Ellen White was concerned: The two leading men in the General Conference were doing little to exert a right influence on the sanitarium, which she mentioned as being "managed by one man's mind and one man's judgment" and that man veering from the "light God has given" (letter 8, 1881). Taking the several situations into account, she wrote Butler and Haskell expressing her distress and concern:
I had a dream. I saw Dr. Kellogg in close conversation with men and with ministers. He adroitly would make statements born of suspicion and imagination to draw them out, and then would gain expression from them, while I saw him clap his hands over something very eagerly. I felt a pang of anguish at heart as I saw this going on.
I saw in my dream yourself [probably Haskell] and Elder Butler in conversation with him. You made statements to him which he seemed to grasp with avidity, and close his hand over something in it. I then saw him go to his room, and there upon the floor was a pile of stones systematically laid up, stone upon stone. He placed the additional stones on the pile and counted them up. Every stone had a nameósome report gathered upóand every stone was numbered.
The young man who often instructs me came and looked upon the pile of stones with grief and indignation, and inquired what he had and what he purposed to do with them. The doctor looked up with a sharp, gratified laugh."These are the mistakes of Elder White. I am going to stone him with them, stone him to death."
The young man said, "You are bringing back the stoning system, are you? You are worse than the ancient Pharisees. Who gave you this work to do? The Lord raised you up, the Lord entrusted you with a special work. The Lord has sustained you in a most remarkable manner, but it was not for you to degrade your powers for this kind of work. Satan is an accuser of the brethren."
I thought the doctor seemed very defiant and determined. Said he, "Elder White is trying to tear us to pieces. He is working against us, and to save our reputation and life we must work against him. I shall use every stone to the last pebble here upon this floor to kill him. This is only self-defense, a disagreeable necessity."
And then said the young man solemnly, "What have you gained? Have you in the act righted your wrongs? Have you opened your heart to Jesus Christ, and does He sit there enthroned? Who occupies the citadel of the soul under this administration of the stoning system?" . . .
I then saw my husband engaged in a similar work, gathering stones, making a pile and ready to begin the stoning system. Similar words were repeated to him with additional injunctions, and I awoke (MS 2, 1880).