Larger font
Smaller font
Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    Ms 29, 1902

    The Journey to the General Conference


    January 31, 1901

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 5Bio 57-58, 60, 64, 67, 69. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    I had many fears in regard to going to Battle Creek to attend the General Conference. I knew that things would arise at the meeting that would be very trying to me. But I decided to go.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 1

    For some time before going to the Conference, I was overburdened and overworked. Day and night I carried on my heart a heavy burden for the St. Helena Sanitarium. The real condition of things in this institution was presented to me. I was shown the mistakes in the various lines of its working and the hopelessness of trying to make any change, while those then in charge of the management remained in the position of control. There was need of a thorough reformation. How to relieve the situation was the problem to be solved. The outlook made me sick in body and soul.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 2

    Under this burden I left St. Helena for Los Angeles, where we were to stay over Sabbath and Sunday on our way to the Conference.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 3

    On Sabbath I spoke to the Los Angeles church. The meeting house was crowded; for our people had come in from the surrounding country.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 4

    As I stood before the congregation, I thought of the great work to be done in Southern California. The condition of things in the Conference was not flattering. Like lightening things flashed before my mind. Several persons were presented to me as standing in a position where they greatly hindered the work that was essential for the healthful, spiritual growth of the churches. The presentation distressed me. Southern California is an excellent field for missionary work, but where are the laborers of talent and ability to do the work that needs to be done and to place upon it the mold that God requires?17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 5

    Those who have had the light for many years, who have had the privilege of gaining a knowledge of the word of God, ought to know how to work for the Lord in wisdom and humility, in prayer and faith taking hold of the power of the One who knows all things. But in many who claim to know God, self is largely developed. Christ cannot commend them. The atmosphere surrounding their souls is not fragrant. This is the reason that so many parts of the Lord’s vineyard are left unworked.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 6

    While I was speaking, there came to me the assurance of full and abundant grace and salvation. I thought of the wonderful possibilities before those who unite with Christ. They will become true, earnest, self-sacrificing workmen, preparing the way for the coming of the Lord. They work in harmony with the prayer, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” [Matthew 6:10.]17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 7

    When will men understand that the Word of God is Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus? Our God has dealt with Israel as a loving Father, but what evidence have they given of their appreciation of His love? I could not find words to express my feelings at the thought that the warnings of His Word have not been heeded. I longed for strength to cry aloud and spare not, to lift up my voice as a trumpet, and show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 8

    Again there flashed before me a presentation of the great mercy and goodness of God in contrast with the perversity of His people who ought to be far advanced in spiritual understanding. How I longed to arouse those before me to realize the importance of the time in which we are living, and to appreciate the wonderful mercy of God and the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit. Christ, our Lord and Saviour, whose we are by creation and by redemption, was among us, and many knew him not. I seemed to see Jesus standing as He stood on the last great day of the feast, stretching out His arms as if to embrace the world, and crying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” [John 7:37.]17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 9

    At the feast, the priest had that morning performed the ceremony that commemorated the smiting of the rock in the wilderness. That rock was a symbol of Him who by His death would cause living streams to flow to all who are athirst. And He was standing before them, but they knew Him not. “I am the rock from which flows living water,” He declared. “In the wilderness your fathers drank of the spiritual rock that followed them.” [See 1 Corinthians 10:4.] “I am that rock.”17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 10

    Oh, how I longed to show the people before me how many parched souls are striving to quench their thirst at broken cisterns, which hold no water.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 11

    I shall never forget the experience of that day. I could not roll off the burden that rested on me. I was so anxious, so desirous, that the people should see their danger in not appreciating their privileges, in allowing their opportunities to pass unimproved. Will they awake? I asked myself. Will they come to their senses? I felt my soul fainting at the thought of the situation.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 12

    The experience was too much for me. The realization of the spiritual condition of the people and the peril of those unconscious of their danger came upon me with such intensity that when I had finished speaking, I was greatly exhausted.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 13

    That noon I could not eat. I felt weary and heartsick. My vital forces seemed to be giving way. I grew worse, and in the afternoon I lost all consciousness. It was two o’clock in the morning when consciousness returned to me. Finding a physician and nurse working over me, I asked what the matter was. They told me that I had been very sick and that they had been giving me treatment for many hours.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 14

    Thus I started on my journey to the Conference. I was unable to speak to the people in Los Angeles on Sunday. On Tuesday we took the train for the East. I was very sick, but the Lord sustained me. We reached New Orleans at eight in the evening and there changed cars. I suffered much in climbing up and down the stairs in the railway station.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 15

    My next stopping place was Vicksburg, and here I remained for two or three days, making my home in the boat which my son uses in his missionary work. I was pleased with the arrangement of the boat and with the efforts made to make life on it as agreeable as possible. I found that everything about the rooms fitted up as a home for my son and his wife, <and their helpers,> was of the simplest order. I saw nothing expensive or unnecessary. Perhaps some would have been unwilling to live in such narrow quarters.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 16

    I have followed this boat with my prayers. Some most interesting scenes have been presented to me in connection with it. This boat has been a floating Bethel. At the gospel meetings held on it many have had the privilege of eating of the bread of life. I hope it will continue to do its work of taking the truth to those who, without its instrumentality, would never have an opportunity of hearing the truth. Through its work many have heard the last message of warning.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 17

    On Sabbath morning I spoke to the church in Vicksburg, and He in whom I trust seemed to stand at my right hand to help me. I was much pleased with the meeting house. It is neat and tasteful. Wherever I go, I try to give the light the Lord has given me regarding the building of meeting houses. No haphazard work is to be done in their erection. However small they may be, they are to be object lessons of neatness and thoroughness. All that is done in the cause of God is to be done with exactness. Our buildings are to represent the character building that should be carried forward by everyone. We are working before God and the inhabitants of the universe. Let us do no halfhearted, slipshod work. “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Our work should impress those newly converted to the truth that we are laborers together with God.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 18

    That word “together” means much more than we realize. Christ declares, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] It is our privilege to have the companionship of One who is all-powerful.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 19

    On Sunday morning the dedicatory service of the Vicksburg church was held. The meeting house was filled. There were both white and colored people present. I was much pleased with the appearance of the congregation. Some not of our faith were in the company, and the meeting was conducted in a way that could not fail to remove prejudice from their minds. The Lord gave me freedom in speaking, and all listened attentively. I know that Jesus and the angels were in the assembly, and that, as the church was dedicated to the Lord, He accepted it.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 20

    On Sunday afternoon I spoke in the chapel on the boat. After the meeting, a baptismal service was held, and several precious souls were buried with their Lord, to rise again to newness of life.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 21

    Late Sunday night we left Vicksburg and the next morning reached Nashville where I met my son’s wife Emma White, whom I had not seen for ten years.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 22

    I spoke two or three times at Nashville, and the Lord gave me strength. His Spirit was with us in the meetings.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 23

    From Nashville we went to Chicago, where I spent Sabbath and Sunday. On Sabbath I spoke to a crowded house. The Lord strengthened me so that all could hear what I said. I thank Him for His keeping power. I spoke the next day to the medical students. It was only by the Lord’s help that I was enabled to do this work; for I was weary from travelling and was not free from pain for a moment. From Chicago we went to Battle Creek, and here my labors began. I entered at once upon my work—to bear to the General Conference the messages God had given me to bear. The Lord gave me His grace and the presence of His Spirit. I felt wholly dependent on Him. I was obliged to refuse to see many visitors; for private conversations were more taxing to me than public speaking. As I stood before the people, I felt that I was leaning on a strong arm which would support me. But when engaged in conversation with visitors, I had not this sense of special strength. I dared not say much to those who visited me, lest they should fail to understand my words and report them in a way that would make them mean what I never intended them to mean, saying, Sister White said this, and, Sister White said that. And besides, I was compelled to save my strength for the times when I must stand before the thousands of people assembled in the Tabernacle.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 24

    The Conference was a time of taxing labor for me, and if at its close I could have returned to California, it would have been the wisest thing for me to do. I was at a loss to know what course to take. My judgment said, Return direct to California. But an urgent request was made for me to visit Indianapolis, and this I consented to do.17LtMs, Ms 29, 1902, par. 25

    Larger font
    Smaller font