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


The Trip To Southern California

Loma Linda was much on the minds of Ellen White and W. C. White at this time. The decisions reached at Mountain View on January 29, which called for Loma Linda to be developed into a full-fledged medical school, were far-reaching and called for concurrence of the General Conference Committee and the several union conferences that would be assisting in the project. It was recognized that there must be the work of “selling” the plan to the organizations involved. To do this, a committee was named in the last clause of the action taken at Mountain View. It read: 6BIO 293.2

That a committee consisting of the incoming president of the Pacific Union Conference, the president of the Southern California Conference, W. C. White, J. A. Burden, and I. H. Evans, be asked to present this entire question to the General Conference and the union conferences referred to, and to lead out in the establishment of this medical school.—The Review and Herald, May 19, 1910. 6BIO 293.3

It was a large assignment for the committee of five, one that would take W. C. White into the field much of the time in 1910 and particularly before a meeting at Loma Linda, opening May 6, to chart the course of the school. It was this meeting Ellen White had her eyes upon as the next crucial step in getting the medical school under way. 6BIO 293.4

By this time she was laying aside heavy correspondence and devoting her time and strength to book work, and, except for nearby churches, speaking on important occasions only. While there are 222 letters from her pen on file for the year 1905, the file for 1910 contains only ninety-seven. 6BIO 294.1

On Wednesday afternoon, March 23, she was on her way to Los Angeles, accompanied by Sara McEnterfer and Helen Graham. Thursday morning she counseled with the officers of the Southern California Conference in Los Angeles. In the afternoon, the president, Elder E. E. Andross, and John Wessels, business manager of the Glendale Sanitarium, drove her to the institution (WCW to May White, March 27, 1910). W. C. White joined her for the weekend. Sabbath she met with the members of the Carr Street church and spoke to an overflow crowd. Her topic was “The Vine and the Branches.” Writing of this meeting, she said: 6BIO 294.2

The house was crowded to its utmost capacity. I wish a picture could have been drawn of the crowd. The crowded congregation was the most agreeable sight I have ever looked upon, and everything was in order. 6BIO 294.3

Every receptacle for flowers was removed. Every seat that could be crowded in was occupied. There was not one crying voice of a child, and the pleasant, happy faces were a sight that brought joy to my heart and did my soul good. The sisters, as far as I could see, removed their hats, and what a pleasure it was to view their countenances. I had good freedom in speaking.—Letter 36, 1910. 6BIO 294.4

She was to go back to Glendale to speak to the workers there the following morning. She wrote about leaving the Carr Street church: 6BIO 294.5

When we were seated in the automobile, ready to return to Glendale, not a few colored sisters pressed about the conveyance to see and speak with me. They expressed their appreciation of the discourse. Cheerfulness and happiness was expressed in their countenances, and it was a scene of cheerful parting. I shall long remember that interesting meeting, and the stillness and peacefulness expressed in the countenances of both white and colored people.— Ibid. 6BIO 294.6

On Monday, March 28, Ellen White went to Loma Linda. The same day W. C. White took the train east to attend the Spring Meeting of the General Conference Committee to be held early in April, at Washington, D.C. At this meeting the Loma Linda medical school would be considered, and he had to be there. He would not be with his mother again until just before the crucial May 6 meeting. 6BIO 295.1

When Ellen White reached Loma Linda, she found work going forward on a church building—a “meetinghouse,” as she would call it. She spent the week resting, for still she was not feeling well. On two occasions she went out for a drive with the carriage pulled by an “old steady horse” owned by the Sanitarium. One drive took her “up the hill where there is so much to please our senses in the beautiful variety of flowers and trees of rare selection and beauty.” She exclaimed, “It is simply indescribable.”—Letter 150, 1910. 6BIO 295.2

As her age advanced, the speaking and travel drew more heavily on her physical resources. During this week of resting at Loma Linda she wrote of the “severe taxation at Mountain View” as “a terrible ordeal” to her, and also of speaking in Lodi in a room improperly ventilated. “All these things combined to cause me much suffering,” she wrote, but declared, “Still I shall not excuse myself from the future meeting in Loma Linda.” She went on to explain: “I feel no particular anxiety in regard to my future life. Let my life be hid with Christ in God, and it is then well with my soul.”— Ibid. 6BIO 295.3

On Sabbath, April 2, she spoke to a large congregation assembled on the lawn of the institution, under the pepper trees. With her strength returning, it seemed that plans for her to visit other points in southern California before the important Loma Linda meeting could be carried out. The school at San Fernando was the first, where she spoke twice over the weekend. Late the next week she spoke in San Diego, on Sabbath morning, April 16. She was glad for another visit to Paradise Valley Sanitarium, in which she had a great interest, but she did not stay long. Monday the eighteenth found her back in Loma Linda, and she was glad to see that the meetinghouse was near completion. The workmen were pressing hard to have it ready for the meeting that would open on Friday, May 6 (Ibid.). 6BIO 295.4