Ellen G. White in Europe 1885-1887


Counsel for a Young Couple

Mrs. White stayed in during the afternoon, while Mary went out to a museum with Bourdeau's daughter, Patience (later Dr. Patience Bourdeau Sisco). But even though she stayed at home, she was not completely at rest. It seems that Albert Vuilleumier's daughter, Elise, was being courted rather ardently by a tenacious young man. Here Sister White met Elise's suitor and in an earnest conversation told him that since both of her parents did not approve of his marrying their daughter, he should honor their wishes. Later she wrote him a lengthy letter that formed the basis for an article on courtship and marriage in the Review. The entire article was finally reprinted in Messages to Young People, 443-451. Here is a pertinent section: EGWE 146.1

“A young man who enjoys the society and wins the friendship of a young lady unknown to her parents, does not act a noble Christian part toward her or toward her parents. Through secret communications and meetings he may gain an influence over her mind; but in so doing he fails to manifest that nobility and integrity of soul which every child of God will possess. In order to accomplish their ends, they act a part that is not frank and open and according to the Bible standard, and prove themselves untrue to those who love them and try to be faithful guardians over them. EGWE 146.2

“Marriages contracted under such influences are not according to the word of God. He who would lead a daughter away from duty, who would confuse her ideas of God's plain and positive commands to obey and honor her parents, is not one who would be true to the marriage obligations.”—Page 445. EGWE 146.3

A typical aspect of Ellen White's writings is that she consistently points her readers to the Bible as the established standard of conduct. If the parents were unbelievers or misguided believers, the young would be wise, she counseled, if they would seek their directions in the Scriptures and wise Christian counselors. EGWE 146.4

Leaving Geneva, Thursday noon, December 17, she and her daughter-in-law reached Basel that evening. It was a journey that had brought some joys, and much heartache and distress to the servant of God. EGWE 147.1