Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 8, 1869

White, J. E.

Greenville, Montcalm County, Michigan

July 6, 1869

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 295-296; 9MR 383.

Dear Son Edson:

I thought I would write you a few words this evening. We have just returned from the tent meeting in Oakland. We had excellent meetings. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1869, par. 1

While on the way upon the cars, I was taken quite ill, and continued to be in a feeble state during the meeting. Could not sit up without being in danger of fainting. A bed was prepared in the tent for me. I was made comfortable and could keep the run of the meeting. Friday stood upon my feet and was strengthened of the Lord to speak to the people about thirty minutes. I was sustained in this effort and my faith increased to still trust in God. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1869, par. 2

Sabbath, the attendance was large. I again attempted to speak, committing myself wholly to the care of God. I spoke above one hour. If ever I realized special aid from the Lord, it was on this occasion. Had I looked at appearance, should have thought it was at the risk of my life to venture to labor as I did, but the love of souls constrained me. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1869, par. 3

Sunday it required earnest trust in God to venture to address the large concourse of people assembled. About eight hundred people were before me. I knew I had no strength. The power of the Lord must come to my aid, and impress the heart or all I would say would prove a failure. I was free. I was strengthened. I spoke above one hour and a half to as interested a congregation as I ever addressed. Many wept. Praise the Lord for His mercy and goodness to me that day. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1869, par. 4

I immediately was taken to my stopping place and although sick and weary, was free and happy in the Lord, who had been to me a tower of strength in my weakness and great need. These meetings, from the commencement to their close, were solemn and marked by the presence and power of God. Several were baptized Sunday. Monday we rode eleven miles to the depot. I endured the journey better than I expected. Brethren Waggoner, Andrews, Smith, Littlejohn, and Erzberger came home with us. We all took dinner together in the cars. I am weary today but as well as could be expected. Sister Lucinda has gone home. We miss her very much. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1869, par. 5

We have sold two hundred quarts of strawberries. Good market for strawberries in Greenville. They are now down to twelve cents. We expect it will be very sickly this summer, but we will not borrow trouble. Let us find shelter in the Lord; under the covert of His wings we are safe. Make Him your trust, my son, and He will be to you a present help in every time of need. How important is secret prayer to the Christian if he is seeking to overcome. We are so weak, so easily led astray by Satan. I feel as we near the close of time, a more solemn weight of the work resting upon me. As my strength declines, I feel a more earnest, anxious desire to live for the Lord wholly and to be imbued with His Holy Spirit every hour. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1869, par. 6

We think now we may spend the winter in California, but we dare not lay any plans for the future. We hold ourselves in readiness to go anywhere and do anything. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1869, par. 7

Edson, the Lord is very precious with me now. Yet I do feel at times quite anxious for you. I pray for you and shall continue to do so. I cannot think that after the Lord has heard our prayers in your behalf and snatched you back from the very grasp of death, that your life will be to no purpose. Oh, no, you may and will yet glorify His name. You will yet let your light shine to others in such a manner that they will be led to glorify your heavenly Father. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1869, par. 8

I hope that you and Emma will not live merely for yourselves but that you will consecrate yourselves to God and perfect holiness in His name. If you make failures, do not give up in discouragement; try again. Satan will oppose every step of advance that you may make; therefore if you are overcome by the enemy, in humility humble yourself before God, confess your defeat and then distrust yourself, but more firmly trust in God. Overcome, oh, my son; to stand among the overcomers is to obtain nothing less than immortality and life forever more. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1869, par. 9

Good night, 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1869, par. 10

Your mother. 2LtMs, Lt 8, 1869, par. 11