Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 47, 1888



March 1888

Portions of this letter are published in 6MR 150-152. +Note

Dear Brethren:

Selma is 15 miles south of Fresno. I was called according to a former promise made to Elder [E. P.] Daniels to come to Lemoore and help him at the close of a series of meetings he had been holding there. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 1

Quite a number of the very best church members had taken their stand on the truth, and one infidel is now about to take his stand. I spoke five times with great freedom. The little meetinghouse was full, crowded to its utmost capacity. There sat before me infidels, saloon keepers and men who are accounted of the first ranks of society in Lemoore. They listened with intense interest. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 2

The Lord put His spirit upon me, and I have freedom and power while all were held as if spellbound. I did reach the hearts of many. Some took their stand for the truth. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 3

I was obliged to speak evenings, although it is contrary to my practice because I am unable to get off the burden from my soul so that I can rest and sleep that night. After speaking I had to ride four miles which was not favorable for me in a malarious country, and I have been afflicted somewhat with malaria. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 4

There has never been so universal an interest awakened in Lemoore and the surrounding regions as this past winter and spring. The Lord has blessed Elder Daniels’ labor wonderfully. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 5

I made it my home at Harvey Gray’s, and he lives halfway between the towns of Grangeville and Lemoore. From his place it is four miles to Grangeville and four miles to Lemoore. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 6

People have become aroused in Grangeville, and the community there sent a petition, signed by the most popular men of the place, for Elder Daniels to come there and hold meetings. They will bring this about. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 7

Brother Scazighini, a steady, old, faithful, God-fearing German, lives there. He paid his pledge, made one year ago, of twenty five hundred dollars. He said, “Sister White, you remember I asked you six years ago, if I should sell my property or a portion of it. Then you said, ‘No brother, not just yet; the Lord will certainly let you know when to sell to the best advantage.’ Well I asked the Lord this year to send me a buyer if it was duty to sell, and I put my price upon it. The buyer came, and I have received twenty five hundred dollars more for my place—thirty five acres of land—than if I had sold it when I asked you about it.” 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 8

Now the tent will be pitched in Grangeville. A much better class of people resides there than at Lemoore. Twenty-nine took their stand in Lemoore, and it is important that some labor is done in Grangeville now. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 9

We look in this southern part of the State for the means to be invested to sustain the cause of God in Europe and in other branches of the work. Labor must be put forth all through this country. It is the most wealthy part of the State. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 10

In company with Brother and Sister Daniels we went to Fresno, met Willie [White] at Goshen, and he accompanied us on a freight train to Fresno. I spoke twice, Sabbath and Sunday afternoon, and I had great freedom. The hall, owned by Brother Church, was crowded to its utmost capacity. Sunday afternoon the first men of the place were there, and also Sabbath many outsiders were there. Brother Church told me all were highly pleased. We had a meeting in the forenoon. I read to them something written in regard to the building of a church. Then I talked considerably, and asked them what they would do. Elder Daniels spoke after me. Before the meeting closed, thirty-one thousand dollars was pledged for the building of a church, a school, and a mission. I could not go away and see the people worshipping in a little hall, owned by Brother Church. It has done good service as yet, but it will not contain the people that come to the meetings now. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 11

We came on the ground here last Thursday, and have been at work hard ever since, and I am now much exhausted. We have had excellent meetings all through. Yesterday I brought up the European missions, and in this small camp meeting, composed largely of [the] Fresno church, there was pledged three thousand one hundred dollars. The two Sabbaths, the children’s donation for the London mission amounted to eighty dollars. Five have embraced the truth here at the meeting. Brother Will Smith is a man that was converted last year. He was in the truth years ago but for some reason gave it up, and the devil took possession of him, and he became a desperado. His wife kept the Sabbath. He is a tall, well-developed, powerfully-built man. He went into all sorts of lawlessness, stealing, and tried to kill, but his victim did not come in just when he was prepared to kill him. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 12

Last year at Fresno under the labors of Elder Daniels he was powerfully wrought upon, and he repented with another backslider who had gone with him in all his wickedness. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 13

Then commenced the work of confession and restitution. One man they went to see and met him in the road and down they went in the very dust and dirt on their knees, weeping and confessing, and the infidel wept like a child. “Now,” said they, “we want you to forgive us, and we do not ask you not to arrest us for stealing your sheep, but we ask pardon; we will pay every cent of the cost of the sheep.” The man who had been wronged said, “What has wrought upon you to make this confession?” Said they, “We have been attending the camp meeting, and the Spirit and power of God and the religion of Jesus Christ has taken hold upon us.” 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 14

“Well,” said the man, “if the work done there is of this order I must go there,” and he did go, and he did tremble under the sharp arrows of God. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 15

The influence of these confessions made to many others who have been wronged, is as far-reaching as eternity. This man in his wickedness had nothing, but since his conversion the Lord has blessed him greatly with means, and he is using it in making restitution and in advancing the cause of truth. He is free, generous to a fault. He is humble as a child, sitting at the feet of Jesus, ready and willing to do anything. He takes 150 Signs and distributes [them]. He has done more missionary work alone the past year than the whole Fresno church together. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 16

The lawyers and jurors to whom he had made confession, saying, “Do with me what you please,” assembled to decide what they should do, and although composed of infidels and those bitterly opposed to our faith, they said, “Can we take action against a man that God is evidently working with? No, no, we will not do it. He is now reformed, humble, and a wonderfully changed man.” The whole community was afraid of him. These things have exalted the truth and done great things in its favor. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 17

He is now in the real estate business and at the same time doing missionary work. He brought four to the meeting, paid their carfare, and boarded them at the boarding tent. He told me he wanted to go out a few miles and see a woman whom he would bring to the meeting if he could, and his wife went and brought her. The four from Fresno and this lady have embraced the truth, and when the call was made for Europe this newly converted woman gave fifty dollars; one of the other converts gave twenty-five, and another, five. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 18

Brother Smith was worth worse than nothing; now he has quite a handsome property, and he and his wife gave for Fresno church quite a goodly sum, and yesterday they gave one hundred each for the European mission. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 19

Yesterday I spoke again [at] half past two. The tent was so crowded that some could obtain no seats. The attention was unequaled. I spoke upon temperance. The power and Spirit of God was upon me, and the effect on the large number of outsiders was good. Brother Church was highly pleased. He said he never heard me speak so well, with such clearness and power. I was surprised to learn I had talked two hours and fifteen minutes and felt less weariness than I had done when I had spoken only one hour. I have felt some of the time great exhaustion through want of sleep and rest; but this morning I arise of good courage, full of thankful praise to God, and feel better than I have done any morning yet since I came to Selma. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 20

Our meetings have done good, and many have been blessed. Seventeen have been baptized. One was the sister I mentioned who came to the meeting through Brother Smith’s influence. She is closely examining the Scriptures and is coming right along. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 21

I have had much extra labor upon me at this meeting. Dr. Maxson and wife left the institution at St. Helena, connected with Elder Rice, and they together came to Fresno. [They] have linked together and had [an] influence upon Brother Church and flattered him to build an institution in Fresno. Dr. Maxson went across the plains and has written back to Brother Church to go ahead without delay, that all was clear. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 22

Now this enterprise would be the ruin of Brother Church. He could not harmonize either with Dr. Burke or Dr. Maxson and his wife, and he could not harmonize with Elder Rice. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 23

I have labored early and late with great caution to upset this plan. Brother Church put a letter in my hand from Dr. Maxson. Such a letter of self-exaltation! He was to be with his wife and Brother Church the superintendent of this institution. He was well acquainted with the bath hands at Battle Creek Sanitarium; he was at work securing the best kind of help, and was surprised at their willingness to engage with him! 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 24

Thus you see how matters were working. But the Lord has given me favor with Brother Church, and he says he will not disregard my advice. We hope the devil is defeated on this point. But we cling to God and pray and trust in Him to work out this matter to bring about the right state of things. I expect Maxson is in Fresno. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 25

I go today to Burrough Valley, and return Thursday to Fresno to meet Maxson. I speak Sabbath and Sunday in Fresno. 5LtMs, Lt 47, 1888, par. 26