Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    Chapter 16—What Happened at a Funeral

    While James and Ellen White were traveling, they found a company of forty new Sabbathkeepers in a small settlement called Lovett’s Grove, Ohio. They had been attending Bible lectures held by Evangelist George Holt in a schoolhouse.SMG 112.1

    On Sunday afternoon a funeral was held for a youth well known in the community, and Elder White was asked to preach the sermon. When he had finished, Mrs. White arose to say a few comforting words. She spoke of the coming of Jesus and the resurrection. While telling of the joyous reunion of loved ones in heaven, she paused, and her listeners looked up, wondering why she had stopped. They noticed that the expression on her face had changed. Instead of looking at those seated before her, she was gazing upward, as if seeing something in the distance.SMG 112.2

    Then they heard, in a rich, musical voice, the shout, “Glory to God!” Again the same words, as full of melody as before, yet lower and softer, “Glory to God!” And a third time, as if coming from a distance, “Glory to God!”SMG 112.3

    James White spoke. “My wife is in heavenly vision. If any of you wish to come forward and examine her, you may do so.” She had become weak, as usual when entering into vision, and at this moment was leaning backward supported by her husband’s arm.SMG 112.4

    Several persons stepped up near Mrs. White. One of them bent over her and exclaimed, “She’s not breathing; I can’t hear the slightest breath or feel any movement of her lungs.”SMG 112.5

    “Is her heart beating?”SMG 113.1

    “Yes, there’s a strong, even pulse. But how strange that she doesn’t breathe!”SMG 113.2

    “This is her usual condition in vision,” Elder White explained.SMG 113.3

    Just then Mrs. White stood up and took a step forward, a radiant smile lighting her face. She seemed to be gazing intently at some scene far away. A man stepped to her side, thinking to steady her. But the weakness of the moment before was gone. Her body was filled with strength. No one could direct her motions, though in appearance they seemed easy and graceful.SMG 113.4

    The people seated at the school desks watched in awed silence. Now and then they caught a word, perhaps a sentence, an exclamation, or a question. Whisperings were heard around the room. “Hush, she must be talking with someone!”SMG 113.5

    Now they were asking questions, and James White was answering them.SMG 113.6

    “She is conversing with her accompanying angel. Often she has described him as a tall, majestic-appearing young man with a beautiful countenance and a musical voice. In these visions she is carried away in mind and is shown many things which those around her cannot see. At times she is given a view of events taking place at a distance. Or she may see things which happened long ago, or which are still in the future. Sometimes she seems to be in heaven, talking with Jesus and the angels.”SMG 113.7

    A pause, then a whisper that was clearly heard in the awed silence of the room, “Heaven is near, very near!” Softly another person said, “It seems as if we are listening at the open gate of heaven. If only we could catch a glimpse of the glory within, and hear the angel voices!”SMG 113.8

    Again Elder White spoke: “Yes, Jesus has sent His angel direct from His throne to assure us that all His promises are true. The wonderful prophecies you have been studying here in this little schoolhouse were confirmed ages ago in the same way, by heavenly vision. They all tell the same story: Jesus is coming back to this earth to bring an end to sin and sorrow and to set up His everlasting kingdom of righteousness and joy and peace.”SMG 114.1

    His words were interrupted by a startled whisper. “What can she be looking at now? It must be something terrible! See! She is wringing her hands as if in distress; and the expression of anguish on her face—what can it mean?”SMG 114.2

    Elder White answered quietly, “It must be that Mrs. White is looking at scenes of great suffering!”SMG 114.3

    Breathlessly everyone waited and watched. What could be causing her such grief?SMG 114.4

    After a time the anxious, troubled look left her face and a pleased expression took its place.SMG 114.5

    “Evidently the scene now before her is a joyous one,” said Elder White. “How glad we can be to know that God still speaks to His people today!”SMG 114.6

    The gloom had lifted. The coffin at the front of the room was for the time forgotten. It was now late afternoon. The watching company saw a change come over Ellen White. For two hours she had not drawn a breath, but now she took a full, deep inhalation as if filling her lungs for the first time. After a brief pause there was another deep breath, then another.SMG 114.7

    She began to notice the people around her. They had gathered close to her and were asking what she had seen in the vision. But she did not wish to talk, she said—not just yet. It was a solemn time!SMG 114.8

    The coffin was borne to the burying ground, and relatives and close friends left the school for this part of the service. Some of the people remained, hoping that Mrs. White would tell them what she had seen in the vision. She described some of the scenes just presented to her, and they listened with special attention. As the company separated to go home, some walking, others on horseback or in carriages, the words could be heard, “We have seen strange things today!” “Can we ever doubt that Jesus lives and that He’s coming again to take us to our heavenly home?”SMG 115.1

    On Tuesday the Whites left for Battle Creek. They talked happily of their three little boys from whom they had been separated for three weeks. As the train bumped along, Ellen told her husband more about the vision, adding, “As soon as I get some very important letters written, I’ll begin to write it out.”SMG 115.2

    “And we’ll print it in a little book,” her husband added, “and send it out through the mail.”SMG 115.3

    At Jackson, Michigan, they stopped to visit their old friends the Palmers. Mr. Palmer took James outside to look around his garden while the two women visited. Suddenly in the middle of a sentence Ellen felt a strange sensation in her mouth. Her tongue seemed thick and numb. She could not pronounce the words she was trying to speak. A chill passed over her head and down her right side, and she knew nothing more until she heard the two men praying for her. She looked around and tried to rise, but fell back helpless. Lying motionless for a long time, she wondered, Will I ever see my little boys? Henry, Edson, Willie, if I could only see you once more! “A stroke! a severe stroke!” she heard the men say. But they continued to pray. After a time she made another effort to rise. With her husband’s assistance she was able to stand and move around a little.SMG 115.4

    In the morning the Palmers said, “Elder White, you must not think of continuing your journey today. Stay with us awhile, until your wife becomes stronger.”SMG 116.1

    When it was time to go to the station, James White took a long look at his little wife, who was struggling with the greatest difficulty to sit up.SMG 116.2

    “What shall we do, Ellen?” he asked. She had suffered much pain during the night, but her answer came without hesitation, “Tell Brother and Sister Palmer that we will go on.”SMG 116.3

    With her husband’s support, she painfully made her way to the carriage and was lifted in. Soon they were on the train for the two-hour ride to Battle Creek. For weeks after reaching home my grandmother could not take one step alone, nor could she feel the coldest water poured on her head. Yet she could not forget the command of the angel to write the vision and publish it.SMG 116.4

    She called for writing material while her side was still paralyzed. Trying with all her strength, she managed to write a few sentences and the first day completed one page.SMG 116.5

    “I will not give up!” she declared. “I was warned that Satan would try to prevent my writing out the vision because it exposes his secret plans to deceive people and lead them to destruction. But I have been promised that angels will strengthen me.”SMG 116.6

    Ellen White battled on, each day accomplishing a little more than the day before. By the time the vision was written out and printed, the effect of the stroke had disappeared, and she was in her usual health. The vision filled a book of 219 pages and sold for fifty cents. It told of the beginnings of sin and sorrow, first in heaven, then in the Garden of Eden. It revealed how the Son of God offered to die in the place of sinners. It showed His battles here on this earth with His great enemy, Satan, who finally led wicked men to nail Him to the cross.SMG 116.7

    She described the interest shown by angels and the inhabitants of unfallen worlds in God’s great plan for saving men, and the wonder of the entire universe at God’s unspeakable love in giving His own Son to save a race of rebels. She told of their joy when Christ arose to life and returned to heaven, having conquered Satan, sin, and death. She pictured the joyous welcome He received as He returned to His Father’s home amid the shouts and praises of millions of shining angels.SMG 117.1

    Later, Mrs. White added a brief history of God’s people from the time when sin entered the world to the time when it will be uprooted forever. This wonderful story, as she wrote it more fully in later years, fills five large volumes, called The Conflict of the Ages Series. These books have been translated and published in many languages and are read by millions of people. They explain many of the mysteries connected with the great battle between Christ and His holy angels on one side, and Satan and his evil angels on the other.SMG 117.2

    Larger font
    Smaller font