Vision of Young People
By Arthur L. White
The visions that were given to Sister [Ellen] White were always given to help people to do the right thing. God wants us to do right.
While Sister White was spending some months in New Zealand in the early days of our work there, she held some meetings in the large city of Wellington. These meetings extended over a period of a number of days, and Sister White was quite weary when the series was completed. There was one young lady present who had just become a Seventh-day Adventist, and she invited Sister White to come to her family home on Parrametta Bay, and spend a few days resting there.
When this young lady returned to her home and told her mother that she had invited Sister White to come and stay at their home, the mother was not very happy. She had not been an Adventist for very long and she felt she was unprepared to entertain the Lord’s prophet. Then too, there were a number of teen-aged children in the family who were not members of the church and naturally, they were doing things Seventh-day Adventists don’t do. But the invitation had already been given to Sister White, and on the afternoon train, she arrived atParrametta. She was taken to the home located on a large farm overlooking the bay. She was cordially received and as she was quite weary, she went to bed early. In fact, she went to bed before she had met all of the members of the family where she was staying.
That night a vision was given to Sister White and at four o’clock in the morning, she got up and dressed and began to write what had been shown to her. The message was addressed to the mother of this family, for in the vision she had been shown the experience of some of the members of the family.
In the letter, Sister White told about the vision. She said, “The angel of God said, ‘Follow me.’ ” Then she seemed to be in a room in a rough building. She saw several young men playing cards there. They seemed very much interested in the card game and they did not seem to notice that anyone had come into the room. Sister White also saw girls there. They were watching the card game. She heard what the young people said, and she was almost ashamed to be there. She could feel that the atmosphere in the room was not the kind to uplift the mind and make the character noble.
Then Sister White turned to the angel and asked, “Who are these young people, and what does this scene represent?”
The angel said, “Wait—.”
Then she seemed to be in another place. But here were the same young people. They were drinking beer and other alcoholic drinks. She saw what the young people did and heard what they said while they were under the influence of these drinks. Their words were impure, boisterous and boastful. Again, she asked the angel, “Who are these young people?”
The angel answered, “These young people are a portion of the family where you are visiting.” Then the angel went on to say that Satan, the great adversary of souls, the great enemy of God and man was there and in charge of what was going on. Satan and his angels were leading these young people to their ruin.
Then in the vision, Sister White saw the angel step over to one young man and place his hand upon his shoulder and call him by name. As the angel spoke the name, Sister White recognized that it was the family name where she was staying. The angel pointed out the dangers of cardplaying and of gambling and of drinking. The angel plead with this young man to turn from these things and to give his heart to the Lord. All this, Sister White wrote to the mother that early morning hour, even before she had met these young people.
It was expected that Sister White would spend only two or three days at this home, but there came heavy rains and there were landslides which blocked the railroad track and she could not leave for a week or ten days.
The earnest Christian life which Sister White lived in that house made a deep impression upon the boys and girls of this family. They saw that she was not extreme or fanatical. Her counsel was so understanding and helpful. The young people wanted their lives to be like hers. She encouraged them to take their stand for the Lord. Nearly all of the children in this large family accepted the truth and became loyal, earnest Adventists. Some of their grandchildren are in the work of God today.
Based on Ellen G. White’s letter to the mother, and A. L. White’s conversation with some of the children and grandchildren of the family.