Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 15, 1878

White, W. C.; White, Mary

Oakland, California

March 10, 1878

Previously unpublished.

Dear children, Willie and Mary:

Yesterday was an important day for this office. Almost everything seemed to be in a dissipated condition. We called all the hands together who profess present truth, and we talked to them all seriously in regard to the condition of things. Father talked well, and after all was said, we bowed in prayer, and Father prayed earnestly and with tears. It was a profitable time. Brother Glenn is an excellent man, but he sees no necessity of counseling, and he makes wrong moves in employing worthless help and in not having courage to dismiss them after they are employed. 3LtMs, Lt 15, 1878, par. 1

We told them yesterday that the office in Oakland should be conducted after the same plan as the office in Battle Creek. One man should not be entrusted with the supervision of the entire office without consulting and counseling those who have as large an interest and as much experience as himself. One man is not competent to bear the whole burden. Such godless works as have been carried on in this office are perfectly shameful. 3LtMs, Lt 15, 1878, par. 2

When Lizzie Ward made that visit to Sonoma County, it was the turning point in her experience. From that time she has manifested no interest in the truth, but has been going further and further away. She and Bell Pratt go hand in hand, uniting in laughing, jeering, joking and talking nonsense, waltzing, dancing, and general hilarity and glee in the folding room, and not one who dares lift his voice against such a course. In the job room are infidels and mockers of God and religion. 3LtMs, Lt 15, 1878, par. 3

Frank Belden is employed in the office. I am trying to help him, poor boy, motherless, and he might as well be fatherless, and no one has reached out a hand in earnest interest to stay his steps from perdition. I have not known what to say or do in his case. 3LtMs, Lt 15, 1878, par. 4

I had dreams in reference to the office. I was conducted from room to room and shown the existing evils in these rooms; and the young man I have so many times seen in my dreams pointed out the deficiencies in the several rooms, saying, There is a leak here and a leak there, a neglect of duty here and a neglect of duty there. The irreligious element is gaining the supremacy and is slowly leavening the lump. There must be a purging out of this element, and God must take the control or general dissipation will prevail. God is dishonored and His Spirit grieved by the reckless, frivolous course of those who work in the office. 3LtMs, Lt 15, 1878, par. 5

But I will not try to tell you all. Our meeting was excellent. Brother Glenn expressed relief and Lucinda was greatly relieved. There will be prayers in the office in the folding room, Sunday mornings, as in Battle Creek. 3LtMs, Lt 15, 1878, par. 6

I then had a long talk with Frank alone. I pled with him as a mother would plead for her son for hours with tears and entreaties. He finally promised me he would break no more Sabbaths. This is a precious point gained. He wants to be a Christian, but says it is no use to make an effort. He can’t be a Christian. He seemed to be in a hopeless, feelingless state. He says so, but we know he has feelings, and we hope he will break loose from the bands of Satan and free himself from his stronghold and once more turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart. 3LtMs, Lt 15, 1878, par. 7

By earnest request of our people I spoke last Sunday night upon the subject of temperance. The church was crowded, the gallery filled. Chairs were seated in the aisle, and the seats were all filled. Dr. Dio Lewis was one of my hearers. I invited him to address the people after I closed, which he did. He made good remarks and then circulated the pledge. Mr. Emmerson, an influential citizen of Oakland, here took the pledge and came forward when invited and addressed the audience. He is an able man, and he spoke to the point and was cheered roundly. Dio Lewis commended the lecture I had given in high terms; I had freedom in speaking. 3LtMs, Lt 15, 1878, par. 8

Father left for Healdsburg yesterday. Brother Griffith, our builder, and myself go tomorrow. Our rains, we hope, are done. We have had three days pleasant weather; and as soon as the lumber can be brought upon the ground, we will commence building. The rains have prevented us till now. We shall not cross the plains this summer. If Sister Ings had come with me, as I am sure now she should, I could have done much labor with pen and voice and could have attended the eastern camp meeting, but Father will not be able. His head is clear, but his nervous system is seriously affected. I have thought best to get my book published in Battle Creek. There are not those whom I dare trust here, except Mary Clough, for the makeup of this book. 3LtMs, Lt 15, 1878, par. 9

The draft came all right, and we want still another at once before we can settle our indebtedness at the bank and at this office. 3LtMs, Lt 15, 1878, par. 10

We received no letter from you at Battle Creek. What does it mean? Why don’t you write, Willie, if only a line. Are you sick? 3LtMs, Lt 15, 1878, par. 11

Mother.

Edson has been sick several days. He has overworked, poor boy. 3LtMs, Lt 15, 1878, par. 12