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


Chapter 30—With the Lord's Messenger in Early 1905

The year 1905 was only one hour old when Ellen White rose on a Sunday morning and made her way to her writing room. She reports: 5BIO 381.1

It is a cool morning. Built my fire. Bowed before the Lord in prayer. I have so many things burdening my mind. I ask the Lord Jesus to direct me, to guide me. What shall I trace with my pen this morning ...? 5BIO 381.2

I need the Great Guide to control my mind. What shall I trace with the pen first? ... Oh, how much I feel that I need the guidance of the Holy Spirit!—Manuscript 173, 1905. 5BIO 381.3

It was to be a momentous year. At the very hour she was writing, a part of the Melrose Sanitarium in New England was being ravaged by fire. She would learn of this later, of course. Two new sanitariums in southern California, started in response to her urgent calls, were struggling to their feet, and she would soon call for a third. The denomination was still in the throes of agony over the defection of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his associates. The growing work in the South faced many needs. The General Conference session would be held in Washington in May, and Ellen White had been urged to attend. There were bills pending in Congress that if passed would put the District of Columbia under Sunday laws, which caused her no small concern. Work must be finished on the manuscript for The Ministry of Healing, and there was the constant burden of writing testimonies to individuals, to institutional leaders, and to conference officers. 5BIO 381.4

As she turned to her writing that Sunday morning, the Holy Spirit led her mind to the students at Oakwood College. In a four-page testimony she asked whether they were making the most of their privileges, and urged cooperation with the teachers. She stated that they should ask themselves, “Why am I obtaining an education?” She dealt with character development and assured them that angels were ever ready to help them (Letter 1, 1905). 5BIO 382.1

Before the day was over she penned a newsy, informal letter to Sister Bradford, a friend of earlier years living at Dartmouth, near Fairhaven, Massachusetts. But most of the letters written in January were messages of counsel, caution, and encouragement. 5BIO 382.2

On January 4 she wrote a letter of caution to C. H. Jones, manager of the Pacific Press, newly moved from Oakland to Mountain View, California. There was a letter the same day to the church in Reno, Nevada, giving counsel in response to their inquiry as to whether they should start a sanitarium there. She advised them to move cautiously. 5BIO 382.3

On January 5 she wrote to the workers in the Pacific Press and penned a letter of counsel to “The Leading Men of the Pacific Press.” 5BIO 382.4

On January 10 her mind was on the South as she addressed “Those Assembled in Council in Nashville.” Another letter of counsel was written to Elders Haskell and Butler, giving advice concerning their attitude toward certain problems in Nashville. 5BIO 382.5

Three letters were written on Wednesday, January 11: “To the Leaders of Our Work at Takoma Park,” “To Our Workers in Washington, D.C.,” and “To the Workers in the Washington Publishing House.” 5BIO 382.6

Five days later she was writing to Elders Prescott and Colcord, workers carrying heavy responsibilities in Washington. The next day, Tuesday, January 17, having received full information regarding the Melrose Sanitarium fire, she wrote to Dr. and Mrs. Nicola, physicians working there. Only a portion of the structure was destroyed; always looking for the bright side, she saw the fire as a blessing in disguise, for “the part of the building that burned was objectionable in many ways” (Letter 23, 1905). “The Lord is good,” she wrote; “praise His holy name.... He has mercifully saved every life, and has taken away an objectionable part of the building. I am glad it has come about in this way. Had a proposition been made to tear that part of the building down, some would have regarded it as a great waste. Now you can have a suitable addition put on to the building.”— Ibid. 5BIO 382.7