Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 22, 1893

Diary, July 1893

Bank’s Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand

July 12, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in 9MR 25.

Last Wednesday, July 5, all my teeth were extracted. Sister Caro arrived at the [Book] Depository about 11 p.m., July 4; and in the morning she asked me if I was sorry to see her. I told her I was much gratified to see Sister Caro, but to see her as a dentist, I was not so certain about that. But this matter, although unpleasant must be attended to sometime, and I decided that now was as favorable, and perhaps the most favorable, time I should ever have. She said she must leave at one o’clock sharp. About ten I was in the chair, and in a short time the teeth were scattered in every direction in the room. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 1

Not a groan or mourn escaped my lips, not muscle or nerve quivered through the operation; why, I had prayed about this matter, and believing the Lord meant just what He said, when He said, “Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.] I relied on the Word that is sure and never failing. “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name I will do it.” [John 14:13, 14.] Precious words of assurance. Certainly if I ever needed to trust in God it was at this time. I took nothing to stupefy me, and even not anything to deaden the gums, knowing that reaction would be more severe than if left in their natural state. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 2

After the operation of teeth pulling was over, I saw that my dentist was completely unnerved. Her hands shook like an aspen leaf. She bowed herself in pain and looked as if she were going to faint. Emily brought her a little cholera mixture, the only thing I had like a stimulant. The day before she had been riding all day in the cars, and she said every time she thought of what she must do to Sister White, that she actually felt sick. She has great sympathy, affection, and love for me, although so recently a stranger to her. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 3

But the patient was glad to wait on the dentist. I had her sit in my easy chair, and tried to make her as comfortable as I possibly could. In a few minutes Sister Caro was herself again and went out in the city to improve the short time left her to attend to business. I was glad the job was over, but it has given me considerable to do to take care of these cavities. I have had a lotion for my gums, and a powder to use, which I have kept up until now, and shall continue to use as long as required. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 4

Willie is not with me. He has been in Melbourne and Sydney over a month, and he hardly thought I would go through the operation until he returned and could be with me. I have had so much trouble with these teeth, and have expended on them no less than a $150 or $200. Sister Caro is a superior dentist and is of high repute in these parts. My teeth troubled me at Napier, and I had intended to have them out immediately after the conference held there; but I was requested to visit Hastings, Palmerston, and Wellington and improve the time in speaking and laboring while I had Brother Starr with me, and so I agreed to their proposition. But it seemed that now the way was all prepared for me to have my teeth out, and I wrote to Sister Caro a couple of weeks ago, asking her to come as soon as she could well disengage herself from her work at home, where her business is important. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 5

We expect to hold our coming camp meeting and conference in Auckland from October 30 to November 14 or 15. I know that I must necessarily have two or three months before I could have a permanent set of teeth after having these extracted. I could see no time as favorable as the present. I leave Wellington in two months to go to Napier where Sister Caro resides. Her dentist rooms are in her own house. I am thankful that the most disagreeable part is over. I have not taken one particle of any drugs, excepting to hold a soothing lotion in my mouth to be ejected. The second day I suffered considerable, but the third day was the worst for the inflammation was severe, and pain no less; but no one has heard one moan or groan from my lips. The blessing of the Lord has been with me every moment. My teeth have not troubled before the operation for over two months, and so they were not inflamed, and this made it all the better for me. And I have slept every night as sweet as a baby. I praise the Lord for His goodness, and love and mercy to me. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 6

I do not wish you to understand that Sister Caro is a nervous, unstrung woman in her operations. No, far from this. She is a queenly woman, tall and every way proportioned. I lived in the house with her one month, and I know she does much business. She would be called away from the dining room sometimes, and we would hear loud moans (which we never heard from the room I occupied upstairs). In a few minutes Sister Caro would return looking as pleasant as if she had had a pleasant visit, and in the meantime maybe she had extracted over one dozen teeth. I shall have a good opportunity of getting a good upper and lower set of teeth. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 7

Sister Caro not only does her business, but she has ministerial license and bears many burdens in their church at Napier. She speaks to the people, is intelligent, and every way capable. She supports her three sons—two in Battle Creek, and one in England who is studying law. Percy Caro, the name of the one in England, has taken in the past some degrees of honor, but we noticed in one of the late papers that he has taken the highest degree, having L.L.D. attached to his name. He is a promising young man, but as yet is not in the truth. Dr. Caro supports the home. Sister Caro takes in a great deal of money, but nothing is expended in luxuries. She is supporting young men in the Bible school at Melbourne, besides some in America. The Lord blesses this noble, unselfish woman. Her work is about double when compared with the patronage of the other dentists in Napier. I have written you these particulars, thinking they might interest you. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 8

I will write a few words in regard to Uncle Stephen Belden. His health is not good, and when many of the hands from the Echo office were discharged, he was discharged and was left without work. Byron could not be employed, for they had become so involved in debt that they could not do a large business; so they cut down their business and discharged many of their workers. Byron knew not what to do. He had no means. He has been unselfish, kind, and sympathetic. He had used largely of his means (wages) to clothe and help his father, and when the discharging came he had, literally, not one dollar. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 9

I know that Byron is sympathetic, of deep devotional feelings, and I proposed that he rent a house in Prahran near the school and take students to lodge and board. He was to have my furniture to use, as much of it as he needed, and hire a girl so that Sarah could attend school, and both be educated and trained for the missionary work. Byron is in possession of talents that, if he is consecrated to God, he will stand as a minister or at the head as canvassing agent, or in some position where workers are so greatly needed. They thought the matter over and concluded to accept my proposition, so they are keeping house, and Brother and Sister Salisbury are with them. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 10

Marian and Fannie are with them. I furnish their rooms. Every extra expense Marian has of wood and coal and gas, I pay. Willie writes that Byron is doing well, that he is taking several studies and is making a success. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 11

I give May Walling this term of school. It was necessary as we traveled to New Zealand to have our outgoing expenses as little as possible. In taking only Emily Campbell, I would save enough to give her the advantages of the school in Melbourne. May is doing well in her studies. Emily is my secretary, my bookkeeper, stenographer and copyist; she neglects nothing that needs to be done for me, true as steel to her post. Now I think I have given you the news in regard to us all. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 12

Willie returned to Sydney and Melbourne at the earnest request of those there. Elder Daniells wrote from Sydney in regard to land that he wished Willie to see, in order to ascertain whether it might not be a favorable location for the school. Then he was needed at the Echo office. I gave my consent for him to go. I am pleasantly situated, as I have told you, and now I am bound away from speaking for two months. I shall write on The Life of Christ as much as I possibly can. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 13

If I only had Jesse and my carriage from Melbourne here, I would be nicely situated. I have to pay about two dollars for every drive I take. The livery furnish me with a good horse and easy phaeton. I can walk only a short distance, about two hundred yards. If I attempt to walk farther than this then my hip pains me intensely. A couple of weeks ago I visited a sick sister. I thought [that] to save expense I would take the streetcar, and in so doing I was obliged to walk to and from the streetcar. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 14

It was too much for me, and as the result of it I had considerable pain for over a week. We had a good visit with Sister Glover, and we brought her case to the Lord in prayer. We left her feeling hopeful. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 15

I’ll conclude this letter by copying a few extracts from a letter Sister Daniells had written soon after they moved to Sydney. They were in Melbourne when [we] started on this journey to New Zealand. She writes, “When we moved into the house Monday night, I thought to take things kind of easy and get settled by degrees, but Mr. D. met a man from Kellyville who had lately accepted the truth, and invited him to come to our house for tea and go with him to Parramatta to meeting in the evening, and then come back and stay all night with us. We worked vigorously, and had all things made ready. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 16

“This is a man we want to look after, for he will make a shining light if he is properly trained in the truth. He is a law-writer and has an office in the city, and is such a gentleman, and intelligent and sharp and keen, one of the last men a person would have thought would embrace the truth, but he sees it plainly and accepts it with all his heart, and seems thoroughly converted. Tears come in his eyes when he speaks of it, and he says it is such a revelation to him. It seems as if the Lord led him to Kellyville to hear the truth. He had always lived in the city, but he made up his mind he would go in the country and make a country home for his family. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 17

“He bought twenty acres of land out at Kellyville and built a house, and was just getting settled when the tent was pitched there. He still worked in the city but went out and in every day. Now he has accepted the truth, and he says he has lost all interest in making a home in this world, and he has put his place up for sale. [He] says he is going to move back to town as soon as he can, so he will not be obliged to spend so much time going out and in every day and can have more time to study the truth. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 18

“His country home is twenty miles from Sydney, and part of that had to be done by coach. As soon as he heard the tithe [subject], he said that it looked so reasonable, and from that time a tenth of all he earned would go into the cause. 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 19

“The first Sabbath he kept, Brother Steed went and spent the afternoon with him, and talked to him about smoking, for he was an inveterate smoker. When Brother Steed was gone, he wanted a smoke very badly, for Brother Steed stayed a long time, but he went out on the veranda and walked up and down and thought about it. Then he went to his room and prayed for help from God to resist the temptation, and from that time he has never touched it, and he says he has never wanted it.” 8LtMs, Ms 22, 1893, par. 20