Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 187, 1897

White, W. C.

Summer Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

February 10, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 326.

Dear Son Willie:

Monday I received a letter from Elder Haskell stating that he arrived in Sydney last Sabbath and made a request for me to come to Sydney if it was convenient. So I came, accompanied by Sara. Sister Semmens has a healthy boy weighing eight and one quarter pounds. She worked altogether too hard before her confinement. The child is one week old last Monday. 12LtMs, Lt 187, 1897, par. 1

Elder Haskell is advancing money to furnish that next to the largest room upstairs. He says if it is well furnished and a suitable price put upon it, the furniture will soon be paid for. This is sensible; Sara and I will help in the matter, and it need not be a costly business, we think. 12LtMs, Lt 187, 1897, par. 2

Brother Semmens is hard worked. He needs a hand to help him. He is trying to get along economically, because he cannot go faster than he has the means. I cannot go any further with assisting him just now, because I want that your house shall be started as soon as we can get the workmen and the lumber. All the arrangements that you planned were put in operation before they had been in the house one week. But it will be a loss of money to commence to build with the idea of moving, so we shall begin to dig a cellar under the house, some portion of it, as soon as we can see the lumber is forthcoming from our own mill. 12LtMs, Lt 187, 1897, par. 3

Brother Lawrence expects to take steamer for New Zealand in about two weeks. I want Brother Haskell to go to Cooranbong as soon as possible. Sister Hurd came on the steamer to Melbourne and was thinking her voyage over; [she] was with Sister Ingels and Sister Graham when the boat had passed inspection. But officers and physicians came on board and inspected more closely and say there are cases of smallpox. So the passengers, twenty of them who had left, were searched up and had to go back to the boat. Brother Daniells did all in his power, trying every means to prevent Sister Hurd’s return to the boat, but it was useless. Three weeks they will be held. Brother Haskell can get letters to her, but none from her. She has written she is in perfect health. 12LtMs, Lt 187, 1897, par. 4

I am so thankful that Brother Haskell is here and I shall have someone to help me. There is great need of a manager in the working forces in the enterprises started. I know of no one here. This ought to have been insisted upon from the first, and that would have relieved you, who had twice what one man ought to do. I cannot consent for you to shoulder the responsibilities and every other one stand back and let you do it all and receive all the criticisms that persons may choose, under the inspiration of the devil, to conjure up. For this hurts you, so that the very influence the Lord designed you should hold in this country is weakened and crippled, in order to economize and save money, making as little expense as possible, buying at reduced rates some machinery for the mill. The very best even at double cost would have been economy, the best that could be practiced. But limited as we have been for means, the study has been to save every sixpence and shilling and pound. 12LtMs, Lt 187, 1897, par. 5

Now the men, who have not put in anything and have shown their interest measured with just the benefits they would themselves realize, because they were disappointed have taken the criticizing aftersight position, and tell what should have been done, what they would have done. Lawrence sat on the devil’s stool of idleness to criticize what others had done, and Satan is not slow to take possession of all such minds and so blind their already selfish ideas and perverted judgment that they can be his efficient helpers and do a work exactly in his line. Satan can use them. 12LtMs, Lt 187, 1897, par. 6

I have had these things presented to me clearly. Brother Shannon and his wife have said all they can against Brother Hare, calling him a hypocrite, and everything that an unchristian tongue can devise. You have been handled in much the same manner. Sister Shannon joins her husband in Africa, going on the next boat, second or third class fare. Hardy has sent for his wife to come, but she says no, she has no idea of going. 12LtMs, Lt 187, 1897, par. 7

I have had my hands full of writing and my heart full of distress and pain, for these men who have proved traitors will, if they are in any way connected with the work, when they themselves were not favored, place themselves on the enemy’s side to work against the ones who are carrying the heavy responsibilities. I have had straight testimonies to bear to Brother Lawrence. I question whether he will ever see. He has educated himself in dealing after worldly policy plans in buying and selling. His whole experience is a corrupted mass of self-serving. He has nothing correct in line of principle in deal. 12LtMs, Lt 187, 1897, par. 8

The Lord has permitted these things to occur, to develop the men who have not put anything into the work of God in Cooranbong, but have taken out all they could get. We have a supply of poor families that must be kindly cared for and helped to help themselves. We have these poor as a legacy from God to us. Inasmuch as ye do this to one of the least of these, my brethren, ye do it unto Me. Then we will work on, doing our level best to alleviate the care of the poor, helping them when we can and strengthening them all we can in correct methods. 12LtMs, Lt 187, 1897, par. 9

But Satan is a vigilant foe. He works in his specious, deceptive ways to ensnare the very men who have experience but who have worked that experience for their own benefit until it is the working of selfishness in our various lines. God help us and give us wisdom to know how to conduct matters here. We need heavenly direction and guidance. We need great prudence, for the unconsecrated elements are many, and as soon as one is taken in hand by the Lord and reproof comes, then come the sympathizers who do not know what they mean or what they would do themselves. But they can boast largely of their wisdom. 12LtMs, Lt 187, 1897, par. 10

I told Brother Lawrence he had best cease that kind of talk, for it was not true. It was being proved how large was his wisdom and to what end that wisdom was used to figure for himself, to be very liberal with himself, but very close and trying in his methods of deal with his brethren. He and his wife had worked so long in this line that they have completely perverted ideas of what is Christianity. 12LtMs, Lt 187, 1897, par. 11

Well, I shall be glad to have Brother Lawrence and his wife leave the school grounds, for they will do no good but be a constant source of trial, and if they are not favored as to receive all benefits, then there is dissatisfaction. 12LtMs, Lt 187, 1897, par. 12