At this time I feel I must make a statement regarding my own physical condition and also changes being made in the Work. I have delayed a definite statement about my health hoping that my physical condition would improve and that the statement I now make could be alleviated.
Last August 3, I left Pasadena for Orr, Minnesota, having planned to continue to the Summer Education Program camp in Scotland, then to London, and from London across the North Pole to Tokyo. A trip had been planned from Tokyo to Seoul, South Korea, to meet with the president. I was to be accompanied by the Japanese Minister of Labor, Toshio Yamaguchi. I had become ill and was forced to return to Pasadena from Orr, Minnesota, early in the morning, too ill to be fully dressed. I returned immediately to my home. I was able to make a few trips to the office until the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles in late September. I have not been outside of my home since that day. From that date, my regular physician has been making daily, and sometimes twice daily, trips to my home.
I had hoped for a turn to the better—so that I could return for daily work in my office—and a recovery from this illness, but unfortunately, that has not occurred. My blood level is far below normal and has left me in a very weak condition. I have not been able to dress—further than bed clothes and robes since the day before the Feast of Tabernacles.
My physician says that with blood transfusions I could go to the office for three to four weeks. But then another blood transfusion would be necessary. It is my judgment that such a transfusion would be risky and of very short duration. And my physician acquiesces in this decision. Frequently I have very serious and painful angina attacks of the heart. I have been able to make certain necessary decisions in brief telephone contact with those at the office and will continue this as and when my very limited physical strength permits.
Until the present moment I felt that God might provide a way for complete recovery, and He still may. So I have withheld this statement until now, but I feel it is better that you all know the condition. I am now in my 94th year. God may grant that I continue in this very limited manner to direct the Work for some time, but the occasional severe heart pains that I have endured have made me feel the necessity of letting the entire membership know of the condition as it is.
Also, I feel God has led me in deciding that it is necessary that we close the operations at Big Sandy, Texas, after the end of this present school year. The certification of the college requiring the pursuing of accreditation, the financial needs of the First Commission of the Church, and the needs of the ministry made this decision necessary. The trained ministry at the campus in Big Sandy are sorely needed elsewhere because of the thousands of perspective member visit requests. I have ordered implementation of this decision to the appropriate officials involved.
Remember, brethren, this is the Work of the living Creator God. We are now very near the end of this present age. I will continue to give my all to the Work of God up to the last breath. I hope you will all realize the seriousness of the time in which we live and that nothing is important any longer other than to be close to God and assured of a place in His very soon coming Kingdom.
This world is not God's world, and of that we may all be thankful. It is now in its very last days. This illness has impressed heavily on my mind, more than ever before, the uselessness of this present evil world. Thank God we are all very near to its end. I thank you, beyond words to express, for your loving concern and for the many thousands of cards and well wishes that have been coming in from great numbers of you from all over the world.