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


Her Seventy-Eighth Birthday

Sunday, November 26, was Ellen White's seventy-eighth birthday, but under the pressure of work she had forgotten this. Late in the morning she took a carriage ride. When she returned, she was greeted by a house full of people and two tables prepared in the dining room. 6BIO 53.6

“I had been so busy,” she wrote to Edson, “that I had not thought of its being my birthday, and I was, as Brother Starr used to say, ‘plumb surprised’ to find such a large gathering.”—Letter 321, 1905. 6BIO 54.1

The surprise dinner had been prepared by Sarah Peck and Mrs. S. H. King, Ellen White's new housekeeper. Dores and Ella were there, May and her three children, Grace and the twins, Mrs. King's 10-year-old niece, and the Elmshaven office staff. Only Willie and Mabel were missing—Mabel working at Paradise Valley and her father at College View, Nebraska, attending the Fall Council of the General Conference Committee. 6BIO 54.2

“We partook of a nicely prepared meal,” Ellen White wrote, “after which we went into the parlor, and engaged in a season of prayer, and sang a few hymns. The Lord came graciously near to us as we offered up hearty thanksgiving to God for His goodness and mercy to us all.”— Ibid. 6BIO 54.3

She failed to mention that she delivered what May described as a “sweet little talk,” part of which Dores took down in shorthand. In this she said: 6BIO 54.4

I do not know as I shall be with you till another birthday. I do not cling to life; neither do I dread it. I am willing to take whatever God may see fit to send me. 6BIO 54.5

But one thing I do desire is that as long as I have the breath of life my mental powers may be preserved. I am very thankful that my mind is as clear as it is, and that I can help as I do.... 6BIO 54.6

When I consider how weak I was in my younger days, I feel that at my age I have great reason to be thankful to the Lord.... Since the accident that happened to me when I was 9 years old, I have seldom been perfectly free from all pain. But I do not remember when I have been more free from pain than I am at present.—Manuscript 142, 1905. 6BIO 54.7

Thinking of the controversy accelerating in Battle Creek over her work, she added: 6BIO 54.8

I greatly desire that no contention or unbelief may cause me a single thought of retaliation against those who are opposing my work; for I cannot afford to spoil my peace of mind. I want to know that the Lord stands back of me, and that in Him I have a helper that no human being can exceed. Nothing is so precious to me as to know that Christ is my Saviour. 6BIO 54.9

I appreciate the truth, every jot of it, just as it has been given to me by the Holy Spirit for the last fifty years. I desire everyone to know that I stand on the same platform of truth that we have maintained for more than half a century. That is the testimony that I desire to bear on the day that I am 78 years of age.... 6BIO 55.1

I know where my help is.... I trust in Jesus Christ as my Redeemer, my Saviour, and through Him I shall be an overcomer.— Ibid. 6BIO 55.2

Sister Ings at the Sanitarium sent down flowers, and there was another bouquet from St. Helena. Mrs. King gave her a silver-plated water pitcher, “just such a one as I had been thinking of purchasing” (Letter 321, 1905). 6BIO 55.3

In writing of the surprise birthday party she took occasion to praise her new housekeeper, who had come from Healdsburg College where she served as matron, to take the place of Mrs. M. J. Nelson. The latter had left to continue her nurse's training. 6BIO 55.4

We have been favored with Brother and Sister King to be our helpers. Both are very useful workers. Sister King is my cook, and the food comes onto the table in an appetizing shape for my workers. This is what we need: simple food prepared in a simple, wholesome, and relishable manner.... I have had a good appetite and relish my food, and am perfectly satisfied with the portion which I select, which I know does not injure my digestive organs.... 6BIO 55.5

I am glad and thankful that we secured Sister King as the matron of our home, and her husband to be a caretaker outside the home, and inside when needed.—Letter 322, 1905. 6BIO 55.6