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

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    The Conference President Responds

    The next day at the early morning workers’ meeting, Elder Donnell rose and asked whether he might make a statement. It appears in the General Conference Bulletin under the title “Confession of Elder R. S. Donnell.” He spoke in measured words:5BIO 107.1

    I feel unworthy to stand before this large assembly of my brethren this morning. Very early in life I was taught to reverence and to love the Word of God; and when reading in it how God used to talk to His people, correcting their wrongs, and guiding them in all their ways, when a mere boy I used to say: “Why don't we have a prophet? Why doesn't God talk to us now as He used to do?”5BIO 107.2

    When I found this people, I was more than glad to know that there was a prophet among them, and from the first I have been a firm believer in, and a warm advocate of, the Testimonies and the Spirit of Prophecy. It has been suggested to me at times in the past, that the test on this point of faith comes when the testimony comes directly to us.5BIO 107.3

    As nearly all of you know, in the testimony of yesterday morning, the test came to me. But, brethren, I can thank God this morning that my faith in the Spirit of Prophecy remains unshaken. God has spoken. He says I was wrong, and I answer, God is right, and I am wrong....5BIO 107.4

    I am very, very sorry that I have done that which would mar the cause of God, and lead anyone in the wrong way. I have asked God to forgive me, and I know that He has done it. As delegates and representatives of the cause of God in the earth, I now ask you to forgive me my sins, and I ask your prayers for strength and wisdom to walk aright in the future. It is my determination, by the help of God, to join glad hands with you in the kingdom of God.—Ibid., 422.5BIO 107.5

    With this confession the holy flesh fanaticism was broken. The April 18 General Conference Bulletin carried this note on the opening page under the title “Our Best Meetings“:5BIO 107.6

    There are some features of the present General Conference which cannot be produced in the minutes of the proceedings, largely verbatim though they be. The unification of disjointed parts, and the blending of sympathy which has taken place as the result of efforts to reorganize the work on broader and truer lines, has to be seen, and felt in personal contact, to be appreciated.5BIO 107.7

    Before the Conference convened, many throughout the field had grave apprehensions, lest grave obstacles should be met which would divide the sentiment of the workers, and so retard the precious message of truth. Those, however, who have been present in the meetings now greatly rejoice that the symptoms of such disturbance has abated, and delightful fellowship has become the prevailing condition.5BIO 108.1

    This has not come through any human skill in diagnosing the case. The Great Physician has graciously bestowed His attention, in His ever-merciful way, to the healing of wounds that sin had made. This work has been largely carried on in the early morning meetings held by the ministers. In these the Lord has spoken through Sister White to correct wrong methods of policy and to reprove distracting theories. Those involved have responded, acknowledging the voice to be from heaven and pledging themselves to live in harmony with it.—Ibid., 305.5BIO 108.2

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