Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 43, 1877

White, W. C.; White, Mary

Healdsburg, California

December 25, 1877

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 79-81.

Dear Children:

We are in our humble house, not half as much of a house as the Walling house under the hill in Colorado. We have four rooms, all small; two bedrooms, small kitchen, and a sitting room which serves for sitting room, parlor, and dining room and sleeping room. It is not quite twelve by twelve. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 1

Our principle work as yet has been taking things up and setting them down again because we know not any place to put them. Sister Clemmens has quite a number of print bags hung up above her head on all sides of the kitchen, for she has no pantry boxes, and rude shelves in nooks and corners she puts to best use. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 2

A large box which brought one of our nice lounges from Oakland serves us for wardrobe and bookcase. All our goods we wish for use are here, piled up. All the back numbers of the Review are laid here. A great many Signs of the Times and waste paper are laid on one of the lower shelves. We were in heaps until I took part of two days to sort things over and pack them away. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 3

We have an old-fashioned fireplace. We have the great back logs, and we will use all the wood we want and not stint ourselves a bit. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 4

Father sleeps in the room by the fireplace. He gets very cheerful over his blazing fire, and he has excellent company in one we have hired to work for us. He has had quite an interesting experience which I have not time to relate. He heard Brother Van Horn in Oregon. A friend wished him to go to the “beast show,” as he called it; and when he found that it was an exhibition and explanation of the charts tracing down prophecy and showing the nearness of Christ’s second advent, he visited and conversed with Brother Van Horn and was convicted. He is a man of large general information. He is a man of considerable intelligence. He was returning from South America when in Oregon he heard present truth. He was convicted and promised Brother Van Horn he would consider these things. He urged him to go to Oakland and supply himself with reading matter. He was on his way to Washington City, [California,] where he has a wife, but in San Francisco he was robbed. He inquired the way to Washington Street, and a stranger told him he was going directly there. Then he took him into a strange road. He said to the stranger, “We are not going in the right direction.” Then the stranger gave him a blow on the side of his head, knocked him down senseless, took all his money, and escaped. When this happened he thought it was the providence of God that led him to see that he was at war with God. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 5

He then came to Oakland, obtaining reading matter, and engaged himself as cook on a boat. He had served an apprenticeship for seven years when a young man, learning how to cook. He could obtain one hundred dollars per month as cook. This situation secured, he again visited Oakland and told his plans to Edson. He said he was going to keep the Sabbath as best he could. He believed the truth. He asked Edson what he thought about the matter. He said Edson told him candidly that were it his case he should not feel that God would approve his course should he engage in the business where it would be impossible to keep the Sabbath. He said he went immediately and disengaged himself, and work was found about the office at which he could earn one dollar and half per day, and he pay his board from that. When we came to this place he offered to come with us, so here we are with this man to help us. Father enjoys his society, for he is a man with a most interesting experience. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 6

We had engaged one of the Church boys from St. Helena. He is an easy-going, good-natured, conscientious young man, but is no caretaker. He is heedless and indolent. This morning Father and I thought I had better go to San Francisco. I got up early and sent Church to harness the horse. He put in the horse which has been lame, and not used in a single buggy. I was all ready to step into the carriage as he came in saying he had harnessed the wrong horse and had a regular smashup. The horse had thrown himself, but he said the light carriage was not broken anywhere. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 7

Out he went again and harnessed the other horse, and as I was about to start he came in saying we could not go, for the reach or crosspiece under the hind springs was broken. Brother Collins took my large satchel and a small one and we started on foot. We walked one mile, up hill and down, hoping to get a carriage on the way, when the cars whistled, and we were obliged to turn back and wait another day. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 8

I was going to Oakland and from there to Vacaville, where Brother Healey is holding a discussion with Johnson—a shrewd man. Father designed to go with me and we go with our carriage, but it was so rainy and cold Father thought it would be a very hard pull, and it would take two days’ travel to reach there, perhaps, as the road would be muddy. And he was needed here, as a house and a barn are to be built, our crops put in, and everything in general to be attended to. Father is so happy riding his twenty-five-dollar pony, being interested in his little farm, and enjoying his warm, bright fire. He does not feel inclined to leave it for uncertainties of poor beds and perhaps stove heat, and he chooses to stay in his humble little home. I will go and do the best I can for the cause of God. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 9

We are seeing already the beneficial effects of this move from Oakland. Father’s mind is diverted. He eats more liberally, and it does not injure him. He sleeps like a baby from the time he retires till five or six o’clock A.M. He is cheerful. He is so pleased with his home. He tries to do what he can and is busy from morning till night about something. He spends some time in writing. His mind is very happy dwelling upon Bible subjects. I am glad for every step he advances, climbing the hill of health. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 10

My health is improving. I had become so wakeful I could not sleep. I spent entire nights sleeping not more than one or two hours, but now I am having good natural sleep. I feel very grateful to my heavenly Father for this great blessing of sleep which we both enjoy. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 11

Last Sabbath was a good day with the church at Healdsburg. Father spoke one hour. I spoke about thirty minutes. There was deep feeling in the meeting. Every one was affected. The Lord blessed me, and those who listened to the words spoken were blessed. We then had a conference meeting. Almost all bore testimony and expressed their appreciation of the discourses given. Sunday Father went into the stream, now deep and rapidly running on dry creek near the bridge by Brother Cester's, and baptized Brother Collins. It was a very precious season. He praised God for His mercy and blessings. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 12

Tomorrow I try over again what has proved a failure today. Last night we had a very heavy frost; the boards of fence and bridges were very white. Today is the prettiest day we have had for one week. It has been cloudy, rainy, and sour. But today it is clear and sunshiny, and all nature looks glad. The scenery here is splendid—high, bright green mountains with their trees of living green in fir, pines, madrona, manzanita, and live oak. The grass is now clothing the mountains with a dress of green, and nature is looking very beautiful. We have a spring of the coldest water, which is perfectly soft, close by our house. This is a great blessing. We have twenty-four hens and one cock. We buy the purest milk for eight cents per quart. We never enjoyed food as we do now. We are happy in our retired home. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 13

We do not forget you, my children. We pray for you every day, and we believe God will bless you and give you His wisdom and grace. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 14

We are among friends, and we hope to realize all we expect from this change. Already we have felt greatly benefited, and we are happy in the favor of God and in quiet rest and freedom from care. Sister Clemmens is good help to me. She does her part well. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 15

We do not hear from you very often. Will you write us? 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 16

Will you settle with Brother Hughes for stockings he has sent me and charge to me from the office. I wish you could see us just as we are now situated. But, dear children, God is good. Although we are separated from our children, we hope that although deprived of their society here we may meet in heaven where there will be no separation. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 17

Let us live for God, trust in Him, pray much to Him, and trust His love and His care every hour. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 18

In much love. Will write the children soon. 3LtMs, Lt 43, 1877, par. 19