Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 14, 1876

White, J. S.

Oakland, California

April 25, 1876

Portions of this letter are published in 3SM 107; 7MR 283-284.

Dear Husband:

Last night I received [a] long letter from Elder Canright urging my attending the camp meetings; also a letter from Brother Rogers of Missouri; also one from Brother Colcord. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 1

But this is no more than I might expect. They urge me strongly but I dare not move on their light or obey their call. My work is here at present. I see no light anywhere else and I desire very earnestly to follow the light. If I thought it were my duty to go to these meetings, I would go if my book was never completed, but I feel that now is my time. God has provided me just the help I have longed for so much and prayed for so earnestly. Already Mary has been here five months and the time has gone without accomplishing very much on my work. We are now making excellent time and preparing matter as fast as possible. My mind is on this work and I do not want it withdrawn. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 2

Should I follow my own pleasure or inclination, I should certainly attend the camp meetings. I love the labor connected with the camp meetings much better than I love writing. I enjoy traveling, but I feel that now is my time and opportunity to get out this long-neglected work. I desire the prayers of all my brethren that God would help me in the work rather than urgent appeals to attend camp meetings. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 3

When Lucinda left, the matter was all considered, that it was best for me to remain. I see no reason to change the decision. Nothing now has occurred to alter my plans. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 4

It is well understood I cannot attend all the camp meetings, and I will hasten my work as diligently as possible. And if I can feel that the Lord directs my course east to attend the Michigan and New England camp meetings and late western ones, I will do so. This is the best I can do as I now view matters. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 5

All is quiet here. Nothing to draw me from my work. My mind is not perplexed with harassing matters of the church or of any kind of difficulties. I am as free from every outside care as I can possibly be anywhere. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 6

In regard to the new house, I leave that with you. I do not want my mind diverted with buying and selecting furniture or in fitting up the house. I think it would be well to rent it if this meets your mind. If good tenants can be obtained, we can get sixty dollars per month, which is better than having the house furnished, and if we attend the eastern camp meetings leave the house but half occupied, furniture to become defaced, carpets worn and we perhaps spend the winter east, as your calculations look that way. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 7

In purchasing a house and getting horse, carriage, etc., we certainly should have some income from the house and while you are so happy east I shall never ask you to cross the plains again. If you say stay east, thus it shall be, but I think it would be not wise to furnish a house here with expensive furniture to lie idle and to stand unused by us through a dusty California summer and receive nothing on the interest on your money invested. You are not here to furnish your own house, therefore this is an objection. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 8

Mary and Willie have plenty of room here. All is settled. To pull up and arrange the carpets and furniture in the new house would take time that none of us have. And again you say you do not want anything of the furniture in the new house [that] you have in this. So you see perplexities would occur in selecting and fitting up [a] house. If we can get a good tenant would it not be best to rent for sixty dollars? I await your answer before making any move. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 9

Received letter from Sister Chapman urging me to come and Mary, and visit them and speak next Sabbath. I have not given them any encouragement I should go. Cassidy is disfellowshipped. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 10

In regard to pictures, I had not disposed of any. I laid out one set for each [of] the names you mentioned. Willie, unbeknown to me, got one dozen each for himself. Had he not done this, we could have more of yours. The new picture, I do not like; what do you think of it? 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 11

You speak of matters of interest in Oakland about the time of your leaving. I know but little of this except in Edson’s case. Elders Waggoner and Loughborough and others attended meetings. I was sick and could not attend any meetings. Waggoner said he wrote you the doings of things. I cannot have much news to write, for I go nowhere and see no one. Except [for] the boat ride, I have been very much at home. Only called on two or three of the sisters after writing all day. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 12

I cannot merely portion my writing to one-half the day, as some of the time my head troubles me and then I have to rest, lie down, stop thinking, and take my time for writing when I can do so comfortably. I cannot rush business. This work must be done carefully, slowly and accurately. The subjects we have prepared are well gotten up. They please me. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 13

I am getting over my nervousness, and I sleep quite well every night except after speaking. I then feel so intensely myself, [that] rest and sleep are out of the question. My subjects are to me of living reality and I make the people feel them. Last Sabbath many felt. Frank Dewitt is a poor, miserable rascal. His soul was seized with such terror he made to Sister Willis some humiliating confessions after my discourse Sabbath. But he is too rough a stick to expect to make anything of. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 14

In haste. 3LtMs, Lt 14, 1876, par. 15