Lt 21, 1884

Lt 21, 1884

Haskell, S. N.; Butler, G. I.

Healdsburg, California

July 10, 1884

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 248; 9MR 136.

Dear Brethren Haskell and Butler:

There are many urgent calls coming from all the conferences for me to come East and attend the camp meetings. They gravely state they have arranged them so that I could go from one to the other without loss of time. One meeting laps over onto the other, and I do not admire your judgment in this arrangement. Better have a set of camp meetings one year full and thorough, in selected places, and then next year take up the places left and have those well manned, full and thorough. I have marked [that at] meetings such as this, started with expectation of help to come, the work is not carried on sharply and thoroughly, but lags until the expected someone comes. Then, if the meeting is left before its close by that someone, the interest of the meeting is very much injured. Have less meetings and [have] those you do have thoroughly attended and the work thoroughly done. 4LtMs, Lt 21, 1884, par. 1

But should I attend your meetings, I remember I am fifty-six years old, instead of twenty-five or thirty-five and no provision is made for me to rest, but to rush from one to the other as fast as the cars will take me. I do not think your plans very flattering for me. I am not immortal yet, and have cause to remember this every day of my life. If you wish to finish me up this year, I think you have planned excellently for it. I think my best course is to remain in California and not trust myself to your mercies. I have a strong desire to attend your meetings, and at the same time I cannot approve your arrangement of the meetings and dare not in my exhausted condition of health consent to undertake such work as you, my good brethren, have laid out for me. I am deeply moved when these urgent appeals come to me from the East, for I know I have a testimony for God’s people. It burns in my soul day and night, seems as if it would consume me. But I have large work here. Three camp meetings are planned in California—one at Humboldt, one at Reno, one at Oakland. I have several books that I ought to complete this winter, much writing I ought to do. My copyists are here on the ground. It is at great loss to me every way that I leave this coast. Duty does not call in two directions at the same time. Now which is the most urgent? I am trying to determine whether I shall leave duties right at home and go over the Rocky Mountains to take up duties far off. These things puzzle me. As yet I get no clear light, only a positive drawing East; because you are praying for me, I expect to come. 4LtMs, Lt 21, 1884, par. 2

I leave Healdsburg this morning for Oakland to complete Volume 4. I have only been four days in my home in Healdsburg for three months. Have attended Oakland, April meeting, two weeks, and three camp meetings. If I go East I shall not be able to return for four or five months, my writing hanging on unfinished, everything put back as far as my work in California is concerned. At the camp meeting, they think in California I ought to be here. I went East last year and worked hard. The Conference has done nobly for me as far as liberality in pay is concerned, but the money I then pledged has cramped me in all my work, for I could not sell anything and am, as far as means to handle is concerned, constantly pressed until something shall sell. 4LtMs, Lt 21, 1884, par. 3

Now, my good brethren, I state things as they are. It is too late for you to change any appointments, and if I want to live another year, I had better stay where I am, for I can serve the cause here with the help of Jesus. Excuse this letter, but I have not slept since two o’clock, thinking of these things, and I have written you. 4LtMs, Lt 21, 1884, par. 4

Elder Haskell or Butler will not be at our California camp meeting, and do you think it is just to try to draw me away from here East when they have so few workers here? I write in haste. 4LtMs, Lt 21, 1884, par. 5