EIGHTEENTH ANNUAL SESSION
GENERAL CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
November 7, 1879
The Conference assembled, according to appointment, in the Tabernacle at Battle Creek, Michigan, at 10:30 a.m., November 7, 1879. The president, Elder James White, announced hymn 164 of Spiritual Songs, after the singing of which the Conference was led in prayer by U. Smith. The hymn, “Nearer My God to Thee,” was then sung, and brief opening remarks were made by the president.
Delegates being called for, thirty-three responded, representing sixteen conferences and one mission. Others were afterward added, so that in all twenty conferences and two missions were represented by thirty-nine delegates, as follows:
Maine: R. S. Webber.
New England: D. A. Robinson, G. F. Haines.
Vermont: C. W. Stone, R. S. Owen.
New York: B. L. Whitney, M. H. Brown, E. S. Lane.
Pennsylvania: D. B. Oviatt, J. G. Saunders.
Ohio: D. M. Canright, G. G. Rupert.
Tennessee: G. K. Owen.
Michigan: W. H. Littlejohn, J. Fargo, William Ostrander, M. B. Miller, E. R. Jones, W. C. White, E. B. Lane.
Indiana: S. H. Lane, W. W. Sharp.
Illinois: A. A. John, G. W. Colcord.
Wisconsin: H. W. Decker, O. A. Olsen.
Minnesota: Harrison Grant, L. H. Ells, A. Mead.
Dakota: S. B. Whitney.
Nebraska: C. L. Boyd. A. J. Cudney.
Iowa: L. McCoy.
Missouri: G. I. Butler.
Kansas: Smith Sharp, W. E. Dawson.
Texas: G. I. Butler.
California: S. N. Haskell.
North Pacific: S. N. Haskell.
Colorado Mission: A. O. Burrill.
Ontario Mission: John Fulton.
Minutes of last session read and approved.
The chairman appointed the usual committees, as follows:
On Nominations: J. Fargo, O. A. Olsen, S. B. Whitney.
On Resolutions: Smith Sharp, H. W. Decker, S. H. Lane, A. O. Burrill, B. L. Whitney.
On Auditing: H. W. Kellogg, Franklin Howe.
THIRTEENTH MEETING, NOVEMBER 25, 1879, 9:30 A.M.
Prayer by Elder James White.
Minutes of previous meeting approved.
THE MISSIONARY BOARD
The committee to whom was referred the subject of the creation of a Missionary Board, reported by recommending that the following persons constitute such Board for the coming year; namely, W. C. White, Mrs. M. J. Chapman, Elder O. A. Olsen, Miss Maud Sisley, and Elder B. L. Whitney.
An amendment to increase the number of the Board from five to nine by the addition of four more members was carried, and the motion, as amended, prevailed. Miss M. L. Huntley, Secretary of the General Tract and Missionary Society, and Elder U. Smith, were then added, after which it was
MOVED, That the committee by whom the foregoing Board was nominated, be instructed to present a nomination for the two remaining members, at some future meeting. Carried.
Some very stirring remarks on the subject of missionary work were made at this point by Sister White.
CIRCULATION OF MRS. E. G. WHITE’S WRITINGS
The committee on the circulation of the writings of Mrs. E. G. White reported as follows:–
The committee appointed by this Conference to consider the subject of the circulation of Sister White’s writings, would respectfully present the following report:
WHEREAS, Our past experience has fully proved that our prosperity as a people is always in proportion to the degree of confidence we cherish in the work of the spirit of prophecy in our midst; and
WHEREAS, The most bitter opposition we have to meet is aimed against this work, showing that our enemies realize its importance, whether we do or not; and
WHEREAS, We have found that the most effectual way to meet and disarm this opposition was either to secure the personal labors of the one through whom we believe that the Lord has spoken, or to freely circulate her writings, and
WHEREAS, Great light has shone upon us through this channel, which not only our own people greatly need, but which would be a blessing to the world, remove prejudice, and break the force of the bitter attacks of the enemies of the truth, therefore
RESOLVED, That we urge upon our ministers and tract societies the importance of making earnest efforts to extend the circulation of the volumes of the Spirit of Prophecy and the Testimonies to the Church among our own people, till these shall be in every family of believers.
RESOLVED, That we recommend the Publishing Association to issue in attractive form such of her writings as would be of general interest to the reading public who are not of our faith, to be placed in public libraries, reading rooms, on shipboard, etc., by canvassers and Tract and Missionary workers, where they, as well as our other standard works, may be accessible to the people.
RESOLVED, That we recommend the Publishing Association to issue in as cheap a form as consistent, the matter substantially contained in volume two of Spiritual Gifts, concerning the early life and labors of Sister White, in connection with the rise and progress of this work, for the special use of our ministers in new fields, and among those first becoming acquainted with her connection with this cause. And we further recommend the publication of a small edition of her earliest writings, now out of print, to bring all her writings within reach of those anxious to obtain them.
RESOLVED, That we consider it to be the duty of all our ministers to teach the Scriptural view of the gift of prophecy among our brethren everywhere, and the relation it sustains to the work of God in which we are engaged. 165–GCS 63-88
RESOLVED, That we advise that efforts be made to complete the raising of the fund of $5,000 voted at the last annual session of the Conference for the purpose of increasing the circulation of these writings; said fund to be used in placing them in public libraries, reading-rooms, and other locations where they will be open to the reading public, and in such of the families of the very poor as the officers of the Tract and Missionary Society decide should have them.
These were adopted.
pages 152, 153, 163-165