Annie Smith: Short Life Huge Impact | Episode 18 | Lineage


Her brother is far better known,
his books widely circulated, and although fewer people know her name, Annie Smith made a significant contribution
in the early days of Adventism. She was a gifted writer, poet, and editor, and ten of her hymns appeared in the 1941 edition
of the church hymnal and four in the current edition today. She was born into a family with three other brothers
here in West Wilton in this house, today named the Smith Tavern. It would also be the home
that she would unfortunately die in at the age of 27. [music] Annie gave her life to Jesus at the tender age of 10
in anticipation of His soon return. Yet when the Great Disappointment happened, she, along with her brother Uriah,
gave up hope in His soon return and they both went back to their studies. Annie was intellectually gifted, and received a place at the Charlestown Female Seminary
here in Boston where she spent several years. Her mother Rebekah was still a believer, and one day Joseph Bates came to town
and mentioned that he would be in her area. Her mother wrote to Annie,
asking her if she would attend the meetings. She wasn’t really interested,
but out of a sense of duty and obligation she agreed to go. After she went to the meetings, at the end of it, Joseph Bates asked her if she wanted to have Bible studies,
which she agreed to. At the end of three years study she accepted the Advent message again,
the Sabbath, and all its teachings. [music] At the time, Annie had a lucrative job offer
to work as a teacher for $1000 a year– an extraordinary amount at the time–
though she had not accepted it. Another opportunity arose to work at the newly-relocated
Review and Herald office in Rochester, New York. As she weighed up the two offers,
with financial gain in the one job versus little more than room and board in the other,
she chose the latter. [music] Here in Rochester she worked diligently,
and soon proved herself as a capable hand in the office. She worked as a copy editor
but also at times she was the acting editor. With James White away often, she would sometimes fill in for him,
remarkable considering her young age, and would ensure that the magazine
could now have a regular publishing schedule. Previously, with James White’s busy speaking itinerary, the magazine wasn’t always so regular and consistent in its distribution but now with Annie there, things changed for the better. [music] Annie had been working at the Review just over a year when James White’s brother and sister Nathaniel and Anna arrived,
both suffering from tuberculosis. Maybe due to the close proximity that they were living in, Annie contracted the disease
and went home to live with her mother in November of 1854. All the treatments that she tried didn’t work. Ellen White sent $75 of her own money to help,
but nothing seemed to work. Annie finished this book of poems here entitled,
‘Home Here and Home in Heaven’ ten days before she died. The last poem she wrote reads, ‘Oh shed not a tear over the spot where I sleep;
For the living and not the dead ye may weep. Why mourn for the weary who sweetly repose
Free in the grave from life’s burdens and woes.’ Annie lived a life of sacrifice, dedication, and commitment. She gave up a prosperous career to work for the church
in return for very little financial gain. It was the sacrifice of mainly young people like this
in the early days of our church that caused it to grow so remarkably, and it will be a similar sacrifice by God’s people
at the end of time that will bring this work to a close.

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