Unity Gained Through Visions

August 1848

On Friday, August 18, about 35 people gathered in the Arnold barn to hear the leading workers, including Joseph Bates, Chamberlain, and James and Ellen White. Hardly two agreed on doctrines. Each was strenuous for his or her views, declaring that they were according to the Bible.

Some of these points of view were in conflict with what had been shown to Ellen White in vision. She wrote of her reactions and of subsequent happenings:

These strange differences of opinion rolled a heavy weight upon me, especially as Brother A. spoke of the thousand years being in the past. I knew that he was in error, and great grief pressed my spirits, for it seemed to me that God was dishonored. I fainted under the burden. Brethren Bates, Chamberlain, Gurney, Edson, and my husband prayed for me. . . .The light of Heaven rested upon me. I was soon lost to earthly things.

My accompanying angel presented before me some of the errors of those present, and also the truth in contrast with their errors. That these discordant views, which they claimed to be according to the Bible, were only according to their opinion of the Bible, and that their errors must be yielded, and they unite upon the third angel's message (2SG, pp. 98, 99).

Ellen White summed up the outcome in two sentences: "Our meeting ended victoriously. Truth gained the victory" (ibid., p. 99).