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


Ellen White's Closing Address

For three weeks and four days Ellen White met with her brethren from the whole world field. She had seen the church grow from fifty Sabbathkeeping Adventists in New England in 1846 to 83,000 at the close of 1908. Of these, 59,000 were in the United States and 24,000 in other parts of the world. Total tithe paid into the treasuries of the church in 1908 had grown to $1.1 million. There were nearly 800 ordained ministers, and 400 more held ministerial licenses (1908 Statistical Report, in The General Conference Bulletin, 1909, 260, 265). The reports brought by delegates from various parts of the world were detailed and thrilling. The day-to-day departmental meetings had been constructive and helpful. The resolutions adopted by the session drawn together in the last issue of the Bulletin filled five pages. 6BIO 196.2

Ellen White used the opportunities given to her to speak in admonishing, encouraging, and instructing. Her prime theme was evangelistic outreach, with emphasis on both personal and city evangelism. Health reform and health interests were a close second. She had attended General Conference sessions from 1863 on, missing some while in Europe and Australia. She had been at the first general gathering of Sabbathkeeping Adventists in 1848, and at succeeding Sabbath Conferences had been with the brethren as they diligently studied the Word and formed the doctrinal structure of the church based on that Word. 6BIO 196.3

While not all had been accomplished that she had hoped and labored for, it was a good and encouraging session. 6BIO 196.4

The last meeting, Sunday afternoon at 3:00 P.M., was given to her. “Partakers of the Divine Nature” was her theme. It came too late to be included in the Bulletin, but it was referred to in the last issue under the title “A Touching Farewell.” 6BIO 196.5

As the aged speaker referred to her appreciation of the privileges of the General Conference session, and expressed her intense anxiety that the meeting might result in great good to all in attendance, the congregation responded with many hearty “amens.”—Ibid., 1909, 378. 6BIO 197.1

“With trembling lips and a voice touched with deep emotion, she assured the ministers and other workers that God loves them, and Jesus delights to make intercession in their behalf.”— Ibid. Many were deeply moved. She closed her address stating: 6BIO 197.2

Brethren, we shall separate for a little while, but let us not forget what we have heard at this meeting. Let us go forward in the strength of the Mighty One, considering the joy that is set before us of seeing His face in the kingdom of God and of going out no more forever. Let us remember that we are to be partakers of the divine nature, and that angels of God are right around us, that we need not be overcome by sin. Let us send our petitions to the throne of God in time of temptation, and in faith lay hold of His divine power. 6BIO 197.3

I pray God that this may be the experience of each one of us, and that in the great day of God we all may be glorified together.—Manuscript 49, 1909. 6BIO 197.4

Thus closed the last sermon Ellen White was to make at a General Conference session. She moved away from the desk and started to her seat, then turned and came back, picked up the Bible from which she had read, opened it, and held it out on extended hands that trembled with age. She admonished, “Brethren and Sisters, I commend unto you this Book” (reported by W. A. Spicer, then secretary of the General Conference, in The Spirit of Prophecy in the Advent Movement, p. 30). 6BIO 197.5

Thus, in her last words to the leaders of the church officially assembled in conference, Ellen White elevated the Word of God—that Word that had been so precious to her and that she freely used and ever kept before the church and the world. 6BIO 197.6