Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


Light on a Longstanding Mystery

For several years it was a mystery to Ellen White why the Lord had not given specific light to her on the matter of the request of the General Conference that she go to Australia. While she recognized that the work there had certainly benefited by her presence, there were some questions that again and again came to her mind. Now, in the setting just described, the situation opened up to her, and the picture grew clear. On December 1, 1896, in writing to the head of the church she spoke of God's intent: 4BIO 257.6

The Lord designed that we should be near the publishing houses, that we should have easy access to these institutions [so] that we might counsel together.—Letter 127, 1896. 4BIO 258.1

She wrote in contrast of the devisings of men: 4BIO 258.2

That the people of Battle Creek should feel that they could have us leave at the time we did was the result of man's devising, and not the Lord's. The sum of the matter is proved, and its figures are before you. We are here. The Battle Creek matters have been laid before me at this great distance, and the load I have carried has been very heavy to bear....

There was so great a willingness to have us leave [America] that the Lord permitted this thing to take place. Those who were weary of the testimonies borne were left without the persons who bore them. Our separation from Battle Creek was to let men have their own will and way, which they thought superior to the way of the Lord. 4BIO 258.3

The result is before you. Had you stood in the right position, the move would not have been made at that time. The Lord would have worked for Australia by other means, and a strong influence would have been held at Battle Creek, the great heart of the work. There we should have stood shoulder to shoulder, creating a healthful atmosphere to be felt in all our conferences. 4BIO 258.4

It was not the Lord who devised this matter. I could not get one ray of light to leave America. But when the Lord presented this matter to me as it really was, I opened my lips to no one, because I knew that no one would discern the matter in all its bearings. When we left, relief was felt by many, but not so by yourself, and the Lord was displeased, for He had set us to stand at the wheels of the moving machinery at Battle Creek.—Ibid. 4BIO 258.5

Though the topics covered in the letter were not of a pleasant nature, Ellen White wrote it in a spirit of love and tenderness: 4BIO 258.6

He [God] understands all about the mistakes of the past, and He will help you. But wherever you may be, never, never tread over the same ground.—Ibid. 4BIO 259.1