As Smith concluded his remarks, Ellen quite unexpectedly arose from her couch to speak to the large audience. She later described the experience:
After Elder Smith had given the funeral discourse I did so long to say something to let all know that the Christian's hope was mine and sustained me in that hour of bereavement, but I feared I could not stand upon my feet. I finally determined to make the trial, and the Lord sustained me. The doctor stood ready to catch me, he said, if I fell. . . .Brother John and Willie and Edson were also watching to aid me, but I went through with what I had to say with clearness (letter 9, 1881).
"As I arose," she declared later, "strength was given me, and I spoke about ten minutes, exalting the mercy and love of God in the presence of that crowded assembly" (LS, p. 252). Her remarks were stenographically reported. Standing and steadying herself with a hand on the casket, she spoke in a clear voice:
I want to say a few words to those present on this occasion. My dear Saviour has been my strength and support in this time of need. When taken from my sickbed to be with my husband in his dying moments, at first the suddenness of the stroke seemed too heavy to bear, and I cried to God to spare him to meónot to take him away, and leave me to labor alone. . . .
At times I felt that I could not have my husband die. But these words seemed to be impressed on my mind: "Be still, and know that I am God." . . . I keenly feel my loss, but I dare not give myself up to useless grief. This would not bring back my husband. And I am not so selfish as to wish, if I could, bring him from his peaceful slumber to engage again in the battles of life. Like a tired warrior, he has lain down to sleep (In Memoriam, pp. 40-55).
Ninety-five carriages joined in the funeral procession to Oak Hill Cemetery; in addition, nearly 100 people went on foot. James White was laid to rest in the family plot where his two sons and his father and mother, John and Elizabeth White, were buried.