Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 76, 1888

Lockwood, Brother and Sister; Davis, Marian; Bolton, Fannie; Walling, May

Reno, Nevada

May 24, 1888

Portions of this letter are published in DG 175-179.

Dear Brother and Sister Lockwood, Marian, Fannie, and May Walling:

We arrived here in good condition this morning a little before seven o’clock. We find it would have been exactly as well for us if we had waited one day longer. There are preparations going on for our tent. A board floor is laid, and they are looking for a carpet for the floor. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 1

The sister that worked for Sister Leininger has decided to come to my house or go to St. Helena. She is disappointed in her visit and wants to return, so I think she had better come. I can give her twelve dollars per month now, and when I shall return, or when there are more responsibilities and more work to do, then I will increase her wages. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 2

When we found out I could not have her, I altered my plans materially, and that leaves but a small family at St. Helena and a small [one] at Healdsburg which May could manage; but if May should have a place to work and learn a trade, she needs clothing made for her. She has the material, and I want her dresses made respectably. The black dress I brought from Europe is to be finished and others are to be made, and if Fannie has not employed a seamstress, let this girl do the sewing. If she cannot cut, let another seamstress cut; but tell them it is my positive orders that sleeves and waist be made loose and not so tight that there will be compression anywhere. Every muscle must be left free to do its work without having to strain the cloth to use the arms freely. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 3

This pinching is the fashion, but none of it must be done in my house, for I have some regard for the health of my workers. Give the lungs ample room to exercise, the heart ample room to do its work without one particle of pinching. The standard of fashion I do not respect and will not have these new inventions practiced. I want to stand out clear and free from everything that will be the least detrimental to breathing or to perfect freedom of action. Let this sister have the sewing from Fannie to do. If she cannot cut and fit, she can work with one who does cut and fit. And I am decided that these close, skin-tight sleeves cannot be wise or healthful, and whether it be fashionable or unfashionable, I advise that they be not made after the tight order. Read this to the ones who do my sewing. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 4

I would be pleased to have May’s clothing prepared, that she may go anywhere that it shall be necessary to learn a trade or go to St. Helena in time. I want her to be fitted with good clothing. She needs a good sack of some kind made. There is that sack cloth in the trunk—beaver. May can have a cloak from that. Again, I give positive orders that it shall be made roomy and not so tight that she cannot get it on or off without tugging and pulling. Now, if this girl at Brother Leininger’s can sew, May can do the work and get her sewing done. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 5

If the Fairman’s cow comes from Brother Ross, then have the girl milk, if she has done milking. May knows how Sister Leininger has managed in feeding cows and calves. Let May take the care of the calves. She may need help in some of these things, but if she does her work systematically and considers in the morning and jot down upon paper just what she intends to do in the orderly accomplishment of her work, she will not lose time but can take up one thing after another. The dishes are not to be left, to do any other part of the work. Attend to the kitchen work first. Then the beds have had a chance to air and may be made up. Of course, the milking and the feeding of calves must be done early in the morning at a specified time, and at noon, as regularly as possible. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 6

It is a very bad habit to let the work drag and drive one. Drive the work, and then you will not become discouraged. It is a bad plan to give way to impulse. If you see a book you would like to read and sit down in the midst of your work and read during the precious hours of the day when there is work that needs to be done, then the work is neglected. Make it [a] habit not to sit up after nine o’clock. Every light should be extinguished. This turning night into day is a wretched, health-destroying habit, and this reading much by brain workers, up to the sleeping hours, is very injurious to health. It calls the blood to the brain and then there is restlessness and wakefulness, and the precious sleep, that should rest the body, does not come when desired. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 7

It is needful to take care of the body and to study its needs and preserve it from unnecessary exposure. It is a sin to be ignorant of how to care for the wants of this habitation God has given us. Especially should brain workers begin to be soothed and not in any way excited as they draw nigh their hours for sleep. Let the blood be attracted from the brain by some kind of exercise, if need be. Let not the brain be taxed even to read, and, of course, not to put forth literary effort. You shall, Marian and Fannie, have one or two hours, as well best please you, in the daytime, and you will not feel so starved for intellectual food that you will partake of it in the night hours. God designed that the night shall be given to sleep. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 8

Well, enough upon this point, I am sure. If we are not aroused to obey the laws God has established in our being, we need not expect that the Lord will work a miracle to counteract our own wrong course of action. We must put reason to work and do our utmost to learn what we must do, not to form habits to pursue a certain course because we are inclined to do this, but to break up every habit that is the least injurious to health, for this God requires of us. Then we may ask God in faith to help and He will do it. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 9

Especially do I feel concerned for Fannie. I want her to recover from this nervousness and wakefulness, and in order to do this she must take time to rest the brain that the nerves may not be completely out of tune like our old organ. When Fannie takes herself in hand, then she will see ways that she can improve her health. I feel so sorry for Fannie. She has a good frame, large bones, and should have good, sound nerves and muscles; and the reason she has not is because she has abused her brain and nerve power by overtaxation, keeping herself upon a strain, keyed up, when reason should take the reins and hold her in obedience to the laws of God which control the human system. I wish Fannie could hear the lectures given now upon health at the [Rural Health] Retreat. She needs her mind and conscience stirred up on these things, and needs to use every power God has bestowed upon her to get well, that she may use these powers as God’s entrusted gifts, that she may have healthful powers to exercise in all her work. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 10

Fannie, you need some physical exercise indoors and out each day. If you get tired, it will relieve the brain. What this exercise shall be, I leave you to determine. You can plan it yourself. Use your tact and powers of brain to devise what you will do daily in the line of physical exercise. And I want you to get waked up to this matter. Do not be a creature of impulse, but just bring yourself to regular rules and order. Take yourself in hand, bring yourself to time, and when the Lord sees you are doing what you can for yourself to keep in health, He will do on His part that which you cannot do. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 11

I now commit the keeping of your souls and bodies to your enlightened conscience and to the power of God which will work with your intelligent efforts to be well that you may render to God better service because it is not a sickly, diseased offering. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 12

I want that May Walling should feel that she must take care of her health and fence against colds and needless exposure. I want you all there to keep in health, as a solemn duty that is devolving upon you. You must not be creatures of circumstances or impulse, but of sound reason. You must all study from cause to effect. I do not want one of you to overwork, but I want you to so systematize your work that you will be able to accomplish that which you do without friction and constant wear. God wants you to do this, and He will help you to do it, only be true to yourself. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 13

Wake up in the mornings; set your hour to rise early, and bring yourself to it; then retire at an early hour, and you will see that you will overcome many painful disorders which distress the mind, cause gloomy feelings, discouragement, and unhappy friction, and disqualify you for doing anything without great taxation. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 14

I hope and pray that these words may not prove to be idle tales to you, but that you will act upon them. May, especially, must consider what she has to do and then not be slow and heartless, but do her work promptly and with cheerfulness as if doing it for Jesus Christ. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 15

In much love. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 16

Please get the Harmon cow at once. I wrote to Sister Fairman that I would take the cow. Have Brother Ross’s people take the cow over at once. 5LtMs, Lt 76, 1888, par. 17