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Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5) - Contents
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    Chapter 8—The Extended Journey Home

    Following the close of the General Conference session of 1901, Ellen White spent another full week in Battle Creek. She addressed the Sanitarium patients on Friday, April 26. She preached again in the Tabernacle the next morning. On Sunday night a vision was given to her concerning the course of action being followed by Dr. Kellogg. Her attention was called to the Battle Creek Sanitarium, particularly as it had to do with binding those who gained their training there with contracts that called for long periods of sacrificial service. She slept only an hour that night.5BIO 111.1

    On Monday she went to visit Judge Arthur and his family. He was an attorney who gave his time largely to the work of the institutions in Battle Creek, but he was ill at home. When Ellen White called at his home, he sent to the school for his children to come so that they might be present for the visit. As she was engaged in prayer in the Arthur home, seeking God's special blessing upon the judge and his family, she herself was greatly blessed. Of this she later wrote:5BIO 111.2

    While praying at his bedside, the Lord came very near, and I was blessed indeed. After that I felt renewed, soul and body.... The peace of Christ filled my heart. I did not feel at all weary.—Letter 70, 1901.5BIO 111.3

    A few days after this experience she said: 5BIO 111.4

    I feel as though I had been resting for a month. This is the Lord's doing.— Ibid.

    Such an experience of healing and renewed strength was not a new one for Ellen White. From day to day she moved forward in faith, trusting wholly in the Lord. But what a joy it was to her and what confidence it brought to her when from her weariness and illness she was restored to health and was refreshed with new vigor to carry on her tasks. It was a miracle that was often repeated in her life.5BIO 112.1

    In this refreshment she was ready to undertake her journey home to California—but not directly so. First she was asked to spend the following weekend in Indianapolis, where the entire church had been involved in the holy flesh fanaticism and where a special session of the Indiana Conference had been called to deal with the resignation of the president, Elder Donnell, and the entire conference committee. Elders Daniells, Jones, Prescott, and W. C. White were to be there. All members of the Indiana Conference committee had been involved in the holy flesh teachings.5BIO 112.2

    Meetings began Friday night, May 3. Ellen White preached Sabbath morning. On Sunday morning she came to grips with the holy flesh teaching. She was pleased with the response of the people. That Sunday there was an election of a new president and of an entirely new conference committee. Elder Donnell retired for a time to a little farm and then later engaged in the ministry in other conferences. S. S. Davis, who had led out in the holy flesh teaching, first accepted the correction at Battle Creek, then repudiated his repentance and continued to hold his extreme views, which removed him from the church.5BIO 112.3

    The denomination had been saved from fanaticism in a movement that had spread through one conference and was threatening to spread to other conferences. The workers in the main recovered themselves. Some of the church members, however, never did.5BIO 112.4

    Before that Sunday meeting at Indianapolis an experience transpired that was to cause considerable perplexity to a few for a time. Mrs. White had clearly indicated in her dealing with the holy flesh movement that the workers should be divided up and scattered, which was assented to at the time. But on giving the matter second thought, Elder Donnell began to waver. He asked W. C. White whether he would arrange for an interview with Ellen White early Sunday morning during the special conference session.5BIO 112.5

    Willie had intended to convey this word to his mother the night before, but he became so involved in the work taking place there in Indianapolis that the matter was overlooked. So he hastened to Ellen White's room early Sunday morning to arrange for this interview with her. She had been up since three-thirty and was completely engrossed in writing on another subject. When Willie told her Elder Donnell wanted to see her, she was puzzled. “What does he want?” she asked. “What can I say? Have not I borne my testimony?”—18 WCW, p. 182.5BIO 113.1

    The partitions in the Sanitarium building where they were staying were not soundproof. Ellen White was growing deaf, and Willie White spoke in a firm, loud voice so that she could hear. The Sanitarium cook, who occupied the next room, overheard the conversation and slipped into her closet so she could take it all in better. She was amazed when she overheard W. C. White suggesting to his mother what she should say to Elder Donnell. Writing of it later, White reported:5BIO 113.2

    In doing this I did not suggest to her any new thoughts. It was not my place to do so. I simply recalled to her mind things that she had formerly written and said regarding what these brethren ought to do.— Ibid.5BIO 113.3

    But the curious cook in the closet did not realize that Ellen White had a difficult time switching the channel of her thoughts in an instant, and she formed another opinion of the situation. She kept her little secret until the Indiana camp meeting in Greenfield that September. Then she approached Elder Donnell and told him what she had heard. The former president was immediately thrown into confusion and began to question whether it might not have been Willie White who had engineered his surrender of the office and the condemnation of the holy flesh movement. It took some earnest work on the part of I. J. Hankins, the new president, to explain the situation—that W. C. White was not priming his mother as to what she should say, but, finding her mind on another subject, was merely reminding her of what she had said in the past that might be helpful to her as she would in a few minutes meet the perplexed ex-president.5BIO 113.4

    The journey from Indianapolis to her home in St. Helena, instead of taking only the normal four days, stretched to twenty-three, with visits to five sanitariums, two colleges, and participation in two camp meetings. The seven institutions had all been started while Ellen White was in Australia. Here was her schedule, which embodied twenty-three speaking appointments:5BIO 114.1

    May 6,7 Des Moines, Iowa Visit sanitarium May 8, 9 Lincoln, Nebraska Sanitarium and college May 10, 11 Denver, Colorado Sabbath speaking appointments May 12-14 Boulder, Colorado Sanitarium May 15-22 Waitsburg, Washington Rest and camp meeting May 23 Walla Walla, Washington Sanitarium and college May 24-26 Portland, Oregon Sanitarium and camp meeting May 28 Arrive home at St. Helena

    It was a full schedule. The travel was by train, much of it during the hours of the night. At one sanitarium she was introduced to the manager. Although she had never met him in person, he was no stranger to her. A few hours after meeting him, she wrote: “When I was introduced to you, I recognized your countenance as familiar. It came to me that things had been presented to me concerning you.”—Letter 156, 1901.5BIO 114.2

    The communication is one of ten pages. [Note: When mention is made of numbers of pages in an E. G. White document, it is understood that these are double-spaced, typewritten pages of 250 to 300 words.] As she continued her opening paragraph, she stated:5BIO 114.3

    A sadness came over me. You have been presented to me a man walking in a false show. You have capabilities, but they are not sanctified by the Spirit of God. You draw too much from the brackish fountain of self-sufficiency. With the best of opportunities, you have not made advancement in spiritual understanding. You have walked in the light of the sparks of your own kindling. I am instructed to say that you should not be superintendent or manager in any of our institutions.—Letter 156, 1901.5BIO 114.4

    In this and several other letters that followed in succeeding weeks, Ellen White opened up to this man the perils that threatened both his experience and the work in which he was engaged.5BIO 115.1

    You are too free with young girls. This is your weakness. The fact that you are in danger of losing your soul because of carelessness in this respect should lead you to avoid even the appearance of evil in your association with young women. Sister---was so much drawn to you that her infatuation was noticeable. Her mind was dazed by your supposed scientific wisdom, which hurts the imagination of young, inexperienced people.— Ibid.5BIO 115.2

    And then she made a suggestion:5BIO 115.3

    If it is necessary for you to have a secretary, employ a young man instead of a young woman. Your employment of a young woman is a snare to you and to her and a reproach to the cause of God....

    You have a wife.... It is your duty to show your wife special favors. Give her an opportunity to ride by your side, an opportunity to hear your opinions and appreciate your affection.— Ibid.5BIO 115.4

    And in another communication she declared: 5BIO 115.5

    You inspire in the minds of young girls thoughts which spoil their usefulness and taint their spiritual perceptions.... The enemy would lead you to pervert the understanding of women, as he perverted the understanding of Eve, leading her to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.—Letter 87, 1901.

    While on the train four days later, she again wrote to him, repeating some of the warnings sounded earlier and appealing to him to walk in the light.5BIO 115.6

    Her main theme at another of the sanitariums was the importance of observing the principles of proper diet. It was here at the breakfast table that she rather strangely ordered every cooked dish on the menu. Now Ellen White was far from a gourmand, and she was not wasteful or extravagant. It would seem that this was her way of checking on the dietary program of the institution. In a testimony written to the believers in that conference she declared, “You have been rebelling against health reform.”—Letter 177, 1901.5BIO 115.7

    While she counseled against certain foods as being unhealthful, she hastened to say, “We have not come to the time when I can say that the use of milk and eggs should be wholly discontinued.”— Ibid.5BIO 116.1

    At College View, Nebraska, she visited both the sanitarium and the new college that stood on the same campus. Her meetings held in the church exposed a rare insight into local situations. She called for harmony in the work and declared, “I am deeply pained as I see that things have been moving in a kind of systematic discord.”—Letter 97, 1901.5BIO 116.2

    At Denver she found the church pastored by H. M. J. Richards, father of Radio Evangelist H. M. S. Richards. It was a racially mixed church and she made a strong appeal for financial support for the Southern Missionary Society in the South.5BIO 116.3

    At Boulder, some thirty miles north of Denver, was another new sanitarium. Ellen White was not a stranger to Boulder, for some thirty years earlier she and her husband had spent several working vacations in Colorado, and at times stayed in a cottage not far from Boulder. The two days spent there in 1901 were devoted to meetings and to looking around and to writing.5BIO 116.4

    One letter sent from Boulder was addressed to 24-year-old Clarence C. Crisler, Elder Daniells’ secretary. Crisler was a dedicated young man whom she met in Battle Creek. In conversation she learned that Clarence for some time had felt that he should connect with her work. The copying of letters and of helping to get the articles into shape for the papers had fallen primarily upon Maggie Hare. At the time she was Ellen White's only copyist. She had asked the Lord to send her the one that He would choose to help in the important work she was doing. Now she was greatly relieved for she felt certain that in young Crisler the Lord had answered her prayer (Letter 65, 1901). She urged Clarence to join her in late June if at all possible.5BIO 116.5

    The local Boulder-Denver train service failed to meet the needs of Ellen White and her party in getting them to the morning train in Denver for the journey to Waitsburg, Washington, where she was to attend camp meeting. So at 2:00 A.M. on Wednesday, Ellen White, W. C. White, Sara McEnterfer, and Maggie Hare, with a young man to drive the team, clambered aboard a carriage and started on their drive—thirty miles—before breakfast, to Denver. They made the connection, but just barely.5BIO 116.6

    The Waitsburg camp meeting was held some twenty miles northeast of Walla Walla. It was well attended, some of the people driving as far as three hundred miles by carriage to attend the meetings (Letter 97a, 1901).5BIO 117.1

    At this camp meeting, held so soon after the General Conference session, there was considerable discussion among the workers concerning the development of the work in harmony with the steps taken in the reorganization of the General Conference. Elder A. T. Jones, a General Conference representative at that meeting, told the people that the General Conference now had no president, and that the State conferences should not have presidents. He declared that the office of union conference president would soon be abolished (16 WCW, p. 321). To support this position, he cited Ellen White's counsel that we should have “no kings.”5BIO 117.2

    W. C. White was not sure that “it was necessary to discard the name and title of president, as carried by the presiding officer of our conference.” Nor had Ellen White at any time suggested this. He declared:5BIO 117.3

    I have not felt that the mere changing of a name would accomplish much for our people; and it has seemed to me that if the president understood that his work was to preside, if our people understood that it was his duty to preside rather than to act as a dictator, there is no great harm to come from the continuance of a title which seems businesslike and is generally understood.— Ibid., 322.5BIO 117.4

    He commented favorably on his observation that Elder Daniells was affixing the term president to his name as he did business for the General Conference. As to A. T. Jones, his attitudes changed considerably when three weeks later he himself was elected president of the large California Conference.5BIO 117.5

    Seven times Ellen White spoke to the people in Waitsburg, including one address through an interpreter to the German believers. This reminded her of her work in Europe.5BIO 117.6

    Taking a look at Walla Walla College, established while she was in Australia, she was pleased with the location. At the Portland camp meeting she filled a number of speaking appointments. When she finally reached home on Tuesday, May 28, she recorded that on the twenty-three-day journey home she had spoken twenty-three times and had traveled three thousand miles, and she recounted: “At every place I visited there was writing that must be done for that place.”—Letter 213, 1901.5BIO 118.1

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