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

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    Helge Nelson Assaults Her

    As Ellen White was stepping down from the platform a man in the audience, Helge Nelson, rushed to the front and attempted to assault her. A newspaper account declares that “the venerable exhorter staggered against the pulpit platform steps and tottered feebly as she was grasped by a number of men who were close by, as the hand of her attacker descended upon the unsuspecting woman.” The newspaper account continued: “Quickly, amid the scene of much commotion, ‘Angel Nelson’ [the title assumed by her attacker] was hustled out of the church by some stout-armed elders. While others attended the stricken woman, Alonzo T. Jones, president of the California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, summoned the police and Nelson was hustled off to the city prison by Patrolman Flynn and charged with battery.”5BIO 254.5

    The report stated that “Mrs. White regained her composure shortly, and happily received the congratulations of her friends that the assault had not caused more serious trouble.”—DF 586.5BIO 255.1

    Helge Nelson was not unknown to Ellen White, nor to many of the delegates who were present at that morning meeting. He claimed that he was to be the successor to Ellen White, that he was to be to her what Joshua was to Moses. At the 1901 General Conference session, Nelson had sought repeatedly for an opportunity to take over the meetings. An action was taken that disallowed him to speak.5BIO 255.2

    But he had been given an opportunity to meet with some of the leading church workers. He had related to the brethren his experience and what he understood to be his call. In this committee meeting Ellen White had recounted her earlier contacts with Mr. Nelson. She told of how he had come to her home in California and she had spent time listening to him. She stated, “God has not given Brother Nelson the work of acting as Joshua in connection with His people. From the light that I have had, this could not be. It is an impossibility.”—The Review and Herald, July 30, 1901. She closed her remarks in the committee meeting in Battle Creek by saying:5BIO 255.3

    We love our brother. We want him to be saved, but we cannot allow him to take the time of this conference. It is not his time. God has given us a work to do, and we intend to do it, under His supervision, that souls may be brought to a knowledge of present truth.— Ibid.5BIO 255.4

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