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


Chapter 7—Ellen White Comes to Her Own Defense

It was a painful experience to Ellen White to know that there were members of God's family who were well acquainted with her and her work but who, on the basis of hearsay and flimsy evidence, had lost confidence in her prophetic mission. That they could so easily forget the many faith-confirming evidences of her call and work burdened her heart. It was not she who was being rejected, but the Holy Spirit. 6BIO 89.1

Only rarely did she defend herself. This she left to others. But, as she said in a letter written January 3, 1906, with Dr. Kellogg in Battle Creek presenting “anything and everything possible to make of no effect the testimonies” the Lord had given her, she must “meet the situation” (Letter 14, 1906). 6BIO 89.2

After a vision in which she saw physicians of her acquaintance in a meeting setting forth what they considered valid reasons for their waning confidence, she told W. C. White that everything must be “ready for action.” She felt she could, and must, meet many things she heard rehearsed in that meeting (Ibid.). 6BIO 89.3

Repeatedly in the early months of 1906 she mentioned her intention of getting a clear statement of facts from those who were troubled about the testimonies. “If statements have been made that there are contradictions in the testimonies,” she wrote to Elder E. W. Farnsworth, temporary pastor of the Battle Creek church, “should I not be acquainted with the charges and accusations? Should I not know the reason of their sowing tares of unbelief?”—Letter 84, 1906. 6BIO 89.4

When in March the A. T. Jones attack came, she helped to meet it. On April 9 she sent out the letter she had written on March 30, addressed “To Those Who Are Perplexed Regarding the Testimonies Relating to the Medical Missionary Work“: 6BIO 89.5

Recently in the visions of the night I stood in a large company of people. There were present Dr. Kellogg, Elders Jones, Tenney, and Taylor, Dr. Paulson, Elder Sadler, Judge Arthur, and many of their associates. 6BIO 90.1

I was directed by the Lord to request them and any others who have perplexities and grievous things in their minds regarding the testimonies that I have borne, to specify what their objections and criticisms are. The Lord will help me to answer these objections, and to make plain that which seems to be intricate.—Letter 120, 1906. 6BIO 90.2

She pointed out in this letter that if the thought was being entertained that “Sister White's work can no longer be trusted,” she wanted to know why that decision had been reached. “It may be,” she conjectured, “that some matters that seem to you to be very objectionable can be explained.” Making her position clear, she stated, “I am now charged to request those who are in difficulty in regard to Sister White's work to let their questions appear now.” 6BIO 90.3

This letter was sent not only to those named but to about a dozen others. Then three days later she and part of her staff were off to the meetings in southern California for the dedication of the sanitariums at Loma Linda and Paradise Valley. This was the only trip, except those to Mountain View and the Bay Area, that she made in 1906. Returning to Elmshaven on May 7, she found that question-laden responses were beginning to come in. 6BIO 90.4