Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Letter From Walter White

Boise, Idaho
July 19, 1939

Dear Brother Lawrence and Sister Vera,

I hope this shock doesn’t affect your heart. It’s seldom anyone gets to read my handwriting so I hope you are able. And this finds you feeling well and happy and enjoying those things God has provided you. Yet a little while and he that cometh will come and will not tarry. God showed me you and Vera! You was playing sweet music from a harp. Vera raised up, she looked tired and weary and said to me, “Oh, I’m tired!” I said to her, “There remaineth a rest for the people for the people of God.” Then we began to dance out in a green pasture and the spirit guided us as we danced. It just seemed wonderful. It was perfect. You was still playing music on the harp. I hope and pray the time will come when I can see you play that new harp in the kingdom of God. My prayer to God is you brethren never get weary in well doing, but with faith, hope, and charity enter the kingdom. I believe the more we suffer and sacrifice her for Christ, the bigger the reward. As brother George said when he was talking in meeting, he said, I believe in degree in hell and also degrees in heaven. So that gives me hope of one degree. I hope I miss the fire. I wish I was there with you, it would be easier for me to talk. But God knows what is best for us. All things worketh together for good to them that love the lord. Elven and Mary was out last night, had supper with us. They seem to be having trials too.

Lawrence, we must be the people John seen coming up through great tribulations having their garments washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb.

Don’t never get tired of your [unreadable] God has given you. Nor slowfull but always fervent in the spirit. Always patient toward all men. Gentle, an example to all the brethren. That you might save yourself and your house. Uncle George told us in meeting he seen Brother Charley Smith and Brother Marion Reece appear to him just like an angel. They were talking together about the church. I hope we will be worthy to be with them soon and see all the brethren rejoicing with our lord. The brethren are pretty well here now. We haven’t had much sickness this summer as yet. I hope the brethren down there are not getting slowful in coming to meeting and are able to receive the food God has for them by them he has chosen to feed them. “If you love me feed my sheep, feed my lambs.” Brother Lawrence I hope we are worthy and able and when the chief shepherd shall appear we shall receive a crown of life. I feel like many times I’m to [sic] home in the body and absent from the lord.

I have been working pretty steady since I came without much wages, but I'm living so I guess I should be contented. I don’t know when I will be able to be with you brethren again. I hope it won’t be too long. I sure have a desire to see you all. May God be with you and your family and kinsmen and all the brethren is my earnest prayer.

Pray for us.
Good bye,
Walter and Family


  1. The one thing that stands out to me is. No assurance of salvation, and if you suffer here than your reward will be better. This is possibly where the doctrine of not going to the doctor, or hospitals come from. It has been told to me through the years that the people laying in there houses and beds suffering and dying. Are working out there salvation. I can't tell you how many houses I have been to after the man, woman, or child has passed away that is is said that " that person has laid there and worked out there salvation. " This letter seems to support this theory. The thing I have struggled with is if one lies there for three months and suffers. Then another dies in his sleep than he had No chance to work out his salvation he was robbed in a way. With this line of thinking would it be better to roll in broken glass dunk ones self into a pool of acid then light ones self on fire. This I know is extreme but this also is the logic behind why some refuse to seek medical help. If one seeks medical help they will have given up on the blessing the Lord has provided them in the suffering that was to come. This is why so many suffer and die this way. Then when the authority's get involved we get on the stand and claim that " we did not know that she was sick, we all thought it was just a cold, this is a common sickness in our family" we lie to the courts and tell them what the lawyers or what we think what they want to hear. Instead of the truth. The bible teaches assurance of salvation through the work Jesus Christ has already done. Those who are in Jesus and Jesus in them. God that can not lie or go back and say just kidding. He gives assurance of salvation. I have my assurance my prayer is that all can find that peace and comfort and assurance in Jesus. Just food for thought these are the two points that stand out to me as I re read this letter.

  2. The verse that comes to mind when I read your comment, Anonymous, is the verse that says that each person "must work out his own salvation with fear and trembling".
    I don't mean to say anything about anyone, so much as about myself - I know I would find it easier to lay in bed and sweat a fever than to examine my own motives and sins, since the latter is much harder work. So this may be a key to how this attitude may have been formed - someone like me taking a "shortcut". This is only human...
    Also, I can see where this would be supported in a framework that sees illness as judgement. In such an atmosphere, a sniffle casts doubt on a person's integrity, a wart might be seen as an inherent flaw, and a broken bone becomes the very wrath of God. Not an easy cross to bear...and much to the FOC's credit for having been so faithful to this doctrine for so long. Truly impressive, really.
    I realize that you're jesting when you talk about glass, acid and fire, but by the same token, this frustrating conundrum is the natural upshot of a point of view wherein a drowning person waves away the lifeguard, the boat and the helicopter in favor of being saved by the very hand of God without thought to question whether or not He Himself sent those very same methods of rescue. Is not the very basis of Christianity that of accepting salvation?
    I keep chiding myself for calling on those of faith to question their faith, but the bible tells us that Christians must try and prove all things, and that "we see now as through a glass, darkly". It's hard to know the full truth, yet we still must seek it, because without it we are slaves to sin, chained in darkness and without hope. In order to become free, we have to not only let go of erroneous thinking, but also have the courage to take hold of new concepts, and to try each one in turn to prove their truth or falseness.


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