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


After the Oregon Camp Meeting

On Sunday, people came in droves from the surrounding country. Two thousand people heard subjects relating to the faith and hope of Seventh-day Adventists. At two in the afternoon Ellen White spoke on her favorite subject for such occasions—true temperance (Letter 38, 1878; The Review and Herald, July 18, 1878). 3BIO 87.5

The closing service was held Tuesday morning, July 2. Ellen White reported, “Brother [William L.] Raymond was ordained. It was a precious hour with softened hearts.”—Letter 40, 1878. His name will be mentioned again in a chapter reporting other journeys Ellen White took to Oregon. 3BIO 87.6

Sunday afternoon, July 7, she spoke to 250 in the public square in a beautiful grove of evergreens. Her subject was “The Simplicity of Gospel Religion.” “I have been treated with the greatest courtesy and kindness by denominational ministers and people,” she wrote to her husband in Battle Creek. “That bigoted feeling we have had to contend with in the Methodist church [in---] does not exist here to any great extent.”—Letter 39, 1878. She spoke again on Tuesday evening in the Methodist church. 3BIO 88.1

This was really a follow-up appointment, for upon arriving in Oregon, she had been requested to speak on temperance in that church. On the Sunday before the camp meeting she had done so, addressing an unusually large audience. On that same day she had visited the State prison and in a morning service spoke to 150 inmates. “I was surprised to see so fine a company of intelligent men,” she wrote. As her heart went out to the men she talked to them on the love of God and the reward to be given to the final overcomer (Letter 32, 1878). The warden's wife (who had been present), when introduced to Ellen White, exclaimed: 3BIO 88.2

I would not have lost this opportunity to hear what I have heard for anything. It was all so clear, so simple, and yet so elevating. Women can do far more than men in speaking to these convicts. They can come straight to their hearts.—Ibid. 3BIO 88.3

Telling the experience to her husband, Ellen said, “I tried to imagine the youth around me as my boys, and to talk with them from a mother's heart of love and sympathy.”—Ibid. 3BIO 88.4

As Ellen White left Oregon, there were three ordained ministers—Van Horn, Raymond, and Alonzo T. Jones—and six licensed ministers in the conference (The Signs of the Times, July 18, 1878; Letter 40, 1878). 3BIO 88.5

One family, the Donaldsons, particularly impressed Ellen White. They were new believers and “pillars in the church,” attractive and promising. Their teen-age daughter was eager for a Christian education, and both the family and Ellen White felt that she should attend Battle Creek College. Accordingly, arrangements were made for Edith to accompany Ellen on her return to California en route to Battle Creek. “She is an only daughter,” Ellen wrote James. “I want her to board at our house and receive all the attention she needs.” She described her as “a girl of rare promise,” one they could take into their home and heart as a daughter (Letter 40, 1878). 3BIO 88.6