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Exhibits Relating to the Writing of The Desire of Ages - Contents
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    Exhibit 20—Tuesday, April 25, 1876, Oakland, California, Ellen White to James White

    Dear Husband: Last night I received a long letter from Elder Canright urging my attending the camp meetings; also a letter from Brother Rogers of Missouri; also one from Brother Colcord....ERWDA 15.2

    They urge me strongly, but I dare not move on their light or obey their call. My work is here at present. I see no light anywhere else and I desire very earnestly to follow the light. If I thought it were my duty to go to these meetings, I would go if my book was never completed, but I feel that now is my time. God has provided me just the help I have longed for so much and prayed for so earnestly. Already Mary has been here five months and the time has gone without accomplishing very much on my work. We are now making excellent time and preparing matter as fast as possible. My mind is on this work and I do not want it withdrawn.ERWDA 15.3

    Should I follow my own pleasure or inclination, I should certainly attend the camp meetings. I love the labor connected with the camp meetings much better than I love writing. I enjoy traveling, but I feel that now is my time and opportunity to get out this long-neglected work....ERWDA 15.4

    All is quiet here. Nothing to draw me from my work. My mind is not perplexed with harassing matters of the church or of any kind of difficulties. I an, as free from every outside care as I can possibly be anywhere....ERWDA 15.5

    I cannot have much news to write for I go nowhere and see no one. Except [for] the boat ride, I have been very much at home. Only called on two or three of the sisters after writing all day.ERWDA 15.6

    I cannot merely portion my writing to one-half the day, as some of the time my head troubles me, and then I have to rest, lie down, stop thinking, and take my time for writing when I can do so comfortably. I cannot rush business. This work must be done carefully, slowly, and accurately. The subjects we have prepared are well gotten up. They please me.ERWDA 15.7

    I am getting over my nervousness, and I sleep quite well every night except after speaking. I then feel so intensely myself [that] rest and sleep are out of the question. My subjects are to me of living reality, and I make the people feel them.ERWDA 16.1

    Letter 14, 1876, pp. 1-3.