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


The Trip Home to Elmshaven

After touring the scene of tragedy, Ellen White and those traveling with her made their way home to St. Helena and Elmshaven. In that area damage was very light, consisting mainly of cracked and twisted brick chimneys. Both Ellen White and W. C. White each had one that called for repairs. But thirty miles to the west in the Sonoma Valley there was great destruction, particularly of masonry buildings in the Santa Rosa and Healdsburg areas. The Healdsburg College buildings, being of frame construction, suffered little. But the quarter-mile-long bridge over the Russian River, which must be crossed in traveling from St. Helena to Healdsburg, collapsed. At Maacama Creek, some five miles east of Healdsburg, about twenty acres of tall trees slid nearly half a mile, leaving a hole in the side of the mountain from fifty to a hundred feet deep. 6BIO 87.1

Ellen White reported in the Review and Herald concerning her visit to San Francisco shortly after the earthquake, reminding the readers that by both pen and voice she had predicted disaster in San Francisco. She had warned people to seek homes away from the crime-filled cities known for their wickedness and defiance of God. Some, both Adventists and non-Adventists, had responded. Among the warnings she sounded (reprinted in The Review and Herald, July 5, 1906) were these: 6BIO 87.2

September 1, 1902: Well-equipped tent meetings should be held in the large cities, such as San Francisco; for not long hence these cities will suffer under the judgments of God. San Francisco and Oakland are becoming as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Lord will visit them in wrath. 6BIO 87.3

April 9, 1903: The divine statutes have been set aside. The time will soon come when God will vindicate His insulted authority. 6BIO 87.4

April 20, 1903: The message of warning should be sounded in the large, wicked cities, such as San Francisco. San Francisco and Oakland are becoming as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Lord will visit them. Not far hence they will suffer under His judgments. 6BIO 87.5

June 20, 1903: The judgments of God are in our land. The Lord is soon to come. In fire and flood and earthquake, He is warning the inhabitants of this earth of His soon approach. O that the people may know the time of their visitation. 6BIO 88.1

Did Ellen White predict the San Francisco earthquake? No, she warned that San Francisco and Oakland would suffer God's judgments. Was the vision at Loma Linda on the night of April 16 a portrayal of what would happen to San Francisco? No city was named. But the scene and particularly the instruction given by the angel in connection with it prepared Ellen White to write forcefully as to the real significance of such disasters. Certainly it did fit the great earthquake of 1906. 6BIO 88.2