Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 25 (1910 - 1915)


Ms 14a, 1912

Discussions at Loma Linda

Loma Linda, California

May 24, 1912 [typed]

Previously unpublished.

Discussions at Loma Linda: Regarding the Division of Responsibility and the Work of Elder J. A. Burden 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 1

During a meeting of the Board of Trustees held in Dr. Ruble’s office, Monday, April 1, while plans for the raising of funds were being discussed, Brother D. E. Robinson handed to Elder W. C. White the following statement: 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 2

A little while ago I went up to Sister White’s room. I found that Elder Irwin had asked Sister McEnterfer to inquire of Sister White if she had anything to say regarding Brother Burden’s work. It was represented to Sister White that the board had taken action to put some one else in as manager in his place, and ask him to go into the field to solicit means; and when I came in she spoke to me about this. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 3

She spoke of the need of very careful consideration of this matter, saying that it should not be hastily acted upon. Human judgment, she said, is not to be depended upon. The Lord has placed Brother Burden here. In the past Brother Burden has stood firmly for the right and has labored for the interests of the institution conscientiously and faithfully. To make a change, without very clear and definite light that it is the Lord’s will, would bring sad results to the work, and it might open the way for others who do not have a clear conception of the Lord’s purpose to mold and fashion the work according to their own ideas. Brother Burden’s work should be in the place where God has put him, until the Lord makes it clear that there should be a change. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 4

On Thursday morning, April 4, 1912, Elder W. C. White found time to present to Sister E. G. White a comprehensive statement of deliberations of the council, including plans for improvements and proposals regarding the calling of Elder J. A. Burden into the field, to take a leading part in the raising of the necessary funds. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 5

After this interview, he told the Board of Trustees that Sister White was not opposed to the plans of the board, as many had supposed. The board then sent an invitation for Sister White to come and tell them her views. She was weak and weary, but consented to respond to the invitation, with the agreement that W. C. White should relate to the board the substance of their interview that had just closed. After Sister White was seated in the board meeting, Brother W. C. White took his seat by her side, and, speaking slowly and distinctly so that his mother could hear, he said: 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 6

We have been trying to plan about the work for the future year, and we meet with many perplexities, and one of the most perplexing is the one that we were talking about on our drive this morning. If you have something to say to the brethren about it, we would be glad to hear it. If you wish me to repeat to the brethren our conversation first, I will do that. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 7

E. G. White: I would prefer that you do that, since I have been putting my mind on something else. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 8

W. C. White: You can add to it or correct me if I do not repeat the matter correctly. I will speak to the brethren and will try to speak so that you can hear. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 9

We were driving nearly an hour, and after getting well on the road, I asked Mother if she would like to have me tell her some of the main features of our council. She said she would. I asked her if she had heard the story of our boiler. She said, No. Then I told her briefly the story of the break in the boiler, of the way our brethren worked to mend it, of the necessity of having two new boilers so placed as to do the heating for the whole plant, and thus save in labor and fuel. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 10

This heating plant would cost not less than $12,000, and our brethren in council, including those from the East and those here on the Pacific Coast, said that this should be done. They also said they thought we ought not to increase our indebtedness. We are now paying interest on many thousands of dollars and have a debt of about $160,000, and they say that we ought not to increase it and that we must raise the money for the improvements. When I had reached that point, Mother said, “Yes. That is the only way, the only right way.” 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 11

Then I told her briefly the story of our hospital plans. I spoke first of the necessity of medical students’ coming in contact with sick people before they go forth alone to take the lives of men and women in their hands. I spoke of the fact that there are hospitals connected with the larger medical colleges, and that the State licensing boards are demanding that those who ask for permission to practice medicine shall have an experience in dealing with sick people before they go out alone to bear responsibilities. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 12

Then I spoke of the various plans we had before us, saying that we had sometimes thought of erecting a large hospital and endeavoring to give our students all of their clinical experience here, and that sometimes we had planned to take the students to Los Angeles and let them get all their clinical experience there, and that sometimes we had planned to do part of the work here and part in Los Angeles. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 13

Mother spoke up very cheerfully and promptly and said that the latter plan was the better way to do—part of the work here and part in Los Angeles. Then I spoke at some length of the advantages of getting part of the experience here and part in Los Angeles, and she repeatedly spoke her approval of that plan. I told her that we had at one time considered a plan for a hospital that would call for $30,000, but our brethren felt that they could not go to the people now and ask for so large an amount; therefore we had planned to raise and expend $15,000, and that regarding this, as other monies, our brethren said: We must raise the money before we expend it. Again Mother said: “That is the right plan.” 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 14

Then I told her that our brethren representing the union conferences said to us: “We want to help you, but there is great difficulty about the raising of means. In each of the union conferences there are heavy financial burdens, institutions in debt, and large amounts to raise for the foreign missions. We are burdened with our regular work; and while we know that there are men and women having money, we feel that we cannot get it without help from you. There is not only the disposition to hold on to the money, but there is a misunderstanding regarding the work at Loma Linda, and they feel that too much has been expended here. Many feel that the amount spent here in building and for the land and in various other ways is too much. Therefore, in order to remove that feeling and reach the hearts of the people, we need the help of some one who has been connected with the enterprise from the beginning, who can tell the story of God’s dealings with this place, some one who can create a favorable public opinion, and we ask that some one from Loma Linda come and join us in that work.” And it developed that their minds rested upon Brother Burden to give them that help. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 15

Mother said they ought to have help. They need it, and if Brother Burden can give them that help, he ought to be encouraged to do so. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 16

Then I said to Mother, “I have presented to you some of the reasons why Brother Burden ought to go into the field. Now I will present some of the reasons why he ought not to go. God has selected him and used him as a pioneer in this work. He feels the burden of it. He has studied the principles that have been laid down for such a work. He has studied the financial interests of the institution; he has won the confidence of the family and of his associates, and yet there are some who are opposed to his work and his policy. Some dislike the standards that he endeavors to uphold. Others feel that he holds the work too much in his own hand, that he has the whole work in his grip and does not know how to let go. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 17

“Some feel that Brother Burden is so pressed with many burdens and duties that he does not find time to counsel, to confer with his brethren, and to teach them regarding the responsibilities they should bear. So there are two classes that feel he ought to release his grip upon the work: those who are opposed to him personally, and to the standards he advocates, and others who feel that he has such a grip of the work that he does not know how to let go.” Now, I said, “It is the mind of the brethren that we shall make no concession to those who wish him to go so that they can have things their own way. You told me when you spoke out to solicit funds, the plan had not been presented to you before in any comprehensive way. You had simply been asked if it were right to send Brother Burden into the field and separate him from his work here.” 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 18

E. G. White: That was the only thing that was expressed to me. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 19

W. C. White: And you told me that we should give no sanction to any plan of separating him from the institution, and that we should give no room for those who wanted to assume control to do so, and reverse the policies established. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 20

I then spoke of the experience which Mother had passed through in connection with the pioneers of the work. I spoke of how God had called Father to lead out and direct in the work; and when the work had grown, there were many messages sent to him that he must open the way for others to take responsibilities. But he did not know how. I spoke of the experience of Elder Loughborough, when the message was sent to him that he had all the responsibilities hugged in his arms, and he did not know how to divide up the burdens with his brethren. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 21

Then I told Mother that it seemed to some of us that God in His providence had especially opened the way for Brother Burden to do the work that the brethren wanted him to do in the field, and at the same time for the institution to have an essential experience in the matter of distributing responsibilities. I called her attention to the fact that Elder Irwin, who has been union conference president, had now been released from that work, and we are now asking him to come here and take a fatherly attitude toward the work of the institution, holding up before the students the standards that must be attained. We feel that his presence in the institution, possibly in connection with the chaplain’s work and in different ways, would add much to the strengthening of the work here, while Brother Burden was spending some time in the field. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 22

I called attention to the fact that Brother Salisbury, who has had long experience in business and who, in my estimation, stood next to Brother Burden as understanding how to manage departments of business, had been called here. Elder Irwin and Brother Salisbury are accustomed to working together, and they can work together here in a strong way. Mother expressed her satisfaction and said that she had not thought of the provision which the Lord has made for the carrying of the work. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 23

I told Mother that it was the preference of the brethren that Brother Burden should not be cut loose and separated from the sanitarium work when he went into the field. We would be pleased to have him retained as chaplain and business superintendent of the sanitarium work, and when he came back, take up such part of the work as seemed best. She expressed approval of that part of the plan. I think that covers in a brief way the main part of our conversation. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 24

Mother expressed some regret that the question of Brother Burden’s going into the field had been presented to her in so few words that she had not comprehended the general bearing of the proposition as to how our General Conference men looked at it, and how it would affect the work. She regretted that the matter had been presented so briefly, and she had spoken things which individuals might take and make a law. She expressed her unwillingness that what she had spoken while viewing one feature of the work should be taken and made a law regardless of the broader considerations which had not been presented. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 25

Sister White then made the following statement: 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 26

I had been asked once or twice whether Brother Burden should give up his position here and go out and labor in the field to raise means. “Why, no,” said I, “I do not think that is essential. I cannot see the necessity for that.” But the position I take is that if there is a special work to be done, and if there is special talent for that work, let it be used. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 27

Wherever there is a sanitarium that is to carry on work such as is carried on here, every one connected with that work is to be connected with God. No selfish motives are to prevail in any way. The work should be taken hold of just as my husband and I took hold of it. If the brethren said, “Come, we want your help, we want to know how this work is to be carried,” we responded to the call. We no more thought of refusing to go where needed than if we were called to a work right around where we lived. We went to see what was wanted and what was to be done, whether we had the capability to do the work, or whether we were obliged to say, “You must put this work on to somebody else.” Generally we took the responsibility and did what we could. Those that had confidence in us would say, “Well, if Brother and Sister White think it is all right, we will take right hold with you, because they always succeed. ...” 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 28

Now if there has arisen a condition of things that seems to demand the talent that we think is in Brother Burden, why, it is perfectly right for Brother Burden to go into the field, and in that emergency carry forward that special work the best he can. Every one of us must do our part when we come into an emergency such as this institution is experiencing. In times of crisis, we should have no hesitancy in knowing what our duty is. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 29

But Brother Burden does not take that as his regular work. He has a work to do right in this institution, an important work in connection with his wife. In an emergency we are to help each other in every way that we possibly can. But that is not to say that he should give up his work and his position. He does not give up that position and should not give it up, although he goes for a time to exert an influence that is needed in the field. After that is done, and he has helped to carry forward the field work as it seemed necessary, he is to come right back to his place right here at Loma Linda. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 30

Turning to Brother Burden, Sister White said: 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 31

Brother Burden, you have a work of importance at this institution, and if you should for a time labor in the line that would advance a special interest that must be carried strongly just now, it is your duty to do so, and then come back to your work in the institution. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 32

J. A. Burden: I had been doing a little in that line, and as the institution grows, I had felt that I must do more, and had been planning to that end. I have been planning to get in competent men so that the work would not suffer. Up to the present time there has been so much devolving upon me that things suffered here if I happened to be away. This new plan, as I understood it, was to put me into the field continually to raise money, which to me seemed to create a necessity for me to close my work here, and was so planned. The work in the field would be my work, closing my work here, and taking my time in field work connected with this institution. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 33

W. C. White: I stated clearly to Mother that there were some of our brethren from the East—particularly Brother Knox, who bears the burden of the treasury department, and who has been wanting some one to come and work with the old people that have abundance of money. I told her that Brother Knox, and perhaps some others, wanted Brother Burden to separate from the institution and give his whole life to that work; and I told her that some of us who were considering this matter could not consent to such a plan. We did not propose to consent to it; but what we did propose to consent to was that Brother Burden should go into the field and work a time with the union conference presidents and—by daily contact with these men, by telling them the story of God’s providences, of our struggles, of what we wanted to do—get the matter so clearly before their minds, that they could tell the story and thus carry on the work of soliciting the necessary funds. I said that this line of work might require half his time, but that we desired that he should not disconnect from the institution, that he should hold his connection with the sanitarium. But that the work of putting in the boilers, the building of the hospital, planning for the bakery and farm, and all these outside interests, we felt should pass to Brother Salisbury. Brother Burden would still have a connection with the work, which brought him in contact with the patients and sanitarium helpers and with all the vital interests of the sanitarium. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 34

E. G. White: It was a timely plan. Now and then special influence is required in the field; and if one has a special talent, he should be willing for a time to use his influence and talents where they are especially needed. But to separate Brother Burden entirely from the sanitarium, and put somebody else in his place, that was not to be. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 35

Our experience has been that when we come into an emergency in our sanitariums, then there is need of all the influence for right that can be brought to bear. Brother Burden should hold such a relation to the work here that he can come in an speak words of counsel and instruction, for he has passed through many valuable experiences. As he was in this institution from the beginning, and has carried a heavy burden for it, he would be prepared to give his judgment, according to the circumstances prevailing. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 36

J. A. burden: That is perfectly agreeable to my mind and plans. I never have had any controversy on that point. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 37

W. C. White: There are two or three plans in our minds. Some think that Brother Burden ought to be retained as business manager, to have to do with building operations, with the sanitarium, with the store, the farm, and all these things, keeping his position as general manager and also his connection with helpers and patients in the sanitarium. Others think that he ought to keep his relation to the sanitarium patients and helpers and pass the responsibilities of the general manager—the looking after the farm and the factory and the printing office and the bakery and the garden—into the hands of Brother Salisbury, who can be here and give his entire time to these things continuously. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 38

E. G. White: These responsibilities should be given to a wholeminded, earnest man, for this is a large institution and must be managed wisely. It should be the special work of Brother Burden to look after the spiritual interests of the sanitarium and see that they are carried judiciously and wisely. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 39

My words may not express it all, but I feel an intense interest in the success of this institution, because I have gone through similar struggles in other places. Again and again I have labored untiringly and exerted all the influence possible to place an important institution in the proper condition, and I feel the same burden intensely in regard to the work here, that this institution shall make a decided success. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 40

W. C. White: We have been planning to have Elder Burden go and connect with the conference presidents in raising this $30,000. They say they cannot raise it without help in the work from somebody from here. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 41

E. G. White: I think that we can all have this institution at heart, that we can blend, and that we can carry the work to success. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 42

W. C. White: I was talking with you a little while ago about the plan of getting a book together, telling the story of the rise of the health reform movement among our people. It would include the principal instruction given you on health reform. We might get it ready and ask the Pacific Press to publish an edition and make a donation to Loma Linda. We could ask the people to sell it to help support the medical college. I think this would appeal to the physicians and nurses, who would enter into the spirit of this effort, and that we could thus get a little income to help on the running expenses of the college. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 43

E. G. White: I am perfectly willing. I have books to be multiplied. If you can help them in this emergency by such a plan, do it. You know what a conflict I had at Mountain View. I felt that I was being torn to pieces. I was in terrible suffering nearly all night. 25LtMs, Ms 14a, 1912, par. 44