By January of 1867 the Institute was already filled to capacity, and the director wished to expand the institution. The estimated cost of the expansion was $25,000. In order to get public backing for the project Uriah Smith wrote a letter to Mrs. White on February 5 urging her to sanction investment in the new institute:
"...a great many are waiting before doing anything to help the Institute, till they see the Testimony and now if it goes out without anything on these points, they will not understand it, and it will operate greatly against the prosperity of the Institution. The present is a most important time in this enterprise, and it is essential that no influence should be lost, which can be brought to bear in its favor."Thus prodded, Ellen White wrote out Testimony #11 in order to promote the raising of funds for the expansion of the Health Institute in Battle Creek:
"Here I was shown, was a worthy enterprise for God's people to engage in, one in which they can invest means to His glory in the advancement of His cause." (Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 492)As the faithful followers began pouring in their hard-earned money, construction on the expansion commenced. By August the money had run out and the project was temporarily halted. What happened next is shocking. Apparently James White was opposed to the idea of expanding the institute because he had not been consulted on the project. Seething with resentment, James decided to have the beginnings of the Health Institute torn down at a cost of $10,000. Then he apparently influenced his wife to write a testimony contradicting testimony #11:
"The brethren at Battle Creek who were especially interested in the Institute knew I had seen that our people should contribute of their means to establish such an institution. They therefore wrote to me that the influence of my testimony in regard to the Institute was needed immediately to move the brethren upon the subject, and that the publication of No. 11 would be delayed till I could write. ... Under these circumstances I yielded my judgment to that of others and wrote what appeared in No. 11 in regard to the Health Institute, being unable then to give all I had seen. In this I did wrong." (Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 562)
To examine further evidence of Mrs. White being influenced by others, click here.
Question To Ponder: Were the Testimonies influenced by Ellen White's associates?