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

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    Guided by a Sabbath-Evening Vision

    As the time neared for her to start her journey east, the question of where she should stay was uppermost in her mind. Dr. Kellogg had at first invited her to stay at the Sanitarium, but later invited her and her party to stay in his own home. He had a large, two-story frame house with sufficient room to accommodate the children he and his wife took in to rear. He now promised to make a portion of the home available to Ellen White and those of her helpers who would accompany her to the session, and urged that she accept the invitation. She had also received letters from others opening their homes to her. She wanted a place in Battle Creek where she could have her workers together with her and where she could be protected from the large number of visitors who would inevitably seek interviews (Letter 133, 1900).5BIO 53.1

    But would it be wise to stay in the doctor's home when so much controversy swirled about him? At first she felt it would not be best. Would not people feel that she was influenced by him? And then she thought, “No matter with whom I should stay, it would be said, ‘Someone has been talking with Sister White, telling her about the state of the church. This is why she talks as she does.’”—The General Conference Bulletin, 1901, 204.5BIO 53.2

    The answer came in a very forceful way. Friday evening, February 15, as Ellen White met with her family in the sitting room for worship, she was deeply burdened with a decision about Dr. Kellogg's invitation. She began to pray about it. In reporting the experience, she says, “I was asking the Lord where I should go and what I should do. I was for backing out.... Well, while I was praying and was sending up my petition, there was, as has been a hundred times or more, a soft light circling around in the room, and a fragrance like the fragrance of flowers, of a beautiful scent of flowers.”—Manuscript 43a, 1901. And a voice said, “‘Respect the courtesy of My servant, John Kellogg, the physician by My appointment. He needs encouragement that you can give him. Let him put his trust in Me. My arm is strong to uphold and sustain. He may safely lean upon My strength. I have a work for him to do. He must not fail nor be discouraged.’”—Letter 33, 1901.5BIO 53.3

    Did the others kneeling in worship that Friday evening see the light and notice the fragrance? This is a very natural question, which she answered as she recounted the incident on April 11 at the General Conference session: “Though none of the family saw what I saw, or heard what I heard, yet they felt the influence of the Spirit, and were weeping and praising God.”—The General Conference Bulletin, 1901, 204.5BIO 54.1

    So Dr. Kellogg's gracious invitation was accepted. Ellen White and her helpers would stay in his home. Now preparations were begun for the long journey by train. Routes must be decided upon and a schedule established.5BIO 54.2

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