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


Chapter 22—At 82—A Very Busy Year

The year 1910 was a busy one for Ellen White. From the epochal union conference session in Mountain View, which closed on Sunday, January 30, she went immediately to Lodi to attend the annual session of the California Conference, which was to open on Tuesday morning. Just as the union session was a particularly important one, so was the meeting of the local conference. There was little question concerning the leadership of the field. Elder S.N. Haskell, although 76, was giving good steady guidance in conference affairs. In advance of the meeting he had expressed a desire to be relieved of responsibilities, but while Ellen White did not want to sway the election, she had indicated her approval of his continuing in office. She wrote: 6BIO 291.1

Regarding Elder Haskell's future work, I dare not take the responsibility of giving advice. With proper helpers, Elder Haskell and his wife, by the sustaining grace of God, may continue to do an important work in the position they have occupied. There is to be an increased force of working agencies in every part of the field. 6BIO 291.2

If Elder Haskell feels that he is willing again to carry responsibility, I would advise that a wise-hearted minister be chosen to share his responsibilities. The experience and the knowledge gained in their past service has given to Brother and Sister Haskell an understanding of the work that will be a help to their fellow laborers and to the conference.—Letter 8, 1910. 6BIO 291.3

There were 162 delegates at the conference, representing 5,039 members in eighty-three churches. The conference session opened Tuesday morning, February 1, and extended to Sunday, February 6. Ellen White spoke each day at eleven o'clock, closing her work with the sermon on Sabbath morning. A good spirit pervaded the conference (Pacific Union Recorder, February 17, 1910). Some things were done that were entirely different from what the president had expected. Three very important moves were made: 6BIO 291.4

1. The school in Lodi: The Western Normal Institute, which had been started independent of conference support, was heavily in debt and stood in dire need of strong leadership. Ellen White had observed this in an earlier visit to Lodi. In one of her addresses at the session she dealt somewhat with the school and its problems, including those in disciplinary lines. Careful groundwork had been done, and a proposal that the Lodi school become a “conference” school, with the church taking over the plant and a $27,000 debt, gained favorable support (Ibid.). 6BIO 292.1

2. Action was taken to make the new school at Angwin, so far operated by the California Conference, a union conference institution to be known as Pacific Union College. The property was turned over to the Pacific Union, and a board of managers was chosen (Ibid., February 24, 1910). 6BIO 292.2

3. It was decided to move the headquarters of the California Conference from Mountain View to Oakland, a move that became effective immediately (Ibid.). 6BIO 292.3

With the session over, it was back to Elmshaven, where she devoted her time and strength to book work. Some of the members of her staff were just beginning to consider the involvements in what some have termed a “revision” of The Great Controversy. At the time of the union session, C. H. Jones, manager of the Pacific Press, had discussed with W. C. White the need of a new printing of the book and the matter of the much-worn printing plates. First considerations were in upgrading illustrations, appendix notes, et cetera. But the involvements were to increase as the year wore on. 6BIO 292.4