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


Chapter 9—In the Din of the Battle

Now back at home, Ellen White was weary. Her throat was sore and she could hardly speak. But it was good to be home again. She had been gone since late winter, and it was now early summer. As she looked at her Elmshaven farm, she found the grapevines had fruit setting heavily, but as to the prunes, there were two thousand trees and not a prune in sight! The fruit buds had been frozen in the April frost. 5BIO 119.1

“‘Well,’” she said, “‘I thank God that it is not anything I have done that has brought this about.’” Then, always looking for a cheerful side even in calamity, she added, “‘I thank the Lord that we shall not have the trouble and care of gathering the prunes.’”—Letter 49, 1901. 5BIO 119.2

This would have been her first prune crop, and this loss was one she would feel, but she said, “Let us not complain. Let there be no complaints in our mouth.... Talk not darkness; talk light.”— Ibid. 5BIO 119.3

Ellen White was badly mistaken in her thought that she could hide away in a comfortable and convenient place and devote her unbroken attention to her writings and the issuance of her books. Her advancing years drove her to the conviction that this must be, but the needs of the cause as she observed things, and the enlightenment that visions imparted to her, led her into the field. The year 1901 is the story of these divided interests, with the demands of the field largely the winner. Not even with the General Conference session over was she able to turn immediately to her book work. 5BIO 119.4

During the first night Ellen White spent in her home in three months, she was given a vision. The subject matter: Dr. D. H. Kress, who had recently gone to Australia. In his extremes in dietary practices, he was suffering from what was diagnosed as pernicious anemia. In vision she saw his hands—as white as if he were a corpse. 5BIO 119.5

“Do not go to extremes in regard to the health reform,” she wrote in the letter penned Wednesday morning. She counseled Dr. Kress to “get eggs of healthy fowls” and use them with unfermented grape juice. She declared, “This will supply that which is necessary to your system.” And she urged, “Do not for a moment suppose that it will not be right to do this.” Bringing the letter to a close, she wrote, “This that I now send you was opened distinctly before me last night.”—Letter 37, 1901. [Note: The dietetic instruction to Dr. Kress may be found in CDF, pp. 202-207, 366-367, and Medical Ministry, 286-289.] 5BIO 120.1

The thirteen-page testimony reached Australia at a very critical time in the experience of Dr. Kress. He put the counsel into practice, his life was saved, and he spent nearly a half century more in dedicated medical service. Nor did he ever discard the special dietary prescription that he found most helpful. 5BIO 120.2

The question of further camp meetings in the summer of 1901 was much in Ellen White's mind. Elder Daniells urged her to attend the Eastern camp meetings. This is something she, with her husband, had done again and again twenty or thirty years before, but to Elder Daniells she wrote: 5BIO 120.3

I have been absent from home for nearly four months, and have worked beyond my strength. My workers have been scattered, and Willie and I have given our undivided attention to the general work. Now we are trying to gather our forces.... Attending so many meetings has made a deep impression on me, and has revived many things in my mind. I have decided that the members of our churches need the matter I have for them. I shall not attend the camp meetings in the East.—Letter 65, 1901. 5BIO 120.4

But she added, “If the Lord said, ‘Go,’ I would not hesitate a moment.” 5BIO 120.5

She found many things to attend to at Elmshaven. There was an eight-room office building under construction about thirty yards north of the home. Brother Druillard was in charge of the construction. 5BIO 120.6

Coming through Oregon, her son William had negotiated for lumber for a home he was to build on the seven-acre tract his mother had given to him. It would be large enough to accommodate several families, so his wife and children would not be alone when he had to be on his many trips. He would begin building later in the summer. 5BIO 121.1