’s message the center of all the work this term. I have tried to make plain to them that this message is salvation, and if they are not saved by it they will not be saved at all. And that it is almost closed, and that we must get ready, and must make the message a living active principle in our lives every day. The majority of the class seem to realize the importance of it, and show a disposition to profit by it. How closely my own life corresponds to the message or to my own teachings is a question about which I am sure you are better informed than I am. But I have tried to walk carefully before the Lord, and I know he has helped me to gain some victories over myself, and I mean that the battle shall go on. And I mean that it shall be a fight of faith, and that faith in Christ shall be the victory by which I shall overcome. I only ask that I may ever be allowed to work for Jesus, and that my work may be a work of faith, and my labor a labor of love, and that I may be rewarded at the last with the sight of him who loved me and gave himself for me. MMM 67.1

Sister Sisley was unable to do anything for the missionary class and has gone back home. Brother Daniels reports still an excellent interest in Fresno. The new meeting-house at Healdsburg is nearing completion. But yet I believe that Bro. Whalin does not expect to have it done in time for the April meeting. The church is doing apparently very well. The school is doing well. It has been a most successful year throughout for the school. Brother Grainger is well pleased. He thinks that the school will more than pay its own way this year. There has seen very little trouble at the student’s home, the most of those who are there are honestly trying to improve, and to make the most of their advantages. MMM 67.2

Again thanking you for your kind admonition, and promising to follow it closely in future, and endeavor to redeem the past, MMM 67.3

I remain,
Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
Alonza T. Jones.
MMM 67.4