Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Lt 142, 1906

Burden, Brother and Sister [J. A.]

St. Helena, California

May 17, 1906

This letter is published in entirety in LLM 174-176.

Dear Brother and Sister Burden:

I have an apology to make for not sending you, sooner, this matter regarding the bakery at Loma Linda. The delay has been occasioned by illness and traveling. On my journey to Mountain View, I had a peaceful, restful night on the cars; but I had not been able to throw off a cold that I contracted in Southern California. When I reached Mountain View Thursday morning, my throat was suffering considerably. We had expected to stop only two or three hours and then go on to St. Helena, but the brethren urged us to stop longer; and as we considered the needs of the work there, in view of the disaster to the Pacific Press, we consented to remain over the Sabbath. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 1

Thursday morning we were driven over a portion of Mountain View, and shown the ruins of several large buildings, including the post office and some two-story brick buildings, that were completely wrecked by the earthquake. I was made sad to see the ruins of the sides of the Signs office. The building has been repaired temporarily, and the chapel was repaired sufficiently to make it safe and comfortable for Sabbath services. We have reason to thank the Lord that no greater damage was done. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 2

Thursday afternoon I met with the brethren in council and spoke a short time. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 3

Nearly every morning we were there the sky was overcast with fog. I rode out a short distance on Friday. That day I was quite sick, and very weak, and I hardly dared hope to be able to speak on the morrow. However, I ventured to allow the brethren to make an appointment for me to address the people Sabbath forenoon. I made the Lord my entire dependence; for I knew that unless He should be my helper, I could not speak more than a few words. I was afflicted with the influenza, and my throat and head were greatly troubled. I was so hoarse that I could scarcely talk. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 4

When the appointed hour came, I went over to the usual place of meeting and was surprised to find the chapel crowded. I feared I should fail, but began talking about the last prayer of Christ, as recorded in the seventeenth of John. The moment I began to speak, strength was imparted, and I was relieved of my hoarseness and spoke without difficulty for nearly an hour. My illness seemed to disappear, and my mind was clear. As soon as I finished speaking, the hoarseness came upon me again, and I am still under difficulty, coughing and sneezing. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 5

To me, this experience was a marked evidence of divine help. I am so grateful to my heavenly Father for this special miracle of His power, which gave me no chance for any doubt. In the afternoon I had a very strange movement of the bowels, which cleansed my system, but left me prostrated. I was so very weak; but I praise the Lord for His goodness and for evidences of His special power upon me in such a way that I could not entertain a doubt but that He had a message for me to bear to the people. I was very sick in the afternoon and restless during the night, but Sunday I was able to sit up in bed and trace some of the lines that I am sending you. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 6

Monday noon we started home, by the way of San Francisco. In Palo Alto we saw the ruins of the beautiful stone entrance to the Leland Stanford, Jr., University. Many of the magnificent buildings of this great university are badly wrecked. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 7

At the Valencia St. Station, we secured a cab and spent an hour and a half riding through the streets of the stricken city. Terrible were the sights that met our eyes. The situation there can scarcely be exaggerated. Our church on Laguna Street was not burned. The chimney is down, and the building has been damaged otherwise, to the extent of about a thousand dollars, we are told. The beautiful park close by is a safe retreat for many refugees. All of these scenes were of very solemn import to me. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 8

Since coming home, I have taken quite thorough treatment, but my cough has been coming on mornings, and sometimes at night. Hot baths have relieved me considerably. Still, I am not well. I feel very weary and have been able to do but little writing. I have finally completed this that I am now sending you; and as I have been writing it out, I have thought, How pleased I would be to converse with you! 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 9

Brother Burden, we appreciate your ability as a manager and as a spiritual instructor, and we feel anxious that you should not be harassed with so many perplexing details of business that the spiritual work shall take a secondary place. I pray that you may preserve your capabilities and constantly increase in talent and spiritual power. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 10

Sister Burden, you need to get out often and ride. This is the prescription I give, in the name of the Lord. We hope you will both have health and strength and vitality and that your spiritual growth shall not decrease, but increase. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 11

From various sources I have been receiving letters containing statements regarding supposed inconsistencies in the testimonies and reasons why they cannot be regarded as reliable. As soon as I am able, I plan to take up these matters; but I cannot expect to do anything before I recover from the effects of the influenza. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 12

Be of good courage in the Lord. Trust fully in His power to strengthen and uphold you. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 13

In faith and love. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 14

Later. I have just had an interview with Dr. Preston S. Kellogg. He has a knowledge of surgery and has made a success in this line. For his spiritual good, he needs to be connected with some one of our sanitariums. Will you please favor me by giving him a close looking over, to see if he would not be one who could be used at Loma Linda to do the work that we once thought Dr. Holden would do. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 15

I have urged Brother Kellogg to go to Loma Linda and see the place. May the Lord give you wisdom to know how to handle this case. I have had only a few minutes’ talk with him and now leave the matter to your judgment. Elder Behrens says that he and his wife are having a good religious experience. 21LtMs, Lt 142, 1906, par. 16