ELVA B CARTER LETTERS
[Scanned by Stephen Rawlins, January 1997 from: "Memories of Clyde A. Carter and Elva B. Carter", a booklet written by Elva B. Carter for Christmas, 1984, with the help of her daughter Myrna C. Laird, who typed and compiled it.]
My darling sweet girl, you letter at hand tonight. And I am thankful all is as well with you and your children as it is. When I heard your letter, I resolved I would write some words of love and comfort to you. First and foremost of all get the spirit of peace, How? by humble prayer, and if not satisfied the first time by prayer and fasting, but not too long at a time. Then read your blessing where it says, "in the own due time of the Lord you shall have a husband." Now these are the very words Molissa Ford's Patriarchal blessing says. And I have wondered at times if she did not think she would have to wait till she goes to the next world to find him and have some one stand proxy for them as there is no marrying in eternity, but there will be a thousand years of millennium to make all these kind of things right. So do not get in to big a hurry, and be patient and keep the first commandment, i.e. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart with all strength, there is more to it. Get a Bible and look it up. Mark 12, chap. 28 to 34 verses. By doing this you will get the spirit of peace. Yes, sweet contentment, and perfect satisfaction. Yes, and then you will be guided right, until you reach that perfect goal, where perfect peace and satisfaction reigns, where as your blessing says, you shall sit among the hundred and forty four thousand as judges on Mount Zion. Now dear little girl, remember this one promise is worth a whole life of pure living, for this life is as the poet says, "just a span from the cradle to the grave." So take courage and live for the good you can do. Aim high, throw gloom and dependancy away, plum over the fence into the grave yard. Think again of the promises on your head. There is none greater, none better, none higher. Is it worth while? Yes, worth the noblest desire, highest desire, brings perfect joy and peace that words cannot express, words fail to have meaning, to the joy and blessings untold. Well dear girl it is half past nine and your mother is laying here, with her head on the table asleep. Maybe I will write some more in the morning, so good night. The Lord bless and comfort you.
Well sister, I thought I would write some more this morning. How you jumped out of the frying pan into the fire once But I want you to say never again. Money does not bring, nor fill that unexpressed want, that unexpressed desire. Now sister, listen to your Father, one that has passed the milestones in life, one that has passed the mile posts. Knowing what I do now I would pray and be full of faith and go thru and spend half of my life finding the ideal of my life, the ideal of my soul, in order to get to live with them the rest or balance of it. So dear girl, take courage, read these words and live. The Scriptures say live. This will bring you untold joy in this world and perfect peace and happiness in the world to come.
Your loving and affectionate
Don L. Bigelow
February 11, 1926
Dear Daughter Elva:
Yours of 8th at hand, We are
all well, and it looks like spring has broke here now. Mother sent
your dresses in the mail this morning. And has sent for the Journal.
The old Lady Lamb is real low. Now dear girl, we have read your letter
and re-read it and it is a thing that we cannot judge. We have not
only seen this man twice. As far as we can judge he seems like a nice
man. But it is you that has got to live with the man you choose, not
us. So dear girl, read your patriarchal
blessing over and get the spirit of it, the spirit of prophecy, it was given in, then pray to the Lord to direct you to the one that is for you, so he will be a perfect ideal in your thoughts and soul. Then you will be a perfect ideal in his. Mother says if she was young she would never marry a man till she loved him, and knew she loved him. You spoke of being afraid, and we do not wonder, but there is a certain man somewhere, that would make your life happy, and a perfect heaven of joy and peace. And we think that you would be better off married than single, providing you could find the right one. You spoke of not knowing what to do. Now, if he should get serious, and loves you as he should, then he will give you time to consider, that you may know what to do. And this should be your privilege. Do not let this matter keep you from having a good time in his company, or wherever you are, then you will have a better chance to see and know what you do want. We want you to write free to us and explain your feelings. Then with our faith and prayers we may be able to give you parents advice, and help you along the road of life.
Your loving parents, D. L. B
July 25, 1926
Will answer your letter received the other night. I have read and reread each line and have tried to read between the lines. I knew there was something down deep in your heart you would not say. I think the saying is true, It is hard to fool mother. I'll agree with you that it might have been sad to have known your feelings at times, but cannot think but what it would have been better for us both had you have expressed them no matter what they might have been. I know you must have felt many times like you didn't know what to do with your self That is only natural, for disappointments in marriage is a cruel thing. But oh dear, I cannot help but believe you have been greatly blessed, even as it stands today. Now the only thing now is to change conditions so you can forget, and the only way is to get back the lost love from some good, noble man and it can be done, and you will only wonder why you have been so deeply hurt by one who was not worthy of you. Look for the good qualities in a man, and the honor that is in his soul. It is not money or looks, but the real man that counts. It is not in my heart to say one word about anyone, but you know dear, love without honor behind it can never be perfect, and promises were so early broken. Even the love Jess gave you could not be depended on. Don't make the mistake that you cannot find another with truer love and affection than you have ever known. As you have opened up your heart to me, so in return I must speak my thoughts and as I look back and think what might have been I can only thank the Lord he has saved you from the life you might have led. You have got two noble and grand children, but sometimes I think the suffering you went through made them so, for when I look at his family I can only feel grateful for their noble spirits. Elva Dear, you said don't scold. That is the farthest thing from my heart, for I know love once given can never be taken back, only by being replaced by a noble man who can love with true love backed by honor, integrity, and strength of manhood, and I sure feel thankful for the thoughts you have expressed of that manhood that Clyde has shown to you. It seems to me he is sincere in his convictions.
Now Elva dear, you think you know your thoughts toward Clyde, but we don't sometimes know only by inspiration, and that will come if you are still humble. But in my very soul, I believe as you expressed, you are not happy, nor ever will be till that lost love is restored. There is no one in this world but yourself can say whether you love or not, but sometimes in our sorrow tis hard to forget the things that is so necessary to forget to let the sunshine in to make happiness. I am not going to try to influence you to marry till you are sure of yourself, but say Father, help me to forget the past and look in the future and see the better way. I, with you believe Clyde would do everything in his power to make you and the children happy, and they sure think a lot of him, but all I have to go by is appearance. But one thing I must say is I have noticed he shows respect to all women, a quality I can not help but admire in a man. I once read a piece that said beware of the man who shows respect only to the women he goes with, but if they respect all women and are good to their own mother then you have something to depend on. Dear, you said would never marry unless you could forget. There is one thing you must not look over, and that he has gone out of your life now. You can only let look to something besides thinking it might have been. But now think it will be. Just think of that unselfish that Clyde expressed when he said, if not for an engagement, wear it for friendship. I can truly say with you, that is what I call true blue in a man. Now about that school. I do not know whether it will be the best thing for you or not. Ml I can do is humbly pray to our Heavenly Father to inspire you to do the right thing but I feel you have worked where you are long enough. Now you mentioned some other man loving you. I don't know who that is but you can tell me all when you come home. I hope you will come up Thursday and I will leave my work, and we will have one day to visit and have a few minutes to express our feelings.
Praying for your comfort and happiness I remain,
Your loving mother.