Ellen G. White: The Later Elmshaven Years: 1905-1915 (vol. 6)


Chapter 13—Through the Year 1908

Much of the year 1908 Ellen White spent at her Elmshaven home engaged in her book work, involved in entertaining and interviews, concerned with the finding of a new location for Healdsburg College, and maintaining a heavy correspondence. At times she broke away to attend California camp meetings and to visit the three sanitariums in the south. Some involvements carried over many months, climaxing in 1909 or 1910. 6BIO 165.1

At the Elmshaven home, as the new year dawned, the Metcalfe Hare family, just in from Australia, were being entertained. Brother Hare had been connected with the development of the Avondale school and later with the manufacturing of health foods. 6BIO 165.2

In early February, she mentioned that “Brother Metcalfe Hare and Elder Haskell and his wife have for a few days been members of my family.”—Letter 50, 1908. 6BIO 165.3

In late March she wrote of another visitor: “Brother Sutherland [of the Madison School] is with us, and will remain for some days.”—Letter 92, 1908. 6BIO 165.4

The little cottage to the east, between the house and the barn, was the temporary residence of a longstanding friend who with her daughter-in-law and grandchildren had been given refuge. The husband and father of the family, a physician, had abandoned them. At Ellen White's invitation they had come some months earlier. “There was no other place to which they could go,” she wrote, “and we made them as comfortable as we could. They remained with us over a year, and we supplied their needs.”Letter 146, 1908. 6BIO 165.5

Elder W. W. Prescott, in the Review and Herald of February 27, wrote of his appreciation of “the hospitality of her home” and of his pleasure in finding “Sister White enjoying a reasonable degree of health” as she continued her work. Prescott, whose home base was Washington, D.C., was in the West to attend the biennial session of the Pacific Union Conference, held in the chapel at St. Helena Sanitarium, January 17-25. J. N. Loughborough who had long labored on the West Coast, wrote in his report of this “powerful and harmonious meeting“: 6BIO 166.1

Sister White was able to speak to us with great power on two occasions. In the first of these she set forth the importance of the work in the cities, and in the Southern field of the United States. In her second talk she set before us the aid of temperance in the carrying out of a true spirit of patience, godliness, and brotherly kindness.—The Review and Herald, February 27, 1908. 6BIO 166.2

In his days at Elmshaven following the session, Prescott was one of several ministers who met at the Elmshaven office to discuss a question coming into prominence—the meaning of the “daily” brought to view in Daniel 8. As will be noted in a later chapter, this subject would come into more prominence over the next two or three years. 6BIO 166.3

As the time approached for the regular session of the California Conference, January 31 to February 5, Ellen White had counseled that changes in leadership should be made, and suggested that Elder Haskell might well be called to serve as president. As the president in his report at the opening of the session suggested, “A change in the conference management must take place.” Haskell was elected (Pacific Union Recorder, February 20, 1908). 6BIO 166.4

One of Haskell's first moves toward bringing unity and spiritual uplift in this important conference with a membership of 4,350 (Ibid., February 13, 1908) was to call a Bible institute in Oakland for the first two full weeks of March. Ellen White was invited to participate and, although she was “not in as good health” as she could wish, she went down to Oakland the day before the institute opened (Letter 84, 1908). She spoke six times during the two-week meeting, including the Sabbath-morning sermon on March 14, in the newly constructed Oakland church. 6BIO 166.5

Often during the hours of the night, visions were given to Ellen White involving many subjects. One such was given to her on the night of January 15. Of this she wrote in her diary: 6BIO 167.1

The past night I was speaking decidedly to a large number assembled in council meeting. I seemed to be in Washington. The meeting was one of special solemnity and interest. Every soul is to place himself individually in right relation to life and health and become a fruitbearing branch of the True Vine. I was bearing a very close, straight testimony. What a work is to be done! There will continue to be hindrances and the wheels of true reform will be blocked.—Manuscript 126, 1908. 6BIO 167.2

But it was not until March 29 that she wrote to Elder Daniells appealing for “a true reformation” “among the believers in Washington in the matter of healthful living” (Letter 162, 1908). As this letter largely formed the basis of her address on “Faithfulness in Health Reform” at the 1909 General Conference session, the account will be left until the narrative reaches that point. 6BIO 167.3