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


Chapter 6—The Year of the Earthquake

Ellen White spent most of the year 1906 at her Elmshaven home, busily engaged in writing. This was quite in contrast with 1904 and 1905 when she spent much of the time in the field. Her writing was essentially in three areas: (1) Old Testament history, for Prophets and Kings (Letter 102, 1906; CCC to WCW, January 11, 1906); (2) meeting specific questions and objections concerning her work, raised by medical missionary workers at Battle Creek; (3) the ongoing correspondence of a routine character. 6BIO 74.1

As New Year's Day was pleasant, she chose to drive down to the St. Helena cemetery to visit the grave of Marian Davis. On Miss Davis’ death Ellen White had purchased a cemetery lot; she was buried there on October 26, 1904. Now, more than a year later, she was surprised to find that no stone marked the grave of the one who had assisted her so faithfully for twenty-four years. 6BIO 74.2

When Ellen White returned home, she wrote to Mrs. W. K. Kellogg, Marian's sister, of the neglect and pointed out that the lot should have a curb around it and the grave should have a modest stone at the head. She asked the wife of the corn-flake magnate how much should be spent and promised that upon receiving word from her, she would see that it was taken care of. “I do want the grave to present a respectable appearance,” she wrote.—Letter 10, 1906. 6BIO 74.3

The situation in Battle Creek continued to burden her. Efforts put forth to undermine confidence in Ellen White's work were intensifying. Writing to her son W. C. White, who was in the East, she declared, “I expect now that a long list of false statements will be presented to the world, and that lie upon lie, misstatement upon misstatement, ... will by some be accepted as truth. But,” she concluded, “I leave my case in the hands of God.”—Letter 22, 1906. 6BIO 74.4

Elder and Mrs. Haskell were guests at her home, having come just after Christmas. Haskell was suffering from an acute case of boils; he was immediately put under treatment at the Sanitarium and at Elmshaven. His wife served as nurse—a good one, Ellen White commented. Although he was supposed to remain in bed resting, he would often sneak out to visit with Ellen White. They had been close friends from early years, and there was much to talk about. “It has seemed like a revival of old times,” she said.—Letter 34, 1906. 6BIO 75.1

The weather continued to be good through early January, and she found she did not even have to have a fire in her writing room. 6BIO 75.2

Instructed in vision on Tuesday night, January 9, Ellen White cautioned all dealing with the Battle Creek situation to exercise care and to avoid using names of individuals. On Thursday telegrams conveyed the messages to leading workers. The message directed to W. W. Prescott, editor of the Review and Herald, read: “Strengthen past experiences. Make no attack on any person in Review. Let all seek the Lord by prayer and fasting. Letters coming. Ellen G. White.”—CCC to WCW, January 11, 1906. A confirming written message titled “Be Guarded” followed (Manuscript 5, 1906). 6BIO 75.3

Then on Saturday night she was again in vision. She wrote of this to George Amadon, the first elder of the Battle Creek church: 6BIO 75.4

The evening after the Sabbath I retired, and rested well without ache or pain until half past ten. I was unable to sleep. I had received instruction, and I seldom lie in bed after such instruction comes. There was a company assembled in Battle Creek, and instruction was given by One in our midst that I was to repeat and repeat with pen and voice. I left my bed, and wrote for five hours as fast as my pen could trace the lines. Then I rested on the bed for an hour, and slept part of the time. 6BIO 75.5

I placed the matter in the hands of my copyist, and on Monday morning it was waiting for me, placed inside my office door on Sunday evening. There were four articles ready for me to read over and make any corrections needed. The matter is now prepared, and some of it will go in the mail today. 6BIO 75.6

This is the line of work that I am carrying on. I do most of my writing while the other members of the family are asleep. I build my fire, and then write uninterruptedly, sometimes for hours. I write while others are asleep. Who then has told Sister White? A messenger that is appointed.—Letter 28, 1906 (MR, p. 109). 6BIO 76.1

One of the four documents was a letter addressed to “Brethren and Sisters in Battle Creek” (Letter 30, 1906). As she sent this to Elder Amadon, she included a general manuscript, “Unity in Christ” (Manuscript 9, 1906), written in 1905. 6BIO 76.2

“The Lord still has His hand stretched out to save,” she had written in that manuscript, “and He will save, if Dr. Kellogg will be humble enough to repent and find his true position.” 6BIO 76.3

In the communication to the Battle Creek church she made a statement that sums up the burden of the letter: 6BIO 76.4

While we are to call error, error, and withstand the delusive sentiments that will continue to come into our ranks to palsy the faith and assurance of the people of God, we are to make no tirade against men and women.—Letter 30, 1906. 6BIO 76.5

Appealing for unity she boldly asserted, “It would cause all the powers of hell to rejoice if our people were to become divided.” 6BIO 76.6