Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Ms 62, 1895

Reminiscences of Early Days in California

New South Wales, Australia


Fragment. This manuscript is published in entirety in 2Bio 419-420.

We decided that the first move to make was to start a paper in California, publication of which would give character to our work. Oh how we wrestled! How we prayed with earnest desire for the Lord to open ways whereby we could advance the work in California, for we saw the ideas of the workers were narrow and restricted. The Lord heard our petitions and answered our prayers. While bowed before God in prayer in an upper chamber, the blessing of the Lord came upon us in such a manner that duty was made plain. It was as if an audible voice said, “Go to the churches and solicit money from those whom I have made stewards of means.” Some bore testimony on that occasion that they saw an angel of God, clothed in brightness, pointing across the Rocky Mountains. 10LtMs, Ms 62, 1895, par. 1

I waited for my husband’s consent, and when, after a most solemn, humble seeking of God, again His presence seemed so evidently in our midst, my husband wept aloud and said, “Ellen, you must go. I dare not withstand the Lord. You must go. But what shall I do without you?” He wept freely. I dared not wait, fearing in his feeble state of health he would relent. 10LtMs, Ms 62, 1895, par. 2

All that there was cooked was a few gems. I put these in a paper box, the horses were harnessed, and I was on my way for the cars. My husband said, “If I had not given my consent, I would now say it is inconsistent. I cannot have you go. I cannot be left with these terrible responsibilities.” 10LtMs, Ms 62, 1895, par. 3

I had never traveled alone, but I took this long journey of eight days alone, and attended the camp meetings in the states alone until Willie White met me at Wisconsin and accompanied me. On that journey I set forth our situation, and money was raised at every meeting. I told them that California would return their loan sometime in the future, for I had been shown that prosperity would attend the work done there, that there were many souls that would be added to the church, and we should see of the salvation of God. 10LtMs, Ms 62, 1895, par. 4