Lt 89, 1891

Lt 89, 1891

Olsen, O. A.

Harbor Springs, Michigan

August 14, 1891

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Olsen:

Your letter was handed to me in the meeting tent as I had just closed my hour, from quarter past ten to quarter past eleven. While Elder Waggoner is speaking, I have returned to my tent to write you a few lines. I consider that it is impossible for anyone to know the true discouragements that I am brought into because of the infirmities that press upon me, and yet I dare not yield to them. 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 1

I have felt at times that Sara, in some directions, was not the best one to be with me, and had fully made up my mind that I must have a change, but as no one seemed to be prepared for me, or found to take Sara’s place, I have accepted the situation. 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 2

When the Lord impressed my mind in regard to Mary Steward, I wrote out the matter to her, that the Lord had signified to me that she was not the one to go with me. Then I rode out with Sara and she received the words spoken to her without trying to lay on me a burden making it hard for me. She began at once to plan as to the best one to go with me. 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 3

That night I had events passed before my mind of how I had been situated, and how many torturing hours of pain and distress I had passed through in journeying, and only Sara was my nurse and my [companion]. I went especially over the last journey from Battle Creek to California, by Chicago; St. Louis; Springdale, Arkansas; Plano, Texas; Fresno, California; Oakland, and Rural Health Retreat. She had a hard task, and when the invitation came to go to Yosemite, and we have given encouragement [that] we would go after I should gain strength to travel, a letter came from Willie stating the case of Mary. Sara cried like a child. Said she, “I cannot go to Yosemite, and I know Mary White is dying.” Said she, “Let us start at once [for Colorado], trusting in God that He will strengthen you for the journey.” 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 4

She went alone to Healdsburg to settle up my business, and soon we were on our way. Faithfully she cared for me when it was a question for the first three days whether I would go on or stop by the way in some strange place. But the Lord strengthened me to go on cheerfully. She stayed with Mary and watched over her day and night until she fell asleep. 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 5

And then the thought of these things made me ashamed [that] I had uttered one word of dissatisfaction, and I told Sara all about my feelings. Said she, “I love you as my own mother, and shall never leave you as long as you desire me to stay.” Now, was it the working of the Lord that moved upon my mind in these matters, or was it the working of the enemy? I think it was the working of the Lord. It looks so to me. 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 6

Then, with my reflection came the thought, “Can I expect to get anyone who will be exactly a fit in every respect? Will they not have defects and be more perplexing to me than Sara has ever been?” I decided I would not go to a far country with a stranger, [even] if I should have months to test and prove one before accepting them as the very help I needed. 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 7

Now, in regard to the one who can report my discourses, if you can find a person to prepare matter for the printer, I know that if we give Sara time, she can take notes and report. Of course, if there is one fully qualified to take notes and prepare for the printer also, this would be an excellent thing. But Sara says she can take notes and report if you cannot find someone to do this, and prepare for the printer too. 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 8

I had just about decided to take one year to finish my writing, but if it [is] your judgment that I go now, sufficiently prepared with help to make it as successful a work as it ought to be, I will go in accordance with the decision of the Conference Committee. I have not any special evidence that it is my duty to go at this time, but am willing to decide to go, and trusting in the Lord to make the way more plain as I advance. 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 9

I now will work to the point. We have had in our tent praying seasons, Brother and Sister Starr, Sara, Marian, and I—we had night before last a very precious season of prayer. Brother Starr said, “I can see no light in any direction but to go to Australia.” I had no special light last night. My mind was more settled to finish my writing in California. Today I say I am willing to go to Australia with the help I am sure should be provided. I have no charges to make against you, Elder Olsen, or Willie C. White. Both of you have been overwhelmed with work, and I have no assurance that W. C. White will not be just as fully occupied in Australia as he has been in America, and I have no flattering prospect of help from him. 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 10

I think I shall leave here for Battle Creek soon, for there is much to be done to get ready for our long journey. Our meetings have been excellent. Every time I read the manuscript I have written, there has been deep feeling. There was, this morning, much deep interest in the meeting. 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 11

I will now feel I am about through [with] this matter as far as I am concerned. 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 12

Much love to Sister Olsen and yourself. 7LtMs, Lt 89, 1891, par. 13