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


Earnest Labors in Meeting a Critical Situation

Ellen White's address to the session on Thursday morning was an appeal for humility of heart. She used as her opening text, “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8). 6BIO 280.2

She began her remarks with these words: 6BIO 280.3

In these perilous times, when the forces of evil are marshaling their hosts to thwart, if possible, the efforts of God's servants in the earth, it is vitally necessary for every laborer to walk humbly with God. Daily he is to maintain a close connection with heavenly agencies. Light has been coming to me that unless the workers lean heavily on the divine Source of their strength, many will be overcome by the power of the enemy. Satanic agencies will surround the soul of him who cherishes a spirit of independence and self-exaltation, and will seek to destroy his influence for good.—Pacific Union Recorder, April 14, 1910.

She spoke of Christ as our example in the humble position He took as He represented His Father here on earth. Then coming to the point she was evidently trying to make clear, she stated with conviction: 6BIO 281.1

God's servants should be very careful that their influence is sacredly kept on the side of truth and righteousness.... God expects right-doing and humility of heart from everyone who claims to be a follower of the meek and lowly Jesus. 6BIO 281.2

Those who are standing in responsible positions should understand clearly that they are not rulers over their fellow workers. Men in responsibility should be Christlike in deportment. They need to be leaders in every reformatory movement for the purification of the church. They are to reveal that angels of God are constantly round about them, and that they are laboring under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Carefully are they to avoid everything that savors of a spirit of selfishness and self-esteem, for in meekness and humility of heart they are to be ensamples to the flock.— Ibid. 6BIO 281.3

“I desire that everyone who stands in an important position,” she continued, “shall learn of the great Teacher, who is our leader,” and she admonished that leaders “are to avoid ruling arbitrarily.” She expressed thankfulness “that such manifestations of arbitrary dealings one with another as have been seen in years past are not seen so often now.” She added: 6BIO 281.4

Those who are placed in positions of responsibility are to feel that unless God shall help them, it will be impossible for them to carry the responsibilities placed upon them. It is so easy for man to become exalted; but God will guide the meek in judgment. He will cooperate with those who remain lowly of heart, and sit at the feet of Jesus. 6BIO 281.5

Brethren and sisters, will we covenant with God at this meeting that we will not seek for the highest place, and make that the burden of our thoughts? ... Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility.— Ibid. 6BIO 281.6

On Thursday afternoon two members of the nominating committee interviewed Ellen White regarding the names that should be brought forward as the future officers of the Pacific Union Conference. She advised “a change in the presidency” (WCW to AGD, January 28, 1910). When this was reported to the delegates at the afternoon business session, it “created quite a sensation” (Ibid.). 6BIO 282.1

That afternoon Ellen White wrote a six-page letter to the president that opened with these words: 6BIO 282.2

I am instructed by the Lord to say to our brethren and to you, that it is not the will and mind of the Spirit of God that your brethren should place you in positions of large responsibility while you determinedly maintain your own ideas, for these ideas are not all correct, and the Lord will hold our people responsible for pursuing a wrong course. It would also be doing an injury to yourself, to sustain and uphold you in wrong decisions that have been made. 6BIO 282.3

I am instructed by the Lord to advise our brethren to choose some other man to stand in your place as president of the Pacific Union Conference. This would make it less difficult than otherwise for you to put away some traits of character that are not Christlike. 6BIO 282.4

In your present state of mind, it would not be a blessing for you to have to remain in positions of large responsibility, as this heavy burden would place you in situations where you would be strongly tempted to have your own way, and would make it increasingly difficult for you to overcome objectionable traits of character.—Letter 18, 1910. 6BIO 282.5

She added, “I feel sorry to say to you, my brother, that you have grieved the Spirit of God, and we cannot at present feel clear to ask you to continue in the position you have filled in the union conference.” “In some respects, you have not been a wise counselor and leader” she said. In her counsel she pointed out that “the Lord has helped you many, many times in the past. He has richly blessed you in your labors,” and she assured him that Jesus stood ready to help him overcome “objectionable traits” and to fit him “for continued usefulness in His cause.” 6BIO 282.6

She then spoke of the church's institutions as agencies of divine appointment, and stated that at times we should come into possession of favorable properties even though all the money for their purchase was not in hand. At such times, she said, “we are to learn to walk by faith when necessary.” 6BIO 282.7

She closed her sympathetic but firm letter by reference to the main issue—Loma Linda: 6BIO 283.1

It is the favorable situation of the property that makes Loma Linda an ideal place for the recovery of the sick, and for the warning of many who might otherwise never hear the truth for this time. It is God's plan that Loma Linda shall be not only a sanitarium, but a special center for the training of gospel medical missionary evangelists.— Ibid. 6BIO 283.2

The president received this testimony Thursday evening. Ellen White was to take the devotional hour again on Friday morning. She chose to read to the congregation this letter that she had written the day before to the president, whose term would close with the session. This she followed with remarks that filled eight manuscript pages. She told of how since coming to the union session she had “been writing out the things that” she was “required to write,” for, she explained, “the end desired could not be accomplished unless matters were brought before” the conference “plainly and decidedly.” She told of the distress of soul this had caused her, but she said, “When messages come to me for the people of God, I must not conceal them, but must write them out, and speak of them.”—Manuscript 25, 1910. [Note: see Appendix A for a letter from the president of the general conference to the union president reproved by Ellen White's Testimony.] 6BIO 283.3