Very Interesting

Yesterday we attended the celebration of a wedding conducted in style, worthy of imitation. Dr.’s only son, James, was married to Miss Katie Johnson. They were married in their father’s cottage and then came to the hall where all the patients were congregated and all the members of the household, also sick patients confined to their rooms were brought out, laid upon sofas and placed in rocking chairs upon the large platform occupied by those who lecture. Some were cripples, some diseased in various ways. The hall was decorated in tasteful style, nothing superfluous or silly. After the bridegroom and bride walked in, then Mrs. Dr. York conducted us to them and gave all who desired an introduction to them. There was a long table arranged with food which was placed upon plates and passed around to each one. Then waiters were constantly passing around with a supply if any more was required. Grapes were passed around in abundance. Everything was liberal, yet plain. They did not even on this occasion depart from their principles of diet, which made the thing consistent and admirable. They had extras, graham pudding with dates in it, gems mixed with raisins, custard, apple pie and baked apples, a few other simple things. Nothing like fine flour was seen, even upon this extra occasion. I am afraid as a people we should not carry out our principles as well. After we had eaten, Mr. Clark, a great musician, sang and played upon an instrument of music, cabinet organ. His song was very amusing, but enough of this.  {5MR 382.4-5MR 383.1}


W.C. White, May Lacey White, and myself, left the home of Brother Lacey in Glenarchy about 9:00 p.m. [May 9] to take the cars for Launceston [Tasmania]. My son and Miss May Lacey were married today by a clergyman who, though not of our faith, has favored our people, letting them have the use of his church without charge. The preparations for the marriage ceremony were carried out without one unpleasant feature. We would all have been much better pleased if one of our own ministers could have officiated at the marriage, but this could not be without incurring considerable expense, as we should have had to send for one of our brethren to come from New South Wales, where I think some are qualified to perform marriages. There was no minister in Tasmania who was authorized to act in this capacity. Brother and Sister Lacey have a large family, and they greatly desired that May should be married at home, and, of course, this is as it should be. At the request of the family, I offered prayer after the marriage ceremony was over. Brother and Sister Lacey invited eight persons besides the family to celebrate the occasion. We took the cars, as I have stated, about nine o’clock that night…. {2MR 263.4-2MR 264.1}


Fathers could officiate weddings of their children

Our friends planned a pretty wedding for Dores and me on Grandma’s lawn. But at the last minute a rainstorm blew up and we had to hurry to the sanitarium chapel and leave our decorations behind. However, it was a memorable wedding. Father performed the ceremony and Grandma gave an inspirational talk. Among other things she said: God wants the home to be the happiest place on earth, the very symbol of the home in heaven…. Marriage does not lessen their [the couple’s] usefulness, but strengthens it. They may make that married life a ministry to win souls to Christ…. As the family relation is formed here below, it is to give demonstration of what they shall be, the family in heaven above. The glory of God is ever to be made first…. {OMS 106.1, 2}


A Marriage in the White Family

While James and Ellen were in Battle Creek between camp meeting appointments in 1870, they helped celebrate a wedding in the family. James presided at the ceremony in which Edson White and Emma McDearmon were joined in holy wedlock. The newlyweds, both 21, would live in Wright. James and Ellen were soon off to the camp meeting in Clyde, Ohio. From the campground Ellen wrote to the couple and gave invaluable counsel, for it touched on points easily and frequently overlooked: {2BIO 310.1}


Rested better during the night, yet my head is weary. Rode into Rochester. Purchased yarn for scarfs. It was a cold, blustering day. In the evening I was present at the wedding of Brother Willie Gonter [?] and Jenny Roberts. Brother Andrews performed the ceremony. Alva Orton and wife were present. My husband said a few words by request of Brother Andrews, previous to the ceremony, then prayed after the marriage rite was performed. By request I talked about forty minutes. God gave me a testimony for the two just united in marriage, but more especially were my remarks directed to Alva Orton and wife. I entreated them to live for self no longer, but consecrate themselves to God. Went on board the cars to rest in the sleeping car. {Ms12-1868.13}


William C. White and his mother returned to Elmshaven in time for the wedding of her granddaughter Mabel to Wilfred Workman, who was connected with Healdsburg College. Mabel was 19 and Wilfred 26. The ceremony was held Wednesday evening at 7:30, on the south lawn at Elmshaven. The Women’s Improvement Society of St. Helena had loaned fifty Japanese lanterns to light the lawn, and chairs and seats of different kinds provided space for the 150 friends who came. The Sanitarium orchestra and choir provided the music. While the party waited for the bride and groom, Willie told of the camp meeting in Boulder, and Dores told about the Pacific Press stockholders’ meeting—not very romantic, perhaps, but a recital of denominational history in the making and probably of interest to most of the guests. W. C. White performed the ceremony, and Ellen White offered prayer, just as she had at Ella’s wedding. After the congratulations and more music, the guests walked around to the west side of the home—between the main house and the office—where, under the big live oak tree, a tent was standing in which the wedding gifts were displayed. Near the tent a little rockery was arranged with ferns concealing three large bowls of fruit punch from which the guests drew refreshments as from a mountain spring. Wedding cake was also served. The bride and groom went to Healdsburg, Mabel to be assistant matron and Wilfred to work in the business office (WCW, pp. 143, 145, 159).


A Joyous Occasion—

The Scriptures state that both Jesus and His disciples were called to this marriage feast [at Cana]. Christ has given Christians no sanction to say when invited to a marriage, we ought not to be present on so joyous an occasion. By attending this feast Christ taught that He would have us rejoice with those who do rejoice in the observance of His statutes. He never discouraged the innocent festivities of mankind when carried on in accordance with the laws of Heaven. A gathering that Christ honored by His presence, it is right that His followers should attend. After attending this feast, Christ attended many others, sanctifying them by His presence and instruction.


Display, Extravagance, and Hilarity Are Inappropriate at Weddings—

Marriage ceremonies are made matters of display, extravagance, and self-indulgence. But if the contracting parties are agreed in religious belief and practice, and everything is consistent, and the ceremony be conducted without display and extravagance, marriage at this time need not be displeasing to God. There is no reason why we should make great parade or display, even if the parties were perfectly suited to each other. It has always seemed so very inappropriate to me to see the marriage ordinance associated with hilarity and glee and a pretense of something. No. It is an ordinance ordained of God, to be looked upon with the greatest solemnity. As the family relation is formed here below, it is to give a demonstration of what they shall be, the family in heaven above. The glory of God is ever to be made first.


A Wedding in Mrs. White’s Home –  A Missionary Wedding

About 11:00 a.m. Tuesday our large dining room was prepared for the wedding ceremony. Brother Starr officiated in the service, and it passed off nicely. The request was made by Brother Hickox that Sister White should offer prayer after the marriage ceremony. The Lord gave me special freedom. My heart was softened and subdued by the Spirit of God. On this occasion there were no light jests or foolish sayings; everything was solemn and sacred in connection with this marriage. Everything was of an elevating character and deeply impressive. The Lord sanctified this marriage, and these two now unite their interest to work in the mission field, to seek and to save them that are lost. God will bless them in their work if they walk humbly with Him, leaning wholly upon His promises. {Ms23-1894}


This question was then as it always has been, very far-reaching. When the right was claimed to worship according to the dictates of conscience, in that was claimed the right to DISREGARD ALL THE ROMAN LAWS ON THE SUBJECT OF RELIGION, and to deny the right of the State to have anything whatever to do with the question of religion. But this, according to the Roman estimate, was only to bid defiance to the State and to the interests of society altogether. The Roman State, so intimately and intricately connected with religion, was but the reflection of the character of the Roman people, who prided themselves upon being the most religious of all nations, and Cicero commended them for this, because their religion was carried into all the details of life. “The Roman ceremonial worship was very elaborate and minute, applying to every part of daily life. It consisted in sacrifices, prayers, festivals, and the investigations, by auguries and haruspices, of the will of the gods and the course of future events. The Romans accounted themselves an exceedingly religious people, because their religion was so intimately connected with the affairs of home and State. . . . Thus religion everywhere met the public life of the Roman by its festivals, and laid an equal yoke on his private life by its requisition of sacrifices, prayers, and auguries. All pursuits must be conducted according to a system carefully laid down by the College of Pontiffs. . . . If a man went out to walk, there was a form to be recited; if he mounted his chariot, another.” —  James Freeman Clarke. 5   {1891 ATJ, TTR 149.1}


But this WHOLE SYSTEM OF RELIGION WAS FALSE. The gods which they worshiped were false gods. Their gods, in short were but reflections of themselves, and the ceremonies of worship were but the exercise of their own passions and lusts. Neither in their gods nor their worship was there a single element of good. Therefore upon it all Christianity taught the people to turn their backs. The Christian doctrine declared all these gods to be no gods, and all the forms of worship of the gods to be only idolatry, and a denial of the only true God — the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. {1891 ATJ, TTR 149.2}




The festivities of the WEDDING AND THE CEREMONIES OF THE FUNERAL WERE ALL CONDUCTED UNDER THE PROTECTION OF THE gods. More than this, “the number of the gods was as great as the number of the incidents in earthly life.” — Mommsen. 7 The “pagan’s domestic hearth was guarded by the penates, or by the ancestral gods of his family or tribe. By land he traveled under the protection of one tutelar divinity, by sea of another; the birth, the bridal, the funeral, had each its presiding deity; the very commonest household utensils and implements were cast in mythological forms; he could scarcely drink without being reminded of making a libation to the gods.” — Milman. 8 All this heathen ceremony Christianity taught the people to renounce, and every one did renounce it who became a Christian. BUT SO INTRICATELY WAS THE IDOLATRY INTERWOVEN INTO ALL THE ASSOCIATIONS OF BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE, OF BOTH STATE AND SOCIAL ACTION, THAT “IT SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE TO ESCAPE THE OBSERVANCE OF THEM WITHOUT AT THE SAME TIME RENOUNCING THE COMMERCE OF MANKIND AND ALL THE OFFICES AND AMUSEMENTS OF SOCIETY.” Yet with any of it true Christianity did not compromise.   {1891 ATJ, TTR 150.2}




ALL THIS SUBJECTED THE CHRISTIAN TO UNIVERSAL HATRED, and as the laws positively forbade everything that the Christians taught both with reference to the gods and to the State, the forms of law furnished a ready channel through which this hatred found vent. This was the open way for the fury of the populace to spend itself upon the “deniers of the gods, and enemies of the Caesars and of the Roman people;” AND THIS WAS THE SOURCE OF THE PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANITY BY PAGAN ROME.   {1891 ATJ, TTR 151.1}


THE CANDLES, FLOWERS, GOWNS, THE TAKING OF THE WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS IN THE CHURCH IS THE DEVISING OF BABYLON IN HONOR OF THEIR GODS. To be separate from Babylon is to come out of all these fanaticism. It’s going to be a close call and narrow path for us to take and it will cause persecution that we have never seen before. Dan 12:1 says a time of trouble that has never been.


The light we have received upon the third angel’s message is the true light. The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, nor will it be understood until the unrolling of the scroll; but a most solemn work is to be accomplished in our world. The Lord’s command to His servants is: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah 58:1.  {6T 17.1}


Satan invented the fashions which leave the limbs exposed, chilling back the life current from its original course. And parents bow at the shrine of fashion and so clothe their children that the nerves and veins become contracted and do not answer the purpose that God designed they should. The result is, habitually cold feet and hands. Those parents who follow fashion instead of reason will have an account to render to God for thus robbing their children of health. Even life itself is frequently sacrificed to the God of fashion. 2T 531.3


There is to be no change in the general features of our work. It is to stand as clear and distinct as prophecy has made it. We are to enter into no confederacy with the world, supposing that by so doing we could accomplish more. If any stand in the way, to hinder the advancement of the work in the lines that God has appointed, they will displease God. No line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience, and duty, and we are to stand firmly in defense of our principles, in full view of the world.


Marriage Certificate then a Blessing

Please write me in your next in regard to Sister Scott. I have not heard a word from her. Is she contented? Is she happy? I hope she is both. W. C. White and Brother Whitney left this morning for Lausanne to be gone until Monday. Richard Cogswell and Jenny Harns will be married on Monday. It is the law that the magistrate marries the parties, then if they want the marriage blessed they have this ceremony performed by the minister. This comes off Monday. {Lt95-1886.13}


This is very serious business and I hope you take it to heart. While each woman’s’ individual may differ in detail, they all need the same basics.

  • She needs you to be stable, a rock. Not hard, but reliable and someone she knows she can test and learn to lean on. No woman can respect a man she feels cannot be leaned on.
  • She needs tenderness while you weather her storm. This is part of how she learns she can lean on you. She needs to know and feel emotionally supported even when she is going through her various emotions. Marriage is a strange adjustment and you must make her feel supported.
  • Lead the way without restraining her individual freedom. Never think that you have done all you can and what is right and coldly discard her thoughts. Hear her and make her know you love her as she is. If she feels closely supported by you, then she will do anything for you. But you have to earn that trust. It’s not something you can just expect just because you are the husband. Christ lets us test him and he woos us but never demands. He draws us with consistent interest and love.
  • Never stop your courtship. What she sees in you now is what you need to continue. Keep up the early affections and interests.
  • She does not want to have to spell everything out for you. So be attentive, aware, interested, and keep pursuing her. Learn what she needs. It does not stop once you make your vows on your wedding day. Seek to make her happy.
  • Your first ministry is your wife, your new family. Do not neglect it while you go and minister to others. It’s not right for your relationship to suffer so that you can give Christ to others.
  • Do not discard your wife’s thoughts and heart because you may think her ideas are not according to principle or are wrong. Instead take your impressions to God and ask him how to lead her. Give yourself to and for her as Christ gave himself to and for the church.



Principles of a happy Marriage [not Specifics of a happy Marriage]


The evil is always increased when either the wife or the husband, finding someone who appears to be a congenial spirit, ventures to whisper to this trusted one the secrets of the married life. The very act of making known the secret confirms the existence of a condition of things that would not be at all necessary if the husband and wife loved God supremely.  {1888 1215.2}


Simplicity in Furnishing

Our artificial habits deprive us of many blessings and much enjoyment, and unfit us for living the most useful lives. Elaborate and expensive furnishings are a waste not only of money, but of that which is a thousandfold more precious. They bring into the home a heavy burden of care and labor and perplexity.  {MH 367.2}


Before the Christian father leaves his home, to go to his labor, he will gather his family around him, and bowing before God will commit them to the care of the Chief Shepherd. He will then go forth to his labor with the love and blessing of his wife, and the love of his children, to make his heart cheerful through his laboring hours. And that mother who is aroused to her duty, will realize the obligations resting upon her to her children in the absence of the father. She will feel that she lives for her husband and children. By training her children aright, teaching them habits of temperance and self-control, and teaching them their duty to God, she is qualifying them to become useful in the world, to elevate the standard of morals in society, and to reverence and obey the law of God. Patiently and perseveringly will the godly mother instruct her children, giving them line upon line, and precept upon precept, not in a harsh, compelling manner, but in love, and in tenderness; and thus will she win them. They will consider her lessons of love, and will happily listen to her words of instruction.  {SA 135.1}


A well-disciplined family, who love and obey God, will be cheerful and happy. The father, when he returns from his daily labor, will not bring his perplexities to his home. He will feel that home and the family circle are too sacred to be marred with unhappy perplexities. When he left his home, he did not leave his Saviour and his religion behind. Both were his companions. The sweet influence of his home, the blessing of his wife, and love of his children, make his burdens light, and he returns with peace in his heart, and cheerful, encouraging words for his wife and children, who are waiting to joyfully welcome his coming. As he bows with his family at the altar of prayer, to offer up his grateful thanks to God, for his preserving care of himself and loved ones through the day, angels of God hover in the room, and bear the fervent prayers of God-fearing parents to Heaven, as sweet incense, which are answered by returning blessings.  {SA 137.2}


Every woman …, whatever may be her surroundings, should encourage constantly a happy, cheerful, contented disposition, knowing that for all her efforts in this direction she will be repaid tenfold in the physical, as well as the moral, character …. Nor is this all. She can, by habit, accustom herself to cheerful thinking, and thus encourage a happy state of mind, and cast a cheerful reflection of her own happiness of spirit upon her family, and those with whom she associates. And in a very great degree will her physical health be improved. A force will be imparted to the life springs, the blood will not move sluggishly, as would be the case if she were to yield to despondency and gloom. Her mental and moral health are invigorated by the buoyancy of her spirits. The power of the will can resist impressions of the mind, and will prove a grand soother of the nerves..  {SA 123.3}


Let the husband and wife study each other’s happiness, never failing in the small courtesies and little kindly acts that cheer and brighten the life. Perfect confidence should exist between husband and wife. Together they should consider their responsibilities. Together they should work for the highest good of their children. Never should they … criticize each other’s plans or question each other’s judgment. Let the wife be careful not to make the husband’s work .. more difficult. Let the husband hold up the hands of his wife, giving her wise counsel and loving encouragement.  {MH 393.3}  No barrier of coldness and reserve should be allowed to arise between … {MH 394.1}


A Sacred Circle

Sanctity of the Family Circle.–

There is a sacred circle around every family which should be preserved. No other one has any right in that sacred circle. The husband and wife should be all to each other. The wife should have no secrets to keep from her husband and let others know, and the husband should have no secrets to keep from his wife to relate to others. The heart of his wife should be the grave for the faults of the husband, and the heart of the husband the grave for his wife’s faults. Never should either party indulge in a joke at the expense of the other’s feelings. Never should either the husband or wife in sport or in any other manner complain of each other to others, for frequently indulging in this foolish and what may seem perfectly harmless joking will end in trial with each other and perhaps estrangement. I have been shown that there should be a sacred shield around every family.  {AH 177.1}


The home circle should be regarded as a sacred place, a symbol of heaven, a mirror in which to reflect ourselves. Friends and acquaintances we may have, but in the home life they are not to meddle. A strong sense of proprietorship should be felt, giving a sense of ease, restfulness, trust.  {AH 177.2}


Tongues, Ears, and Eyes to Be Sanctified.–

Let those composing the family circle pray that God will sanctify their tongues, their ears, their eyes, and every member of their body. When brought into contact with evil, it is not necessary to be overcome of evil. Christ has made it possible for the character to be fragrant with good. . . .  {AH 177.3}  How many dishonor Christ and misrepresent His character in the home circle! How many do not manifest patience, forbearance, forgiveness, and true love! Many have their likes and dislikes and feel at liberty to manifest their own perverse disposition rather than to reveal the will, the works, the character of Christ. The life of Jesus is full of kindness and love. Are we growing into His divine nature?  {AH 178.1}  Let the husband and wife remember that they have burdens enough to carry without making their lives wretched by allowing differences to come in. Those who give place to little differences invite Satan into their home.  {AH 178.4}  Although trials may arise in the married life, the husband and the wife are to keep their souls in the love of God.   {AH 178.5}


The Secret of Family Unity.–

The cause of division and discord in families and in the church is separation from Christ. To come near to Christ is to come near to one another. The secret of true unity in the church and in the family is not diplomacy, not management, not a superhuman effort to overcome difficulties–though there will be much of this to do–but union with Christ.  {AH 179.1}  Picture a large circle, from the edge of which are many lines all running to the center. The nearer these lines approach the center, the nearer they are to one another.  {AH 179.2} Thus it is in the Christian life. The closer we come to Christ, the nearer we shall be to one another. God is glorified as His people unite in harmonious action.  {AH 179.3}


Let Each Help the Other.–

The family firm is a sacred, social society, in which each member is to act a part, each helping the other. The work of the household is to move smoothly, like the different parts of well-regulated machinery.  {AH 179.4}  Every member of the family should realize that a responsibility rests upon him individually to do his part in adding to the comfort, order, and regularity of the family. One should not work against another. All should unitedly engage in the good work of encouraging one another; they should exercise gentleness, forbearance, and patience; speak in low, calm tones, shunning confusion; and each doing his utmost to lighten the burdens of the mother.  {AH 179.5}  Each member of the family should understand just the part he is expected to act in union with the others. All, from the child six years old and upward, should understand that it is required of them to bear their share of life’s burdens.  {AH 180.1}

A Fitting Resolve.–I must grow in grace at home and wherever I may be, in order to give moral power to all my actions. At home I must guard my spirit, my actions, my words. I must give time to personal culture, to training and educating myself in right principles. I must be an example to others. I must meditate upon the word of God night and day and bring it into my practical life. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is the only sword which I can safely use.  {AH 180.2}


It was the mixed multitude that came from Egypt with the Israelites who were the principal movers in this dreadful departure from God. They were called a mixed multitude, because the Hebrews had intermarried with the Egyptians.  {1SP 243.1}  MARRIAGE LIFE SHOULD NOT ALLOW MIXED MULTITUDE WHO PRETEND TO BE PART OF FAMILY BUT THEIR COUNSEL LEADS INSTEAD TO TEARING IT.


“What is the sphere of woman? Home, the social circle. What is her mission? To mold character, to fashion herself and others after the model character of Christ. What are her chief instruments for the accomplishment of her great work? The affections. Love is the wand by which she is to work moral transformations within her fairy circle. Gentleness, sweetness, loveliness and purity are the elements of her power. Her place is not on life’s great battle fields. Man belongs there. It is for him to go forth armed for its conflicts and struggles, to do fierce battle with the hosts of evil that throng our earth and trample upon its blessings. But woman must abide in the peaceful sanctuaries of home, and walk in the noiseless vales of private life. There she must dwell, beside the secret springs of public virtue. There she must smile upon the father, the brother, the husband, when, returning like warriors from the fight, exhausted and covered with the dust of strife, they need to be refreshed by sweet waters drawn ‘from affection’s spring,’ and cheered to renewed struggles by the music of her voice. There she must rear the Christian patriot and statesman, the self-denying philanthropist and the obedient citizen. There, in a word, she must form the character of the world, and determine the destiny of her race. How awful is her mission! What dread responsibility attaches to her work! Surely, she is not degraded by filling such a sphere. Nor would she be elevated, if, forsaking it, she should go forth into the highways of society and jostle with her brothers for the offices and honors of public life. Fame she might occasionally gain, but it would be at the price of her womanly influence.  {HR, July 1, 1873 par. 17}


“Fancy yourself far out at sea, in a noble ship, contending with a furious storm.

‘Beneath is one wild whirl of foaming surges;

Above, the array of lightnings, like the swords

of cherubim, wide brandished, to repel

aggression from heaven’s gates.’


Behold, amidst this scene of grandeur, the stormy petrel gliding up the face of a huge wave, darting above the foam of a breaker, or sweeping along the watery valleys as composedly and as naturally as it ever swept over the same sea in an hour of calm. Behold, too, another bird, whirling and darting above the spray with a cry of seeming despair; now flying before a monster sea, and anon struggling to keep its wet and weary wings from folding into helpless inaction.  {HR, July 1, 1873 par. 18}


“Tell me, lady, why this little trembler is in so pitiful a plight, while the stormy petrel gambols freely among the waves. You cannot answer. Then listen. The petrel is in its appropriate sphere. The little trembler is a land-bird, tempted, at first, by sunny weather, to wander among the islands, and driven, at last, by a strong wind to sea. He is out of his sphere; and hence his quiet has fled, his song is silenced and his life endangered. God made him for the land. The grove is his home, and his sphere is among the flowers.  {HR, July 1, 1873 par. 19}


“It is thus with the entire creation. Everything has its appointed sphere, within which alone it can flourish. Men and women have theirs. They are not exceptions to this truth, but examples of it. To be happy and prosperous, they must abide in them. Man is fitted for the storms of public life, and, like the petrel, can be happy amid their rudest surges. Woman is formed for the calm of home. She may venture, like the land bird, to invade the sphere of man, but she will encounter storms which she is utterly unfitted to meet; happiness will forsake her breast, her own sex will despise her, men will be unable to love her, and when she dies she will fill an unhonored grave.  {HR, July 1, 1873 par. 20}


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How Shall we conduct our Weddings?!




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