Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 45a, 1880

White, Willie; White, Mary

Battle Creek, Michigan

October 30, 1880

Previously unpublished.

Dear Willie and Mary:

We wait anxiously for some response to our letters. Not one word comes to us from you. Will you write me plainly? Do you want Sister [Lucinda] Hall to come back? Do you want Lillie and Corrinth [?] to come back? Let me know particulars. I read a letter you had written to Mary Chinnock expressing a great need of more help. I expect Lucinda will come back if you express your desire for her to do so. Mary Chinnock is not just the help you want. She is nervous, fretful, and overbearing sometimes. She would not take there, I think. We will try to think of someone who could go. I think Netty [?] would be excellent help if you could get her to go back. We might find someone to go with her. You want only first-class help. 3LtMs, Lt 45a, 1880, par. 1

We think of you there, tugging under the burdens, and we fell distressed over the matter. Will Elder Waggoner’s absence be much missed? We can send [J. O.] Corliss right along if thought best, but if not let us know. What made Waggoner leave so suddenly? Will you ever want Lillie again in the office? 3LtMs, Lt 45a, 1880, par. 2

Father is seeming well. He has dropped all responsibilities except president of the Publishing Association. He feels rather bad that you do not write him and let him know any of your plans. I think it would be well to ask his advice and counsel and manifest more freedom towards him, and more confidence. I think it would do him good. I want that there should be harmony between you. 3LtMs, Lt 45a, 1880, par. 3

I was sorry to see Elder [S. N.] Haskell take some positions in reference to the ministers. I know he is in danger of running everything into the tract and missionary work to the detriment of other interests. Elder [B. L.] Whitney and Elder Haskell have made mistakes in getting a large supply of books, expensive books not on our faith, and offering them for publication and enlisting ministers to sell these books and the profits be put into the tract and missionary work. This is wrong. In the first place only ministers want such books, and when the money is expended by our brethren for such books they have less to expend on our own publications. Again, the introduction of expensive Bibles is just as much a piece of extravagance as getting a gold watch when silver would answer every purpose. Poor ministers will pay out large sums for Bibles and have to be helped in order to get along and support their families. These things hurt Elder Haskell. He goes too far in these matters and makes sad mistakes in some of these outlays of means. I expressed myself quite freely on these matters. 3LtMs, Lt 45a, 1880, par. 4

Elder Whitney and Elder Haskell have instituted an arrangement to have the ministers sell our publications and give all the profits to tract and missionary society. This is wrong. I told them so, decidedly. Ministers have nothing to encourage them. They have limited wages and then pay their tithes and then the additional one-third. Elder Haines has left our ranks; Elder [D. M.] Canright has left us, although he had wages enough, but he sees when things are coming. I am writing to Elder Haskell and stating these things to him. 3LtMs, Lt 45a, 1880, par. 5

Father has pursued such a course that Elder Haskell does not consult him now about anything. Keeps everything shut up to himself. But I shall take my position on these things. I do not express myself to Father. The ministry is belittled. I told them in conference meeting I had yet to learn that brain was of less value than muscle. This crowding down the wages of ministers is all wrong. Young men have no courage to enter the field or to do anything. Every door seems closed against them, while everything seems absorbed in the missionary labor. Things must change. I see the need of Father’s head and Father’s penetration as he used to be. I think Father feels very glad to drop all responsibility as he has done. 3LtMs, Lt 45a, 1880, par. 6

I am now at work getting letters to my children in shape for publication. I find a mine of rich matter that I did not expect to find. Will you search the contents of that little trunk and see if there are letters there? I cannot find the History of Paul’s Life. Marian Davis says it was taken to California. I have not see it there. Where has it gone? What could [have] become of it? 3LtMs, Lt 45a, 1880, par. 7

I think after we came to the death of Moses, at the beginning of the year 1880, we will put through volume four before it goes into a book, so that there can be a change. What think you of this plan? Then when we have more time, continue Old Testament subjects again after Volume Four has run through. Let us know in regard to this matter at once. Do not delay. 3LtMs, Lt 45a, 1880, par. 8

We have been surprised enough that no word comes to us in regard to the Healdsburg property. What does this delay mean? Sell the place at Healdsburg if you can. 3LtMs, Lt 45a, 1880, par. 9

We feel, deeply feel, for you on the Pacific Coast. But we think greater perils are existing here. There was not a dollar made last year in the Sanitarium except that made outside of it. I will write no more at present. Answer my letters; for pity’s sake say something. 3LtMs, Lt 45a, 1880, par. 10