Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 63, 1874


Battle Creek, Michigan

November 16, 1874

Portions of this letter are published in 2Bio 454-455.

Dear Children:

I have arisen early to write a few lines to you. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 1

We have had some very important meetings of late. The Tract and Missionary Society met at their quarterly meeting in Battle Creek last Sabbath and first day. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 2

Your father spoke Sabbath forenoon; myself in the afternoon. We had a very large hearing. The house was filled. Through the day, Sunday, we had three meetings. There were many interesting reports. Your father had considerable to say. I spoke forty minutes in afternoon and about three quarters of an hour in the evening after father had given a very interesting discourse. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 3

I spoke in regard to missionary labor, and the blessing of the Lord rested upon me. The solemn power of God seemed to pervade the house. I felt that we were reined up before the judgment, when our accounts must be rendered back to God for all the deeds done in the body, when our talents must be rendered back to the Master, whether we have improved or abused them. There was a most solemn sense of the work which each is required to do left upon the people. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 4

I am astonished at the amount of work your father does, and that I am able to do. I speak to the people at the Health Institute once or twice a week in the parlor, and once or twice to the helpers and physicians. God has been good to me and has strengthened and blessed me greatly the past summer and this fall. We do a great amount of hard work here that others cannot do. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 5

This is a very important post. Here is the great heart of the work, and every pulsation of this heart is felt throughout the body. If the heart is unsound, if it is unhealthy, the entire system—or every member—must be affected. Satan aims his attacks directly where there is vital interest. It is highly important that the fort here is kept, that there be faithful sentinels here. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 6

We would so much rejoice to spend the winter in California and escape the cold winter before us if we remain in Michigan, but we have decided that we cannot well leave this post of importance this winter unless there is a very urgent necessity. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 7

We did not settle our house for weeks (it is only partially settled now), and telegraphed that we would be in California in about a week. No answering response came from California. No letter saying there was any need of us. We knew we were needed here. Our people here set right about the work of arrangements to bind us to the work here, and to them, as fast as possible. They furnished the nice large room in the office above the counting room with every convenience—sofa, sofa chairs, editor’s chair, bureau, washstand, and your mother a very nice sofa chair. In other respects they have been very attentive to our wants in settling our house. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 8

We are now quite well settled and feel that we can spend our winter here if father does not work too hard and get down. But I cannot see much rest for him if he goes to the Pacific Coast. There is work there to be done and responsibilities to lift and carry, and with fewer who are acquainted with his past labors and past toil and self-sacrifice; and they are not as well prepared to help him there as our brethren of long acquaintance are here. There are those here now who will stand fast and true under pressure. God gives us freedom before the people here. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 9

All I dread is too much work. I see not much relief in that matter in California. And yet we did decide to leave here and spend the winter there, and should have been there, probably, had the way been all opened. But not a word came of response to our telegram or to our letters, and we considered this a token that the way was closed before us; and this may be in God’s providence to keep us here in Michigan. So we take cold weather and all, and will do our best to stand to the post of duty here and act our part in the fear of God. The work is the Lord’s in California. He can raise them up help that may be more acceptable than our poor office. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 10

We feel a deep interest for all [of] you there, and we earnestly desire to see you, our children and our dear friends in the truth. But it costs money to travel from Michigan to [the] Pacific Coast. We do not want to go over the ground unless we know that we are in the line of duty and are really wanted by our brethren there. There are great interests in California at this particular time, which we felt that we would gladly help bear if they desired it, but as it is, we feel that there are greater interests here which demand our labor and influence. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 11

We expect a very large number here from the different points to attend the Biblical Institute. These meetings will be very important and we shall do what we can in these meetings. We expect a reformation will be started here which will gather in many of the youth to stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel. We expect to put our whole souls into the work in faith and hope, and expect to see the salvation of God. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 12

When we telegraphed to come to California, we expected to defer the Biblical Institute till spring. We were going to have Uriah come to California with us and start a Biblical Institute there, and have Michigan follow California. We waited in the most painful uncertainty for a long time, but as we heard not a word that we were wanted or that our presence was desired or needed, we decided to remain here this winter. We now make arrangements to stay. Our potatoes for all winter are in the cellar; our apples are in the cellar, also our squashes and some canned fruit—a limited supply. Carpets are down, goods moved. Everything is now prepared to spend the winter. I think the silence of all in California in reference to our coming might have been in the providence of God—that God gave them no burden in regard to our coming for the reason that we were needed here. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 13

So we shall labor here in the fear of God as best we can, and we will pray and have faith for those who are engaged in the work in California. May God help them is our prayer. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 14

We hope in one year to get to California again and spend one year on that coast. 2LtMs, Lt 63, 1874, par. 15