Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 9, 1884

Visit to Multnomah Falls

East Portland, Oregon

June 20, 1884

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 180; 3Bio 252-253.

Yesterday at ten o’clock we reached this place—East Portland, Oregon. On our way from Walla Walla Tuesday morning the cars stopped, as they generally do, twenty minutes at Multnomah Falls. Nearly all left the cars to climb the high ascent to obtain a clear view of this wondrously beautiful, grand sight. Sister Ings and Willie [White] accompanied me. Elder Waggoner, Raymond, Elder Jones and wife were all climbing the steep ascent. There were steps built in the embankments, than a narrow zigzag path, then more wooden steps. This was repeated many times until we reached and passed on to a rustic bridge which spanned a chasm above the first fall. The grand fall is above this and called the Bridal Veil. The point from which the water flows is about 900 feet high. As the water descends it breaks upon the jutting rocks, scattering off in widespread, beautiful sprays. It is a lovely sight. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1884, par. 1

I would have been pleased could I have spent an entire day in this place, surrounded with lovely scenery. But we were grateful for these few moments to gaze upon nature’s lovely, grand scenery, even if we had to do severe climbing to view it—standing on the bridge made for this purpose. The waters—rolling from the very top of the high, inaccessible mountain, dashing upon the rocks below, throwing the water like a veil widespread on either side and below us—this water, accumulating from the flow above and dashing over the rocks in a broader stream, presented an enchanting scene of nature. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1884, par. 2

We looked above, then beneath, and were led to exclaim, “How wonderful are all Thy works, Lord God Almighty!” Surely this is the work of the great Master Artist. We feel our littleness, our nothingness, in the presence of such manifestations of the great God. I called to mind the words of the psalmist when he calls upon everything that hath breath to praise the Lord, upon animate and inanimate creation to join in one chorus of praise and thanksgiving to God. [Psalm 150:6; 148.] His thus calling upon senseless, unreasoning things is the most powerful rebuke to those blessed with intelligence, if their souls do not glow and their lips do not proclaim the majesty and glory of God. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1884, par. 3

“Praise ye him sun and moon; praise him, all ye stars of light ... Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word.” Psalm 148:3-8. All these agencies of God in nature are summoned to bring their tribute of praise to the Most High. And who among God’s creatures will be silent when every star as it traverses its course, every breeze as it sweeps the earth, and every cloud that darkens the firmament, every shower of rain and every ray of sunshine—all are showing forth the praises of God who reigneth in the heavens? 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1884, par. 4

[Later:] We reached Portland Thursday noon. The cars stopped at the East Portland depot just beneath the hill where our camp ground was located. There we could look up and see the waving flag, “What is truth?” and the white tents, presenting a very nice appearance. But I had worked far beyond my strength and was taken with malaria and was confined to my bed in camp nearly four days, very, very sick. The prospect of my laboring looked very dark; nevertheless, I was not discouraged. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1884, par. 5

At 5 o’clock p.m. I was helped to the stand and with great weakness spoke half an hour. The Lord blessed me. The next day I spoke one hour and a half to a large Sunday audience. I gathered strength every day. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1884, par. 6