Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 14a, 1901

Starr, Brother and Sister [G. B.]

Crystal Springs, St. Helena, California

January 22, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in 5Bio 51.

Dear Brother and Sister Starr,—

I thank you for the letters you kindly write me. Since coming to America I have labored continuously in speaking and in writing. I have become often wearied, but I have been sick for three weeks, poisoned in San Francisco with the ill-ventilated house and two stoves midway in the church where the people assemble to worship. I determined to bear it, but in fifteen minutes I was unable to scarcely get a breath; the exhalations from the lungs and eliminations from the bodies were more than my afflicted heart could endure. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 1

I thought Sara had left the church. I told Elder Corliss I could not speak; it would be presumption for me to attempt it. I pressed close behind the organ but expected any moment to fall prostrate, when someone touched my shoulder and said, “Mother, how do you feel?” The unexpected voice gave me a surprise and tided me over the almost desperate exhaustion upon me. She helped me into the anteroom and got me in the open air, and I was saved a humiliation which I had decided must come. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 2

In the afternoon there was no fire—the house had been ventilated the best they could do—and I, clinging to the pulpit with both hands, was able to speak because the Lord helped me. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 3

We had a most decided, victorious meeting. The Lord gave me a testimony for the house full of people in regard to our silence in not giving God thanks for His great goodness and mercy and love toward us. I presented before them how readily murmuring and complaining came from our lips if everything did not go pleasantly, and when the blessings of God are given us daily to enjoy, we scarcely recognize the goodness and love of God. We did not praise and glorify His holy name. We are to lift the windows of the soul heavenward and close the windows of the soul earthward. We need a much deeper experience and let the peace of God rule in our hearts. If we are sunshiny Christians, then we reveal the truth in its uplifting, brightening, sanctifying influence. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 4

What a different showing we ought to make to our world of our superior faith in Bible truth that has an influence to uplift the soul above the annoyances of this life. The words are a talent and should ever be employed in saying right things and those things that will strengthen and bless, and not weaken and discourage. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 5

The testimony borne was straightforward and presented the matter of our churches who have had every spiritual advantage, [who] should bear the living testimony in words, in praise offerings, and in thanksgiving—that all with whom we associate will have evidence that we love God and are feeling honored to do Him service. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 6

Oh how I do long to see the church members with cheerful, thankful expressions in their hearts! Well, what a satisfaction it would be to the universe of heaven to have the sons and daughters of God meet one another with joy and thanksgiving, making mention of the Lord’s mercies, His longsuffering, His patience with His erring children for their own sake. This would be an experience for them that would affect their growth in grace, increase their faith, and they [would] have consolation to give to others [that] wherewith they themselves have been blessed. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 7

I tried to impress upon every soul that holiness and usefulness should be our constant, persevering, and untiring effort. We must elevate the standard. We are laborers together with God. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 8

Well, the countenance of the congregation was lighted up, and many testimonies were borne, and they were right to the point—testimonies of thanksgiving and joy in the truth. Then I requested all to rise up and pour forth from grateful hearts their testimony—“Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” etc. It was a wonderful, blessed meeting. Let the theme of every prayer be, “Nearer to Thee, my God, nearer to Thee.” Oh what a work is before us! 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 9

I could not write more; my head pained me, so Sara had the horse and phaeton brought around for me to ride. We went to St. Helena, and I became rested some and by lamplight I finish this letter. We would be so glad to see you and have a visit with your family. Dear Mother Sisley, we aged ones will soon lay off our armor. Let us be of good courage in the Lord. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 10

I send you a copy of a letter from Brother Daniells. I was very feeble when we went in the meeting Sunday morning. I labored right through that meeting, after speaking more than an hour and engaging in prayer for a company who came forward for prayers. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 11

While bearing a straightforward testimony, it seemed that I could endure seeing Him who is invisible. I know angels of God were in that meeting and all, I know, felt their presence. There were one hundred and twenty excellent testimonies borne. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord with heart and soul and voice! Three hours the meeting was in session. Then I knew God had given me strength to bear my testimony. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 12

I left Monday morning for the cars and was on my journey to St. Helena. Have been quite ill, apparently with la grippe. I have kept my room but cannot take treatment, my heart is so weak. I tried a good hot bath and fainted in the tub. But I am now improving and have sat in bed bolstered up with pillows. Have written all of sixty pages of letter paper in three days, and the Lord has helped me. I have not regretted my labor in San Francisco and Oakland during the Week of Prayer. Although some have felt it their duty to censure me severely when they saw me suffering so severely, I told them they hurt my soul for the Lord sustained me to do the work and strengthened me to speak in power to the people, and I would not murmur or complain, for the results justified the labor I did. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 13

When shall we meet again, meet ne’er to sever? Only a little while and then we shall see the King in His beauty. Be of good courage! You are just as near and dear to me as at any period we have been acquainted. You must not be surprised if the letters from me are far apart, for I cannot do the work demanding to be done and yet write many letters. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 14

In much love. 16LtMs, Lt 14a, 1901, par. 15