Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 39, 1878

White, J. S.

Salem, Oregon

July 8, 1878

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 88; 5MR 182; 6MR 305.

Dear Husband:

Yesterday I spoke upon the public square in a beautiful grove of evergreens. I had taken cold on Sabbath and was very sick all night. I may have slept one or two hours in all. My throat was so filled I could scarcely speak. I was very hoarse, but rather than disappoint the people, I ventured. When I found that it was an impossibility to pursue the subject I had selected, I left it and appealed to the people as I was led. Hearts were touched and the opportunity was not wholly lost. God can turn even this apparent defeat to a great victory. But I cannot find anyone who agrees with me that it was a defeat. They say [it] was not in any wise, but far more effective in breaking down prejudice and opposition than if I had talked with force and power. 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1878, par. 1

Sabbath, the Methodist minister, Tower, had come to me soliciting me to speak to his people in their church, a very fine church similar and every way superior to that Methodist church in Battle Creek. I had labored very hard in the camp meeting and was susceptible to colds. And this cold forced me to defer speaking till next Tuesday night. I have been treated with the greatest courtesy and kindness by denominational ministers and people. That bigoted feeling we have had to contend with in the Methodist church does not exist here to any great extent. 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1878, par. 2

There were two hundred and fifty out to hear me Sunday afternoon when I spoke on the commandments. I expect a good audience Tuesday evening. I shall speak upon the words of Christ, Consider the lilies of the field. [Matthew 6:28.] 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1878, par. 3

The impression left from our camp meeting is excellent. The Methodist minister said that since the people had heard me one week ago last Sunday night in the Methodist church, they were desirous to hear me again. Salem is to Oregon what Oakland is to California. It is no second place. The people are intelligent and aspiring as in Oakland. The people consider my doing them a favor to speak in the churches. The practical lessons of Christ are to them new and intensely interesting. The sound of our camp meeting has gone abroad everywhere. The order of the grounds, the arrangements of tents, and the subject matters presented have waked up the ministers and the people. 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1878, par. 4

We intended to leave Oregon on the Oregon steamer last week, but excursionists from Oregon to San Francisco and from San Francisco to Oregon crowded in three days before she sailed. Every birth and every position on deck where people could bunk down was secured in the Oregon and opposition steamer Republican. From eight hundred to a thousand people sailed on the Republican for five dollars and back. We shall have to pay fifteen. We paid twenty-five coming up. 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1878, par. 5

I bring with me one student, a delicate but lovely girl of true, moral worth. Yesterday three letters reached me from you by Willie Cornell. Thank you for all your interest for me. Letters come to me from Oakland filled with expressions of anxiety lest I shall leave my writings and be drawn away from the Pacific coast. Loughborough says there can be no change in the appointments for camp meetings. 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1878, par. 6

Why are you thinking Elder Loughborough the man for Old England? I should say he was not the man at all that [I] would take there. He has not proper dignity in the desk, in appearance, or in address. I should select others before him. Waggoner would be a better man. But he should have not left this coast. His ability is just what is needed here. Every one liked him, and he might have done much good. Hurrying Loughborough to Old England is in my mind an oversight in judgment. He is not the man for any such place. He says he cannot leave under a year anyway. 3LtMs, Lt 39, 1878, par. 7