Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


Chapter 44—Writing and Speaking

“From Washington Territory and from the East,” wrote Mrs. White from her Healdsburg, Cal., home March 26, 1883, “come urgent requests that I attend the camp meetings.... I am now engaged in important writing that I have for six years been trying to accomplish. Year after year I have broken away from this work to attend camp meetings.... LS 267.1

“The last two summers I was brought very near to the gates of death, and as I felt that it might please the Lord to let me rest in the grave, I had most painful regrets that my writings were not completed. In the providence of God my life is spared, and my health once more restored. I thank the Lord for His mercy and loving-kindness to me. I have felt ready to go east or west, if my duty were made plain; but in answer to my prayer, ‘Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?’ the answer comes to me, ‘Rest in peace until the Lord bids you go.’ LS 267.2

“I have not been idle. Since the Lord raised me up at the camp meeting in Healdsburg, I have visited Santa Rosa, Oakland, San Francisco, Petaluma, Forestville, and Ukiah, and have labored in Healdsburg, frequently speaking on the Sabbath and on Sunday evening. In four weeks I gave ten discourses, traveled two hundred miles, and wrote two hundred pages.... LS 267.3

“My brethren who urge me to attend camp meeting and to visit them are anxiously inquiring, ‘When shall we have Volume 4, “Spirit of Prophecy?”’ I can now answer them. In a few weeks my work on this book will be completed. But there are other important works that require attention as soon as this shall be finished.... While I have physical and mental ability, I will do the work which is most needed by our people.... I have, when traveling, labored at great disadvantage. I have written in the depot, on the cars, under my tent at camp meeting, often speaking until exhausted, and then rising at three o'clock in the morning and writing from six to fifteen pages before breakfast.... LS 267.4

“It would give me great pleasure to meet my dear brethren and sisters in camp meeting. I feel the love of Jesus burning in my soul. I love to talk this out and to write it out. My prayers shall be, that God may bless you at your camp meetings, and that your souls may be refreshed by His grace. If God bids me leave my writing to attend these meetings or to speak to the people in different places, I hope to hear and obey His voice.” The Signs of the Times, April 5, 1883. LS 268.1

During the spring and summer of 1883, Mrs. White spent much time in an effort to complete Volume 4 of “Spirit of Prophecy,” known in later years as “Great Controversy.” Not until early August did she break away from her writing to attend some of the fall camp meetings in the East, and the General Conference session following. Of these public labors in 1883, she wrote: LS 268.2