Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen White: Woman of Vision, Page 406

the time spent with the numerous letters and visitors that deluged the staff at Elmshaven as soon as Ellen White's new residence was established. Some people wrote wanting to work for her. One wrote that her doctor had recommended milk and she wondered whether it would be right to follow his advice. A young minister wrote asking whether he should try to convert the Protestant pastors of the town before visiting the members. Then there were questions of marriage and divorce and others about butter and eggs and cheese.

Sara McEnterfer, Mrs. Druillard, and W. C. White answered many of these letters in harmony with instructions given by Mrs. White. With many of these they enclosed a little duplicated appeal that read: “There are hundreds of people who desire to hear personally from Mother. Some write letters containing questions, others send us their life history, and others make donations to the cause. We have not time to write lengthy letters to these persons.”

Often the answers said that Mrs. White had no special light on the case and urged the person to study what was already published. Sara told one woman who wanted Ellen White to inquire of the Lord, “I would say that the Lord is no respecter of persons and will hear your earnest cry to Him for help as quickly and willingly as He will should it be sent to Him through Sister White” (16 WCW, p. 184).

Two women appeared one day just as Ellen White was returning, worn and weary, from San Francisco. They said they had driven 60 miles (96 kilometers) in their little rig and they just had to see Sister White. She agreed to see them. The first thing they did was to present her with a demented child and ask what should be done. Then they produced a list of 10 questions for which they wanted Yes or No answers. Typical of these were: 1. Has the time come when we positively should eat no more meat, eggs, butter, milk? 2. Is it a sin to raise children? Is it a sin to raise bread? et cetera. Mrs. White referred them to her writings on each point, and told them that she was not commissioned to answer such questions, but the women would not desist (16 WCW, p. 55).

A daughter brought an invalid mother for whom she wanted special prayers. A divorcee wanted advice. Then an old friend fresh from the Klondike gold fields came to the home. It's not hard to see how Sara McEnterfer acquired the reputation of being Ellen White's “watchdog,” for she bore much of the responsibility of protecting her from unreasonable demands upon her time and energy.

The great bulk of the mail received was of a justifiable and sensible nature, a good portion being from workers carrying heavy responsibilities. Many of those well acquainted with her and her work would address a letter to W. C. White and merely suggest that he discuss the matter with his mother at a time when she was free to give consideration to it. Some very personal letters she elected to answer herself.

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