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

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    Discussion on Pantheism

    During the conference session Ellen White had advised Elder Prescott to go ahead with the presentation of the subjects that would have a bearing on the pantheistic teachings. This was done, and soon there was considerable confusion in the meeting. Different ones were taking sides rather than concentrating on the great principles of truth. The records are not clear as to details, but personal situations were brought in and inadvisable moves were made.5BIO 333.6

    Kellogg and his cohorts engaged actively in the discussions. What went on behind the scenes was opened up to Ellen White in vision while she was there, and of this she said:5BIO 334.1

    In the scenes presented to me, I saw men talking together between the meetings about the mistakes and faults of their brethren. [Interlineation: Many things were not real mistakes, only in their own minds. They themselves were in darkness and being led by another spirit.] In the place of searching their own hearts, and praying and confessing their own mistakes, men seemed to be anxious that others should feel that they [interlined: their brethren] had acted unwisely. Angels from heaven, sent to minister wisdom and grace, were disappointed to see self pressing its way in, to make things appear in a wrong light. Men were talking and discussing, and conjectures were brought in that should have had no place in the meeting.—Manuscript 74, 1904.5BIO 334.2

    Ellen White continued: 5BIO 334.3

    In some of the business meetings unwise words were spoken, which manifested suspicion and distrust of men bearing responsibilities. This aroused wrong feelings. Trifling things, looked at through the enemy's magnifying glass, became larger and larger. A mote became a mountain. The Holy Spirit was grieved. The men who ought to have been seeking the Lord with subdued contrite spirits were bringing to the foundation material represented by wood, hay, and stubble.— Ibid.

    It is often a case in matters of this kind that hindsight is much better than foresight. Following the session, Ellen White wrote:5BIO 334.4

    A glorious victory might have been gained at the Berrien Springs meeting. Abundant grace was provided for all who felt their need. But at a critical time in the meeting unadvised moves were made, which confused minds and brought in controversy.5BIO 334.5

    The Lord was working upon minds. Angels of God were in the assembly, and had all heeded the message borne, very different results would have been seen. Had all freely confessed their own sins, laying aside all anxiety about the acknowledgments and confessions to be made by others; had all humbled their hearts before God, as on the Day of Atonement in the days of ancient Israel, the Lord would have come in, and great victories would have been gained.— Ibid.5BIO 335.1

    W. C. White came under criticism, even from his own brother Edson, who was in sympathy with Dr. Kellogg. He intimated that Willie influenced his mother in some of the things she did and said. W. C. White did not deliver to certain men present a message his mother had placed in his hands for him to deliver. At a later time he was led to write of the experience at Berrien Springs:5BIO 335.2

    Mother has no human help in the writing of the Testimonies. In the copying and preparation for the press, she has several helpers. And in the decision as to when and to whom she shall send the message written, she often takes counsel. When asked why she does not deliver every message as soon as it is written, she says, “I must deliver the message at the most appropriate time. Jesus said, ‘I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.’ Sometimes when I am about to send out a testimony, word comes to me, ‘Not yet, wait for matters to develop.”’5BIO 335.3

    Sometimes she is given a message with instruction to deliver it if certain things take place. Therefore it becomes part of her duty to know what is transpiring, and that she may know, she reads the Review, and makes inquiry of leading workers by correspondence, and requests them to visit her and tell her of the progress of the work.5BIO 335.4

    It often happens that Mother tells us that she intends to bear a certain testimony at a certain meeting. She takes her writings with the full intention of reading and speaking upon an important subject. But at the meeting she changes her plan. Some of the persons whom she expected to see are absent, and others who need a different message are present. Or the general tenor of the meeting calls for a different plan.5BIO 335.5

    Oftentimes I have been commissioned to carry testimonies to meetings to be read at the most appropriate time, or not to be read, as seemed best. Sometimes I have been given messages to leading workers to be delivered under certain conditions. Sometimes I have been given messages with instruction not to deliver them if conditions had changed, or if it seemed that the time had not come.—30 WCW, pp. 598, 599.5BIO 336.1

    It would seem that such factors were at work at the Berrien Springs meeting.5BIO 336.2

    Ellen White continued her eleven-o'clock meetings each day. Most of them were reported, with the subjects as follows:5BIO 336.3

    May 18 The Foundation of Our Faith

    May 20 Lessons From Colossians, First and Second Chapters

    May 21 Lessons From Revelation Three

    May 22 A Plea for Unity

    May 23 Remarks Made at Berrien Springs

    May 23 Take Heed to Thyself

    May 24 A Change of Feeling Needed

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