Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 57, 1884


Worcester, Massachusetts

September 1, 1884

Portions of this letter are published in 3SM 112-113.

Dear Children:

I have just read the manuscript of the last three chapters. I cannot see but that it is all right and of the most intense and thrilling interest. I am glad you have these pages, and I want the book, the very first one, from the press, sent [to] me. 4LtMs, Lt 57, 1884, par. 1

Today is the last day of the meeting. Our meeting has been a success. We feel thankful for the tokens of good. Last Sabbath was an impressive, solemn time. I spoke upon some of the very scenes described in these last chapters, and there was deep feeling in the meeting when I called them forward. Two hundred responded, and then we had the most interesting meeting that we have had during the entire meeting. There were deep, earnest testimonies borne. The Spirit of the Lord was truly in the meeting. 4LtMs, Lt 57, 1884, par. 2

I was wonderfully surprised in looking over the congregation to see seated in their midst Byron Belden and his wife, and when I called them forward, they both came forward. I took them into my tent and they have been interested in the meetings. Byron I found to be a boy whose turn of mind is very much like Willie’s. He carries a wonderful gravity about him, and when anything is mentioned upon the truth and his taking a part in it, his eyes fill with tears. 4LtMs, Lt 57, 1884, par. 3

He says ever since last winter he has been searching for himself. He has had free access to the Catholic priest’s library and he has read the history of Catholicism. Then he read Bower’s History of the Popes, read all our works he could get, Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation and History of the Sabbath. He has searched everything he can got hold of, and he said he could no longer live a life of indifference to religion, unheeding the claims of God. I asked him what he was going to do. He said, “Keep the Sabbath.” “What if you lose your place?” “Then so it must be. My soul, the salvation of my soul is of more value than money.” 4LtMs, Lt 57, 1884, par. 4

He wants to come to California and break up the association of his wife with the Catholic associations. She is a very excellent woman and I believe will yet come out of darkness to the light. She thinks Byron is about perfection, so he has a strong influence over her. They both left this morn, very thankful that they came. He is really in earnest. 4LtMs, Lt 57, 1884, par. 5

In the meeting of ministers and principal men: 4LtMs, Lt 57, 1884, par. 6

We are now earnestly at work in a meeting with the general men in New York, to raise means to lift themselves out of debt. There is a debt on their meetinghouse in Rome. They have paid the lowest figure to their ministers. The ones engaged in the work of the General Conference have twelve dollars per week; the other ministers, the highest is eight dollars per week; others six; others five; some four; some have been canvassing who have three, two dollars, and some one dollar and a half. 4LtMs, Lt 57, 1884, par. 7

I have just been talking with them in regard to giving their workers so little. It belittles the work, degrades the work to men’s low ideas and estimate. The Lord is displeased that His work should be placed on so low a level. Men working on the farms in their business have wages that will be compensation for their work, but in the cause and work of God men are showing which is valued the highest. The worldly, the temporal, is exalted far above the high, the solemn, the immortal interest. I have talked earnestly, decidedly on this point and it has done some good. 4LtMs, Lt 57, 1884, par. 8

I think, by the remarks made, Brother [S. N.] Haskell is drawing upon them, but no one dares to offer a pledge stating what he will do. This conference is about four thousand behind, taking meetinghouse, tent and the funds required to pay the ministers their low wages. I told them this state was carrying the heaviest amount of financial ability entrusted to them of God and their workman were, some of them, robbed of their real due. The workman is worthy of his hire, even in the cause of God. I told them that they were not dealing with equity and would have that class of workers according to their limited ideas and small compass of their thoughts and faith revealed by their works. 4LtMs, Lt 57, 1884, par. 9

God will honor those who honor Him by respecting and honoring His cause. None dare to venture any pledge for money. Another meeting is to be held. Ten thousand dollars are called for. It will come. Harmon Lindsay and Charles Lindsay are before us. They will do something, perhaps one thousand each. We have another meeting to this point. 4LtMs, Lt 57, 1884, par. 10

Elder [Uriah] Smith seems hearty, whole-hearted, urgent to have me attend General Conference. I proposed to go directly from Kansas to California, but Brother Smith said they never would consent to have me go home before attending the conference. He seems so different from what he did. He is, I know, a changed man, and I am so glad that Satan did not succeed in tearing him from us. The Lord will work for us if we will place ourselves in the right relation to God. Well, this is the last I shall put in this letter. 4LtMs, Lt 57, 1884, par. 11