Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 16, 1885

Diary, July 1885


July 7-13, 1885

Portions of this manuscript are published in EGWE 25.

My Diary:

Left Healdsburg accompanied by Willie en route for Oakland. We ride in the cars to San Rafael, and there we take the boat for San Francisco, and we then, after landing, go a short distance to the ferry; step on board the large, grand ferry boat and ride about seven miles, and then at landing we enter the new building which is a consistent, grand building, walk through this waiting room, go down a long flight of stairs, and take the local train of cars which stops at different stations to let off passengers. We then step off at Market Street station and walk half a mile to the home of Willie White. The preparation for the journey across the continent is very taxing, for I am in a feeble condition of health. Have been unable to write for some months. I am now alone, as far as proper help is concerned. Sister Ings is matron of the Rural Health Retreat. Addie and May Walling are with me; and in the preparation to go East, perhaps to Europe, it seems like a terrible task. I am too weary to think, even to prepare clothing that needs to be done. If in my time of need one had been with me—think for me—it would have been a great blessing. My mind was on the strain continually, and yet [with] such a manifest inability to think. But I am now at Oakland. Shall go no farther without more strength and greater courage than I now have. 4LtMs, Ms 16, 1885, par. 1

July 8

Some have met together to help Mary White sew, but I cannot even remain in the room. My head becomes weary, and I am obliged to go to my room and lie down. Walked out in the city with Mary. I could scarcely bear my weight in returning. O this weakness is terrible. It is not only a tired mind, but my whole body is tired. I am really fearing my usefulness is at an end. I feel so utterly helpless. I want to answer important letters, but I cannot do this. I cannot write. O for strength to do these things needed to be done for the cause of God. I am so helpless, so worthless. These are days of trial and peculiar temptation. I seem to have no power to labor. I am too weak to even exercise faith. I have no power to think. Memory fails me. I cannot now find any pleasure in the pleasant things of this world. I have a good home, but it pains me to give my thoughts to my own comfort, while souls around me are perishing for the bread of life. I say again and again, “Thy gifts are good, O Lord, only as Thou revealest Thyself in them.” The labor my heavenly Father appoints is pleasant and acceptable. The Lord is not dependent upon me. I have need of the Lord every moment; and unless He gives me my work and His presence and grace with it, I am restless, dissatisfied, and complaining. Although I am left to be tempted and tried, yet I will trust in the Lord and I will wait for His salvation. Darkness and uncertainty seem to close me about as a garment, but this very darkness may be to me the means of God of communicating light. 4LtMs, Ms 16, 1885, par. 2

July 9

I have employed Sister McEnterfer to accompany me East if I go. She is giving me treatment. I passed a sleepless night and devoted much of my wakeful hours to prayer. Another of weariness is nearly gone. I cannot even listen to conversation. Have had several calls, but could not see even my friends. 4LtMs, Ms 16, 1885, par. 3

July 11

I am in great perplexity in regard to my duty. It looked so forbidding to venture to cross the plains on my way to Michigan. I have no courage—flesh and heart alike seem to fail. 4LtMs, Ms 16, 1885, par. 4

Elder Jones has been in my chamber to solicit me to speak in the church this afternoon. At first I said, “How can I?” Then the promise, “My grace is sufficient for you,” came with force to my mind. [2 Corinthians 12:9.] I said, “I will try to speak.” I was taken in a carriage to the church. As I moved out by faith, the Lord helped me. My mind was clear, and tongue and utterance were given me. The peace and blessing from God rested upon me and upon the congregation. This help given me in my time of need was just what I needed. I decided then that I could cross the plains once more, making twenty-four times that I had gone back and forth on this long journey from East to West and West to East. 4LtMs, Ms 16, 1885, par. 5

July 12

I am still weak, but hopeful, and my faith is growing stronger. 4LtMs, Ms 16, 1885, par. 6


We left Healdsburg July 6. I had been suffering with great feebleness. The proposed journey across the plains and the voyage upon the broad waters to the old country were, to me, a matter of dread, but it was the will of the General Conference for me to visit Europe. I was suffering mental weariness and physical debility. I so longed for some one upon whom I could rely in my want of strength—one whom I knew had a firm hold from above, whose firm courage and faith would stimulate me; for it seemed that my courage was gone, and I longed for human help whose faith grasped firmly the arm of Omnipotent power, for I was too weak to even exercise faith. In this condition I left Healdsburg for Oakland. I was requested to speak to the people upon the Sabbath, but it seemed impossible. But these words came to me with power, “My grace is sufficient for you.” [Verse 9.] “Lo, I am with you always.” [Matthew 28:20.] “Go forward in My strength.” I answered, “Yes, I will speak to the people, for God will help me.” I then saw how useless it was for me to lean upon human support in my weakness; for unless they had a firm hold of God by living faith, unless they had a daily experience in confidence and faith in God, when I would need help, they would prove a hindrance. I felt then it was my privilege in my great weakness to lean heavily on the arm of Infinite power. Whatever my perplexity, here was a counsellor; whatever my loneliness, here was a friend that had promised, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” [Hebrews 13:5.] In the comfort and strength of this assurance, I was enabled to speak to the people with clearness. My own soul was greatly strengthened. I was happy. I learned my lesson in humble faith, in simple trust, that I can never find in human help so wise, so tender, so faithful a guide as Jesus. I then said, “I will trust the Holy One of Israel in the darkest hours and place myself under His guidance in thought, in word, and in deed.” 4LtMs, Ms 16, 1885, par. 7

I think I learned my lesson in this emergency that will ever be of great value to me. I pressed closer to the side of my Redeemer and said, “In Thee will I trust.” I have never yet been placed in a position where my leader Jesus Christ has not made provision for me. The lamp of life has always trimmed the lamp of life that lit it. 4LtMs, Ms 16, 1885, par. 8

July 13

We stepped on board the cars en route for Michigan. How earnestly had I prayed that God would make my path so plain that in taking this long, dreaded journey I should know it was His will—the path He indicated for me to travel. But I could say in truth, “God hangs a mist o’er my eyes.” But when I had taken my seat in the cars, moving not by sight but by faith, then came the peace which I have experienced so often in the fulfilment of my duty. I felt the sweet blessing of perfect trust. I could say from the heart, “I hang my helpless soul on Thee. I have accepted the invitation, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’” [Matthew 11:28.] I was in a large degree experiencing that rest. I find there are daily lessons to learn in this holy warfare, or we shall be continually like a reed in the wind. With the grace of God in the soul, we may be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. 4LtMs, Ms 16, 1885, par. 9