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


Chapter 23—(1885) Invitation to Visit Europe

In behalf of our mission” read the memorial presented by the Committee of the Central European Mission to the 1884 General Conference session. “In behalf of our brethren and sisters generally, whose wishes we know, and on our own behalf personally, we express our earnest desire that Sister White may visit Europe.” The reasons for this earnest invitation were stated: “That the cause here may share the benefits of her labors and of the precious light and instruction which the Lord so graciously grants us through His servant.”—The Review and Herald, November 11, 1884. 3BIO 287.1

George I. Butler, General Conference president, had only a few months earlier been in Europe. Under his encouragement plans had been launched to establish a publishing house at Basel, Switzerland, and the construction of a four-story stone building was under way. In late May he had attended the Second European Missionary Council. He reported in the Review and Herald of June 24, the rather comprehensive action taken by that council: 3BIO 287.2

Whereas, Experience has taught us that the personal labors of our dear Sister White are invaluable to the cause in accomplishing what her writings alone cannot accomplish; and— 3BIO 287.3

Whereas, Our European brethren feel the greater need of these for having never been favored with them, and have a strong desire to see and hear Sister White; therefore— 3BIO 287.4

Resolved, That we extend to Sister White a hearty and urgent invitation to visit the different fields in Europe as soon as practicable. 3BIO 287.5

Whereas, The publishing work in Europe has in its growth reached a point where it calls for the labors of those of special experience in the work of printing; therefore— 3BIO 288.1

Resolved, that it is the sense of this meeting that Brother W. C. White should soon come to Europe to render the assistance in the publishing work that his experience qualifies him to bestow. 3BIO 288.2

With this matter placed before the readers of the Review in the early summer, it was no surprise to Ellen White and her son when the memorial was read at the General Conference session and the respective actions taken. This had a strong influence on Ellen White's plans and work. 3BIO 288.3

Back in California, she soon found that she was without the strength she had expected to enjoy. She spoke in the Oakland church Sabbath morning, January 3, 1885, but was soon aware that she must take steps to recoup her physical forces. The finishing touches were being put on her little home, Iliel, near the Health Retreat at St. Helena, and she divided her time for a few weeks between St. Helena and her headquarters at Healdsburg. 3BIO 288.4