Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Lt 154, 1906

White, J. E.; White, Emma

St. Helena, California

May 12, 1906

This letter is published in entirety in 21MR 85-89.

Elder J. E. White and Wife

Dear Children Edson and Emma:

I address you a few lines this morning. I have begun letters to you during the past few weeks, but have been unable to finish them. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 1

This morning I am weak, because of an attack of influenza that came upon me during our visit to Southern California. While at the Paradise Valley Sanitarium, I drove to San Diego to speak in the church there; and then, after taking a cold bath, I drove back to the sanitarium, nearly seven miles. This did not seem to weary me; but afterward I was traveling from place to place, and bearing heavy burdens, and in some way I contracted a cold that it has been difficult for me to throw off. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 2

While we were at the Paradise Valley Sanitarium, this institution was dedicated. Early in the afternoon of April 24, the invited guests and many friends of the sanitarium began to come onto the grounds to inspect the buildings. The dedicatory exercises passed off very pleasantly. Elder S. N. Haskell was on the program as the first speaker, but his train was late, and so I spoke first, on the theme, “In Touch With Nature.” I began by reading a portion of the forty-second of Isaiah, in which Scripture are emphasized the power of Jehovah, His care for His people, and His yearning desire to bring under His beneficent care those who are ignorant of His purposes concerning them. Through the prophet Isaiah, “Jehovah, He that created the heavens, and stretched them forth; He that spread abroad the earth and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein,” declares to His people: “I, Jehovah, have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house. ... Sing unto Jehovah a new song, and His praise from the end of the earth.” [Verses 5-7, 10.] 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 3

I related some of my early experiences in caring for the sick and showed how outdoor life, exercise, and good food, in connection with the best of treatments and faith in God’s healing power, will do wonders in the restoration of health. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 4

Elder Haskell spoke next, on the healing of the one sick of the palsy. Brother J. F. Ballenger offered the dedicatory prayer. Elder Reaser was chairman of the afternoon service. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 5

While many of the guests were looking over the buildings and grounds, I had a very interesting interview with Dr. Mary L. Potts, the one who formerly owned the property now known as the Paradise Valley Sanitarium. Mrs. Potts is one year younger than I am and seems to be a woman of ability. She is an excellent speaker and is still going from place to place to deliver public lectures on health and temperance. During the evening exercises she spoke before the large assembly and told the story of her effort to establish and maintain a sanitarium-home in this beautiful place and of her pleasure that the work she was unable to carry on is now taken up by us. She seemed to be very thankful that the place is in such good hands. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 6

I had a long talk with Dr. Potts and gave her a copy of Ministry of Healing. She told me that the original sanitarium building had cost her twenty-five thousand dollars. It is a three-story structure, besides the basement and the garret—all finished with excellent taste and wise calculation. The parlors and sitting room and dining room are well arranged and built for the comfort and the health of the patients. There are several bay windows, and the building stands so that the sunshine enters the rooms to the best possible advantage. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 7

The new addition to the main building is in the form of a long “L,” with well-arranged bathrooms on one end. The second floor has been finished for the accommodation of patients. The third floor is not yet finished, but will be arranged as a dormitory for the helpers. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 8

May 26

There is a general feeling of uncertainty, a trembling, in regard to future events; for at times there is a trembling of the earth. I am now at work, preparing some articles for the papers, or for publication in some other form. Now, while men and women are thinking seriously, I can make a strong point on the Sunday question and on the closing of liquor saloons. I mean to speak quite strongly on these points. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 9

Light has been given me that as we near the close of this earth’s history, we shall have the scenes of the San Francisco calamity repeated in other places; and I do want to gather strength, that I may be able to stand before the people and bear a clear, decided testimony. The period of time in which we are living is a very solemn one. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 10

We had quite a shaking up in our houses here at home. Chimneys were thrown down, but no great damage was done. The printing plant at Mountain View suffered considerably. The side and back walls of the factory were shaken down. The front remained standing. The new post office building, just finished, was a complete wreck, and some large store buildings were also in ruins. Several other buildings in Mountain View were twisted and broken in pieces more or less. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 11

In San Jose, very many of the buildings were ruined, and many chimneys were thrown down. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 12

These things make me feel very solemn, because I know that the judgment day is right upon us. The judgments that have already come are a warning, but not the finishing, of the punishment that will come on wicked cities. Our cities are most terrible places, wherein are practiced all kinds of sin and iniquity of the most revolting character. The Lord’s name is greatly dishonored. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 13

When we reached San Francisco, on our way home, we took a carriage and rode through the streets of the city for an hour and a half. We went up to Van Ness Avenue and on to our church building. The meetinghouse is still standing. It has sustained some damage, but can soon be repaired. It would have been a hard matter to arouse courage sufficient to rebuild, if it had been destroyed. Beautiful Jefferson Park, close by the church property, is filled with tents and people. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 14

San Francisco in ruins is the most complete, thorough, awful calamity I have ever looked upon. In the night season I have had many presentations of the judgments of God coming upon our cities; and now I can understand better the real meaning of these scenes that I have witnessed. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 15

In Micah we read: 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 16

(Quote Micah 1:2-7; 2:1-5, 7, 12, 13; 3.) 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 17

Oh, how soon the scenes of destruction and desolation will come and be universal, we cannot tell. “Be ye also ready,” saith the Lord; “for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” [Matthew 24:44.] 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 18

In Habakkuk we read: 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 19

(Quote 2:1, 2)—“it will not tarry” (beyond the time appointed). 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 20

(Quote 2:3-20.) 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 21

In Zephaniah we read: 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 22

(Quote the entire book.) 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 23

In connection with these Scriptures, read the first four chapters of the prophecy of Zechariah and the entire book of Malachi. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 24

These scenes will soon be witnessed, just as they are clearly described. I present these wonderful statements from the Scriptures for the consideration of every one. The prophecies recorded in the Old Testament, are the word of the Lord for the last days and will be fulfilled as surely as we have seen the desolation of San Francisco. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 25

Will any body of men bring upon themselves the displeasure of the Lord by framing a law for the observance of a spurious Sabbath and then compelling obedience to this law? Will they insult God by profaning His holy day and assuming authority, as gods, to exalt the first day of the week to be observed by all? 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 26

How can men set aside the true Sabbath when they know that God came to our world and from Sinai’s mount, in awful grandeur, proclaimed His law to be observed in commemoration of the day He had ordained as a day of rest—a day ever to be kept as a memorial of God as the Creator of the heavens and of the earth? He made the world in six days, and rested on the seventh day, and was refreshed. He sanctified the seventh day, because that in it He had rested. He instituted the Sabbath as a memorial, pointing to the fact that He was the Creator of the world, the Monarch of the universe. The Lord has given to men the day that He has chosen to be observed by all the world and regarded as a sacred rest day. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 27

In the twentieth of Exodus we find the commandments that God has given as Ruler of the world. All who set one of these aside, and present in its place the observance of a day that bears no sanctity, will be dealt with by Jehovah as usurping an authority that infringes upon His divine prerogatives. The Sunday Sabbath, a child of the Papacy, is set forth to be observed as the Lord’s Sabbath; and to obey this human law would compel men to transgress the laws of Jehovah. Human enactments that conflict with the laws of God bear not the stamp of divine approval. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 28

We should remember with what awe-inspiring authority God has set apart the sacred Sabbath as a memorial by which men shall acknowledge that He is God and beside Him there is none else. In the closing verses of the thirty-first of Exodus, God speaks; for we read: 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 29

(Quote Exodus 31:12-18.) 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 30

Whoever of the human family will dare to defy the Lord God will pay the penalty by meeting the great Law-giver over His broken law. The Word has gone forth. It is not the Word of a human power, but of Almighty Authority, of a living and true God. Will man dare trifle with the sacred law of Jehovah and place in its stead a common work day that marks the beginning of the week for the transaction of ordinary business? Who will venture to meet Jehovah over His broken law? 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 31

The Creator has with His own authority given you His Sabbath to observe; and yet human agencies will attempt to set aside the seventh-day Sabbath, which commemorates God’s holy work of creating the world in six working days and resting on the seventh day. How can men dare assume the authority of Jehovah, and represent themselves as God, to change times and laws? 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 32

I call the attention of thinking men to these things. Dare you continue to take a human enactment that bears not the stamp of divine approval and place it before the people as something to respect and honor? Will you substitute a counterfeit in place of the true and genuine? Will you thus meet God over His broken law and stand with threats of persecution and severe punishment against the people whom you regard as criminals because they choose to obey the law of Jehovah in place of a spurious Sabbath that man has created? 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 33

The patient tenderness with which God instructed the Israelites and prepared them for receiving His law is revealed in the nineteenth of Exodus: “Ye have seen,” He declared, “what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bear you on eagles’ wings ... the people unto the Lord” (end vs. 9). 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 34

God desired to be near His people, in order that they might realize the terrible majesty of His power and the sacredness of His law; and so in mercy He drew near and caused a thick cloud to separate Him from their sight, that they might not be destroyed by the presence of His glory. Through the thick cloud they could hear His voice. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 35

The habitations of men were not chosen as the place where God would speak His law. He chose not the magnificent palaces of the wealthy, but led His people to the foot of Mount Sinai, so that they might be surrounded by His created works while He appeared at the top of the mount. Far removed from all that man had built in pride and self-glorification, the Israelites were made to realize man’s utter insignificance in the presence of the Almighty. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 36

(Quote Exodus 19:17-24.) 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 37

Then the ten commandments were spoken. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 38

It would be well to keep these commandments, in printed form, in plain sight in every house. 21LtMs, Lt 154, 1906, par. 39