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


Decision on the Title

Up to this point the project had been referred to as the “Life of Christ,” and it was assumed that that would be the title. With the possible exceptions of The Great Controversy and the Testimonies, Ellen White did not select the titles for her books. As the time approached when a final decision on the title had to be made, suggestions came from various ones in Australia and America. Writing to C. H. Jones, manager of the Pacific Press, on October 22, W. C. White said, “As regards the title, I do not wish to say much till I have the criticism of others.”—11 WCW, p. 20. Some, he felt, were “a hundred miles nearer being appropriate than the best of the others that have been recommended to us.” He promised to send a cable after consulting “the wise men here, and have Mother's opinion, and that of Sister Davis.” The suggestion of the publishers narrowed down to “The Desire of All Nations” and “The Desire of Ages,” both based on Haggai 2:7, “The desire of all nations shall come.” 4BIO 389.2

On November 9, he wrote Jones:

We came to agreement, after much consideration and discussion, to propose that the title for the first book shall be “The Desire of Ages.” Before the title page is printed, we will decide whether it is better for both books to carry this title, or if we can select another title for the second volume.—The Desire of Ages, 51. 4BIO 390.1