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

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    The Conference Business

    The business meetings of the General Conference session had been relieved of many of the details that had come before previous sessions, so there was time for discussion of two main items: the ownership of institutions, and the new constitution under which leading officers would be elected by the delegates.5BIO 248.2

    From day to day, reports were brought in from each of the union conferences. On Thursday Elder H. W. Cottrell, president of the Atlantic Union Conference, presented a memorial from the Atlantic Union delegates expressing the belief that the General Conference headquarters should be moved; it suggested that New York would be an ideal location. The memorial also expressed the hope that the Review could be relocated in some suburb of New York City. A few days later the committee on plans and constitution submitted a partial report recommending:5BIO 248.3

    “That the General Conference offices be removed from Battle Creek, Michigan, to some place favorable for its work in the Atlantic States.”—The General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 67.5BIO 248.4

    On Friday morning, April 3, Elder Daniells read the resolution to the session and asked Ellen White to comment on it. She said that it would be impossible to do justice to the question “unless I take some time (Ibid., April 6, 1901). She opened her remarks by saying:5BIO 248.5

    The question is one that should be clearly and distinctly understood by us all. Few of our people have any idea of how many times light has been given that it was not in the order of God for so much to be centered in Battle Creek.... For years the warning has been given to our people, Get out of Battle Creek.... At last Brother Magan and Brother Sutherland began to think of the advisability of moving [the college] from Battle Creek.... This was the first move made. It has been a success....5BIO 248.6

    For the last fifteen or twenty years, light has been given that our people, by crowding into Battle Creek, have been leaving their home churches in a weak state.... The very worst thing that could now be done would be for the Review and Herald office to be once more built up in Battle Creek....5BIO 249.1

    Let the General Conference offices and the publishing work be moved from Battle Creek. I know not where the place will be, whether on the Atlantic Coast or elsewhere. But this I will say, Never lay a stone or brick in Battle Creek to rebuild the Review office there. God has a better place for it.—Ibid., 84, 85.5BIO 249.2

    She reviewed the history of the Sanitarium and her strong support for it and Dr. Kellogg:5BIO 249.3

    Many souls have been converted; many wonderful cures have been wrought. The Lord stood by the side of Dr. Kellogg as he performed difficult operations. When the doctor was overwrought by taxing labor, God understood the situation, and He put His hand on Dr. Kellogg's hand as he operated, and through His power the operations were successful. I wish this to be understood....5BIO 249.4

    God has given Dr. Kellogg the success that he has had. I have tried constantly to keep this before him, telling him that it was God who was working with him, and that the truth of God was to be magnified by His physician....5BIO 249.5

    God does not endorse the efforts put forth by different ones to make the work of Dr. Kellogg as hard as possible, in order to build themselves up. God gave the light on health reform, and those who rejected it rejected God. One and another who knew better said that it all came from Dr. Kellogg, and they made war upon him.—Ibid., 86, 87.5BIO 249.6

    Ellen White used this occasion to drive home a number of points:5BIO 249.7

    1. Other church institutions were not to be directed by the workers in Battle Creek.5BIO 249.8

    2. The rebuilt Battle Creek Sanitarium was not to be allowed to go into the hands of the world. “If you will trust in the Lord, this institution can be placed on vantage ground.”—Ibid., 87.5BIO 250.1

    3. Dr. Kellogg was not to be “pushed out of his place.” “Spurious scientific theories,” she declared in an obvious reference to pantheism, “are coming in as a thief in the night, stealing away the landmarks and undermining the pillars of our faith. God has shown me that the medical students are not to be educated in such theories, because God will not endorse these theories.”— Ibid.5BIO 250.2

    4. Leaders were to examine the standing of Battle Creek Sanitarium “to see whether the God of heaven can take control of it.”5BIO 250.3

    A crisis was coming in Battle Creek, she warned:5BIO 250.4

    The trades unions and confederacies of the world are a snare. Keep out of them and away from them, brethren. Have nothing to do with them. Because of these unions and confederacies, it will soon be very difficult for our institutions to carry on their work in the cities.

    My warning is: Keep out of the cities. Build no sanitariums in the cities. Educate our people to get out of the cities into the country, where they can obtain a small piece of land, and make a home for themselves and their children.— Ibid.5BIO 250.5

    Our restaurants must be in the cities, for otherwise the workers in these restaurants could not reach the people and teach them the principles of right living. And for the present we shall have to occupy meeting houses in the cities.5BIO 250.6

    But erelong there will be such strife and confusion in the cities that those who wish to leave them will not be able. We must be preparing for these issues.—Ibid., 88.5BIO 250.7

    At a later meeting actions were passed recommending that the offices of the General Conference be moved to the Atlantic Coast and also that the publishing association should not be rebuilt as a factory in Battle Creek. The Eastern States were strongly recommended as the location for the publishing house.5BIO 250.8

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