The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Chapter 80—To O. A. Olsen


Crystal Springs

St. Helena, California

May 8, 1890

Elder O.A. Olsen

Dear Brother Olsen:

I received a letter from Willie White suggesting that Elder Waggoner be called to the east to attend the Ministerial Institutes, and to teach the school. I think it would be in the order of God for the President of the General Conference to visit this part of the moral vineyard and take in the situation of things, for there is a condition of things in California that is certainly deplorable. I will send you a copy of a letter handed me from M.J. Church while I was at the camp meeting in Fresno. There is great need of different kinds of gifts being brought in here than that which they now have. But don't send Elder Farnsworth, for he is settled nowhere. He is inclined to think and believe with the last man he is with. I put no dependence on him, and the less we have of such workers the better it will be for the vineyard of the Lord. Elder Farnsworth does not know what it is to walk with God, to move in harmony with the mind of God. He feels fully competent and self-sufficient, but oh, he carries a cheap influence out of the desk. His words, his manners, his conversation are not what should be cultivated by a minister of Jesus Christ. There has come in to our gatherings or convocation meetings a cheap, commonness in association not after the order of devout worshipers, but of the festivals and idolatrous worship. God would have all these things pass away and Christ's manner of teaching brought in and the heavenly model be copied. 1888 645.1

We find here on the Pacific Coast scarcely a man who carries a weight of influence. We find a spirit of criticism at work to tear down, to make the worst appear, to dwell on the little, objectionable things which are talked of till molehills become mountains of difficulty. The Missions established at much expense must be broken up for trivial reasons. There are so few at work standing shoulder to shoulder, warring against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places, that the enemy's forces seem to be constantly strengthening and those claiming to believe the truth are the mediums Satan uses to discourage and dishearten the things that remain. 1888 645.2

To question, and doubt, and talk against the testimonies and the ministers seems to be the atmosphere that prevails. Several times I have been shown that there was great danger of sending off our men upon whom we depend to keep the churches and home missions in a healthful condition, to foreign missions and leaving the home missions to languish. It can be represented as killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Satan watches his chances when he can come in and bear sway over unconsecrated elements. 1888 646.1

Some ministers like Edwin Jones can never take a position and hold it sensibly. He will regard matters in an intense light. He will gather up little points of seeming difference and act as though he would stake his soul upon their verity and strength. He cannot discern that he can serve God with power and purpose too in dwelling on the large treasures of subjects in God's storehouse and feed the flock of God. All must stand shoulder to shoulder and step by step, keeping rank and file in perfect order. When there is no real variance in ideas, his naturally extravagant ideas, his fruitful imagination places things of difference in the strongest light which he can put them in, and he leads minds to miscalculate, and carry things in so strong a manner that he does positive harm. He confuses minds, he buries the simplest and most essential truths by his strong expressions, his extravagant imaginations so that his labors on this Coast are really a failure. They do more harm than they can possibly do good. Now what to do with cases of this character is a question. I believe him to be perfectly honest, but there is such a strength of imagination, such wonderfully strong expressions that his brethren are really afraid to put him to labor anywhere. 1888 646.2

Brother McClure is not a speaker, but a good counsellor, a good worker. Elder Loughborough has worked hard but there is a strong feeling against him not altogether just, and he has but little influence with a large number in the conference. I believe he has tried to follow the Lord and do His will, but if he cannot carry the churches with him then he cannot do them much good. 1888 647.1

When A.T. Jones went east, then Dr. Waggoner and Charlie Jones, it was too much to take away at one time. Now could Elder Loughborough use his talent in Michigan for a time, and in other states, his firm position on the testimonies would revive the faith of those who have been misled by the doubts and unbelief of those who have weakened the faith and confidence of churches in them. 1888 647.2

Certainly there must be a change. A president must be put in at the next General Conference who will command more respect and whose work will be more respected. M.J. Church and many others are constantly talking, picking flaws and looking with contempt upon the management of Elder Loughborough. There must be help brought to California at once. At Fresno they need help all the time. They would accept St. John, but he cannot stay there. Many they refuse. I hated to leave things in Fresno just as we did, but what could be done? I shall not consent to take another laborer from California. There are men you can have and welcome, and I think you can find fields where there can be some one whom they respect, to have an oversight of them. I think there ought to be some one who will see and understand the necessities of these fields, especially in California, and send good help, the very best kind, men who are anchored, men who can be depended on. I can see no wisdom in stripping the field of our home missionaries and then expect everything to thrive. 1888 647.3

I do not expect to be at your General Conference. I would rather run the other way. I wish Dr. Waggoner could be teacher in the ministerial institute, and think that is his place, but could you see the pitiful condition of things here! I hoped to do something, but to my great sorrow I seem to be in a helpless condition. My brethren, who thought they were doing God service in discouraging my heart, in obstructing my way, in opposing themselves to all that I was in the fear of God trying to do, could they look upon me, would see something of their work. They made my work fifty-fold harder than it would otherwise have been. I wonder if these earnest, zealous men who were engaged in sowing questionings and doubts and resistance, and stubbornness in rejecting the counsel of God against themselves have thought of these words? “Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty” (Judges 5:23). 1888 648.1

We have had entrusted to us a message to bear to God's people. We have had arrayed against that work, Satan, his host and traitors, and evil men. We have need of the help which every one should have been prepared to give to us. We fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. But when men who claim to be faithful and true, to all purposes engage with the enemy of God to hinder and confuse and perplex minds, and keep them on the side of the enemy as has been the case since I left Europe and stepped on American soil, how can the Lord look upon these things that so many have not worked on God's side of the question? How could the burden but be of crushing weight to my soul when God was opening before me the messages He would have come before the people? Under whose leadership were these professed soldiers of Jesus Christ doing service? These things have grieved the Spirit of God and the words to Meroz were applicable to them. 1888 648.2

I have a message to the people. Urgent calls are coming to me from all directions, but I am lying crushed, a cart beneath sheaves and I can but feel deeply over these things. “It seems so strange that Sister White is laid upon a bed of suffering; why doesn't the Lord raise her to health?” is the question. I look with astonishment to the strength that has been imparted to me, and should the Lord place me again in working order I hope to do my duty. I have just that confidence in my brethren that those who have had every evidence God saw fit to give them, that His spirit and power was with me, and yet turned from it all to walk in the sparks of their own kindling, and have shown a wonderful blindness, want of perception and knowing the things that be of God, and in their resistance to light and evidence in their choosing the darkness rather than the light, have virtually said, “We do not want God's ways, but we want our own ways.” 1888 649.1

Should circumstances shape in a similar manner as they have in the past, they would be easier subjects to Satan's temptations than they were in the first place. They would work on the same line, act over the same things, confederate to resist, to criticize, to press their whole weight against God's work for this time unless they are entirely transformed, unless their Phariseeism is seen as God has shown it to me, and unless they remove by every effort possible on their part the stumbling blocks and do the work God wanted them to do in the beginning, come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. 1888 649.2

Well, here I am sick in bed with malaria and rheumatism which first attacked the heart and has now spread over my entire body. I do not feel any burden of my own case. I am too thoroughly sick to try to get up my will power or to present my case to God in faith. I simply do not care. I long for rest. I have wrestled for the victory until I have fallen wounded and bruised and crippled, not by the weapons of the enemy, but those of my own brethren. Perhaps some think, Well, if Sister White was really doing the work of the Lord He would have sustained her. But if they would look, a little and reason from cause to effect, they would feel the rebuke of God upon them for joining the enemy's efforts, stirred from a power from beneath. They did the very work Satan wanted them to do; now let me rest. I have no burden of anxiety to recover. I am a suffering invalid. Just let me be. If I receive strength I will try and do something here in California. But I do hope you will visit California yourself. I hope that you will see that there must be a different set of gifts brought in here, and I hope it will not be long before we shall see help coming. 1888 650.1

Ellen G. White

September 12, 1968