Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5)


Chapter 19—In Agony of Soul

Ellen White returned home to Elmshaven from the session some time between April 10 and 12. Of the significant and far-reaching events in the early summer of 1903 she wrote: 5BIO 259.1

“My strength was severely taxed while at the conference, but the Lord sustained me through the meeting, and by His blessing, I am recovering from the strain. I could have borne the work of the meeting very well, had not many perplexities arisen, to describe which would require the pen of a ready writer. While in Oakland I contracted a severe cold. Sara [McEnterfer] gave me thorough treatment, and this broke it up; but it still comes and goes, as colds often will. 5BIO 259.2

During the first week of the conference, rain fell nearly every day, but for some time the weather has been very pleasant. 5BIO 259.3

The prospects of the Sanitarium here are more encouraging than they have been for some time. The patients are well-to-do, and all the higher-priced rooms are taken. The patients who have recently come express themselves as being well pleased with everything about the institution. Some who have traveled much say they never before saw such beautiful scenery, or so fine a location. They roam over the hills, and are enjoying their stay very much. 5BIO 259.4

Dr. Evans and his wife are the chief physicians. Both are pleased with their work, and are well thought of by others.... 5BIO 259.5

Sarah Peck [formerly a member of Ellen White's working staff] and her mother live in a small cottage near our house. We intended using this building for our workers, but it proved to be too small for the office work, so I built a plain, neat structure with eight rooms for our workers. 5BIO 259.6

Sarah Peck teaches the Sanitarium church school. There are about forty pupils in attendance. Sister Peck has the reputation of being an excellent teacher. Her discipline is good, and all are well pleased with her work. The schoolhouse is built among the trees and rocks, on a piece of ground at the foot of the Sanitarium hill, a little removed from the road. All think it a delightful location. I was unable to give money to help in starting the school, but I have given the land for as long a time as the church may desire to use it for school purposes.... 5BIO 260.1

Ella May White [Willie's oldest daughter] has been canvassing in Sacramento for The Desire of Ages, and has sold a good many books. Our people in that place are well pleased with the spiritual influence she has exerted, and put her in as superintendent of their Sabbath school. 5BIO 260.2

Mabel is not well all of the time. The doctors say she cannot endure the confinement of a schoolroom, and must not use her eyes in reading or studying.... She attended the conference in Oakland, and helped in the dining tent as a waitress. She received four dollars a week and her board. She has a very good address, and the Food Company desired her to remain and help them in restaurant work.... 5BIO 260.3

The twins [Henry and Herbert White] are hearty boys. It is difficult to distinguish one from the other. Grace, the baby, is a strong, healthy girl, with a good disposition. She is now nearly three years old. 5BIO 260.4

Brother James, who has charge of the work on our farm, occupies a cottage near us, with his family of eight children. They are a nice family. He is assisted by a faithful, intelligent man from Australia. 5BIO 260.5

I have quite a company of workers with me. W. C. White takes charge of the business of my book work. He uses excellent judgment in deciding what shall be published. His brethren have wanted him with them in council meetings, and in the past I have let him go. But I have decided that he can help the cause of God more by assisting me in my work than by attending council meetings. 5BIO 260.6

Marian [Davis] edits the books that are prepared. Maggie Hare and Clarence Crisler prepare the articles for the papers. Miss Helen Graham does the typewriting. Dores Robinson, a son of A.T. Robinson, has lately come to help in the work. 5BIO 261.1

Marian is sick at the Sanitarium. One evening while at the conference in Oakland, she visited the observatory. Not having sufficient wraps, she took a severe cold. We sent her up to the Sanitarium, and ever since she has been sick in bed. A nurse has been with her night and day. She has had a very severe illness, and at one time we feared she might die. I have been sick myself, and I was unable to go up to see her until last Friday, when I went with W. C. White. Her room is on the fifth story, and I had to tax my strength severely to walk up the last flight of stairs. We had a season of prayer for her.... 5BIO 261.2

This morning, Monday, I am up early writing these lines to you. [Written to her two nieces Addie and May Walling, whom she had cared for and educated after the death of their mother when they were children.] I should be tempted to go away somewhere for a change, but the change might make me worse, and besides, I must be with my workers to decide what matters shall be published. I want to make my time count for as much as possible while I have the strength to help. 5BIO 261.3

I have several books in anticipation. I want to get out a book on The Acts of the Apostles, to follow the life of Christ. I have much matter written that I wish to put in book form. I sometimes fear that a fire will come, and I shall lose much of the precious matter that I desire to print. [Written before the construction of the fireproof manuscript vault in connection with the office building.] 5BIO 261.4

I can say but little in reference to the conference at Oakland. It was a profitable occasion, and the Lord certainly helped us in the meeting. Some serious questions which arose were left to be decided at the meeting of the Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association in Battle Creek, which is now in session. We have been waiting with intense interest for news from them.—Letter 70, 1903. 5BIO 261.5