Selected Messages Book 3


The Work of Marian Davis

Miss Davis a Faithful Assistant—Marian had been with me about twenty-five years. She was my chief worker in arranging the matter for my books. She ever appreciated the writings as sacred matter placed in her hands, and would often relate to me what comfort and blessing she received in performing this work, that it was her health and her life to do this work. She ever handled the matters placed in her hands as sacred. I shall miss her so much. Who will fill her place?—Manuscript 146, 1904. 3SM 91.1

Marian Is My Bookmaker—Marian's work is of a different order altogether. She is my bookmaker. Fanny [Bolton] [Fanny Bolton, a newspaper writer, after becoming a Seventh-day Adventist, was drawn into Ellen White's literary work and soon after accompanied her to Australia.] never was my bookmaker. How are my books made? Marian does not put in her claim for recognition. 3SM 91.2

She does her work in this way: She takes my articles which are published in the papers, and pastes them in blank books. She also has a copy of all the letters I write. In preparing a chapter for a book, Marian remembers that I have written something on that special point, which may make the matter more forcible. She begins to search for this, and if when she finds it, she sees that it will make the chapter more clear, she adds it. 3SM 91.3

The books are not Marian's productions, but my own, gathered from all my writings. Marian has a large field from which to draw, and her ability to arrange the matter is of great value to me. It saves my poring over a mass of matter, which I have no time to do. 3SM 91.4

So you understand that Marian is a most valuable help to me in bringing out my books. Fanny had none of this work to do. Marian has read chapters to her, and Fanny has sometimes made suggestions as to the arrangement of the matter. 3SM 91.5

This is the difference between the workers. As I have stated, Fanny has been strictly forbidden to change my words for her words. As spoken by the heavenly agencies, the words are severe in their simplicity; and I try to put the thoughts into such simple language that a child can understand every word uttered. The words of someone else would not rightly represent me. 3SM 92.1

I have written thus fully in order that you may understand the matter. Fanny may claim that she has made my books, but she has not done so. This has been Marian's field, and her work is far in advance of any work Fanny has done for me.—Letter 61a, 1900. 3SM 92.2

Marian's Caution While Working on Patriarchs and Prophets in 1889—Willie [W. C. White] [William C. White, son of Ellen White, at the time serving as acting president of the General Conference.] is in meeting early and late, devising, planning for the doing of better and more efficient work in the cause of God. We see him only at the table. 3SM 92.3

Marian will go to him for some little matters that it seems she could settle for herself. She is nervous and hurried and he so worn he has to just shut his teeth together and hold his nerves as best he can. I have had a talk with her and told her she must settle many things herself that she has been bringing Willie. 3SM 92.4

Her mind is on every point and the connections, and his mind has been plowing through a variety of difficult subjects until his brain reels and then his mind is in no way prepared to take up these little minutiae. She must just carry some of these things that belong to her part of the work, and not bring them before him nor worry his mind with them. Sometimes I think she will kill us both, all unnecessarily, with her little things she can just as well settle herself as to bring them before us. Every little change of a word she wants us to see.—Letter 64a, 1889. 3SM 92.5

Her Faithful Services Greatly Prized—I feel very thankful for the help of Sister Marian Davis in getting out my books. She gathers materials from my diaries, from my letters, and from the articles published in the papers. I greatly prize her faithful service. She has been with me for twenty-five years, and has constantly been gaining increasing ability for the work of classifying and grouping my writings.—Letter 9, 1903. 3SM 93.1

We Worked Together, Just Worked Together—Marian, my helper, faithful and true as the compass to the pole in her work, is dying. [This was written September 24, 1904. Marian Davis died October 25, 1904, and was buried at St. Helena, California.—Compilers.]... 3SM 93.2

I am leaving tomorrow for Battle Creek. Yet my soul is drawn to the dying girl who has served me for the last twenty-five years. We have stood side by side in the work, and in perfect harmony in that work. And when she would be gathering up the precious jots and tittles that had come in papers and books and present it to me, “Now,” she would say, “there is something wanted [needed]. I cannot supply it.” I would look it over, and in one moment I could trace the line right out. 3SM 93.3

We worked together, just worked together in perfect harmony all the time. She is dying. And it is devotion to the work. She takes the intensity of it as though it were a reality, and we both have entered into it with an intensity to have every paragraph that shall stand in its right place, and show its right work.—Manuscript 95, 1904. 3SM 93.4