Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 8, 1883

White, W. C.

Oakland, California

January 4, 1883

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 209.

Dear son Willie:

I received the few lines you have written and do not blame you for not writing more fully for I know how much care and perplexity you must have and how many burdens you must have to bear. I have prayed most earnestly, and in faith, for you both, Elder Waggoner and yourself, that God would give you grace and His Holy Spirit to attend you in all your councils and to sustain you in all your labors. I have had faith as I have prayed. The assurance has been given me that the Lord would especially help you both and make your efforts successful. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 1

I try not to be too anxious, and I feel more and greater confidence as I seek to quiet my spirit in the Lord and rest you, my dear son, and Elder Waggoner, my fellow-laborer, in the hands of God. Very much depends upon you—the impression you make, the influence you exert. Keep your hold firmly upon God. I expect Him to help you. Believe He does help you and then, if you do not see all accomplished that you desire, trust, firmly trust, in God and wait patiently for Him to work. He alone is able to make you sufficient in Him. He will not leave His people. He will manifest Himself unto them as a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 2

I have been here a little more than one week. We had a most solemn meeting in Healdsburg, one week ago last Sabbath. I felt a great burden for the people, but they did not feel the burden they should for themselves. They seemed too indifferent. Last Sabbath I spent in Oakland. I had great freedom in speaking to the people. We had a good social meeting. Sunday we had a snow storm. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 3

Monday morning I visited Elder Israel’s family. Jessie was very sick with malaria fever similar to the sickness I had. The features of the case seemed the same in both of us. They feared quick consumption. We had a most solemn season of prayer. The Lord heard and answered prayer. She has been improving every day since. I am confident she will not die but live. Her father is kept at home because of this severe sickness. He thinks now he will take her to St. Helena in a few days; then he will be able to go again at his work. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 4

We have been wonderfully perplexed over the boarding house. It is conducted much after the style of worldly boarding houses. We know not what to do. We have thought and thought what could be done. The influence is not what a boarding house should have. I do not think that Brother Hagar is a health reformer. I think he loves rich food and therefore thinks that the girls are doing well when they are very wasteful. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 5

Sister Dyke has left. I have sent for Sister Ings to come to Oakland. We will both go in there. I will be at the prayers in the morning and night. I will sit at the table and sustain Sister Ings while she teaches the girls to cook hygienically. She consents to this but declares she will not stay one day after I leave. Now you see how matters stand. We have a meeting this evening to talk with the responsible ones in the office and boarding house to consider what shall be done. We feel that matters must change for the better, and they shall. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 6

I have commenced writing again on Volume Four. My eyes will not bear much strain. Talk with the doctor about them. The corner of the left eye near the nose has troubled me for one year. Inflammation starts here, and there is pain like needles pricking in the back of the eye ball. I wish to know what this means, and what shall I do to preserve my sight? I have had much pain in the temples and through the eyes. Since coming to Oakland I have slept excellently and my appetite is good. I am feeling quite well for me, with the exception of my eyes. They seem to grow no worse. I am very careful of them. I pray much for the dear Saviour to touch my eyes and make them whole, and I believe He will hear my prayer. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 7

Monday night we had an excellent meeting. The German Baptists had two Christmas trees nicely prepared for Christmas. They gave them to the Adventists, so without much expense the preparation was made for the offerings to the Lord to be placed upon the tree. The exercises were good and appropriate. I spoke about one-half hour. The children listened with interest. The fruit when gathered netted the neat sum of $172 for the Oakland church. All passed off very pleasantly; nothing objectionable in the whole matter. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 8

Next Sabbath I have an appointment in San Francisco. They have urged my attendance so much. I finally decided to go for I believe they need my testimony. Brother Ings goes to Santa Rosa, Brother Israel to San Francisco. Some way much against my choice, I feel like staying here a while. May the Lord give me wisdom and grace and clothe me with His salvation. How weak we are if left to our own wisdom and strength. I feel the need of constantly looking to Jesus, my strong Helper. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 9

Friday morning

Last night we had several come together for counsel—Brethren Israel, Jones, Waggoner, Glenn, Ings, and Hagar. We had some very plain, direct conversations in respect to running the boarding house. We all talked kindly, raising no feelings, but I said some very plain things. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 10

Brother Hagar stated in the morning, as I was riding to town with him, that he had managed seventy-five in a boarding house. He had the entire charge. He thought if there were less directors there would be less confusion, but there would be a running to Willie and to Brother Jones in regard to little things that ought not to be mentioned, that only one should direct. I said, “Yes, but we want the most thorough evidence that this director is right in all respects. We want to know that he does not need to be directed. No one can be invested with supreme dictation in the boarding house unless he has an experience in managing a house after the standard of our faith. This, Brother Hagar, you have never had. The moral tone of the house must be elevated.” He remarked [that] he had a standing order over in the city to take a house of forty rooms. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 11

He is about to marry Sister Bush from Oregon. He spoke as though she would be able to be head. I told him No. She was no doubt a good woman but did not possess qualifications for such a position, and he would learn that this was the case. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 12

In the evening we told him that a house that received a little better than two dollars per week for board could not set a table very nearly like that for which outsiders paid four and five dollars per week. He stated that some of the boarders had petitioned for coffee. Said they would furnish the coffee if the cook would make it. He told them it was contrary to their principles and that they could not place coffee upon the table, or tea. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 13

We then consented after much talk to have Sister Ings and myself take the room Brother Bunch has left (to attend Healdsburg College). We would sleep and eat and attend worship in the house for a few weeks only. Sister Dyke has left. She called a meeting and then complained of the girls. The girls acknowledged their wrong and yet implied she had not done right. No blame was put on Sister Dyke, but next day she left without saying a word to any one. No one has gone after her. She will never be invited back. [Word illegible here] two young girls to have charge would soon lower the dignity of the house. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 14

Sister Ings came from Healdsburg yesterday. I attend meeting in San Francisco tomorrow. Next Sabbath, attend meeting at Healdsburg to return here again at our post. This morning I visited the girls. Had a good, motherly talk with them. They accepted what I said. I told them Sister Ings would be placed in charge Sunday, that as their cooking had been of that kind appropriate for worldly boarding houses, they should have an education in cooking in accordance with our faith upon health reform principles. They expressed themselves as anxious to learn. We will see. We know these girls are young and subject to temptations and are impulsive. Therefore we want to have patience with them. One is only seventeen, the other is twenty. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 15

Now, Willie, if you can, find a matron for this institution. Perhaps Brother and Sister Lockwood would come, but I only suggest this to you. Find, if you can, not only [a] matron, but two or three good girls. Sister Ings brought over some girls, I think, from England. Cannot you find reliable ones to come on and take positions we need filled here in the cooking department and to fill the place as matron? I think our help must be transported. When we shall leave the boarding house, there should be someone educated to remain and cook and work acceptably. We are praying the Lord to direct. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 16

Well, I must close this long epistle. I shall write more soon. I will say, however, that I will send you a list of things to bring from the East before you shall come. Marian [Davis] and I are writing in the office. I occupy your room. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 17

Love to all, 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1883, par. 18