Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Ms 34, 1887

Diary, June 1887


June 9-22, 1887

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2MR 130-138.

Third Visit to Norway

Thursday, June 9, 1887

On Board the Melchior

We both, Sister Ings and I, felt very weak and languid. The boat came near to a settlement, and small rowboats came up to where the boat was anchored and received us and our baggage and took us to land. There we learned we must wait two hours for another boat to take us to Moss. We felt so wretchedly seasick, so feeble, that the waiting was tedious, but in one hour the boat—a small steamer—came to the landing, and we had the pleasure of meeting Elder Ings and Elder Haskell. The water was so rough that even the half hour on the small steamer made us nearly seasick. We waited one hour more and then stepped on board the little steamer, which was rocked by the waves. It was anything but pleasant to us who had been suffering many hours with seasickness. I grew very seasick, yet the Lord comforted my soul amid all my discomforts with His rich promises. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 1

About twelve A.M. we reached our destination, a very beautiful spot. The tents were pitched in a pine grove. A house was rented for persons from a distance who could not safely stay on the ground. There the several rooms made many of us comfortable. We are located in a house built on a rise of ground overlooking the water. The scenery is fine. Everything is comfortable for us, and we expect to enjoy our stay here very much. After vomiting I felt better and have been able to take some nourishment. Sister Ings and Sister Caspersen gathered me greens which they cooked and I relished. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 2

This is the first camp meeting that has ever been held in Europe, and it has made quite a stir about here. We hope this meeting will make such an impression upon minds that we will be able to hold camp meetings after this, not only in Norway, but in Sweden and Denmark. This will bring the truth more directly before a class of minds we could not reach by any ordinary means. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 3

June 10, 1887

Moss, Norway

Arose at four A.M. After a season of prayer, commenced my writing. It is a pleasant day—some cloudy and not very warm. Rested quite well from ten o’clock P.M. until three A.M. Could not sleep more. The sun has been shining brightly for half an hour. We met our friends from America and are glad to see them once more. Many are coming in to the meeting. We got a carriage, and Sister Ings, Sister Olsen, and I rode down in the city to take a bath. It was quite windy. Took some cold in returning. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 4

June 11, 1887

Moss, Norway

Passed a restless night. Great weakness seems to be upon me. By request I spoke to the Sabbath school; interpreted by Brother Olsen. It is pleasant to see so goodly a number represented in the Sabbath school. All the children look bright and interested. Brother Matteson preached in the forenoon to a good audience. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 5

My appointment was at half-past two. I tried to speak right to the point, and then invited those who desired to give themselves fully to the Lord and those who were backslidden and those who desired to seek the Lord for the first time. The large tent was full, and it was difficult to secure seats, to vacate the front seats to accommodate those who came forward. A large number presented themselves. Opportunity was given for them to express their feelings, and good testimonies were borne with weeping. A season of prayer followed. This was followed by meetings in the tents and children’s meetings, which were good. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 6

June 12, 1887

Moss, Norway

It is another beautiful day. The attendance at camp from outsiders was good. The tent was crowded within and without. Elder Waggoner spoke upon the law and gospel. There was much interest manifested in the discourse. Elder Matteson interpreted. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 7

In the afternoon at half-past two, I spoke to the crowded tent within and the mass of people without the tent upon the ascension and second advent of Christ. I felt deeply while speaking. Although so large a number were standing who could not obtain seats, yet there was no noise or confusion, but respectful listening to the words spoken. I never saw a more intelligent-looking audience in America at any of our tent meetings. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 8

The Lord gave me strength to speak in the power and demonstration of the Spirit. Elder Matteson said he was never more greatly blessed than when he was interpreting me that afternoon. Many unbelievers in the congregation were affected to tears. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 9

Elder Matteson spoke at five P.M. and the congregation was full—larger than in any part of the day. The priest in Moss had put an article in the paper, making statements in regard to our faith as a people and ridiculing our doctrines. He misstated us. Elder Matteson reviewed these articles with good result. There was a discourse in the evening by one of our American brethren. Thus closed the most important day of our meeting. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 10

June 13, 1887

Moss, Norway

We are blessed with another beautiful day. It is warmer today than it has been. We learn all were much interested and pleased with the meeting Sunday. The testimony is that the blessing of the Lord rested upon the encampment from early morning until night. It is a marvel with the people who attend this meeting that there is so nice order observed on the ground. And the outsiders are astonished that our meetings are free from everything like noisy demonstrations and fierce excitement which characterize so many meetings called revival meetings. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 11

We can but pronounce this meeting a marked success. The news of it will be carried everywhere in these kingdoms—to Sweden, Norway, and Denmark—and will open the way for camp-meetings in other places. Many came to these meetings with great fear and trembling. They thought it must be at great risk to live in tents, but when they saw the arrangements—stoves in the tents if it should be cold and rainy—they had naught to fear. They were so charmed with the beautiful fragrant grove and the neat, comfortably furnished tents that they said if they had only known it was like this, they would have prepared to occupy a tent themselves. The terror and dread of camp meeting is all removed, and the way opened for camp meeting in these regions. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 12

June 13, 1887

Moss, Norway

The day was devoted mostly to business meetings. Elder Haskell preached in the afternoon. Advancements were made over any previous meetings that had been held in any of these kingdoms. Our brethren in Norway have not hitherto fully accepted the tithing system, and some have opposed this feature in our work as not required of them. But when it was shown to be the Bible plan ordained of God from the first, that He had a church as far back as the days of Noah and Abraham, and that it was a duty enjoined upon believers in all ages of the world as God’s means to carry forward His work upon the earth and to impress man that God was the giver of all his blessings and required them to return to Him in tithes and offerings a portion of His bestowed gifts, they saw this in a new light, and there was a unity in voting for the resolution not to be negligent in this, God’s requirement. No man, it was stated, obliged another to pay tithes. God did not make it a matter of compulsion any more than He compelled men to keep the Sabbath. It was God’s Sabbath, His holy time, and to be sacredly regarded by man. But man must obey from a willing heart, both to observe His Sabbath and not to rob God in employing sacred time for his own use or to employ the portion in tithes and offerings which the Lord has claimed to be rendered to Him. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 13

Tuesday, June 14, 1887

Moss, Norway

We have another beautiful day. The sun is shining at three o’clock full into my windows. Sister Ings goes today, in company with others, to Christiania, to return this evening. I am feeling more natural today than I have done for four weeks. I praise the Lord for these tokens of God. Our camp meeting people are now leaving for their homes and business, and the council commences today. Brother Sands Lane came yesterday morning. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 14

I went into the council this morning at nine A.M. and listened to the testimonies borne in reference to the colporteuring and canvassing work. Elder Matteson related a wonderful experience in his school the past winter in education colporteurs to give Bible readings. Brethren Conradi, Hendrikson, Olsen, and Lane gave some items of experience in the work. I bore my testimony last, and the Lord blessed me in speaking to encourage faith and confidence in God. The Spirit and power of the Lord rested upon me as I tried to present to the people the goodness of the Lord to me and the grace and power of God bestowed upon me in giving me strength to bear my testimony in the places we had visited since leaving Basel. My heart was broken before the Lord in view of the strength, the presence of the Lord, that had been granted me. In the afternoon I spoke again in regard to the work, its magnitude, and the reasons we had to believe the Lord would go before us and put His Spirit and power upon us in large measure if we would walk humbly before Him and depend wholly upon Him and give His holy name the glory for all that was done. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 15

Wednesday, June 15, 1887

Moss, Norway

Again we are favored of God with a bright, beautiful morning. The birds are caroling their songs of praise to their Creator, and our hearts are filled with praise and love to God for His great goodness and mercy to the children of men. Yesterday Sister Ings was in Christiania all day. I was looking for her return at night, and the boat did not arrive till half-past ten o’clock. I did not sleep until about midnight. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 16

I went into the council and was deeply interested. I had great freedom in speaking in regard to the possibility of doing a much larger work than we have hitherto done, and I tried to set before our brethren how much greater work could have been done if our brethren had taken greater pains, even at large expense, to educate the licentiates before they were sent into the field for labor. They were allowed to go and try their gift. They did not go with experienced workmen who could help them and educate them, but went out alone, and they did not all preserve close, studious habits. They did not grow and were not taxing their powers to become able men in the Scriptures. They had obtained a knowledge of some subjects, could preach a few discourses, but if asked to speak on any subject in prophecy would respond that they could not speak on that subject; they had not dwelt upon it. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 17

Now such speakers cannot gain full proof of their ministry. They are deficient. Had they not been allowed to go into the field until they had some fitness for the work, then they would have been where they could grow and have some courage, but they were inexperienced as to the best methods of labor and had very little success in bringing souls into the truth. The conference became discouraged in paying out funds while there was scarcely anything to show that had been accomplished, and this cutting down of the wages discouraged some who, with a proper amount of labor bestowed upon them, might have become good workers. They were discouraged and left the field to engage in other work. These meetings are of special interest and will be a blessing to all who attend them. Important matters are brought in and canvassed, and we believe much good is being accomplished. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 18

Thursday, June 16, 1887

Moss, Norway

This morning I rise at four. Rested well during the night. The birds are singing. There is some appearance of rain, but the weather is mild, and I feel grateful to God that He still preserves my strength. I am desirous to live close to Jesus and make Him my counselor and my support and my all and in all. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 19

We had an important matter to consider in our council this day. It was that of preparing men by thorough training for the ministry before giving them license. They have been permitted to try their gift when they had not proper preparation, either in school education or in Bible knowledge, to warrant their going into the work, for they needed a great work done for them. First, every licentiate should be critically examined in his knowledge of the Scriptures before being sent into the field to teach others. This has not been done, and a very unsuccessful work has been done by many, and they could bring in no report of success. This discouraged themselves, and also disheartened the conference, so that their time and labor was, they deemed, unworthy of much wages; and this discouraged them still more and discouraged many from giving themselves to the work who, with the proper painstaking, thorough instruction and training, might have made thorough workmen and able ministers. I spoke also of carefulness in regard to dress of those coming from America and going back to America. (See an article on qualifications for the ministry.) 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 20

Friday, June 17, 1887

Moss, Norway

I arise early at three o’clock. The sun is shining brightly in at my windows today. We part with our brethren from the British Mission and from those who are on their way to Africa to become missionaries to that distant field. Attended morning meeting. Spoke a short time upon the advisability of Brother Starr’s coming to Europe. Visited the owner of the grounds, Mr. Erikson, and his family. Had but a short time to remain, but it was a pleasant interview. He kindly and generously proposed to let the governess of his children, who was an adopted daughter, take his horse and carriage and drive us over the island to see the important points of interest. We then returned and bade our brethren missionaries goodbye, thinking we might never meet again in this world those going to the distant field of Africa. May God go with them is our earnest prayer. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 21

Sabbath Morning, June 18, 1887

It is another beautiful day. A little hazy, which is a relief rather than otherwise. Received a good letter from Marian in which she says that after Mary had started with our private conveyance for Tramelan, her hoarseness left her and she could speak much better. All seemed to enjoy the journey—Ella and Mabel and the older ones of the party. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 22

Elder Matteson preached in the forenoon. I spoke in the afternoon from Galatians 6:7, 8. We had a solemn meeting. Called them forward for prayers and had a solemn, earnest seeking of the Lord. Then many excellent testimonies were borne with deep feeling. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 23

After the meeting I had an interview with Brother Ottosen [?]. Brethren Matteson and Olsen accompanied him. Before we had got through talking, Sister Olsen said the lady that owned the house wished to speak with me. She had walked from the city, where she is keeping a hotel, and thought I was to speak at five o’clock. She was much disappointed. We had a very pleasant interview. I gave her Life of Christ in Danish. She asked me to pray for her that she might see the light and all the truth. Brother Whitney is not as well. They are giving him treatment. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 24

June 19, 1887

Moss, Norway

I arise at four o’clock and have the evidence that I have been giving my lungs polluted air to breathe through the night. I greatly fear a return of malaria. I walked out in the pine forest to get air that was not tainted with defilement. After taking our breakfast, Sister Ings and I walked out to the encampment. Found a retired spot and then spread out our fur and wrote an important letter of ten pages to the missionaries going to Africa. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 25

Elder Haskell spoke in the forenoon. I spoke in the afternoon upon temperance to an interested congregation. Brother Clayson interpreted me. I was very weary, but conversed more than one hour with Cecelia Dahl and her mother, and between nine o’clock and ten conversed with Brother Ottosen [?] upon the delicate subject of breaking an engagement which had existed two years without the knowledge of his parents. He is fully convinced that this engagement must be broken. He is studying to be a physician. His father is supporting him to obtain his education. He is a promising young man and has fully decided to give himself to the work of the Lord. This engagement has been a great burden to him, but now will cease, although it costs him a struggle; but it is his only safe way. Prayer was offered for Elder Whitney, and the Lord blessed him. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 26

June 20, 1887

Christiania, Norway

We left Moss yesterday morning. Carriages took us to the cars, and we were three hours coming to this place. I lay down and slept some, but a great weariness is upon me. Carriages took us to Brother O. A. Olsen’s, and we had a good convenient chance to rest. I was able to sit up but little, for I seemed to be nearly completely exhausted. I have no appetite. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 27

We parted from Willie, Elder Conradi, Elder Whitney, Elder Haskell, and Elder Waggoner about nine o’clock. They took the train to divide for different routes. Brother Haskell goes to England. The rest of the party to Stuttgart, Germany, and to visit other German places. Brother O. A. Olsen, Brother Ings, his wife, and I go to Stockholm, Sweden. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 28

June 21, 1887

Christiania, Norway

Arise at half-past four, and after taking a hand bath and seeking the Lord as usual in prayer, I write in my diary. It is clear sunshine. It is rather difficult to tell how to sleep as the sun does not set until half-past nine and arises at half-past two A.M. We get a little confused in regard to sleeping hours. I feel a little stronger today, for which I am thankful to God. Elder Ings hired a carriage, and himself, wife, Annie Rasmussen, and I rode out to Oscar’s Hall. We visited a church seven hundred years old. We felt better for the ride and returned in good time for dinner. We visited the bathing house, but were a little too late. We walked the streets at half-past nine o’clock as in the daytime, for there was not the slightest appearance of shade of darkness. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 29

June 22, 1887

Christiania, Norway

We arise early, about six. We walk to the cemetery. They have large grounds kept in an excellent condition. Flowers were upon every grave, and the grounds were varied. There were hills and rocks and steep rises of grounds, and as we looked at the city of the dead we were carried forward to that hour when “all that are in their graves shall ... come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.” [John 5:28, 29.] How many will burst the fetters of the tomb and rise in immortal vigor, trampling over death and the grave? How many will exclaim, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” [1 Corinthians 15:55.] 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 30

Sister Dahl hired a carriage and accompanied Brother and Sister Ings, Sister Olsen, and me in a seven-mile drive in the country. We ascended miles. It was very hard for the horses to draw us, with the heavy carriage, up the steep ascent, and all walked except myself. I had no strength to climb. We had a very grand view of Christiania. We saw ancient relics. This place is reached by passing through miles of pine forest. The ancient buildings, about three hundred years old, stand on the top of the high ascent. Many ancient things inform of clothing and furniture. Sleighs, saddles, clothing of all description were collected together for curious eyes to look upon. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 31

In returning we visited a delightful spot where the great reservoir of water is constructed that takes water to all parts of the city of Christiania. On the eminence where we stood we could overlook Christiania. We had a very pleasant drive and were hungry, and I enjoyed the meal for the first time since leaving Basel. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 32

Now we had an interview with Cecelia Dahl, and she told us she had decided to go to California with us. We had some very plain talk with her. Then all was in busy preparation to get off on the cars. We were blessed by having a compartment to ourselves—Sister Ings and I. Brethren Olsen and Ings had a compartment to themselves, and with pleasure we learned that we would not have to change cars until we arrived at Stockholm. We had some very fine scenery of lakes and forests. 5LtMs, Ms 34, 1887, par. 33