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


Counsel Against Agitating the Subject

Before Prescott left for the East on February 6, Ellen White spoke to him about the problem, telling him not to publish anything at that time that would unsettle the minds of the people regarding positions held in the past. She promised to write him on the subject (35 WCW, p. 217). 6BIO 248.3

She did not write at once, but on June 24, 1908, she wrote to Prescott of perils that at times threatened his ministry. Among other things she said: 6BIO 248.4

You are not beyond the danger of making mistakes. You sometimes allow your mind to center upon a certain train of thought, and you are in danger of making a mountain out of a molehill.—Letter 224, 1908. 6BIO 248.5

She spoke of a tendency on his part “to sway from clearly defined truth and give undue attention to some items which seem to require hours of argument to prove, when in reality they do not need to be handled at all.” She urged that when tempted to do this he should say, “We cannot afford to arouse arguments upon points that are not essential for the salvation of the soul.” “Keep to the simplicity of the Word,” she urged. 6BIO 248.6

A week later she wrote Prescott again in a letter opening with the words: 6BIO 249.1

I am instructed to say to you, Let there be no questions agitated at this time in the Review that will tend to unsettle minds.... We have no time now to enter into unnecessary controversy, but we should earnestly consider the need of seeking the Lord for true conversion of heart and life. There should be determined efforts made to secure sanctification of soul and mind. 6BIO 249.2

And then she counseled: 6BIO 249.3

It will prove to be a great mistake if you agitate at this time the question regarding the “daily,” which has been occupying much of your attention of late. I have been shown that the result of your making this question a prominent issue would be that the minds of a large number will be directed to an unnecessary controversy, and that questioning and confusion will be developed in our ranks.... My brother, let us be slow to raise questions that will be a source of temptation to our people.

Then she referred to her own relation to the matter and the fact that God had given no special revelation on it, declaring: 6BIO 249.4

I have had no special light on the point presented for discussion, and I do not see the need of this discussion. But I am instructed to tell you that this small matter, upon which you are concentrating your thought, will become a great mountain unless you determine to let it alone. 6BIO 249.5

I have been instructed that the Lord has not placed upon you the burden you are now carrying regarding this matter, and that it is not profitable for you to spend so much time and attention in its consideration.... There have been different opinions regarding the “daily,” and there will continue to be. If the Lord has seen fit to let this matter rest for so many years without correcting the same, would it not be wisdom on your part to refrain from presenting your views concerning it?—Letter 226, 1908. (Italics supplied.) 6BIO 249.6

This letter was not sent off immediately, and we are not informed of what Ellen White may have instructed him orally, but no articles on the subject appeared in subsequent issues of the Review. 6BIO 249.7