Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 16, 1868

Diary, May 1868


May 1-10, 1868

Portions of this manuscript are published in 3MR 155.

Friday, May 1, 1868

[Monterey, Mich.,]

We arose exceedingly weary after our long journey yesterday. We rode down to Allegan, hoping to receive letters, but found none. On our return, heavy black clouds arose and the thunder rolled and the vivid lightning’s flash caused us to fear that a terrible storm was coming. We saw no place to shelter our team and drove on a little. Hail fell and it rained some, but we did not realize our fears. Called upon Brother Charles Jones in the afternoon; upon Brother Day’s family, and Brother and Sister Bates. Sister Burnham was helping Sister Jones prepare for meeting. In the evening we visited Brother Lay, accompanied by Brother Charles Jones. We had a good interview with Brother George [Lay?]. Had a praying season. We all prayed. George united with us. It was an affecting time. Prayer and sobs from the children we believe went up to heaven as sweet incense. One step taken to get the lost sheep. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 1

Sabbath, May 2, 1868


Arose feeling very weary, yet we longed for strength to speak to the people. My husband spoke from Luke fifteen in regard to the lost sheep. He spoke with power. We returned to L. Jones’. Brother Pennock and wife took dinner with us at Brother Jones’. In the afternoon I spoke, continuing the subject which had been presented in the forenoon. We felt that the church had failed to seek after the lost sheep and that Isaiah sixty-fifth chapter was applicable to their cases. We both spoke with freedom and the Lord aided us in our message. The congregation felt the force of truth and manifested much feeling. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 2

Had another meeting in the evening. My husband labored hard, but there was a binding influence in the meeting. It was clear that some failed to do their duty and clear their souls from the guilt which rested upon them for not seeking the lost sheep and bringing them to the fold. There is a wrong with the church which they must see and acknowledge before George Lay can be reached. Oh that God would work for His people and let the light so shine that they may humble their hearts before God and thus open a door to bring George Lay into the fold! We went from the meeting much discouraged. We feared our efforts would prove fruitless. In the forenoon we called upon Brother J. Francisco. He needed help and we tried to help him. He felt relieved before we left. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 3

Sunday, May 3, 1868


Arose at about four o’clock. Wrote several letters. There is a young man who has this morning made an attempt to be baptized, but he has fits and fell into a fit at the side of the water. After he had become natural again, they led him to the water’s edge and baptized him. He felt greatly gratified in being able to fulfil his duty. We rode to Allegan. On the way felt that we could not go to Battle Creek, and leave the work unfinished in Monterey. I felt if we now left, all the effort we had made would be lost. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 4

Frankie Lay and his mother rode up behind us and we learned that there was considerable feeling with George and herself. The labors Sabbath, the subjects we had spoken upon, had stirred the depths of their souls. We decided to remain. My husband spoke upon the law and gospel. He was very clear. We took dinner at Brother Burnham’s. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 5

Returned to the meetinghouse. I spoke upon the cross of Christ, the humiliation and suffering, His crucifixion and resurrection, His ascension to heaven, and His second appearing in glory and splendor to raise the dead and change the living. The people were interested. Tears flowed. We were urged to tarry at Brother Pennock’s. Went to Brother Burnham’s and lay down to rest awhile. Then called on our dear Brother and Sister Pennock. Had a very pleasant interview. Attended meeting in the evening. My husband spoke half an hour and I followed about one half hour. We hope our words did some good. We returned to Monterey the same night and retired about eleven o’clock. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 6

Monday, May 4, 1868


Arose about four. Wrote three letters. Sister James [Jones?] went to Allegan. Frankie Jones and myself prepared dinner. Took a bath before dinner. It is very warm. At two o’clock attended meeting and exhorted and pleaded with the brethren to make an effort for George. The brethren responded to the appeal we made. Reproved Brother and Sister Frank for their injudicious course. I became exceedingly weary. Returned home to Brother Jones’ exhausted. Brethren Leander, Russ, Buck, and Day took our team and rode to G. I. Lay’s to do their part in removing every hindrance from George that he might come back to the church. We returned to rest about nine o’clock without learning the result of the visit of our brethren to George. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 7

Tuesday, May 5, 1868


Arose at four o’clock. After breakfast and prayers we prepared to visit George Lay. We learned that the interview of his brethren was with the best results. George was quite soft and behaved like a Christian. I am afflicted with severe lameness in my foot, which makes me use a crutch. We were gladly received and spent three hours in conversation with Brother and Sister Lay. Our interview was satisfactory on both sides. We tried to help George all in our power and left feeling we had done our duty. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 8

Called upon Charles Russell’s wife a few moments. Took dinner with Brother and Sister Bates. Had a pleasant visit. I then had an interview with Brother L. Jones and his wife in regard to pursuing a course of forbearance and exercising love to his children. They received it well. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 9

Attended meeting in the evening. Bore plain testimonies to some brethren we found ready to remove everything out of the way of George. It was a meeting long to be remembered. Hearts long estranged were brought together in love and sweet union. Confessions were thorough; the Lord wrought. Praise His holy name. George and wife said all we could ask them to say. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 10

Wednesday, May 6, 1868


Arose quite early. Prepare to go to Allegan. It is an unpleasant day. We visited pleasantly with Brother and Sister Pennock. We believe them to be soundly converted to the truth. My husband purchased me a side saddle and bridle from Martin Giles for twelve dollars; very cheap. After we returned to Monterey we rode out together [on] horseback. For the first time I did very well. My foot is very painful. Cannot wear a shoe. By the aid of a cane I make out to hobble around. Attended meeting in evening. It is rainy. My foot is painful. Remained till after nine o’clock and returned to Brother Jones’. Brother Francisco brought me from the carriage in his arms to the house. I have had a profitable conversation with Brother Jones. My husband spoke upon the law and gospel. Neighbor Gregory was present and deeply interested. He has been under deep conviction. Says he means to be a Christian. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 11

Thursday, May 7, 1868


Arose feeling worn. My foot is better. My head feels worse. Took breakfast and rode over to Brother Rumery’s. Learned he was not at home. Had gone to Allegan. Returned, and went to Allegan. Brother Leander accompanied us. We found bad roads and unpleasant, cold, raw weather. Called upon Brother and Sister Pennock. They arranged my hat more to my mind. Took Sister Burnham back with us to Monterey. Took dinner at Brother Buck’s. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 12

Rode over to Brother Rumery’s. Conversed with the poor man and his wife. Talked plainly, faithfully, setting his dangers and wrongs before him. This world is their god and we fear he is joined to his idols. We were sad to see a man so insane upon the subject of property. We visited Brother and Sister Franks. Conversed with them and prayed with and for them. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 13

Returned to Brother Jones’ and went to meeting. Quite a number were detained but a goodly number were present. I talked some time upon conversion. Neighbor Gregory was present. My husband spoke. Quite a number bore good testimonies. We invited those who wanted to be Christians to come forward. Fourteen came forward, Neighbor Gregory with others. We had a praying season for them. We thank God for these tokens of God. The Lord’s hand is not shortened or His ear heavy. He will work for His people if they will only come in humility where He can work. We returned home weary, needing rest. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 14

Friday, May 8, 1868


Our rest was broken last night. Felt worn this morning. Arose early. The team is ready to take us to Brother Rumery's. We took breakfast with them, then had family prayer. Before praying we exhorted them all to engage in the work of God heartily and make earnest efforts for the better life. We entreated Brother Rumery in particular to take hold again for his soul's sake, for he was standing directly in the way of his wife and children. His example was saying to them, “These possessions of mine are of more value than the heavenly inheritance. I esteem them greater riches than the eternal weight of glory.” Our praying season was one of solemnity, marked with deep feeling. The children seemed to feel, and expressed a desire to take a firmer hold and renew their earnest efforts for everlasting life. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 15

Brother Rumery requested a special interview with me alone. He then spoke freely of the strong love he had for the world. His love of money had such an overpowering influence upon him that he could not do what he knew was the duty of every Christian to do. I pled with him by every argument I could use to take hold again and make another effort. We think he will. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 16

We felt we had done our duty and then we rode over to George Lay’s. Called all the family together and my husband talked with them all. We then called upon Brother Ross. He was away. We conversed with Sister Ross and her daughter. The child is convicted. We rode on. Called at Brother Charles Jones’. Met Brother and Sister Strong there. We were very glad to see them. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 17

Attended meeting in the evening. My husband spoke. I followed. Several rose for prayers. Quite a number of testimonies were borne. We hope the spirit of reformation may spread until more are brought to the knowledge of the truth. “O God, work,” is the cry of my soul. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 18

Sabbath, May 9, 1868


We arose early. Took breakfast. Attended prayers and then rode over to Brother Rumery’s. Called upon him a short time. Then rode over to Brother George Lay’s. Had an interview with his family. Prayed with them and left them weeping, all broken down before the Lord. Returned to Brother Jones’, then went to the meeting. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 19

My husband spoke in the morning meeting upon baptism. Had five minutes intermission and he spoke again upon the talents. The house was well filled with an interesting audience. There seemed to be deep feeling in the meeting. The Lord is moving upon hearts in the region around about. A great work is being accomplished. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 20

In the afternoon I spoke upon the necessity of leaving all for Christ, “No man hath left houses, lands,” etc. [Mark 10:29.] I had perfect freedom. The people felt deeply. After I ceased speaking, James spoke with feeling a short time. I then arose again and entreated Brother Rumery to make a start—to give all for Christ. I addressed his wife and children to help him, to start with him, and all go to the kingdom together. All wept freely. Several testimonies were borne. We called for Brother Rumery. He arose and bore a pointed testimony, confessed to his wife and children, to his sister (an opposer), and to the servants of God who labored for his interest, and the entire church. His confession was ample and covered the whole ground. He entreated forgiveness for his wrong course. I never witnessed a more touching scene. His wife then spoke with deep feeling; his daughter and son also spoke. Other backsliders made humble confessions. We invited those who wanted to be Christians to come forward. Between thirty and forty answered the call. Meeting in the evening. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 21

Sunday, May 10, 1868


Attended meeting in the forenoon, then went to baptism. Rode to Allegan. Called upon Brother Pennock for a little time. Had a social interview. Went on our way to Otsego. 1LtMs, Ms 16, 1868, par. 22