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Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2)

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    The Vision of June 12, 1868

    Friday evening, June 12, the Whites attended the prayer meeting in Battle Creek. The Adventist community, anticipating that the Whites would speak, filled the meetinghouse. James wrote of it in his report for the Review:2BIO 232.2

    Sabbath evening a large congregation assembled. Mrs. White spoke freely and very solemnly till near ten. She spoke to the young generally, and addressed several personally. And while [she was] speaking from the platform in front of the pulpit, in the most solemn and impressive manner, the power of God came upon her, and in an instant she fell upon the carpet in vision. Many witnessed this manifestation for the first time, with astonishment and perfect satisfaction that it was the work of God. The vision lasted twenty minutes. No one was expecting it.—The Review and Herald, June 16, 1868.2BIO 232.3

    Nellie Sisley Starr recounted [Reported stenographically by Arthur L. White and Frieda B. White, his wife, at the oakland, california, camp meeting, June 30, 1931. DF 496D.] at a camp meeting in California in 1931 what she saw and heard that Friday evening in Battle Creek. About the year 1864, she and her widowed mother and brothers and sisters had come from England and settled in Convis, Michigan, some thirteen miles from Battle Creek. She and her mother were present that Friday evening in 1868. She noted carefully what took place. When James and Ellen White came into the meetinghouse they took their places on the lower platform in front of the pulpit. James White opened the meeting, taking about ten minutes, and then he said, “I know that it is Mrs. White whom you want to hear, so we will turn the meeting over to her.”2BIO 232.4

    Then she began to talk to us. We anticipated some reports of the meetings that had been held. Instead she said, “I am so impressed with the thought that we are not making the preparation for translation that we ought to be making.” ...She talked to us earnestly for over half an hour right along that line. She felt that we were allowing the world to come in a little. She warned us greatly about that. “Don't let the world come in. We are pilgrims and strangers. We want to live for the future. Let us make the preparation necessary for heaven.”2BIO 233.1

    She walked back and forth and talked to us, and as she walked, she fell right down. She fell down gently. She went down as if an angel's hands were under her.... We thought she had fainted, but Brother White said, “Cause yourselves no alarm. Wife has not fainted, but has fallen in vision.”2BIO 233.2

    I wish I could describe the feeling that we all had. It was perfect quietness; even the children made no noise.... It seemed as though heaven was settling down upon us and closing us in.... Sister White lay perfectly quiet and unconscious. Oh, the feeling that was sensed in that building. Brother White said, “There may be some in the congregation that may have doubts in regard to my wife's inspiration. If there are any such we would be glad to have them come forward and try the physical tests given in the Bible. It may help some of you.”2BIO 233.3

    I knew my mother had some doubts. We had come over from England and she had come from the Church of England, and she could not quite understand it, so I said, “Mother, let us go right up and stand right by her head.” In the meantime, Brother White had knelt down, and he raised Sister White's head and shoulders on his knees.2BIO 233.4

    Others came up, and there were two unusually large men. They stood one on each side of her shoulders. “Now,” Brother White said, “we all saw Sister White fall; we know she lost her natural strength. Now we will see if she has supernatural strength.” She was lying with her hands gently folded over her chest. She was lying quietly and looking up in the corner of the building. Her eyes were open, with a pleasant expression on her face. Nothing unnatural or unusual.2BIO 233.5

    Brother White said to these large men, “Take her hands apart. You have two hands to her one. Just pull her hands apart.” So they tried. They pulled and pulled till some of us got anxious that they would hurt her. Brother White said, “Don't be anxious; she is safe in God's keeping, and you can pull until you are perfectly satisfied.” They said, “We are satisfied now. We don't need to pull anymore.”2BIO 233.6

    He said, “Take up one finger at a time.” That was impossible. They could not do so much as move a finger. It seemed like a block of granite. There was no change in appearance, but it just couldn't be moved. We looked to see if her eyes were closed and see if she was breathing. Then she took her hands apart and waved her hands. We said, “We will see when she comes out of vision that she has been flying.”2BIO 234.1

    Brother White said to these men, “Now hold her.” I think they thought they could. They grasped her by the wrists, but they could not retard the motion. It looked like any child could hold her, but she went on just the same.2BIO 234.2

    Elder White said, “Now we are satisfied with that. Now we must see if her eyelids will close.” There was a large Rochester [kerosene] lamp close by on the stand. He removed the shade and put this light right in front of her eyes. We thought she would move her eyes to protect them. She didn't. She was perfectly unconscious.2BIO 234.3

    The expression of her countenance changed at times. Sometimes she looked pleased. At other times we could see that there was something distressing her, but the eyelids did not close.2BIO 234.4

    “Now,” Brother White said, “we must see if there is any breath in her body.” There didn't seem to be any. Everything looked all right, only there was no breath. Brother White said, “Now we will send out and get a mirror, and we will test it.” So someone went to the next door and got a mirror, and it was held close to her face, but no moisture gathered. So there was no breathing....2BIO 234.5

    She spoke several sentences. I don't remember the words; in fact, I cannot give you the exact words for any part of it. I will express what she saw, but I must express it in my own language. It is all I have. When she came out of vision, Brother White said,2BIO 234.6

    “The congregation have been so interested, I know they will want to know something of what you have seen.”2BIO 235.1

    She said, “I will gladly tell them.”2BIO 235.2

    Brother White helped her up; then she talked for about half an hour. She answered a few questions, but mostly made her own statements. When she was taken into vision she seemed to be taken down the stream of time. She spoke about the new earth. She saw the people of God saved in their everlasting home.2BIO 235.3

    Then she said, “Oh, I wish I could describe it, tell even a little of it. I have no language to describe it. If you could have been there and have seen what I saw, you would never allow anything on earth to tempt you to live so that there would be danger of losing eternal life.”2BIO 235.4

    I suppose she saw the people of God, perhaps in their last struggles, passing through the closing scenes of this world's history and then down out of that into their peaceful home.2BIO 235.5

    She told us when she came out of vision that the scene was so glorious, so bright, that when she came back to earth she could see nothing. I have never forgotten her words in regard to that.2BIO 235.6

    “Now,” she said, “you may not understand why I could not see. But,” she said, “you turn your face toward the sun for a while and then turn away. Heaven is brighter than the sun.” While her eyesight was not impaired permanently, yet for a long time she could not see clearly after coming out of vision. We were pleased to know that.2BIO 235.7

    She tried to describe it.... Oh, to be there, and what counsel she gave us in regard to preparation. “Now,” she said, “there is another scene that passed before me that I would rather not tell, only that it may be a warning to you.” She said, “I saw the great host of the lost. Oh, what a sight. The terror and agony of soul that was on those people. I looked upon them and I saw here and there all among them some of our own people, some of the Seventh-day Adventists scattered here and there.”2BIO 235.8

    I remember this, I remember that their agony was far greater than that of the others. They knew what they had lost and what they might have had had they been faithful. I wish I could tell you what she told us, but I cannot describe it as I would like to because I haven't language to. But it made an impression on my mind that I have never lost.—DF 496d, “Camp Meeting Talks,” 1931.2BIO 235.9

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