I have a paper that refers to a statement by Ellen White made about the year 1908. While waiting at the Loma Linda railroad depot in the company of Will Ross, Sister McInterfer, and Elder D. E. Robinson, she referred to a terrible storm of persecution that was coming. [Ross’s statement claims she said that after the storm those who had been church leaders “were never seen anymore,” and new leaders “who had never sought positions before” would take their place.] Can you tell me anything about this statement?
I have two items here that may be of some help to you. The first is a statement from Arthur L. White, and the second is one from D. E. Robinson.
Arthur White begins by pointing out that the supposed statement is “based entirely on the memory of one man.” Then he notes that while the report claims Will Ross lived near Ellen White in Loma Linda and often went for walks with her, she actually was living in Elmshaven at the time and no longer did much walking. “The point I am endeavoring to make,” Elder White wrote, “is that as time goes on matters of this kind tend to blur in the memory. Some things stand out in great boldness and other things rather disappear. Copies of the statement from Mr. Ross which we have indicate that this was written out 36 years after the event which he reports. If this is so, it adds to our problem of lapse of time and unreliability of memory.”
Eventually, Arthur White turns to what Ellen White actually has to say about the church in the end time. He says that in volume 2 of Selected Messages, writing in 1893, Sister White describes several situations which she was called upon to meet where individuals were advocating that the church would go to pieces. You will find these on pages 64-66, but I call attention to one statement in particular. She writes of:
“One, Garmire, who advocated and published a message in regard to the loud cry of the third angel; he accused the church in a similar manner to what you are now doing. He said the leaders in the church would all fall through self-exaltation, and another class of humble men would come to the front, who would do wonderful things. . . .
“This delusion was opened to me. . . . The word of God came from God to me, ‘Believe them not, I have not sent them!’ ”
Then Sister White, in her last message to the General Conference in session in 1913, expressed many times her confidence in the triumph of the church. She made no reference to a situation like that which has been reported to you in the statement from Brother Ross.
Her last message to the General Conference in session carried the title “Courage in the Lord.” You will find it recorded in Selected Messages, Book 2, pp. 402-408. . . .
I would like to direct your attention, too, to the entire chapter appearing in Selected Messages, Book 1, beginning on page 176, entitled “The Peril of Extreme Views.”
While D. E. Robinson, one of the supposed witnesses to this conversation, was working at the Ellen G. White Estate, he wrote,
Yesterday I received your letter of inquiry regarding an alleged statement made by Mrs. White by a Mr. Ross, of Boulder, Colorado.
Am glad that you sought to verify the statement before accepting it as true in all details. . . .
I can say unqualifiedly not only that I do not remember any such statement ever having been made in my presence, or found in the manu-scripts which as one of Mrs. White’s secretaries it was my privilege to copy on the typewriter or to edit, or to index. . . .
Not only do I feel certain that she did not make such a prediction, but I know that it is not in harmony with her own attitude toward the work, nor in her confidence in the leaders of the church up until the time of her death.
In light of these statements, I would not give credence to the startling claims of Mr. Ross. This is not to accuse him of anything more than an unreliable memory, something that I myself am all too prone to exhibit.