Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 55, 1905

Olsen, O. A.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

January 30, 1905

See variant Ms 140, 1905. Portions of this letter are published in 1MR 140-142.

Elder O. A. Olsen

My dear Brother,—

We had a very pleasant journey from College View to Battle Creek. We were given a very hearty welcome by the friends in Battle Creek. I was treated with all the attention possible by Dr. Kellogg. He urged me to go to St. Louis and bear my testimony there. He treats me with great consideration. I could ask no more from him on this line. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 1

During my short stay in Battle Creek, I spoke five times, three times in the Tabernacle, once to the students in the medical College, and once to the patients and helpers in the sanitarium. I had a message to bear, and the Spirit of the Lord seemed to impress those present. I know that God gave me strength to speak. On Sabbath there were about three thousand people present in the tabernacle and on Sunday about two thousand. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 2

The meeting on Sunday afternoon was attended by many of the citizens of Battle Creek. They paid the best of attention. At this meeting I had opportunity to state decidedly that my views have not changed. The blessing of the Lord rested upon many of those who heard the words spoken. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 3

I understood that some were anxious to know if Mrs. White held the same views as she did years ago when they had heard her speak in the sanitarium grove, in the Tabernacle, and at the camp-meetings held in the suburbs of Battle Creek. I assured them that the message she bears today is the same that she has borne during the sixty years of her public ministry. She has the same service to do for the Master that was laid upon her in her girlhood. She receives lessons from the same Instructor. The directions given her are, “Make known to others what I have revealed to you. Write out the messages that I give you, that the people may have them.” This is what she has endeavored to do. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 4

I have written many books, and they have been given a wide circulation. Of myself, I could not have brought out the truths in these books, but the Lord has given me the help of His Holy Spirit. These books, giving the instruction that the Lord has given me during the past sixty years, contain light from heaven and will bear the test of investigation. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 5

The question is sometimes raised, “What if Mrs. White should die?” I answer: “The books that she has written will not die. They are a living witness to what saith the Scriptures.” 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 6

The truth that Seventh-day Adventists proclaim today is the same truth that they have proclaimed for more than fifty years. We can say, as John says in his first epistle: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” [1 John 1:1-5.] 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 7

During the discourse, I said that I did not claim to be a prophetess. Some were surprised at this statement, and as much is being said in regard to it, I will make an explanation. Others have called me a prophetess, but I have never assumed that title. I have not felt that it was my duty thus to designate myself. Those who boldly assume that they are prophets in this our day are often a reproach to the cause of Christ. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 8

My work includes much more than this name signifies. I regard myself as a messenger, entrusted by the Lord with messages for His people. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 9

When this work was first given me, I begged the Lord to lay the burden on someone else. The work was so large and broad and deep that I feared I could not do it. I have been weak and feeble physically much of my life, but by His Holy Spirit the Lord has given me ability to perform the work entrusted to me. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 10

God has made plain to me the various ways in which He would use me to carry forward a special work. Visions have been given me with the promise, “If you deliver the message faithfully, and endure unto the end, you shall eat of the fruit of the tree of life, and drink of the water of the river of life.” 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 11

The Lord gave me great light on health reform. In connection with my husband I was to be a medical missionary worker. I was to set an example to the church by taking the sick to my home and caring for them. This I have done, myself giving the women and children most vigorous treatment. I was also to speak on the subject of Christian temperance, as the Lord’s appointed messenger. I engaged heartily in this work and spoke to large assemblies on temperance in its broadest and truest sense. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 12

I was instructed that I must ever urge upon those who profess to believe the truth the necessity of practicing this truth. This means sanctification, and sanctification means the culture and training of every capability for the Lord’s service. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 13

I was charged not to neglect or pass by those who were being wronged. The Lord presented such cases before me; and disagreeable though the duty may be, I am to reprove the oppressor and plead for justice. I am to present the necessity of maintaining justice and equity in all our institutions. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 14

If I see those in positions of trust neglecting aged ministers, I am to present the matter to those whose duty it is to care for them. Ministers who have faithfully done their work are not to be forgotten or neglected when they have become feeble in health. Our conferences are not to disregard the needs of those who have borne the burden of the work. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 15

It was after John had grown old in the service of His Lord that he was exiled to Patmos. But God did not forsake him. Christ knew where to find him, and on that lonely island he received more communications from heaven than he had received during the rest of his lifetime. Of this we read: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John; who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein; for the time is at hand.” [Revelation 1:1-3.] 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 16

After my marriage I was instructed that I must show a special interest in motherless and fatherless children, taking some under my own charge, for a time, and then finding homes for them. Thus I would be giving others an example of what they could do. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 17

I have felt it my duty to bring before our people that for which those in every church should feel a responsibility. I have taken children from three to five years of age, and have educated them, and trained them for responsible positions. I have taken into my home from time to time boys from ten to sixteen years of age, giving them motherly care and a training for service. These boys have now grown to manhood, and some of them occupy positions of trust in our institutions. One was for many years head pressman in the Review and Herald Publishing House. Another stood for years as foreman of the type department in the Review and Herald. He is now assisting my son Edson in his work near Nashville. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 18

In Australia I carried on this same work, taking into my home orphan children, who were in danger of being exposed to temptations that might cause the loss of their souls. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 19

While we were in Australia we worked as medical missionaries in every sense of the word. At times I made my home in Cooranbong an asylum for the sick and afflicted. My secretary, who had received a training in the Battle Creek Sanitarium, stood by my side and did the work of a missionary nurse. No charge was made for her services, and we won the confidence of the people by the interest that we manifested in the sick and suffering. After a time the health retreat at Cooranbong was built, and then we were relieved of this burden. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 20

To claim to be a prophetess is something that I have never done. If others call me by that name, I have no controversy with them. But my work has covered so many lines that I cannot call myself other than a messenger, sent to bear a message from the Lord to His people and to take up work in any line that He points out. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 21

I wanted to remain in Battle Creek for another week, but Sister Marian Davis was very sick, and we feared that she might die before we reached home. She was very anxious to see us, and we decided to hasten home. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 22

We found Sister Davis very sick. She was at the sanitarium, receiving the best of care, and her sister Mrs. W. K. Kellogg was with her. About a week after our return, she rallied, and for a while we hoped for her recovery. But her strength suddenly failed, and on Tuesday, October 25, she passed away. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 23

On leaving Battle Creek, we bought our tickets through to Los Angeles, and these tickets allowed us to spend a month at St. Helena. We had been at home for about two weeks, and the physicians thought that Sister Davis might linger for some time, so we decided to go South, planning to leave home on Monday. But something prevented us, and we decided to wait till the next day. On Tuesday morning a telephone message came from the sanitarium that Marian had been unconscious since seven o’clock A.M. She remained thus until four that afternoon, when she quietly breathed her last. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 24

A beautiful spot in the St. Helena Cemetery was chosen for her grave, and the dear, helpful worker rests in her narrow bed until Jesus comes. No more trouble will come to her. At seventy-seven I am still toiling, but am not worth much at present; for I am very weary. We are all in the hands of the Lord. I trust in Him; for I know that He will never leave nor forsake those who put their trust in Him. I have committed myself to His keeping. 20LtMs, Lt 55, 1905, par. 25