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Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5)

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    Concerns of Ellen White

    Ellen White's deep concern was for the spiritual interests of the church and the maintenance of the denominational image in its institutional work. While she was pleased with the steps that had been taken in reorganization in the 1901 General Conference, and she recognized that angels of God had walked up and down the aisles of the Battle Creek Tabernacle during that session, she was greatly disappointed that the recognition of waning spiritual experiences and the confession of wrongs that she had hoped would result with the leaders of the Sanitarium and the publishing house had not come.5BIO 238.1

    Again and again following the 1901 meeting she spoke of her burden of heart and of her great disappointment that the steps that should have been taken had not been taken. On January 5, 1903, as she pondered these matters, she wrote:5BIO 238.2

    One day at noon I was writing of the work that might have been done at the last General Conference if the men in positions of trust had followed the will and way of God. Those who have had great light have not walked in the light. The meeting was closed, and the break was not made. Men did not humble themselves before the Lord as they should have done, and the Holy Spirit was not imparted.—Testimonies for the Church 8:104.5BIO 238.3

    As she lost consciousness, she seemed to be witnessing a scene in the Battle Creek Tabernacle. Study was being given by those present to the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon them. “The speaker turned to those who had been praying, and said: ‘We have something to do. We must confess our sins, and humble our hearts before God.’”—Ibid., 8:105. Ellen White described the scene that followed the breaking of the hearts of the people as confessions were made and wrongs were righted. She wrote of the “rejoicing such as never before had been heard in the tabernacle.” Then these words were spoken:5BIO 238.4

    This might have been. All this the Lord was waiting to do for His people. All heaven was waiting to be gracious.” I thought of where we might have been had thorough work been done at the General Conference, and an agony of disappointment came over me as I realized that what I had witnessed was not a reality.—Ibid., 8:105, 106.5BIO 238.5

    In other references to the same experience, she placed the responsibility very largely upon the leader of the medical work, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Referring to him in one of the meetings at the session, she stated: “After the meeting at Minneapolis, Dr. Kellogg was a converted man, and we all knew it. We could see the converting power of God working in his heart and life.”—The General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 86.5BIO 239.1

    Near the time for the opening of the session, Ellen White put into the hands of the delegates and others some of the testimonies that touched on many of the points at issue. The ninety-six page pamphlet presenting Selections From the Testimonies for the Church for the Study of Those Attending the General Conference in Oakland, California, March 27, 1903, was printed by the Pacific Press. A wide range of topics are represented in this pamphlet. There was special emphasis on the fires in Battle Creek, debt liquidation, and the vision of what might have been; there were various items dealing with the churches, consolidation of the publishing work, the work in the South, the Southern Publishing Association, and the use of the Morning Star. It closed with references to the work at home and abroad.5BIO 239.2

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