The missionaries in Shanghai, organized into a local committee, 1 were asked to do preliminary preparations for the 1890 general conference that was to take place in Shanghai from May 7 through 20. 2 William Muirhead, a member of the committee, invited a group of missionaries to two preliminary meetings in his house to prepare the “point of chief concern” 3 that was to be discussed during the conference: the preparation of a union version of the Bible. There was much anxiety about this topic; 4 indeed, many reports from the conference and the preliminary meetings expressed surprise about how smoothly decisions eventually were made.