Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 8, 1861

Sperry, Sister

Battle Creek, Michigan

September 26, 1861

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister Sperry:

We deeply sympathize with you in your bereavement and should have written you ere this but for the affliction which has been in our own family. When we returned home we found our Edson dangerously sick with dysentery. Jenny had watched over him one week, day and night, and for the first time she lay down to sleep the night. We returned and trusted him with watchers. He was under the doctor’s care. He was reduced to a mere skeleton. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1861, par. 1

We thought him gaining a little. Last Sunday he had a relapse and was deranged all day. We appointed prayer seasons for him, although no praying could be done in his room, and no one was permitted to enter his room except those who were obliged to tend upon him. Monday he commenced to gain and has been gaining ever since. We feel so thankful to God that He has again raised our dear child from what we feared was his deathbed. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1861, par. 2

We are quite exhausted. We have had to be on our feet almost every moment. It is quite sickly in Battle Creek. The cases of dysentery are very stubborn. A fever attends those who are afflicted with it. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1861, par. 3

Brother Hull’s wife has the inflammatory rheumatism and her children the whooping cough. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1861, par. 4

Sister Harriet Smith has an infant about three weeks old. Both are doing well. Her mother is with her. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1861, par. 5

Dear sister, we are living in perilous times and the worst is yet before us. Dear Brother Sperry is sleeping, to know no trouble until the Lifegiver awakes him to immortality. I do not feel sad for him, but for you and ourselves. His gift will be missed, but we have this to console us—“He fell like a soldier; he died at his post.” Do not sink beneath this heavy affliction, but bear up. You have a child to live for and to train for heaven. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1861, par. 6

You have spoken of Brother Charles’ request of appropriating a certain sum for the poor. Dear Sister, I have been thinking much of the matter, and I can see no poor in this state but [those] Michigan can take care of. I see no way to apply means except in cases that at present we do not feel free to help. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1861, par. 7

I think no one will need means more than yourself. I think that your parents should liberally settle all the expenses incurred at Brother Demerherst’s, and they will certainly feel it a privilege to do this for their own son-in-law. From what was shown some time ago in vision in regard to the matter—that they should have a special care of Charles—a duty rested upon them in his case, and their means could not be better applied than in making him comfortable. From the light there given me, there was a fear upon the part of Brother and Sister Gardner that the church would not do all their duty to Brother Sperry, and these feelings have led them not to do for you that which their relationship and God required them to do. In the last vision I saw that there was too close figuring with Brother and Sister Gardner. It is a withholding which tends to poverty. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1861, par. 8

Brother Sperry was affected with this, for this close economizing is contagious, and Brother Sperry did not have that ease and freedom from care that, with his poor health, he should have had. He was laboring to save, to economize, and he had no strength to spend in that way. His strength, I saw, was worth more than any amount of dollars and cents. I believe no one needs means more than yourself. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1861, par. 9

In much love to you all. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1861, par. 10

P.S. Excuse this poorly written letter. I can sit but a few moments at a time. Edson’s bell rings quite often and we are obliged to tend him with the greatest diligence. If I could [I] would copy this, but it cannot be my duty under the circumstances. 1LtMs, Lt 8, 1861, par. 11