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


A Burden for the Youth of the Church

The diary record reads: 1BIO 481.3

In Monterey we held meetings for the benefit of the young. We felt that there had not been that interest manifested for or labor bestowed on the youth that there should have been. Ministering brethren, as they have labored in different places, have seen so much to do to get out important points of truth before the people that they have neglected the young and have failed to reap that harvest which they might.—Manuscript 9, 1862.

As she and James seemed called upon to press forward with this special and promising work, she described what took place: 1BIO 481.4

The meetings held in Monterey for the benefit of the children were, I think, the best and most profitable to the church of any which we attended. As we entreated the young to come to Christ there was not a child present whose heart was not affected. There was nothing like indifference, but all began to seek the Lord and to inquire, “What shall I do to be saved?” 1BIO 482.1

All those who wanted to be Christians and desired the prayers of God's people were invited to occupy the front seats, which by request had been vacated. Here was a cross for the young. We knew if they could take this first step they would gain strength to take the next, for by so doing they testified to all present that they chose to leave sin and the service of Satan and become Christ's followers. 1BIO 482.2

One after another came forward until nearly the whole Sabbath school who were old enough to know what sin was had filled the vacant seats. Oh, how anxious we felt for those dear, weeping children that they might turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart and be accepted of Him! We felt like taking these dear children in the arms of our faith and laying them at the feet of Jesus. We felt assured that He would say, Son, or Daughter, thy sins be forgiven thee. And we knew that the Lord was working for us to bring these dear children into His fold.—Ibid. 1BIO 482.3

This was Sabbath. Tuesday ten young ladies were baptized. Ellen White, writing of it, said that they saw no light in keeping these children six months or a year before being baptized, to see if they were true to their profession. In fact, not even one week. “It was their privilege,” she wrote, “to be baptized after they repented and believed.”—Ibid. 1BIO 482.4

She mentioned one case in particular: 1BIO 482.5

One dear child we deeply sympathized with. Through a constitutional difficulty she had never been able even to witness one baptized. But while she with her young companions sought the Lord, she decided that she must be baptized. She came with her young companions to the water, but her difficulty returned. She could not look upon the water or see any of her young friends baptized.

All had been baptized but her, and she could not be prevailed upon to go into the water. We felt that Satan was opposed to the good work begun with her, and wished to hinder it, and that she must go forward. Her parents, with us, felt that if she left the water unbaptized she would never have strength to follow the example of her Saviour. We all were anxious that she might obtain a victory there. 1BIO 483.1

I put the robe upon her and urged her to go into the water. She hesitated. We looked up in faith to God. My husband on one side and I upon the other and her father entreating her, we tried to encourage her along, yet her peculiar dread of water caused her to shrink. 1BIO 483.2

We persuaded her to move to the edge of the water and have her hands and head wet. She complied. There was a united looking up to God that Satan might not prevail. Her head and hands were wet, and then she moved forward while the administrator several times repeated these words, “In the name of the Lord, move forward.” Calmly she went into the water and was buried in the likeness of Christ's death. Calmly she came up out of the water, having followed the divine command, and we all felt rejoiced that we did not consent to let the child go.—Ibid. 1BIO 483.3

The meetings continued the next day, and five young men gave their hearts to the Lord and were baptized. Then James and Ellen White pushed on to Wright, where the church was now well organized. They traveled over rough and muddy roads, with two or three miles of rough logways. For this part of the journey Ellen White walked. 1BIO 483.4