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


Her Correspondence

Ever calling for Ellen White's attention was her correspondence. Many of the letters she answered quickly. Some letters that sought counsel from her she deferred in answering. To S. M. Cobb, president of the New Zealand Conference, she wrote on August 22, “I must prayerfully consider the contents [of your letter] before I can go into the matters of which you speak.”—Letter 270, 1906. Likewise to G. I. Butler, president of the Southern Union, she wrote on October 30, the day his letter came to her, “I shall not try to answer your letter now, for there are questions in it that require a thoughtful rereading.”—Letter 348, 1906. 6BIO 114.2

But before she laid her pen down, she had written what turned out to be eight double-spaced pages in typewritten form. In this letter she dealt with some delicate matters. A copy was sent inadvertently to a literature evangelist with whom she corresponded. Often it was her custom to send copies of newsy, nonsensitive letters to acquaintances and friends, and one such was supposedly what she had sent. When she discovered that a confidential letter had been sent by mistake, she fired off a retrieval letter: 6BIO 114.3

My Dear Brother: I wish to say a few words to you. I placed the wrong copy of a special testimony in your hands. The one I supposed I had let you have, written to Elder Butler, was one that could be freely circulated anywhere. But special testimonies that deal in special subjects are not to be brought out before any and every party. 6BIO 114.4

I suppose this that is in your hands is my special personal property, and matter that mentions names should not go into your hands. Now please return that private copy to me and let it not be made public.... 6BIO 115.1

Enjoin on all who have read this matter or heard it read, that it is too sacred a matter to be treated as common property at this period of time. It may have to come, but it is not to be made known at present. Will you return these copies to me as soon as possible and do not read this matter to anyone? ... 6BIO 115.2

I can write no more now. It is near the Sabbath, and I must close up this matter.... The personal letter to Elder Butler was not designed to be made public. Return it to me if you please and keep no copy of the same. I will expect this to be done.—Letter 353, 1906. 6BIO 115.3