Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years: 1876-1891 (vol. 3)


Healed at the Camp Meeting

A sofa was arranged for her on the broad speaker's stand, and she was carried into the big tent and placed upon it. Those close by observed not only her weakness but also the deathly paleness of her face. Recalling the experience some years later, Ellen White said that not only was the large tent full, but “it seemed as if nearly all Healdsburg was present.”—Letter 82, 1906. 3BIO 204.1

J. H. Waggoner, editor of the Signs of the Times, spoke that Sabbath afternoon “on the rise and early work of the message, and its progress and present state” (The Signs of the Times, October 26, 1882). When Waggoner had finished his address, Ellen White turned to Willie and Mrs. Ings, who were at her side, and said, “Will you help me up, and assist me to stand on my feet while I say a few words?” They aided her to the desk. “For five minutes I stood there,” she later recalled, “trying to speak, and thinking that it was the last speech I should ever make—my farewell message.” With both hands she steadied herself at the pulpit. She relates: 3BIO 204.2

All at once I felt a power come upon me, like a shock of electricity. It passed through my body and up to my head. The people said that they plainly saw the blood mounting to my lips, my ears, my cheeks, my forehead.—Letter 82, 1906. 3BIO 204.3

Every eye in the audience seemed fixed on her. Mr. Montrose, a businessman from the town, stood to his feet and exclaimed, “We are seeing a miracle performed before our eyes; Mrs. White is healed!” (WCW account). Her voice strengthened, her sentences came clear and full, and she bore a testimony such as the audience had never before heard. Waggoner filled out the story in his report in the Signs: 3BIO 204.4

Her voice and appearance changed, and she spoke for some time with clearness and energy. She then invited those who wished to make a start in the service of God, and those who were far backslidden, to come forward, and a goodly number answered to the call.—The Signs of the Times, October 26, 1882. 3BIO 204.5

Smith, who was present, in his report in the Review and Herald published October 31, mentioned that after the miraculous healing “she was able to attend meetings ...as usual, and spoke six times with her ordinary strength of voice and clearness of thought.” Referring to the experience, Ellen White said, “It was as if one had been raised from the dead.... This sign the people in Healdsburg were to have as a witness for the truth.”—Letter 82, 1906. 3BIO 204.6

This event, which seemed to be a turning point in her physical condition, opened the way for a strong ministry. In reporting her two-month illness, she remarked that she had expected it would gradually pass. Instead, she was healed instantaneously. She affirmed: 3BIO 205.1

It cannot be attributed to imagination. The people saw me in my feebleness, and many remarked that to all appearances I was a candidate for the grave. Nearly all present marked the changes which took place in me while I was addressing them.... I testify to all who read these words, that the Lord has healed me.... My whole system was imbued with new strength and vigor. A new tide of emotions, a new and elevated faith, took possession of my soul.—Signs of the Times, November 2, 1882. 3BIO 205.2

She was glad to be in the large group that during the camp meeting went to see the new college. First was the visit to the new building—the boardinghouse under construction—and then the school building. A brief dedication service was held in the “audience room,” which could not contain all the visitors. After Waggoner offered the dedicatory prayer, Ellen called for singing a verse of “Hold the Fort,” in which the whole congregation heartily joined. 3BIO 205.3