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


Actions Relating to the E. G. White Books

Early in the session, action was taken to publish, in the Danish-Norwegian language, a book comprising the major portions of volumes 2 and 3 of Spirit of Prophecy, to be known as The Life of Christ. Already available in this language was a volume of a sketch of Ellen White's life and various extracts from her writings, which had been well received. It was recommended at this session that the sketch of her life and The Life of Christ be published in French, German, and Swedish. These actions called for competent translators, and those present felt the work could best be done in Europe. They voted that A. B. Oyen go at his earliest convenience to Europe. There he could engage in translating with the help of the best scholars and J. G. Matteson (Ibid., November 20, 1883). 3BIO 237.5

An action taken on Tuesday, November 13, helped to strengthen the publishing interests in Europe: 3BIO 237.6

Whereas, It is evident that it will soon be necessary to take advance steps in the way of establishing publishing interests in Europe; and— 3BIO 237.7

Whereas, Brother W. C. White has had experience in this branch of the work; therefore— 3BIO 238.1

Resolved, That we recommend that the said W. C. White so arrange his business the coming year as to be at liberty to render the requisite assistance another season.—Ibid. 3BIO 238.2

Another action relating to the Ellen G. White writings, the one mentioned in the preceding chapter that called for some revision of wording as the Testimonies were to be reprinted in permanent and more convenient form, was taken. The 1883 session would be remembered for this if for nothing else. 3BIO 238.3

Still another far-reaching action relating to Ellen White's ministry read: 3BIO 238.4

Voted, That this conference request that Sister White's talks at the early-morning meetings, and such other matter as may be considered advisable, be published. 3BIO 238.5

This culminated in the publication of twelve articles in the Review and Herald in 1884 and in Gospel Workers, published in 1892. 3BIO 238.6

An action fulfilling the suggestion made by Butler in his opening address called for the preparation of books to be issued on the subject of spiritual gifts; the General Conference Committee was asked to give attention to this. 3BIO 238.7

It was at one of the meetings at this session that Ellen White gave the message recorded in Selected Messages 1:45 and 46, concerning the reception of her testimonies. 3BIO 238.8

In giving his final report on the conference, Uriah Smith wrote: 3BIO 238.9

We have had good and blessed conferences in the past. We have nothing to abate from the report of any previous meeting. Yet some who have known the best of all former occasions of this kind pronounced this better than any of them. Sister White was greatly strengthened and blessed throughout the meeting. We mention as a matter of interest to the reader, as it was to all present at the closing morning meeting, Tuesday, November 20, her statement then made, that this had been the best meeting that she had ever enjoyed. We do not know that anyone left with other than feelings of courage and good cheer.—The Review and Herald, November 27, 1883.

Smith seemed to bubble over with joy and courage; he mentioned the outlook as more hopeful than ever before, the work on a firmer basis, obstacles lessening, and the prospect of success never more flattering. This feeling seemed to be sensed by everyone at the conference. Haskell telegraphed the Pacific Press that it was “the largest and best conference ever held” (The Signs of the Times, November 29, 1883). Ellen White, writing to a friend in Oakland, exclaimed, “This is the best conference ever held among our people.”—Letter 15a, 1883. 3BIO 239.1