Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 133, 1902

Foss, Mary

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

August 10, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in 3SM 90-91; 6MR 412. +Note

My dear sister Mary,—

I have written page after page to you in the past, but before finishing the letters, I have had to give attention to many letters written to me in regard to important matters on which decisions had to be made. After answering these questions, I have looked for what I had written to you, but I could never find anything. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 1

Now, my sister, do not think that I have forgotten you; for I have not. You know that I have books to make. My last effort is a book on “True Education.” The writing of this book has been very trying to me, but it is nearly finished. I am now completing the last chapter. This book will not have in it so much matter as there is in some of my larger works, but the instruction it contains is important. I feel the need of help from God continually. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 2

I am still as active as ever. I am not in the least decrepit. I am able to do much work, writing and speaking as I did years ago. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 3

I read over all that is copied, to see that everything is as it should be. I read all the book manuscript before it is sent to the printer. So you can see that my time must be fully occupied. Besides writing, I am called upon to speak to the different churches, and to attend important meetings. I could not do this work unless the Lord helped me. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 4

Sabbath, August 2, we met together in a grove five miles from St. Helena, for a Sabbath-school convention and open-air meeting. The brethren and sisters from the churches in Calistoga, St. Helena, and Crystal Springs attended the services. Many children were present. They met by themselves for Sabbath school and children’s meetings, while the older ones took part in the convention. Every one seemed to enjoy this grove-meeting. The singing was excellent. In the afternoon I spoke to the people. Several persons not of our faith were present. The Lord helped me, and an excellent impression was made on their minds. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 5

Sunday afternoon some of the brethren and sisters met again in the same place, and I spoke to them with much freedom. A number of outsiders were present. For some time after my journey East last winter, I had considerable difficulty with my voice; but now I can speak before large congregations. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 6

At the time of the last General Conference, held in Battle Creek, I labored very hard, and immediately after that meeting I visited several of our institutions and attended three camp-meetings. So much travelling and taxing labor wore on my strength. During the General Conference the Lord blessed me. It was a most solemn sight to see hundreds of delegates and thousands of our own people assembled in the Tabernacle. When I spoke to them, my voice reached every one. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 7

Our college that was in Battle Creek for so many years has been moved to Berrien Springs, a beautiful Michigan town about a hundred miles west of Battle Creek. This school was deeply in debt, and for a time the managers did not know how they could move the school away from Battle Creek; but through the sale of Christ’s Object Lessons, this was made possible. They have succeeded in paying a large portion of the debt already, and they hope soon to be free. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 8

About three years ago all of our schools were in debt and did not see any way out of their financial difficulties. I had just finished writing my book entitled Christ’s Object Lessons. I proposed to give this book for the purpose of clearing the schools of their terrible indebtedness. I offered to give the book, if the publishing houses would publish it without profit, and if our people would sell it without commission. After considering my offer carefully, the brethren accepted it. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 9

The book sells for a dollar and twenty-five cents a copy. Our people have raised a fund for the material used in manufacturing the books. Every church member in every conference is expected to sell a certain number of these books in order to do his part in this work. The plan is proving a complete success. Already about two thousand copies of this book have been sold, and the proceeds have been sent to the schools to be applied on the old debts. The work is still going forward in behalf of all our schools in America and is being taken up by those in charge of our schools on other parts of the world—in Australia, Europe, and Africa. Financially, the plan has resulted in large returns; spiritually, it has helped to unify the church. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 10

I have ordered a copy of Christ’s Object Lessons sent to you and to John Foss and to Ellen Tapley. There are other books that I should be glad to bring out if the Lord spares my life. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 11

But I have not yet told you how many there are engaged in helping me in my work. My right-hand helper is W. C. White. I pay him fifteen dollars a week. Miss Marian Davis, who has been with me for twenty years, edits my books, giving me most valuable help. I pay her eight dollars a week. Miss Peck, a woman of much ability, keeps my accounts and also helps in editing my books. I pay her ten dollars a week. Maggie Hare prepares the articles for the papers. Clarence Crisler, an experienced stenographer, takes my discourses and writes them out. And when I am called to board meetings or committee meetings, he accompanies me and reports my talks. Miss Graham, a young lady from Healdsburg College, is being initiated into my work. She does the typewriting. Maggie Hare and Clarence Crisler are paid by the General Conference. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 12

Mrs. Nelson is my housekeeper. She is an excellent cook. She takes careful charge of everything in the house and is very neat and orderly. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 13

Sara McEnterfer, my secretary, has been with me for nearly twenty years. Since my husband’s death, she has been my companion in travel. While we are on our journeys, she takes entire charge of all the business. She also gives me treatment. She is a trained nurse, and when we were in Cooranbong, she often took the place of a physician. She has had marked success in treating cases that the physicians had given up. More than once we have brought the sick to our home and have cared for them till they were well. Sara has often been called up in the night to go six or seven miles through the woods to visit some suffering one. She usually went on horseback. So successful was her work among the sick that the people thought her equal to a physician. In Cooranbong there was no physician nearer then Newcastle, a town twenty-five miles away, and for one visit a charge of twenty-five dollars was made. We refused to take any pay for the work that we did in this line, and this had an excellent influence. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 14

We now have a small sanitarium at Cooranbong, on the school estate, and an excellent work is being done by it. Several sanitariums have been established in Australia, and most of the time they are full to overflowing. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 15

We have an excellent school in Cooranbong. I labored with all the powers of my being to established this school, and I was successful. In all this work, my son W. C. White was my right-hand helper. He is a wise, solid thinker, and his counsel and advice is appreciated by his brethren. In the past, he has been called here, there, and everywhere to attend council meetings. I have protested again and again, for I needed his help in my book work. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 16

After coming to this country, he was able to give very little time to my work; for his brethren seemed determined to have his counsel and judgment, and he was called away from me so much that my work has suffered. But they have decided that if they wish to get my books, they must not call him away from me so much; and now he is able to help me a great deal. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 17

After purchasing this place, I gave W. C. White a beautiful spot on which to build a house. He built a three-story house, in which over twenty people find a home. The house is near the Food Factory. The workers in this factory need to be close to their work, but they could not purchase land on which to build themselves homes, so they pleaded with my son to build a large house, that they might have a chance to rent rooms from him. This he did, and his house is always filled. He hired the money to build; for he felt it his duty to provide a place for these workers. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 18

My home is only a few rods from the Food Factory in which all kinds of health foods are made. We find this very convenient. We live very simply; we have no meat or butter or tea or coffee on our table. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 19

We are not living here from choice. We are here in the providence of God, and when my work in this place is finished, the Lord will open the way for me to go where He would have me go. We have much work to do, and I am so glad that all my workers are in harmony. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 20

The office building is close to the house. I can speak to my workers from my window when I wish for a certain manuscript or when I wish to give them something to be copied. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 21

My health is good, if I am careful not to overtax myself. We have good horses and carriages, and I drive out every day, when I can spare the time. Sara always goes with me. She takes the lines, and could manage any horse that I should dare to ride after. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 22

I carry a heavy burden for the work and cause of God. I did hope to be able to visit the state of Maine, to see my friends and relatives there; but it now seems a little doubtful that I shall be able to do this. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 23

I send you some postage stamps that I happened to have in my pocketbook; also a one-dollar bill. I hope to be able to send you something more soon. At present I am short of money. I have not received all the money I left in Australia. I have had to borrow several thousand dollars in order to keep on in my work. I often have these times of dearth when issuing my books. But I have everything to make me comfortable. I thank the Lord for His mercy and His lovingkindness. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 24

I must now close my letter. I need not write to you in regard to religious matters; for I will send you copies of the manuscripts and letters that I am writing in which I think you might be interested. I would love to meet with you, but I do not suppose this can be. I do not care to travel in the cars except when it is positively necessary. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 25

May the Lord bless and strengthen you, my sister, and may His peace be with you, is my prayer. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 26

With much love to you and to your children. 17LtMs, Lt 133, 1902, par. 27