Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Lt 396, 1906

Belden, Sister [S. T.]

St. Helena, California

December 26, 1906

Portions of this letter are published in RY 164-165.

Dear Sister Belden:

I have received your letter; and of your husband, I can say, “Praise the Lord; for his sufferings are over.” “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.” [Revelation 14:12, 13.] 21LtMs, Lt 396, 1906, par. 1

After my husband died, one of our brethren, who thought a great deal of him, said, “Do not let them bury him, but pray to the Lord, that He may bring him to life again.” I said, “No, no. Although I realize my great loss, I will not do this.” I felt that he had done his work. No one but myself knew how great a load he had carried in the efforts we had put forth to advance the truth. He had done the work of three men. Night after night, at the beginning of our work, when advancement seemed to be hindered on every hand, he would say, “Ellen, we must pray. We must not let go until we realize the power of God.” He would lie awake for hours, and say, “O Ellen, I am so afflicted. Will you pray for me, that I may not fail or be discouraged.” Together we offered up our prayers with strong crying and tears, until from his lips came the words, “Thank the Lord; He has spoken peace to me. I have light in the Lord. I will not fail. I will press the battle to the gates.” Would I have him suffer all this over again? No, no. I would in no case call him from his restful sleep to a life of toil and pain. He will rest until the morning of the resurrection. 21LtMs, Lt 396, 1906, par. 2

My husband died in 1881. During the time that has passed since then, I have missed him constantly. For one year after his death, I felt my loss keenly, until the Lord, when I was at the gates of death, healed me instantly. This was at a camp-meeting held at Healdsburg, about a year after my husband’s death. Since that time, I have been willing to live, or willing to die, just as the Lord sees that I can best glorify Him. 21LtMs, Lt 396, 1906, par. 3

Now, my dear sister, may the Lord bless and strengthen you and give you clear judgment concerning your future life. I cannot write much to you now, but will send you copies of articles that I have written. I have been sick from the effects of colds caught while speaking in unventilated churches. Several weeks ago I went to San Francisco and spoke three times in our meetinghouse. While there I caught a very severe cold and was sick for a month. I had barely recovered from this attack, when I consented to go to Oakland to spend Sabbath and Sunday. While there I spoke in the Congregational church, which our people are using for the present. I spoke in the afternoon. In the morning, Sabbath school and church service had been held, and in the meantime the room had not been ventilated. There were over four hundred people present in the afternoon. I thought I could speak for only thirty minutes, but I spoke for an hour and a quarter. The Lord strengthened me wonderfully. But after a few days I began to suffer as I had after the trip to San Francisco, and I saw that I had again been poisoned by the unhealthful atmosphere. I have been sick for over a week, but I am not suffering so much as I should if I did not have most thorough treatment every day. 21LtMs, Lt 396, 1906, par. 4

During my recent visit to Oakland, I witnessed the baptism of thirty-one candidates, by Elder Simpson, who has been holding meetings in Oakland for several weeks. These meetings have been largely attended, and good results have followed the work done. Besides those baptized at this time, there are a number of others who have accepted the Sabbath, but who were not quite ready for baptism. Elder Simpson is now in Los Angeles, and on his return these will be baptized also. 21LtMs, Lt 396, 1906, par. 5

The baptismal service was conducted with great calmness and solemnity. The hymns chosen for the occasion were well selected. Elder Simpson’s face was shining, and the countenances of the whole company reflected the light of cheerful obedience. On profession of faith, the willing candidates were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—the three heavenly authorities who pledge themselves to help in times of necessity those who take part in this ordinance. Henceforth the candidates must show themselves dead to the world and alive unto God. “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” [Colossians 3:3.] They are to seek God for the new life in Christ. 21LtMs, Lt 396, 1906, par. 6

I was greatly blessed, and others were blessed, in witnessing this ordinance. 21LtMs, Lt 396, 1906, par. 7

I returned to my home on Monday evening, feeling quite wearied, and soon came down with influenza. I have been confined to my room almost ever since. I wish to express my sincere thanks to the friends who have shown themselves so tenderly kind to you and Stephen. May the Lord bless them for their thoughtful attentions. I may not meet them in this life, but I hope to meet them where sickness and sorrow will be no more. Please keep us informed regarding your health; and if you should not be able to write yourself, please send word through others. May the Lord be pitiful and gracious unto you, is my prayer. Our time here is short. Be of good courage. 21LtMs, Lt 396, 1906, par. 8