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Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1)

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    Chapter 19—(1854-1855) Through Hours of Darkness

    August 29, 1854,” wrote Ellen White, “another responsibility was added to our family in the birth of Willie. He took my mind somewhat from the troubles around me.”—Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White (1880), 310. William Clarence was a third son.1BIO 301.1

    What were some of the troubles Ellen White referred to?1BIO 301.2

    On Friday, June 23, some two months before Willie's birth, she and her husband had returned from their seven-week trip to Michigan and Wisconsin (The Review and Herald, July 4, 1854). It had been a strenuous trip, and both were weary and much worn. They came to their newly rented home on Monroe Street to find the four-day Rochester conference, which James White had called months earlier, about to open. Representatives from the churches in western New York, Pennsylvania, and Canada were there for the important meeting. But, noted Ellen White: “We returned ... much worn, desiring rest ... Without rest we were obliged to engage in the meeting.”—Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White (1880), 309.1BIO 301.3

    This was not the usual weekend conference that had become common, but a “general gathering.” It had a larger attendance and had been called to consider important subjects relative to the welfare of the cause. During its business sessions special consideration was given to the Review and Herald, its welfare and its finances. Here it was decided to establish a subscription price of $1 a year, in advance. The worthy poor would continue to receive it “without charge.” Liberal donations would be needed to keep the paper afloat financially. The conference ran from Friday afternoon till Monday. During the last meeting, Monday afternoon, June 26, an important vision was given to Ellen White. It was not James White who presented this information, for he was careful not to say much about the visions in print. He never hesitated, however, in recognizing their importance and giving heed to the counsel thus imparted by God. Nor did he hesitate to call the attention of those present to the phenomena observed in connection with the vision they were witnessing.1BIO 301.4

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