Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


Second Visit to Scandinavia

Mrs. White's second visit to Scandinavia was made in the summer of 1886, in company with her son and Miss McEnterfer. During the first part of the journey, Miss Christine Dahl acted as guide and interpreter. LS 297.1

The most important of the meetings attended on this trip was at Orebro, Sweden. Here the Swedish Conference held its annual session, June 23 to 28, during which a tract society and a Sabbath school association were organized, each including the work in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. LS 297.2

A week before the opening of this Conference, Elder Matteson had begun a school for colporteurs and Bible workers. In the carrying on of this school he was joined by Elder A. B. Oyen, of Christiania, and Elder O. A. Olsen, just from America. Education was the watchword among the leaders in those days, and the people were eager to learn. The workers’ institute was opened each morning at 6:30 with a prayer and social meeting. At 9 o'clock there was a class in bookkeeping; at 11:30 instruction was given in home missionary work. Instruction on the holding of Bible readings was given at 4 o'clock in the afternoon; and at 8 P.M. there was a preaching service. Every hour of the day was counted as precious by both teachers and students. LS 297.3

At the conference session following, about sixty-five Sabbath keepers were in regular attendance. Of the ten churches in Sweden, nine were represented by twenty-three delegates. Mrs. White spoke six times in the early morning meetings, and five times on other occasions. Addressing the small but resolute band of believers, she said: LS 297.4

“In the beginning, the work goes hard and slow. Now is the time when all should bend their shoulders to raise the load and carry it forward. Advance we must, though the Red Sea be before us, and impassable mountains on either hand. God has been with us and has blessed our efforts. We must work by faith. ‘The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.’ Matthew 11:12. We are to pray, believe that our prayers are heard, and then work. LS 298.1

“The work may now seem small; but there must be a beginning before there can be any progress. ‘First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.’ The work may start in weakness, and its progress may for a time be slow; yet if it is commenced in a healthy manner, there will be a steady and substantial gain. [In confirmation of this, witness the development of the work in the Scandinavian Union Conference, at the close of 1914, to a membership of 3,807, divided into six local conferences and three missions.] A high standard should be placed before those who are newly come to the faith. They should be educated to be careful in speech and circumspect in conduct, giving evidence that the truth has accomplished something for them, and thus by their example shedding light upon those who are in darkness.... LS 298.2

“Those who have received the truth may be poor, but they should not remain ignorant or defective in character, to give the same mould, by their influence, to others. When the church fully receives the light, darkness will be dispelled; and if in holiness of character they keep pace with the truth revealed, their light will grow brighter and brighter. The truth will do its refining work, restoring the moral image of God in man, and the darkness and confusion and strife of tongues which is the curse of so many churches, will cease. The power that God will give to His church, if they will only walk in the light as fast as it shines upon them, is scarcely conceived of. LS 298.3

“The Lord is soon to come, and the message of warning is to go forth to all nations, tongues, and peoples. While God's cause is calling for means and laborers, what are those doing who live under the full light of the present truth?” The Review and Herald, October 5, 1886. LS 299.1

The Conference in Sweden having closed, two weeks were spent in Christiania, in earnest labor for the church and for the workers in the publishing house. At that time the new publishing house had been completed, and the various departments of the printing work had been moved in and were in operation. LS 299.2

When Mrs. White was shown through the several departments of the new printing plant, she expressed great joy over the thought that with the facilities thus provided, periodicals and books suitable for the field could now be printed in acceptable form and sent forth on their mission. It was on the occasion of this visit, when reaching the pressroom, that she declared that this very room, with its presses running as they were seen that day, had been shown her in vision years before. LS 299.3

The meetings in Christiania were followed by ten days of labor in Copenhagen, after which the party returned to Basel. LS 299.4