Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 177, 1897

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August 16, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 8MR 257.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

I shall address my letters to Battle Creek for you. I am very much pleased to find that we can go on with our main school building. Our second was only partitioned of and enclosed, and our funds gave out and we could not go farther. We have used a portion of upper story as a meetinghouse and the other half as sleeping rooms. 12LtMs, Lt 177, 1897, par. 1

After we had struggled and toiled and economized and bond about the edges, and were put to our very wit’s ends, we are informed from Echo office that our bookkeeper has discovered there was eleven hundred pounds that had not been appropriated. The Wessels had sent six hundred of this from Capetown for our school, but they supposed everything must come through Battle Creek. They sent it by the way of Battle Creek, and after some time it was sent to Echo office without one word as to what it was for; and there was also five hundred pounds more appropriated from General Conference fund to help in the school. None of it came to us. But the bookkeeper has investigated the matter and the above has been communicated to us. 12LtMs, Lt 177, 1897, par. 2

I must believe the Lord permitted this blunder to test character, and it has done this effectually in some cases. If we had had this sum in hand, our work done here would have cost us double that which it has, for we could not pay high wages. But now the Lord has brought this to light at the right time, and our third building will now be erected at once. If these buildings had all been put up we should not have had the best ideas of what was wanted. The third building would have been connected with the second. Now we seem to understand better the plans we need to work to. Having the school in operation has improved our methods and plans for the third building. 12LtMs, Lt 177, 1897, par. 3

We feel that the third building must be a dormitory for the gentlemen students and must be in another location, a little distance from the building for the girls. This is, we learn, a positive necessity, and therefore we shall act in building very differently from that which we would have done if we had built at once. Now there are five thousand dollars to make the necessary buildings, and one hundred pounds [for a] school fund dedicated to the building of [a] meetinghouse. The students at the school make the meetinghouse essential. 12LtMs, Lt 177, 1897, par. 4

We shall now begin the work of planning for meetinghouse at once. Last Sabbath the room where we hold our meetings was full to overflowing. We must “Arise and build.” [Nehemiah 2:20.] 12LtMs, Lt 177, 1897, par. 5

We have been charged with wasting means, expending means lavishly on the grounds. But I would say, looking at our buildings, no one could truthfully accuse us in this line. But what has been done with the means? We have just found out eleven hundred pounds have not been used by us at all. And when we come to the necessity to build, when there is not room—after crowding and squeezing our students into the smallest capacity until there is not space for one student more—we find this reserve fund that we can now use to the very best advantage. Oh, how thankful I am to the Lord! I will praise His holy name! The school has been a success, and we are so thankful to our heavenly Father. 12LtMs, Lt 177, 1897, par. 6

We have never had a doubt in regard to this being the right place for us to locate our school. I am trying to get our brethren to get out of the cities on a piece of land and be prepared to raise their own produce. This they will have to do. The Sunday laws have been passed, and just as stringent as a people ignorant of the laws of God can make them. We must be prepared for any emergency. The churches are making history fast. We must be more oft at the footstool of mercy, pleading with God. Walk humbly with God, but do not manifest a craven spirit but a spirit of dependence upon God as one who believes and trusts in God. The Lord is our trust and the crown of our rejoicing. Walk in the way of the Lord and you will walk securely. I must close, for my head will not work. 12LtMs, Lt 177, 1897, par. 7