Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 66, 1886

Diary, July 1886

Christiania, Norway

July 2-15, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in 8MR 123-124; 3Bio 347, 349, 351-352; EGWE 199, 202, 204-205.

Second Visit to Norway

July 2, 1886

Christiania, Norway

Arrived at Christiania some after ten o’clock A.M. Found Brother Clausen and Kristine Dahl and her mother at the depot to meet us. We secured a hack and were taken at once to the rooms in a part of the old office building close by the new building. We find two rooms fitted up comfortably for us and a kitchen to cook in. We will be comfortable here a few days while the meetings last. Brother Hansen called and was very sociable. Glad to see us. Anna Rasmussen also was with us some time. Brother Clausen and wife took dinner with us. We went in to town and bought shoes, which we much needed. Sabbath drew on, and we have daylight until past nine o’clock at night. We are so thankful to make connections. I miss so much the strong arm of my husband to lean upon. He sleeps in Jesus. “Blessed sleep, from which none ever wake to weep.” 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 1

Sabbath, July 3, 1886


We are not any of us feeling as well as we could wish. I am strangely nervous. Sarah has severe headache. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 2

I spoke to the people in Christiania from 2 Peter 3:11-14. I spoke very plainly to the church upon the necessity of being diligent, to be ready for the appearing of Jesus Christ. Some strangers were in to this meeting. A Methodist minister and his wife were present. We hope the seed sown may do some good. After the discourse we had a very good social meeting, which Brother Clausen interpreted. At half-past ten o’clock we took a hack for the boat and rode on the steamer to Larvik. The berths were all taken in the staterooms. We had beds made on the seats in the ladies’ cabin. Eleven others slept in the same saloon. The seats were hard and it was a hard night for us both—Sarah and me. All the windows were closed but one, and it required all the persuasion we could give to get consent to have the privilege of this one window, but we succeeded, much of the time. The water came in once and it was closed, but opened again. It was a long night, and we were so glad to see the preparation by the red eastern sky for sunrise at two o’clock A.M. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 3

July 4, 1886

Larvik, Norway

We reached this place at five o’clock. Brother Olsen was not at the boat, for it came in one-half hour earlier than the usual time. We started with our satchels to walk up to Brother Olsen’s when he came in sight with a carriage he had ordered for us. Sarah and I rode to the hotel where a room was provided for us. After taking breakfast, we slept a large share of the forenoon. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 4

We took dinner at Brother Olsen’s and then walked in a large fine park, a grove of beech trees. It is a very fine place for the people to get out of the city into the country, for it is a woods thickly set with trees. There are buildings in this grove wherein mild, simple drinks, as soda water, are dealt out, but no beer or liquor of any kind can be sold in the place. How pleased we were to have this accommodation. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 5

I spoke in the afternoon at five o’clock from Luke 10:25-28. The hall was not crowded. I was led to a train of thought which exalted the law of God, showing that obedience was required of Adam and no less so of every one of the human family—obedience to all of God’s requirements. I presented before them what constituted true holiness. It was obedience to God, not transgression. Those who love God will cheerfully yield obedience to all His commandments, because it is the law created when the Lord made heaven and the earth. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all the work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3. This is the Lord’s own work, requiring perfect obedience. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 6

Monday, July 5, 1886

Christiania, Norway

It is a beautiful morning. It has been daylight since two o’clock A.M. We leave this place at half-past 9 o’clock. Sick on the steamer all the way. Was glad to get to our rooms again in Christiania. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 7

Was sick through the day, yet I am not discouraged. The Lord knows all about the matter. He sees the effect this cold atmosphere has upon my throat and lungs. He is able to relieve me. I have a testimony to bear to this people, and I will bear it in the name and strength of Jesus. I shall not have come this long journey to have the enemy stop my voice and close my lips. I shall speak the messages of warning. I shall be enabled to present the truth as it is in Jesus. I shall be able to exalt the standard of God’s law where it has been lowered and left to be trampled in the dust. My prayer is that the Lord will give me grace, and enable me to bear just such a testimony as shall reach the hearts, and break up this self-satisfied feeling that seems to exist, saying, “I am whole and have no need of a physician” when they are sick, spiritually sick, from the crown of the head to the soles of their feet—deceived by sin, unchristian in words, unchristian in works, and yet pleased with themselves, walking in darkness, and flattering themselves that they are in the light. Oh, what deceptions Satan can bring upon the human minds! 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 8

I cry unto the Lord to help me. Infirmities come upon me, and I no sooner obtain the victory by faith than I am again afflicted, to battle with these things that cause suffering and pain of heart. But for one thing, I thank the Lord—that when speaking before the people, however weak before going to the stand, I have no realizing sense of this weakness. I am lifted above all sense of weakness and can say, “Praise the Lord who hath strengthened me by His own power, that I might speak the truth in freedom and feel its saving power in my own heart.” I will not complain. Satan afflicts me, but Christ restores me. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 9

Tuesday, July 6, 1886


I am again afflicted, but not discouraged. The air is cold and raw. The rooms have been newly painted, and they affect my eyes and my throat. Inflammation is very severe. But I see no way for us but to endure it. Went some distance to the bathhouse for a bath. Felt some relieved. We are all poisoned with the white lead in the paint. We make some purchases in the city. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 10

We are seeking to devise means to reach this people in Christiania, but how can we reach them? How can we elevate the minds of those who profess the truth to the sacred character of the truth, that they will be truly followers of Jesus, and correctly represent the truth? We feel compelled to acknowledge that the cause of present truth has been sadly disgraced here in Christiania by the unchristian conduct of some of those who claim to believe the truth. Better, far better, had it been if they had never embraced the truth than to hold the truth in unrighteousness. The element of the character of some is to be contentious, to be unsparing with their tongue, to say very wicked things and then claim that the Lord compelled them to do it, that it was their duty to do this. But the spirit is exactly the spirit of the devil, full of bitterness, sarcastic, reproving, saying things that only wound and bruise the soul. I spend much time in prayer. I am receiving grace for every day. Oh, I experience rich blessings. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 11

July 7, 1886


Elders Olsen and Matteson came from Denmark where they had been holding meetings. They bring a good report of the meetings. The brethren seem willing to work and make advancement. They have done remarkably well, poor as they are, in keeping up their finances. We are pleased to see any tokens for good, and we will bless the Lord for His help, which He is willing to give to all who help themselves by doing what they can on their part. We must not complain, but talk faith, hope, and courage, and bring in the sunshine. Faith, that faith we all need, is a working faith. It works by love and purifies the soul. I have a message for this people. Christ had a message to bear to a world where even His own nation clamored for His death and crucified Him because His message did not exalt them in their wicked course of action. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 12

July 8, 1886


Our meetings commence in Christiania. I had quite an earnest conversation with Elder Matteson in regard to retaining members in the church who were unworthy, that the blessing of the Lord would not come into a church where there were members whose course of conduct was unchristian, their spirit fierce and overbearing, critical, and denounciating. The Saviour has told us the course we should take in dealing with these offending ones, and the Bible rule should be followed. If they do not repent and reform, then they should be separated from the church, for they greatly weaken the church. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 13

I said, I am sorry I came here, for I do not see how I can help you. There seems to be no chance for me to get hold unless I plainly show how matters in the church have been left lax and loose, and sinners have had their own way and done as they pleased, if they felt like it, which feeling was generally present. They would talk in an unchristian manner. They developed a spirit of envy, of jealousy, of hatred against their brethren, and called it the Spirit of God, and yet there was no action taken upon their cases. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 14

This spirit which has nearly leavened the church is worse than the sin of Achan, for its influence is not confined to themselves and their families, but it is a root of bitterness whereby many are being defiled. God will not bless the church unless these things are taken hold of and dealt with according to Bible rules. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 15

God said to Joshua as he was mourning over the defeat of the armies of Israel, “Get up; wherefore liest thou upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more except ye destroy the accursed from among you.” Joshua 7:10-12. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 16

The sin of Achan was not developed, but the sin was made chargeable to Israel until they had searched it out and dealt with the offender according to his sin, as God had directed. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 17

But in this case sin was known. There were those who were transgressing the express commands of God in breaking His holy commandments. They are bringing their own work into the Sabbath and continue to do this. They have talkers among them who go up and down as talebearers, blackening characters, inspiring others with their malicious tongues, accusing and condemning. And they carry these things to the door of their neighbors, and they listen to the words of the false tongue, which is bearing false witness and is guilty of slander. No one, not even the messenger of God who bears to them the truth, is spared. Their tongues are set on fire of hell and are uncontrollable. There is a time to speak and a time to forbear, but sin is to be called by its right name. I have many things to say, but you will use the things, should I speak, to oppress souls. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 18

July 9, 1886


[No entry.] 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 19

Sabbath, July 10, 1886


I spoke to the people assembled from John 5. This chapter is of special interest. This whole chapter is truth. It is an enlightening of the people who need to be reconverted before they can become righteous. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 20

July 11, 1886


Spoke at six o’clock. Luke 19:10. This whole chapter is to be a lesson for all. In the morning at 9 o’clock, went into the committee meeting and bore my testimony in plain language, which was reported, in regard to the condition of the church. I told them I did not expect that they saw their condition and my words would appear to them as idle tales. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 21

No sooner had I sat down than Brother Hansen, to whom my words applied in regard to the observance of the Sabbath, arose, and several started to their feet at the same time. He said, “These words are not regarded by me as idle tales. I believe them to be truth and mean to act upon them.” Others arose and made the same statement. These testimonies from my brethren I accept. They do me good, and I shall not regret coming to Christiania if the church will be instructed and will make a decided change throughout her borders. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 22

This bearing plain testimonies affects me much. I always dislike to give pain, but when I see evil and its tendency to weaken and destroy the church discipline where it exists, I cannot hold my peace. I have to speak and in the name of the Lord seek to repress the incoming tide of evil, that it shall not overwhelm the church and make them an offense to God. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 23

I was weak as a child after bearing the plain testimony and felt unable to write. W. C. White saw my condition and he hired a team, and I rode out for the first time in four weeks. We rode several miles in the country and were much pleased with the city grounds and forests that were open to the poor and to all who wished to go out in the country. These extensive grounds are reserved for the city that they may have places nearby to take their children. This is a blessing. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 24

We saw an old church—Catholic—in the forest of _____. It is six hundred years old. We went through it. Whoever was the designer, it seems like a relic of the Dark Ages in every sense of the word. Close by was an old log house, hundreds of years old, in which were treasured old-fashioned dishes, platters, and every kind of cooking utensil, and every odd, homely, curious article. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 25

But we saw far greater beauty in the works of God in nature—the lofty trees, the waving grain, almost ready for the sickle, the hay ready for the scythe, the sweet-scented red and white clover that perfumed the air. There are bathhouses built close by the water, one arranged for men, the other for women. Many people resort here on Sunday. We saw men, women, and children with baskets and baby carriages with the precious little ones, all hurrying to get into the country—blessed country. Precious are the forests and groves to the poor, tired, weary ones who own no land of their own. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 26

We enjoyed this ride very much. We felt peaceful and rested. I spoke in the evening to a houseful upon Luke 19:42, 43. I had much freedom. The power of the Lord was upon me as I presented to the people the blessed heavenly home that awaits the faithful. There was deep feeling in the congregation. Many wept. I know that the Lord impressed hearts. My heart was filled with praise and gratitude to God for His special blessing upon the people. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 27

Monday, July 12, 1886


We had an interview with Brother and Sister Hansen. We had a very pleasant interview. Monday evening three were disfellowshipped from the church. There was not the wisest course taken. These offending ones were cut off while a spirit of harshness and severity was manifested, rather than a spirit of sorrow and pity and love for them. This awakened in them a spirit of combativeness and retaliation, and the offended ones, in the place of having a spirit of repentance and sorrow, became defiant and accusers. They manifested a satanic spirit; and when action was taken to disconnect them from the church, a few voted in harmony with the proposition, while others did not vote at all; and some who had felt and expressed their grief at the course pursued by these men had naught to say. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 28

This led Brother Matteson to feel that none, scarcely, stood by him, and again he was unwise and resigned his position as president of the publishing association and elder of the church. Thus matters were in a bad jumble. But this also was necessary that it should develop that the church was holding together like ropes of sand; that there was no real, genuine harmony and unity with its members; that but few had any real sense of the order that should exist in the church, and they had no real sense of sacred and eternal things. The sacred was brought down upon a level with common things. The molding influence had not been of that character to elevate and lead them up, upon a high plain of action. They were very bad representatives of the truth before the world. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 29

Tuesday, July 13, 1886


W. C. White and I had a long talk with Elder Matteson. I think we were able to help his mind some on several points, and to have him see he could not now lay down his responsibilities. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 30

Wednesday, July 14, 1886

We visited Brother Hansen in his island home. At 9 o’clock we took a boat which brought us near to Brother Hansen’s in about fifteen minutes. It took us some longer than this to reach the boat. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 31

Thursday, July 15, 1886

Very busy today in packing up and preparing to leave on the morrow. I became very weary, but some company came, and I spoke in the evening to the church from Philippians 2; Psalm 15. I presented before the church the necessity of a thorough change in their characters before God could acknowledge them as His children. I urged upon them the necessity of order in the church. They must have the mind which dwelt in Jesus in order to conduct themselves aright in the church of God. I urged upon them the importance of a correct observing of the Sabbath. The people were called forward, and many good testimonies were borne. Some confessions of wrong were made, but the work was but just begun in the church. If it continues to go forward, then there will be a hearty repentance and shame and confusion of face before God for the unrighteous course that has been pursued toward the brethren and sisters. With this meeting my labors closed in Christiania. 4LtMs, Ms 66, 1886, par. 32