[Release requested by T. H. Jemison for Academy text, Facing Life. ]
After we returned from Paris [Maine] we felt that it was time to make up our minds where to go and spend the summer. We were in much perplexity and trial to know how to decide. We had been expecting God to teach in such a way that we could not mistake duty, but we were disappointed and as we had no light to go elsewhere, concluded to go to New York. James wrote them when to come for us at Utica and I signed my name to the letter after he had signed his.
Soon I began to feel distressed and burdened. It seemed that I should be driven to distraction. I found relief by weeping. When in my distress James was afraid I would die, and he threw the letter in the stove as he told me afterwards, then knelt down by my bedside and prayed God to roll off the burden, and I was relieved. The next morning I awoke perfectly free and clear, all my distress was gone and I felt assured God would open the way before us.
James went to the office and brought in a letter from Brother Belden, Rocky Hill, Ct., giving us a strong invitation to come there and live with them, said they should consider it a privilege to administer to our wants. They sent us means to go with. Letter 5, 1849 , p. 2. (To Brother and Sister Hastings, March 24-30, 1849.)
Musical entertainments which, if conducted properly, will do no harm, are often a source of evil. In the present state of society, with the low morals of not only youth, but those of age and experience, there is great
danger of becoming careless, and giving especial attention to favorites, and thus creating envy, jealousies, and evil surmisings. Musical talent too often fosters pride and ambition for display, and singers have but little thought of the worship of God. Instead of leading minds to remembering God, it often causes them to forget Him. Letter 6a, 1890 , pp. 11, 12. (To "the Managers of the Health Institution at Crystal Springs, St. Helena, California," April, 1890.)
Amusement that serves as exercise and recreation is not to be discarded; nevertheless it must be kept strictly within bounds, else it leads to love of amusement for its own sake, and nourishes the desire for selfish gratification. . .
The training and discipline you undergo in order to be successful in your games is not fitting you to become faithful soldiers of Jesus Christ, to fight His battles and gain spiritual victories. The money expended for garments to make a pleasing show in these match games is so much money that might have been used to advance the cause of God in new places, bringing the word of truth to souls in darkness of error. O that God would give all the true sense of what it means to be a Christian! It is to be Christlike. He lived not to please Himself. Letter 47, 1893 , p. 7. (To Professor W. W. Prescott, October 25, 1893.)
The Word must enlighten the mind as to the true character of the emotions, for they are often changeable, and very unreliable. As long as feeling in no way takes the lines of control, and interferes with the healthful life of the human agent in religious experience, there is no danger. The emotions are not always misleading; but as soon as they take control of the soul, body, and spirit, they must be sensibly considered and restrained. Feelings are
no guide; they are ever to be kept under the control of a firm, intelligent principle, in conformity to the divine will; the balance of the mind needs to be preserved. Letter 38, 1894 , pp. 2,3. (Name of addressee deleted, Topic: "Avoid Self-Exaltation," April 14, 1849.)
All the arts are to come into the education of the students. Even in the school at Avondale there are too many studies taken by the students. The youth should not be left to take all the studies they shall choose, for they will be inclined to take more than they can carry; and if they do this, they cannot possibly come from the school with a thorough knowledge of each study. There should be less study of books, and greater painstaking effort made to obtain that knowledge which is essential for practical life. The youth are to learn how to work interestedly and intelligently, that, wherever they are, they may be respected because they have a knowledge of those arts which are so essential for practical life. In the place of being day laborers under an overseer, they are to strive to be masters of their trades to place themselves where they can command wages as good carpenters, printers, or as educators in agricultural work. Ms 105, 1898 , pp. 2,3. ("The Education Our School Should Give," August 26, 1898.)
All our powers are for use. They are not to be wasted, but trained for the glory of God. We are to do Him service. In every season of worship we are to cultivate the voice, overcoming all harshness and strange accent. We advise every student in our school who has an ear for music to make the most of his opportunity for learning how to improve the voice. The Lord expects everyone to do his best. Ms 68, 1899 , p. 3. ("Diary," April 25, 1899.)
It is enough for a man to think himself safe in following the dictates
of his conscience. . . . The question to be settled is, "Is the conscience in harmony with the Word of God?" If not, it cannot safely be followed; for it will deceive. The conscience must be enlightened by God. Time must be given to a study of the Scriptures and to prayer. Thus the mind will be stablished, strengthened, and settled. Letter 21, 1901 , p. 16. (To Elder E. E. Franke, October 5, 1900.)
Work humbly in the fear of God. Study the instruction He has given in His Word. Study the counsels He has given in the Testimonies. Let your husband's judgment help you, and do your best. Letter 72, 1911 , p. 2. (To Mrs. Mabel Workman, September 18, 1911.)
My dear young brother, I have something to say to you. The Lord has opened a place for you in the food factory. He has blessed you and has given you tact and understanding for the work. Until you have positive evidence that it is your duty to change your position, remain where you are. You are blessed above many youth: for you have the society of your mother, while so many are forced to be separated from home influences.
I am impressed by the Lord to say to you, my youthful brother, that someone must do the work you are doing. In the position in which you are placed you have been obtaining the best experience a young man can have. The Lord desires to have, in connection with this institution, men and women who love and fear Him. Those who are engaged in the work of preparing health foods are just as much in the service of God as if they were in the dentistry business or in the medical missionary work. As you help to prepare health foods you are doing God service. . . .
When you have thoroughly mastered your present trade, you will be able to do good service in teaching the people how to prepare healthful food.
This line of work is as essential as any work you could take up. It is a most important education for young men and young women; for in the future this class of work will find acceptance where many other kinds of work will not be acceptable.
I would say to you, You are needed just where you are. Do not become restless and uneasy. Constantly improve in everything you take up. Do the work someone must do, and God's blessing will rest upon you. . . . Improve your opportunities. Learn all you can in the work in which you are engaged. The Lord knows what His people need, and through His chosen agents He manifests His benevolence to men; for He is ever working for the happiness of those who love and serve Him. . . . God desires us to find out how we may be of real service to Him. We must keep looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. The law which He has given us to obey is the best expression of His love. His commandments perfectly obeyed, would enable families here on earth to be symbols of the family in the heavenly world. . . .
May the Lord help you to understand His will and then to do it cheerfully. He will give you peace and contentment if you are faithful where you are. Letter 151, 1900 , pp. 1, 3, 4, (To H. Larson, November 20, 1900.)
Study economy in the furnishing of the Sanitarium. I received your letter in regard to the purchase of an automobile in which to carry patients to and from the station. My brother, do not make such a purchase. If you should get an automobile, it would be a temptation to others to do the same thing. Lay aside the inclination to spend money needlessly. Letter 158, 1902 , p. 5. (To Brother and Sister Burden, October 8, 1902.)
We arrived here from Los Angeles last Monday evening. An automobile was waiting for us to take us from the train to the sanitarium. Brother Johnson,
who owns this machine, meets all the trains and brings passengers to the sanitarium. One day he took us in to San Diego, and we crossed over the bay on the ferry to Coronado. Yesterday I rode out again to visit his sister, D. Johnson. I enjoy very much riding in the automobile. I had thought of riding forty miles next week to hold meetings at Escondido, but Willie urges me to return home, and we are planning to return next Tuesday. Letter 263, 1905 , p. 4. (To James Edson White, September 15, 1905.)
My husband and myself consecrated ourselves to God to be guided by His Holy Spirit in connection with the office. I was assured that if we lost our first love, Jesus would not, could not, bless us with His counsel; that if we took upon us responsibilities in our own strength, and exercised our own judgment, we should be left to our own wisdom, which is foolishness. We were to work in God; to keep all our spiritual faculties alive; to keep ourselves under the steady, invigorating beams of the Sun of Righteousness; for Christ has said, "Without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).
And God was with us. As prosperity attended the publishing work, the wages were increased, as they should be. While I was in Switzerland, word came to me from Battle Creek that a plan had been formed by which none working in the office should receive more than twelve dollars per week. I said, "This will not work; it will be a necessity for some to receive higher wages than this." But double this amount should not be rewarded to any man connected with the office; for if a few take from the treasury so largely, justice cannot be shown to all. Large wages afforded to the few is the world's plan; while others in every way as deserving receive far less. This is not justice.
The Lord will have faithful men who love and fear him connected with every school, every printing office, health institution and publishing house. Their wages should not be fashioned after the worldling's standard. There
should be, as far as possible, excellent judgment exercised to keep up, not an aristocracy, but an equality, which is the law of heaven, "All ye are brethren" (Matthew 23:8). A few should not demand large wages, and such wages should not be presented as an inducement to secure ability and talents. This is placing things on a worldly principle. The increase of wages brings with it a corresponding increase of selfishness, pride, display, self-gratification and needless extravagance that the people who do their utmost to pay their tithes and present their offerings to God do not have. Poverty is seen in all their borders. The Lord loves the ones just as much as the other, with the exception that the self-sacrificing, humble, contrite souls who love God and strive to serve Him, are ever kept nearer to the great heart of infinite love than the man who feels at liberty to have all the good things of this life. Ms 25a, 1891 , pp. 5,6. (Untitled Manuscript, June 3, 1896.) White Estate Washington, D. C. October 24, 1957