Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 18, 1872

White, J. E.; White, Emma

San Francisco, California

October 10, 1872

Portions of this letter are published in 2Bio 359-361.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

We received letters from you both which were truly a comfort to us. We love to hear from you, especially from Emma. Emma, please remember we have no daughter except yourself. You have been grafted into our family and we love you and we should be highly gratified to have this love returned. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 1

Our camp meeting was a success. We have not a doubt but that the Lord has directed our course to this coast, and we believe the cause of God will be advanced by our labors, which seem to be very necessary. Your father labored very hard during the meeting. He seemed to be full of matter and he could not restrain his labors. The people hung upon his words with intense interest. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 2

I think I never saw a company together all so intelligent, so sincere, so unexceptionable every way, as the company we meet upon the campground. Twenty homes have been offered us already and such urgent, hearty invitations that we desire to gratify them all. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 3

Last Monday while upon the campground a committee of five waited upon us with this proposition, to make our headquarters with them in San Francisco. In order to make it pleasant for us they would hire a house of five rooms and furnish it for us, and we could feel that we had a home of our own. They would provide us with all that we needed to live on and we might labor with them as we felt duty demanded. They would provide for us a domestic. This we declined. We should not be prescribed in our liberty at all. We should go among the brethren just when we choose and stay one, two, or three weeks. But they would consider it one of the greatest blessings for our headquarters to be in San Francisco. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 4

We told them we would consult the brethren and then give them an answer. They greatly desired that the tent should be pitched immediately in this city. We had a consultation with our Brethren Loughborough and [M. G.] Kellogg and they decided that Woodland, one hundred miles from Santa Rosa, was the most important field now for labor, as the whole community was stirred and they thought many more would decide could there be an interest raised there anew by our fresh gifts. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 5

We have sent our appointments to Woodland for one week from next Sabbath. We designed this week to visit the geysers. But again we thought it might be we could do some good to souls should we come to this city the intervening Sabbath and speak to the people Sabbath and first day. We reached here this noon; rode on the cars fifteen miles to Petaluma and there took a fine steamer and rode about thirty-five miles. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 6

San Francisco is not the best place to live in the summer because of trade winds. The interior is hot and the winds rush from the coast to fill the vacuum. This causes a strong breeze to blow from the coast nearly all the summer. In fall and winter, as the interior is cooler, it is very mild and pleasant upon the coast. We think a share of our winter will be passed here. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 7

I wish you could have looked upon our dear friends in the truth assembled in camp meeting. It would have done your heart good. There were a large number of women about my age and older, whose countenances looked to me very beautiful. They were women of thought, of judgment, and of unusual refinement. They were cordial and generous. Our meetings were deeply interesting. Every testimony borne by your father and mother told upon the people and they did not neglect to show their appreciation of our earnest efforts. They have responded to our efforts here fully and earnestly. This is all we ask of them. If God gives us a testimony, we wish that it shall have its effect upon the people, for it is not pleasant to labor in vain, and spend our strength for naught. Our expectations have been more than realized. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 8

Brother Loughborough has done nobly in bearing the burdens he has had to bear and in keeping things together. God has worked with him and sustained him. Brother [M. G.] Kellogg has done what he could but he has been crippled by his own peculiar temperament. He has an excellent spirit. No one has a word of fault to find with him. He is very cautious, very timid, unselfish, conscientious and devoted to the work, but becomes discouraged if the labors he puts forth do not seem to result in immediate good. He was ordained at the camp meeting and this will be a courage and strength to him. His wife is a thoroughly converted woman. She has upon her countenance an expression of contentment and peace. A great change has taken place with her. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 9

Charlie was wrought upon by the Spirit of God and came forward for prayers and went forward in baptism. Quite a number were converted to the truth. Some were baptized and several are designing to be baptized and unite with the church here at San Francisco. They have requested your father to baptize them. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 10

We see so much to do, we do not know what to do first. Fields are open before us and laborers are called for everywhere. Oh, that young men who have ability, who have long known the truth, would be so thoroughly consecrated to God that they could labor in the vineyard of the Lord. Many, I know, will have to render a fearful account in the day of final rewards and punishments because they have neglected to work for the Master, but selfishly pleased themselves and souls have perished because of this neglect. Oh, how many could, if they would, teach others the truth so well understood. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 11

There were three sisters from San Francisco who came forward for prayers. One, a school teacher, remarked, “If Sister White could be divided into ten pieces and they could each have a little piece of her, they would feel greatly blessed.” I remarked, “Sisters, there is none too much of Sister White to keep her together, but I have wished I could be in several places at the same time. I see so great a work to be done.” 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 12

God has truly blessed your father. He had great freedom of speech and labored far beyond anything I expected. Brother Cornell had the ague and could speak only twice. Brother Loughborough spoke only once. He had the care of the meeting on him. Besides the three discourses I have mentioned, your father and mother did all the preaching. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 13

We are now at Sister Rowland’s. She is a woman worth forty thousand dollars, a Scotch lady, is free to entertain us and wishes us to live with her one year. She has not yet united with the church, but has requested baptism at your father’s hands. We love this sister. She is plain-spoken, but her heart is in the work and cause of God. We feel at home here. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 14

We learn that Elder Fassit, First Adventist minister, is in Sacramento. His wife is with him. She preaches but is now in ill health. She has been bleeding at the lungs. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 15

The coast seems to be clear for us next Sabbath and first day. We think it in the order of God that we are here in San Francisco at this time. I have been sick with cold on the lungs for two weeks. Have raised some blood. I have coughed very hard, yet when I have attempted to speak, have not coughed at all. Acute inflammation of lungs and eyes come suddenly upon me. I am still afflicted, but there is so much to do I have not excused myself from the work. I have faith in God that He will raise me above my infirmities and give me victory over disease. I greatly desire health, that I may glorify God. Your father is in very good health for him. Oh, how thankful I feel to see him able to clearly present the interesting points of our faith. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 16

San Francisco appears like June and July. Flower gardens look very beautiful. Fuchsias are growing in open ground, trailed above trees and flowers in rich profusion. Roses of all varieties are in bloom. There are the most beautiful evergreens I ever looked upon. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 17

We have fruit here of every kind. Pears as large as a pint bowl, very delicious to the taste; figs in their natural state; large white and pink grapes—one is all you wish to put in your mouth at once. Our friends brought us clusters of grapes at camp meeting weighing from one to two pounds. At Woodland we shall have free access to grape and fig gardens. All we have to do is simply dry them, then box them and we have figs such as we see in market and buy. No sugar is required in the drying. There are apples in abundance, sweet potatoes in great plenty. We do not eat much but fruit. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 18

I should have written particulars of our journey, but I have been so very much afflicted. We think this climate will agree with us. My cold was taken before leaving Colorado. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 19

Father has bought him an excellent horse, similar to Jim, for travel. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 20

We shall get Willie into school this winter and have him improving his mind. He seems cheerful and happy. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 21

It is now very dusty here, having had no rain this summer. The rainy season, many say, is the pleasantest part of the year. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 22

We shall not neglect the work of God to view the wonderful things of nature, but we shall make these things all secondary. Let them come along in the course of events. We must make the work of God our first and primary business. The salvation of souls is of the highest importance. Everything else is inferior to this. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 23

My dear children, do not consider any self-denial or sacrifice of time, strength, or means too great to make to benefit your fellow men. Look at the sacrifice made by the Son of God and shrink at nothing that it is possible for you to do by your influence, example, and patient, earnest effort. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 24

Lay up, my dear children, for yourselves a treasure in the heavens. Crowd all the good works you can into your short lifetime. Let not a vestige of selfishness cling to your soul. Remember the life of Christ was free from every selfish act. He is our Pattern in all things. Don’t live for self; live to bless others, that finally when the Master shall appear He shall give you the gracious benediction, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:21.] Children, it pays to live for God and heaven. The wages are ample. “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life.” [Romans 6:23.] 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 25

I have written you a long letter. Let us hear again from you. Will you see that my breakfast shawl is put in the box of books? 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 26

In haste and love. Your mother. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 27

October 13

We received yesterday letters from Edson and George. You complain of not hearing from us. We have been prompt to answer your letters. Your father has written you recently in regard to going to Trall’s. No doubt you have received letters ere this. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 28


October 14

Yesterday we had two interesting meetings. The prejudice that Grant has raised is fast being removed. Brother Diggins, at whose house John Howell died, has embraced the Sabbath. We had been abused in his mind so much that he has not united with the church. But since we have come and he has heard for himself he is perfectly satisfied. Yesterday he invited us to go directly from the place of meeting to his house two miles out of the heart of the city. We went upon the horse cars. We found a spacious residence, and a most splendid garden laid out in a careful, tasteful manner. Roses of every kind were in bloom, and Fuchsias of every variety were growing out of doors. One was a tree with two trunks, large as my arm, and the foliage was very bushy; it was in full bloom. They say it remains in bloom the year round. They have flowers in bloom the entire year. This was a charming place. Brother Diggins owns a very nice block of houses which he rents to tenants. 2LtMs, Lt 18, 1872, par. 29