Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2), Page 192

Chapter 14—(1867) Battle Creek and the Health Institute

In response to the instruction given to Ellen White that the Seventh-day Adventist Church should own and operate a medical institution, the Western Health Reform Institute was brought into being, but rather precipitously. It would have been well if the health of James White had been such that he could exercise his cautious managerial experience, and Ellen could have been in a position to give closer attention to the project. In the absence of this, men in all sincerity but with limited experience moved ahead, sometimes inadvisably. This led to many unforeseen problems.

Ellen White did not have time to write out fully the instruction given to her in the vision of December 25, 1865, before she presented it publicly at the General Conference session in May, 1866. When the financial support initially called for, so essential to the development of the enterprise, lagged, the leading workers pleaded with her to write out the instruction that led to the institution's launching, hoping it would strengthen financial support. Yielding her better judgment, she sent for publication that portion of the instruction that called for such an institution before she could write out in full all that had been shown her regarding the enterprise. Her incomplete presentation appeared in Testimony No. 11.

The enthusiastic response from the general public led to premature plans for the rapid enlargement of the institution to accommodate all who applied for admission as patients.

“What shall be done?” queried Dr. Lay, medical superintendent, in an article in the Review in early 1867. The article opened:

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