Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1)


The October Visit to Monterey and Another Important Vision

Regarding plans for the autumn months, James White announced: 1BIO 361.1

We now propose spending three Sabbaths in each month in different places away from Battle Creek, provided we succeed in obtaining a suitable team, and shall remember the churches in Burlington, Colon, Hillsdale, Waverly, Monterey, Caledonia, Portland, Locke, and elsewhere in the State. Shall be glad to hear from brethren in different parts of the State in regard to small conference this fall and winter.—The Review and Herald, October 8, 1857.

Writing more specifically, he announced on somewhat short notice: 1BIO 361.2

Providence permitting, we will meet with the brethren at Monterey, Sabbath, October 10, and at Battle Creek, October 17.—Ibid.

Taking 3-year-old Willie with them, James and Ellen spent Sabbath and Sunday, October 3 and 4, with the believers in Caledonia, then drove on to Monterey for a meeting in the evening, October 8. White reported: 1BIO 361.3

There was a meeting in the schoolhouse near Brother George Lay's, and an expectation to hear preaching. We went to the house feeling that we had nothing for the people. We told brethren on the way that we could not decide on any subject, and wished them to select. 1BIO 361.4

We sang a hymn, and had great freedom in prayer; sang again, but felt perplexed as to duty. In this state of mind, knowing not what to do, we gave liberty to others to use the time, when Mrs. White arose and spoke with much freedom. The place was filled with the Spirit of the Lord. Some rejoiced, others wept. All felt that the Lord was drawing near. How sacred the place. Those present will never forget that meeting. 1BIO 361.5

When seated, Mrs. White began to praise the Lord, and continued rising higher and higher in perfect triumph in the Lord, till her voice changed, and the deep, clear shouts of Glory! Hallelujah! thrilled every heart. She was in vision.—Ibid., October 22, 1857 1BIO 362.1

White recounted that a discouraged brother was in that meeting who had thrown his armor down and was backsliding. White stated: 1BIO 362.2

A most touching and encouraging message was given for him. By the grace of God he raised his head that evening, and he and his good wife are again happy in hope. Monterey church will never forget that evening. At least they never should.—Ibid. 1BIO 362.3

In this vision the particulars concerning a number of believers were opened up to Ellen White, and she had scarcely reached home before she began writing letters to some of them—letters of counsel and warning: to the newly married Uriah and Harriet Smith, concerning their connection with the work, their influence, and the great and solemn privilege of being connected with the publishing of the message to S. Rumery, an eyewitness to the vision regarding a situation in the Monterey church, and the importance of a right attitude toward the cause of God. She reported: 1BIO 362.4

After we returned home I stated to my husband that I was impressed that something of great importance was shown me at Monterey, which was not yet clear to my mind. One night, a little past midnight, I awoke, and all was clear. I arose, and, while my husband slept, wrote.—Spiritual Gifts, 2:239. 1BIO 362.5

She held this message until the conference in Battle Creek, which opened Friday, November 6. Then she read it to the 250 believers who gathered. In the meantime she continued to write personal testimonies to individuals shown her in the Monterey vision. To A. Burwell, she wrote regarding breaking loose from the love of the world and walking fully in the light, and of giving financial support to the work of God: “You have no idea of sacrificing for the cause of God,” she wrote. “A sacrifice does not increase, but decreases.” 1BIO 362.6

I was shown in vision at Monterey that God was calling upon those who have this world's goods to sacrifice of their substance. A few have listened to the call, but many will go away sorrowful like the young man who came to Jesus to know what he should do to inherit eternal life. At the answer of Jesus, “Sell all that thou hast,” he was sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 1BIO 363.1

This is like the faith of many of the Sabbathkeepers. They submit to keep the Sabbath, to go along with this unpopular people. They can dwell upon the truth; but when Jesus says, Sacrifice for the truth, sell that thou hast, lay up treasure in heaven, they are sorrowful. Their idol has been touched.—Letter 2, 1857. 1BIO 363.2