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


Chapter 20—(1884) Completing the Work on The Great Controversy

At the close of my long journey east,” wrote Ellen White in early January, 1884, “I reached my home in time to spend New Year's Eve in Healdsburg.”—The Review and Herald, January 29, 1884. The College Hall had been fitted up for a Sabbath school reunion. She described the scene: 3BIO 240.1

Cypress wreaths, autumn leaves, evergreens, and flowers were tastefully arranged; and a large bell of evergreens hung from the arched doorway at the entrance to the room. The tree was well loaded with donations, which were to be used for the benefit of the poor, and to help purchase a bell. Except in a few instances, the names of the donors were not given; but appropriate Bible texts and mottoes were read as the gifts were taken down from the tree. On this occasion nothing was said or done that need burden the conscience of anyone.—Ibid. 3BIO 240.2

She commented further: 3BIO 240.3

Some have said to me, “Sister White, what do you think of this? Is it in accordance with our faith?” I answer them, “It is with my faith.”

In Healdsburg, San Francisco, and Oakland, there are many things to attract our children; large sums are expended every year on Christmas and New Year's in purchasing gifts for friends. These gifts are not generally satisfactory, for many receive presents that they do not need, when they would be glad to have some other article; some receive the same article from several different persons; and others receive nothing at all. 3BIO 240.4

We have tried earnestly to make the holidays as interesting as possible to the youth and children, while changing this order of things. Our object has been to keep them away from scenes of amusement among unbelievers. Instead of following a selfish custom, and giving to those from whom presents will be expected in return, let us make our offerings to the Lord. This plan has proved successful in many of our churches, and it was a success on this occasion.—Ibid. 3BIO 241.1

Driving the lesson home, she admonished: “While we restrain our children from worldly pleasures, that have a tendency to corrupt and mislead, we ought to provide them innocent recreation, to lead them in pleasant paths where there is no danger.”—Ibid. 3BIO 241.2

In the Signs report it is stated: “A tree was standing on the rostrum, from which were taken parcels containing the sum of $200. This was afterward increased to $350.”—January 24, 1884. 3BIO 241.3