Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 25, 1878

Healey, Brother

Healdsburg, California

April 1878

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Healey:

Your letter is before me. There were so many things demanding my attention in Oakland that I had not time to fully take in and consider your letter. But I have felt that a response was due you, that you may not misunderstand my true feelings. 3LtMs, Lt 25, 1878, par. 1

It has been a question in my mind whether it would be best to write to you or let the matter pass; but for your benefit and to release myself, I now write. 3LtMs, Lt 25, 1878, par. 2

I would not say anything to needlessly wound or discourage you, a young soldier of the cross, but my mind will not be free until I give expression to my feelings. 3LtMs, Lt 25, 1878, par. 3

I was earnestly solicited to come to Oakland to help you. I had promised you by letter that if you entered upon the work in Oakland or San Francisco, I would help you what I could. I knew I had a testimony that the people should have, and which they were interested to hear. After going to Oakland, I told you and Brother Glenn and my son Edson that I was now ready to do anything and to speak at any time they should call upon me. Brother Gillett made the remark that it was a delicate point for them to say when I should speak to the people, as that matter rested with myself and Brother Healey. I then, again, told you that I was prepared to answer any call to fill in any place where I could best serve the interest of the cause. 3LtMs, Lt 25, 1878, par. 4

One evening—I thought in response to my statement—you announced, without first speaking to me on the point, that I would speak to the people the following evening. I did not take any exception to this, thinking my words of offering myself had been considered in the light that I would fill in any time when called for. 3LtMs, Lt 25, 1878, par. 5

The meeting commenced late, and I only partially finished my subject as I told you and as the report in the paper stated. I told the congregation I would have an opportunity of speaking to them again and would complete the subject. But after that evening your appointments were continuous, and I had no opportunity to finish my subject, as no further appointment was made for me, excepting upon the Sabbath, when only our own people, as a general thing, were present. After waiting some time, expecting an opportunity to say something to those who attended evening, I felt some tried about being in Oakland for the purpose of speaking to the people, and having no opportunity given me. I felt that I had a testimony that the people wanted. As God had connected me with Himself and given me so great light upon practical religion, I thought you would appreciate the light thus given and feel the real need of my testimony coming before the people. 3LtMs, Lt 25, 1878, par. 6

I waited some time and no further invitation was given, and I was not even referred to, whether I desired to speak or not. My advice was not asked in any matter. I was simply left out of the question; notwithstanding I was sent for expressly to help in that very series of meetings. The evening before this matter was mentioned to you in the office, I spoke plainly to Edson and asked why they had sent for me to come to Oakland. I had been waiting there some time for an invitation to speak, and none had come. I could not see that all was being done that should be. There would some decide on the truth; but they need testimonies upon practical religion to move the heart and stir them to decision. I considered the favorable or golden opportunities were passing and scarcely anything being done to bring the people to a decision. My testimony is not wanted here. If any of them wanted my labor, they could say so. 3LtMs, Lt 25, 1878, par. 7

Brother Healey was not delicate about saying so when he desired [me] to visit his sick child. I knew that God had given me a work to do somewhere; if not here, it must be in some other place. I hardly knew what to make of this matter. Elders Loughborough and Waggoner solicited me ever to speak when I could do so; and they gave my labors the preference because they knew that God had spoken through me time and again to reach the hearts of the people. But I have come expressly for the purpose of uniting my labor with Brother Healey, and yet the leading brethren feel no burden or desire to secure the help I could give them when I am here for that very purpose. 3LtMs, Lt 25, 1878, par. 8

It was in consideration of this Edson felt stirred to make the remarks he did; although I did not expect him to make them, and he should have consulted me before going to you with the matter. But as I review it all, I do not think any letter written to you was just what I should write now. I blamed Edson for saying what he did. It was natural for him, after hearing my remarks to do so; but Bro. Gillett or Brother Glenn should have said these words in the place of Edson. They were due me, and some one should have had something to say; but it would have come more properly from some one rather than my own son. After I went to Pacheco, I thought over the matter and felt the tenderness of feeling for you I would toward my own son. I thought you were inexperienced. You did not know my work and manner of labor and were excusable; and fearing the remarks that had been made would greatly trouble your mind, I wrote as I did. I considered it in the light that perhaps my time had not come yet. After you had brought them down to the Sabbath, and decisions were to be made, then would be seen by Brethren Gillett, Glenn, and yourself that my testimony was needed, and I sought to look in the most favorable light upon that which had appeared a neglect upon your part, and upon the part of Brethren Gillett and Glenn. And I battled down and put under my feet every thought of dissatisfaction, excusing you and my brethren for leaving me out of the question, notwithstanding a promise to finish a discourse which I had no opportunity to do. 3LtMs, Lt 25, 1878, par. 9

I wrote you the words of encouragement that I did, but in behalf of Edson and myself. It is just that you should know these facts. The Lord gave me great liberty in Pacheco. I brought back a good report. But after my return I waited as before for some sign that my help was wanted and none came, and thus it was all the way through, with the exception of Sabbath, I had no chance before the people. After the matter had been presented before you, then I expected you would take the matter up and give me some chance; but none was given. This has led me to regard the matter in a different light than when I wrote your letter. I have felt pained and grieved over this matter, and when our brethren in Oakland tried to set me to work visiting the people, I have said, No, decidedly. If my testimony were not of sufficient value to come before the people, and they become acquainted with my work in the desk, my labor was not sufficient in visiting them. 3LtMs, Lt 25, 1878, par. 10

Brother Healey had, I thought, considered himself fully competent to take that interest through himself, and now he must bind it off himself and see that it did not ravel out. I have no feelings but that of love to you, Brother Healey, but know that you have much to learn yet before you will be an efficient worker in the cause of God. 3LtMs, Lt 25, 1878, par. 11