Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 178, 1897

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

October 18, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 275; 4Bio 321.

Dear Children Edson and Emma White:

I arise at half past three to trace a few lines to you. Last evening I ventured to attend the evening meeting, the last closing exercises of the school, and the meeting continued until ten o’clock p.m. I commenced my sleeping [at] half past ten o’clock, but I cannot sleep past half past three o’clock. 12LtMs, Lt 178, 1897, par. 1

These are the last hours to prepare American mail. The post office is one mile from our home. The mail must be in the office at nine o’clock a.m., so you see my time is limited to write you anything. 12LtMs, Lt 178, 1897, par. 2

Yesterday, Sunday, October 17, our meetinghouse was dedicated. Every seat was occupied and some were standing at the door. Between two and three hundred were present. Quite a number came from Melbourne and also from Sydney and from the neighborhood, far and nigh. Elder Haskell gave the dedicatory discourse. Seated on the platform where the pulpit stands were Elders Daniells, Farnsworth, Haskell, Hughes, Wilson, Robinson, and your mother, whom they insisted should make the dedicatory prayer. Herbert Lacey conducted the singing, and everything passed off in the very best order. We felt indeed that the Lord Jesus was in our midst as we presented our chapel to God and supplicated that His blessing should constantly rest upon it. 12LtMs, Lt 178, 1897, par. 3

We have not heard one word of criticism. All are surprised at such a house built in so short a time, and so nice and tasty and presentable. Brethren say it exceeds the meetinghouse built one year ago in Melbourne. The seating capacity is larger. The auditorium is able to accommodate three hundred people, then there are two wings at the back like this: 12LtMs, Lt 178, 1897, par. 4

[small sketch drawn] 12LtMs, Lt 178, 1897, par. 5

Two folding doors open from each of these wings, folding in so that all can see the speaker. Everyone is happily surprised. I cannot give all particulars, for I have not time, but I tell you I am glad in the Lord. I now feel relieved of a great burden. 12LtMs, Lt 178, 1897, par. 6

The inside of the meetinghouse is ceiled and beautifully stained, walnut color and light corn color. It makes a most beautiful appearance. It is arched overhead. The speaking advantages are pronounced excellent. The floor ascends imperceptibly from the pulpit to the outside entrance. The congregation can all see above the heads of those before them. This is the most restful, beautiful picture the students will carry away with them. It is that which the Lord knew would be, if the people would co-operate with God. 12LtMs, Lt 178, 1897, par. 7

We were pleased to hear that this school has borne a most excellent testimony through the students, during this first term, and that many more will be in attendance the second term. Every one of our ministering brethren is delighted with the success of the school and with the tasty chapel built. This we know will give character to our work. Not one word of criticism has escaped the lips of anyone. All who have come in from a distance seemed surprised. 12LtMs, Lt 178, 1897, par. 8

The third building will now soon commence. It is the main building—a dormitory for the boys. There were, I think, eighty-six students on record—far ahead of any of our expectations. Praise the Lord! Praise His holy name! 12LtMs, Lt 178, 1897, par. 9