Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 51, 1878

Cook, Brother and Sister

Battle Creek, Michigan

October 2, 1878

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Cook:

The question comes to me, I shall not say from whom, Do you have twelve dollars per week? Some at Healdsburg say you have. Well, thought I, What if I do have. Do I not earn it? Have I not worked as hard from morn till night even from three o’clock in the morning till nine at night, writing letters that tax and wear, and in speaking to the people whether sick or well. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1878, par. 1

Brother Cook received three dollars and half per day for working from eight o’clock in the morning till four o’clock in the afternoon. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1878, par. 2

When the settlement was made, I made the remark to Brother Cook, that when engaged in active labor in camp meetings, I had been paid ten dollars per week, and I had yet to learn that muscle was more valuable than brain labor. That carpenters who did mechanical work in California had the full value of their time, and ministerial labor involved far greater responsibility, especially those who had the burden of the cause upon them. If carpenters earned, really earned the wages they demanded, we who worked either in speaking or in the taxing work of writing should in justice have just was much, but for the cause of God we made just that weekly sacrifice as the difference amounts to in the receiving of less wages. Our wages we received for the responsible brain-wearing and soul-burdening work was ten dollars a week. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1878, par. 3

There has been in California recently a vote that we should have twelve dollars per week. We have for a few months received this, but compare this with the wages of the common carpenter and then reckon up how much we are willing to sacrifice weekly. We receive wages for our labor that we may be able to dispose of the money we have earned as His stewards where God would have us in His cause. God does not require that two or three should do all the self-sacrifice and others be left free. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1878, par. 4

Now, my good brethren, at Healdsburg, do yourselves no harm by talking of things that do not concern you in the least. When my husband became aware of the fact that he was in Healdsburg among those whom he thought would treat him as a father, but felt that he had means and stood in a position to take advantage of the circumstances in their high wages for which sufficient value was not received according to his judgment, he felt homesick and thoroughly disappointed. He felt that he was among sharpers; especially in your own case was this so. And he decided he must go where he was better known, in California. I think the more liberal he has been in his donations to the cause of God in its various branches, in California, the more tempted have his brethren become; and their whisperings and conjectures and comments have been passed, when in justice to their own souls they should have been ridding themselves of their scheming and of their wrongs and humbling their hearts before God. 3LtMs, Lt 51, 1878, par. 5