Loma Linda Messages

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Medical Missionary Work in Southern California

That there are special providences connected with Sister White's sojourn in California, and with her continued burden in behalf of medical missionary work in Southern California, but few are prepared to gainsay. Whether beyond our feeble comprehension, or not, there is a special providence connected with the establishment of Sanitariums near San Diego, Los Angeles, and in the Redlands-Riverside-San Bernardino district. Year after year since her return to America, Sister White pointed out the importance of doing a strong work in Southern California, and of establishing in that field, not one mammoth sanitarium, but several smaller institutions. It seemed as if no one fully comprehended the import of her words. Repeatedly she pointed out, in this connection, the advantages to be gained by securing the Paradise Valley Sanitarium; and she urged the brethren in responsibility in Conferences (both State and Union), and also in our Medical Missionary and Benevolent Associations (both local and general) to act, and to act quickly. No one acted, apparently because of lack of faith in the proposed enterprise. LLM 398.4

Sister White continued urging men in official positions to act, until, finally, she felt impelled to lead out herself, just as she had formerly led out in advancing the interests of the Avondale School at a time when many were disheartened over the prospect of founding a training-school there. But, unlike their Australasian brethren, who, reluctantly at first, and enthusiastically after some years of trial, assumed their full share of the financial burden and the burden of control,—unlike their Australasian brethren, the brethren in official responsibility in Southern California and in the Pacific Union Conference did not follow Sister White's leadings in this instance, and refused to take any financial responsibility what so ever. In fact, to this day, it is a matter of conjecture on the part of some who have been closely connected with the Paradise Valley enterprise, as to the real attitude that men in responsibility have taken, through the years, toward the plain instruction that came to them through Sister White to give serious consideration to the advantages that would be gained by securing possession of the Paradise Valley property. LLM 399.1

When it came to the purchase of the Glendale Sanitarium property, it was in response to the repeated counsel of Sister White to secure a property near Los Angeles, suitable for a country sanitarium. This institution was to be one member of a sisterhood of sanitariums in the Southern California field, where extraordinary opportunities called for a special and an extraordinary work. In this instance, the Conference brethren—a few reluctantly, and many whole-heartedly—shouldered the entire responsibility of the enterprise. Nobly have the Conference officials stood by the Glendale institution. LLM 399.2

When it came to the purchase of the Loma Linda property, Sister White again led out in urging that quick action be taken—exceedingly quick action, in fact. There were a few men whose faith led them to wish to act; but the greater portion of the men in responsibility in the Southern California Conference, and some counselors in the Pacific Union Conference, refused to act. The president of the Southern Calif. Conference, after consulting with some of his associates, even instructed the others not to act, save on their own individual responsibility. But, in this instance, the counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy to act, prevailed, after that memorable meeting in Los Angeles, when Elder Irwin held up before the Conference brethren the situation that the brethren in Australia had had to face when Sister White counseled them to persevere in an effort to build up a thoroughly-equipped training school for Christian workers, notwithstanding their inability to see light in all that was outlined before them. As Elder Irwin recounted the special providences connected with the establishment of the Cooranbong school, and how every specification that had been outlined regarding the future work and prosperity of that school, had been met, the hearts of the brethren in responsibility in Southern California gathered courage, and the Loma Linda enterprise was recognized as a Conference enterprise. LLM 399.3

Afterward, it is true, when the servant of the Lord began to bear them message after message pointing out the necessity of inaugurating and developing an untried and difficult line of educational work at Loma Linda, the faith of many wavered, and for a time some in authority did much to hinder the carrying forward of this new line of training. But notwithstanding all the opposition of the wavering ones, the Loma Linda enterprise has ever remained a conference enterprise. LLM 400.1

Why did not the men in charge of Conference affairs respond to Sister White's repeated appeals to consider the advantages to be gained by purchasing the Paradise Valley property? Plainly speaking, it was because they did not see light in the counsel given. For some reason, they seemed unable to understand the matter as portrayed in the Spirit of Prophecy, and evidently they were not prepared to move forward by faith in harmony with the repeated suggestions of the Lord's servant. LLM 400.2

Why did the Conference brethren purchase the Glendale property?—Because they had turned resolutely from the long cherished dream of establishing something great and grand in the city of Los Angeles, and had recognized the wisdom of establishing, instead, smaller sanitariums in more retired locations. Accordingly, they acted in harmony with the counsel given through the Spirit of Prophecy—after a tedious delay, it is true, of two years and more; but they finally did act, and that right heartily. LLM 400.3

Why did the Conference brethren respond to Sister White's appeals to purchase Loma Linda?—Because, after at first opposing this, they were visited by men of large faith in God's providential leadings, and were, in turn, inspired with faith through listening to a recital of providences connected with the establishment of large enterprises in other fields. LLM 400.4