Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 30, 1878

White, J. E.

Salem, Oregon

June 20, 1878

Portions of this letter are published in OHC 32; 5MR 178.

Dear Son Edson:

I have written this letter enclosed for Sister Stephens of Gilroy. I knew not her address. Ask Brother Giffeth and mail this immediately to her. I have just taken my first ride since I came to Brother Van Horn’s. Sister Jordan took me to ride in the carriage. The scenery about Salem is very fine. In full view is Jefferson Mountain—white as a sugar loaf from top to base with snow. The largest is Mount Hood, perfectly white, cool, and grand. 3LtMs, Lt 30, 1878, par. 1

I have not been favored with a line from my friends in Oakland. I am anxious to hear from Emma’s folks; very, very anxious. Will you write me. 3LtMs, Lt 30, 1878, par. 2

Adelia seems very matronly with her two boys. She makes a splendid mother. She is beloved by all who know her. Isaac is considered about perfection. They do all for my comfort that they can. They are comfortably situated. 3LtMs, Lt 30, 1878, par. 3

I am recovering from my sickness and hope to be in good running order by camp meeting time. I speak in Salem Sabbath, Sunday in the prison to one hundred and fifty prisoners, and Sunday night in the Methodist church on the subject of temperance. 3LtMs, Lt 30, 1878, par. 4

I do not fancy the climate of Oregon. It is cloudy and foggy, and in the rainy season there is but little sunshine. It is trying to Adelia. Lucy and I think she will be obliged to leave here soon. 3LtMs, Lt 30, 1878, par. 5

I cannot write much news yet. I feel, deeply feel, the need of more of the grace of God. Edson, I wish to caution you about getting up a spirit of rivalry. God is using Willie, and He is pleased to use you. Work in perfect harmony in your different branches of the work, and let no spirit of jealousy or seeking for the supremacy come in. This is God’s work. It is His cause. In the meekness of Christ do your work with fidelity, that you may finally hear the “Well done” from the lips of the Master. [Matthew 25:21.] Do not weave self into anything that you do, but hide in Jesus, exalt Christ, and in the meekness of wisdom walk in the path the providence of God opens before you. 3LtMs, Lt 30, 1878, par. 6

I never saw a time when I felt more solemn and when the responsibilities seemed greater than now. All the time, talents, and resources which God has given you belong to Him. The great purpose and object of your life should be to secure the future, immortal life by a faithful life here and a reliance upon the merits of Christ. God has a claim to our constant service and our supreme affections. You are constantly making an impression, favorable or unfavorable to the truth, upon other minds. You may demonstrate in your life the power of the truth upon all with whom you deal. You may be a living epistle, known and read of all men. You may show, my dear son, to the world that the truth which you profess sanctifies and ennobles the character, leads to industry and frugality, while it avoids avarice, overreaching, and every species of dishonesty. In your words, manifest patience and forbearance, and you may every day be preaching a sermon upon the power of the truth and do effectual service to the cause of God. Let no one say that the truth you profess makes you no different from the worldling—that “he is faithless and improvident and light and trifling as worldlings.” No, my son, do not give the least occasion for anyone to speak ill of your faith because you are not sanctified through the truth. 3LtMs, Lt 30, 1878, par. 7

I feel honored to have my children where God can use them. [Luke 10:27.] I have been so pleased to see you, my son, feeling the responsibility of the work. I want that you should be a living embodiment of the truth and religion of Jesus Christ, and of the holy law which says, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, ... and thy neighbor as thyself.” 3LtMs, Lt 30, 1878, par. 8

Edson, God will help us. Pray much. Do not trust in yourself. Cling firmly to the cross of Christ. 3LtMs, Lt 30, 1878, par. 9

In love to you both. 3LtMs, Lt 30, 1878, par. 10