Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 4, 1859

The Case of Sister Cranson



Previously unpublished. See also Annotations.

I was shown the case of Sister Cranson. I saw that she has not received that heartfelt sympathy that her case required. There are those who have not made her case their own. Some have seen the wrongs in her children and have not been as tender and careful of her feelings in the matter as they should have been, while at the same time those who have been more favorably situated have not half realized, and corrected as they should, their own children’s wrongs. Her widowed heart has had many solitary, desolate, agonizing hours that others have known nothing about. Many times she has cast herself away in her loneliness and been strongly tempted to make some hasty move which would have ruined her. Her loss is a living loss. But few have had any just sense of her discouragement and loneliness. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1859, par. 1

I saw that there should be a difference made with the widow and others who are differently situated. It has troubled her, and lessened her confidence in her brethren because those who have labored for her required so high wages. It looked heartless to her. She should not have laid out her means in building. The matter should have been overruled by strong counsel and advice. The means used in that addition should have been saved to supply her with life’s necessities. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1859, par. 2

Her husband wore out his life in trying to save souls, doing his Master’s business. He was self-denying, self-sacrificing, beloved of God. He died at his post. He had perfect confidence that if his wife and children could live near the brethren their influence would be saving, and their sympathy and care would partly make up for the loss they would sustain. She made a sacrifice in getting to Battle Creek. It has been well that she came. It has been a blessing to her, kept her from a greater evil; but it has not been half the blessing it might have proved if all had that interest and care for her that they should have felt. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1859, par. 3

I saw that God has His eye upon the widows and fatherless. The church has not felt the obligations belonging to them. Sister Cranson has often distrusted God. Her faith has been weak. She has had too much fear of dependence, too much pride. But if some others, who now see her lack, were placed in her condition they would not do half as well as she has done. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1859, par. 4

I saw that widows should ever be cared for, especially those whose husbands have devoted their strength to God and have fallen while engaged in His work. They should be regarded in a different light than even other widows, and duty rests upon the church and upon each individual in this matter, and great care should be taken to help strengthen and comfort the widows in their affliction. 1LtMs, Ms 4, 1859, par. 5