Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Lt 388, 1906

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Berkeley, California

December 17, 1906

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 257.

Dear children Edson and Emma:

For four weeks I have been suffering from the effects of breathing impure air in a insufficiently ventilated meetinghouse, and until a few days ago I have not felt able to travel. But last week I received an invitation from Elder Simpson to come to Oakland and speak to the people on Sabbath, and I ventured to come. 21LtMs, Lt 388, 1906, par. 1

Elder Simpson is a practical man, ready for hard work with his hands, as well as to preach. He has now been holding meetings in Oakland for about two months, and his labors have been greatly blessed. He has had to meet difficulties; for the tent has been blown down twice, and badly torn; and last week it rained for several days, and it was necessary to take the tent down and discontinue the meetings. 21LtMs, Lt 388, 1906, par. 2

The manner of Elder Simpson’s work reminds me of the efforts that were put forth in 1843 and 1844. He does not make prominent his own words, but reads the Bible, explaining one Scripture by another. He dwells largely on the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation and uses many illustrations and suitable figures to impress the truth. To represent the beasts of Daniel and Revelation, he has prepared life-like images of papier-mâché. 21LtMs, Lt 388, 1906, par. 3

Elder Simpson enters into no controversy with opponents. He presents the Bible so clearly that it is evident that any one who differs must do so in opposition to the Word of God. 21LtMs, Lt 388, 1906, par. 4

Friday evening and Sabbath forenoon he spoke upon the subject of Spiritual Gifts, dwelling especially upon the Spirit of Prophecy. Those who were present at these discourses say that he treated the subject in a clear, forceful manner. 21LtMs, Lt 388, 1906, par. 5

Sabbath forenoon I filled my appointment in the large Congregational church that is now being used by our people. The house was filled, there being, I am told, between five and six hundred people present. It was with fear and trembling that I went to the service; for I had been very poorly on Friday. But as I spoke, the invigorating power of the Spirit of God came upon me, and I was enabled to speak for one hour and fifteen minutes. 21LtMs, Lt 388, 1906, par. 6

Sunday forenoon, Elder Simpson baptized thirty-two candidates at the Piedmont Baths. There is to be another baptism about the middle of January, and it is hoped that there will be more than this number who will be ready then. 21LtMs, Lt 388, 1906, par. 7

Sunday night, December 16, Elder Simpson gave his last discourse in this series of meetings, and the following day the tent was taken down. At this service, there were fully one thousand persons present to listen to the subject of the United States in Prophecy. Those who would refuse to render homage to the beast and his image were asked to arise, and nearly all present responded. 21LtMs, Lt 388, 1906, par. 8

The expenses connected with these meetings have been fully one thousand dollars. Collections have been taken in the congregation only once a week; but these, with donations that some have given privately, have paid all these expenses, so the effort has cost the conference nothing except the salaries of workers. 21LtMs, Lt 388, 1906, par. 9

The liberality of many from the outside has been surprising. Elder and Mrs. Haskell, on several occasions, received liberal gifts from strangers. One afternoon, after I had spoken in the church, a man handed to Elder Haskell one hundred dollars and then left the building quickly and could not afterwards be found. On another occasion, a lady slipped two coins into Sister Haskell’s hand. These proved to be twenty-dollar gold pieces. Sister Haskell afterward met the lady, but she did not wish to tell Sister Haskell her name. It has since been learned that she is the wife of an influential man in Oakland. These things have greatly encouraged our workers. 21LtMs, Lt 388, 1906, par. 10

In these meetings we have seen evidences of the deep moving of the Spirit of God. Truly the Lord has wrought on minds. Our people need now to be aroused from the lethargy that has come upon them. The language of every heart should be: Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth. 21LtMs, Lt 388, 1906, par. 11

Elder Simpson has now returned to Los Angeles. During the winter months many tourists visit the cities in Southern California, and as the rainfall is not so heavy in the southern part of the state, it is thought that he can labor to better advantage there than in Oakland. As soon as possible, however, he expects to return to continue his labors in Oakland and San Francisco. 21LtMs, Lt 388, 1906, par. 12