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

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    Testimonies, Volume Six

    The first order of work was to finish the preparation of Testimony No. 34 (volume 6), in time, if possible, for the General Conference. Something must be done to move the church away from a seeming standstill. Diligent effort was put forth to search from Sister White's manuscripts, periodical articles, and other sources, such as her handwritten journals, to find what she had written that would present the counsel now so much needed. While in Australia she had assisted in the establishment of the college at Cooranbong, where she helped carry out principles that had been shown to her as essential to the church's educational work. During those Cooranbong years she wrote much on the operation of schools. These writings were carefully searched and materials brought together for the section entitled “Education.”5BIO 47.1

    The denomination's sanitarium work was growing rapidly also. From the two medical institutions that were operating in 1889 when volume 5 was published, this line of work had grown to the point where the church was operating five in the United States and seven rather small ones overseas. The church also operated several orphanages, treatment rooms, and vegetarian restaurants. Counsels giving safe guidance in medical lines provided materials for Section 4 of the book. The volume opened with a presentation of the outlook before the church and a strong section on evangelistic work. There were also general counsels and cautions; the book closed with calls to service.5BIO 47.2

    This volume took a somewhat different form than the first five Testimony volumes. The earlier books presented selected communications quite largely in chronological order, but almost without subject arrangement. Individual items appeared in their entirety, or almost so. Now with the very large amount of material already available in the Testimonies in volumes 1-5, it was thought that more selective efforts should be made in choosing materials not so thoroughly covered in earlier articles. Many documents were marked for possible use. This procedure led to a choice of items that were grouped together in sections; sometimes several sources would contribute to one chapter within the section. This called for much more careful work on the part of Ellen White and her helpers in compiling the materials. She explained this work in a letter to Dr. Kellogg:5BIO 47.3

    I have much to do before going to conference. There are some things to be completed for Testimony 34 [volume 6]....I had thought to go to the sanitarium for a while, but I seem to be needed here. I must select the most important matters for the Testimony, and then look over everything prepared for it, and be my own critic, for I would not be willing to have some things which are all truth to be published, because I fear that some would take advantage of them to hurt others.5BIO 48.1

    After the matter for the Testimony is prepared, every article must be read by me. I have to read them myself, for the sound of the voice in reading or singing is almost unendurable to me.5BIO 48.2

    I try to bring out general principles, and if I see a sentence which I fear would give someone excuse to injure someone else, I feel at perfect liberty to keep back the sentence, even though it is all perfectly true.—Letter 32, 1901.5BIO 48.3

    W. C. White took care of the business end, handling all negotiations with the Pacific Press regarding type sizes, type of paper, binding, style of headings, cost of setting type, making up pages, producing plates, et cetera. He was a little bit surprised to find how much costs had increased over what they were when volume 5 was published.5BIO 48.4

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