Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Lt 258, 1908

White, J. E.

St. Helena, California

September 11, 1908

Portions of this letter are published in 6Bio 170.

Elder J. E. White
1713 Cass Street
Nashville, Tennessee

My son Edson:

We have just returned from our visit to Southern California, where we spent four weeks attending the Los Angeles camp-meeting and visiting the sanitariums at Glendale, Paradise Valley, and Loma Linda. The camp-meeting was an important one, and there were able workers present all through the meeting. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 1

Our brethren thought that it would be a wise thing to give the Women’s Christian Temperance Union workers an opportunity to address the congregation in the large tent Sunday afternoon, and time was given them on the first Sunday of the camp-meeting. They invited me also to speak at this time, but I was sick and could not come before the people. An excellent meeting was held, and the W.C.T.U. workers expressed their appreciation of the consideration they had thus received. We are seeking to help these people, and I know such experiences as this will have an influence. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 2

I spoke when I could do so with safety, and I was grateful to God that I could speak at all; for I had had a hard journey to Los Angeles. We traveled by the Owl, which runs through the San Joaquin Valley, and we had every convenience in one of the drawing rooms; but the journey was made unusually long and wearisome on account of accidents to other trains on the road. Twice we were delayed because of freight trains ahead of us whose machinery had broken down; and this held us six hours in one place where we could get no breeze. At breakfast time we took our provisions and found a resting place in the shade of an immense water tank and there ate our lunch. Our party was made up of Clarence Crisler and wife, Sara McEnterfer, Miss Hannaford, Minnie Hawkins, and myself. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 3

When we reached Los Angeles, we found a small furnished cottage at the disposal of my family, and another close by in which W. C. White, Elder Daniells, and Clarence Crisler stayed. We were very thankful for this accommodation, and especially that we could have the convenience of a bathroom. But after I was settled there, I became quite sick, so that I could speak only a few times. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 4

The meetings were excellent, and such a deep interest prevailed that it was decided to extend the meeting over the third Sunday. On that day I spoke to a very large congregation upon the importance of the seventh-day Sabbath. I spoke for one hour, presenting before the people the evidence that God has given in His Word regarding the sanctity of His day. My voice did not fail. As I ceased speaking, a lady, a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, came up to me, and throwing her arms around me, said with tears, “I accept the seventh-day Sabbath because the Word of God declares it to be His day. He sanctified the seventh day. I am fully converted.” 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 5

I had told the congregation that the Word of God was true and just; that the seventh day had been sanctified because the Word of God declared it. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 6

I was then hastened from the tent to a smaller tent on the ground, where I took my bath, and was then taken in an automobile to the streetcars which carried us to Glendale. Willie helped me in every way possible. At the Glendale station there was no means of conveyance to the sanitarium. The regular bus does not run on Sundays. But Willie had provided a wheelchair, and in it I reached the sanitarium again, where I had one of the best rooms in the institution. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 7

The Sabbath previous to this, I spoke to the patients and helpers at Glendale, and to the neighbors, who gathered in the two large parlors on the first floor. The Lord gave me freedom in speaking to those assembled. As I spoke to all from the Word of life, and especially to those who were afflicted, I felt the Holy Spirit come into my own heart. I could see that the hearers were blessed, for their faces beamed with hope. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 8

On Monday afternoon, August 24, we took the train to National City. At the station we met Brother Harmon W. Lindsay, who is now the business manager of the Paradise Valley Sanitarium. He had two teams waiting for our party, and we were taken quickly to the sanitarium. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 9

At the sanitarium, we found that the physician, the matron, and the manager were working heartily and unitedly to make the sanitarium a cheerful home for the afflicted. Wednesday morning I spoke to the patients and helpers in the parlors. These are beautiful rooms and are calculated to accommodate a large or small company as the need may be. When a small company is present, one room is sufficient; but the rooms are so arranged that when a larger company gathers, the people can be accommodated with equal convenience. I could not help thinking how much these pleasant rooms must be appreciated by the sick ones. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 10

I had perfect freedom in speaking, and all seemed interested. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 11

After this I was asked to join a company in praying for Sister McKee, the mother of Mrs. R. S. Cummings, our matron. For years Sister McKee has labored for abandoned women, a work that is shunned by many. She felt that she was in need of healing, for her nervous system was affected, and she feared a breakdown. She specified her desire that I should unite my prayers with those whom she had invited to join in this season of seeking God. I knelt down close by the side of this sister and pleaded with God that He would heal her. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 12

For some time I myself had been afflicted with pain in my right hip. As I prayed for Sister McKee, I did not mention myself as in need of healing. But when I claimed the promise for her, “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find” [Matthew 7:7], I felt, as I have felt many times when praying for the sick, the rich blessing of God come upon me. The stiffness and pain left my limb, and I was blessed as verily as was Sister McKee, for whom our prayers were offered. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 13

The next morning we left Paradise Valley for Loma Linda. At Colton a carriage from the sanitarium was waiting for us, and we were soon at the sanitarium that we have all appreciated so much. I have sometimes wished I might meet those who first owned the sanitarium and who gave it over to us with all its beautiful furnishings. I would like to tell them of our grateful thanks. Everything is of the best. I never before saw so many rocking chairs in one building. We never could have procured such good furniture. Grateful thanks arises in my heart whenever I think of what God has wrought for us in this place. And I know that much good has been done through this institution and that souls have been converted. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 14

While at Loma Linda we were taken by Brother Burden to view the garden. This land is being wisely cultivated, and it is yielding its treasures. In the last year the garden has brought in $600 in profits, and Brother Burden expressed his conviction that this would continue to improve. We saw large patches of melons, strawberries, asparagus, tomatoes, and corn. Some of these fruits and vegetables are sold in the neighboring town, but the larger portion is used to supply the sanitarium tables. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 15

Sabbath morning, August 29, I spoke in the sanitarium chapel on the hill. The house was crowded, the sick being brought in in wheel chairs and filling the aisles. I spoke from the third chapter of Revelation, but I did not say all I desired to say. The subject is one of intense interest to me. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 16

I do not feel free to go to Nashville this fall unless I have some indication from the Lord that this is duty. I do not feel that I am needed at Madison, though I should be pleased to see you and Emma again. We are striving with all our powers to get out my books, but these calls that come in for us to visit different parts of the field hinder us from accomplishing what we desire to do. I cannot do my writing if I keep traveling. 23LtMs, Lt 258, 1908, par. 17