To appreciate Ellen White, you have to read Ellen White.
Coming of Age
The Gift That Kept on Giving
By Dwain N. Esmond
It was the start of my third year at an inner-city high school with all the attending ills—violence, drugs, sexual immorality, etc. My parents knew they had to get me, a wide-eyed 17-year-old with anger-management issues, to a better place.
Pine Forge Academy—an Adventist boarding school in the sleepy hills of Pine Forge, Pennsylvania, United States—was the perfect antidote to the inner city. I was happy to finish high school there, having grown tired of the “drama” from my previous school. But little did I know that something else would have a much greater impact on my life than my new school.
As my father readied our car for the trip to Pine Forge, he gave me a two-volume set of books by Ellen G. White. Regrettably, her writings were too often invoked to address behavior that needed to be quelled; thus the beauty and sweetness of her counsels were lost on me during my early teen years. Nevertheless, I accepted my father’s gift, and off we went.
When I finally opened the two volumes of Mind, Character, and Personality, something happened to me. I saw my academy experience as an opportunity to make some positive changes in my life, to start over. And nothing aided me more in this endeavor than these two books.
As a young man coming of age and baptized in city culture, God, through Ellen White, began to put His finger on the difficult things that held me fast. I grew up in a home in which God was cherished, worship was constant, and church life prized. However, I still began to lose my way.
I wanted desperately to be a good student. God, through His anointed servant, supplied the tools I needed to become a high achiever. During this time in my life I read this: “As an educating power the Bible is without a rival. Nothing will so impart vigor to all the faculties as requiring students to grasp the stupendous truths of revelation. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is allowed to dwell. . . . If never required to grapple with difficult problems or put to the stretch to comprehend important truths, it will after a time almost lose the power of growth.”1
No chapter in this amazing two-volume compilation impacted me more than chapter 11 of volume 1, “Bible Study and the Mind.” After reading it I studied the Bible with intention and precision. Ellen White’s writings functioned in my young life just as she said they should: a lesser light leading to the greater light of God’s Word.2 Today I love and cherish both, but I am sure I would not appreciate either as much today had my father not given me these books.
Facing the Challenge
Today the Seventh-day Adventist Church faces a stark reality: the number of members who regularly read the inspired counsels of Ellen White is rapidly declining. This is troubling because it means most members are not experiencing the rich trove of blessing contained in these sacred counsels.
But there are other reasons to be alarmed. In a study of more than 8,200 Seventh-day Adventists attending 193 churches throughout North America, researchers Roger L. Dudley and Des Cummings, Jr., reported that “Those who regularly study the writings of Ellen White are also more likely to be stronger Christians in their personal spiritual life and in their witness to their communities than those church members who don’t.”3
What Do We Do Now?
That was in 1982, the year when some of the study’s findings were published in the October issue of Ministry magazine. The intervening years have seen a sharp decline in the number of Seventh-day Adventists who read Ellen White at all, let alone regularly. We are witnessing the advent of a digital/visual generation that reads differently. A recent Pew Research Center study noted that millennials in North America, where the study was based, read more than their over-30 counterparts. “Overall, 88 percent of Americans under 30 read a book in the past year, compared with 79 percent of those age 30 and older. Young adults have caught up to those in their 30s and 40s in e-reading, with 37 percent of adults ages 18-29 reporting that they have read an e-book in the past year.”4
So how might we ignite a love for Ellen White’s writings in twenty-first-century Adventist youth and young adults? Here are two suggestions to start.
Remember that truth—eternal truth—is first and foremost relational. Jesus declared He was truth (John 14:6). Truth then, is a Person to be known. Youth consume more information today through a web of connectedness that we call social media. They depend on others to curate and deliver information that is meaningful to their lives. To reach youth today with the writings of Ellen White, they must be curated and calibrated to meet specific needs in their lives.
For example, instead of recommending that a teen struggling with belief in God read the chapter “What to Do With Doubt,” in the book Steps to Christ, one might select a specific paragraph and record a short video explaining why this information is relevant. The resulting video might then be sent via text message, along with a note of love and acceptance. This process of assigning meaning—contextualization—is critical to sharing truth with today’s youth.
Never underestimate the influence of parents, guardians, and loved ones in sharing truth. It wasn’t lost on me that my father thought my spiritual development important enough to give me a gift that changed my life. I took the books because they came from my father, a man whom I love, respect, and admire. Families are the foundational unit for the dissemination of truth.
God works through all—even those who don’t have parents—who are willing to take interest in the salvation of His youth. When a parent, guardian, or loved one highlights an Ellen White passage and says to their young charge, “I read this today, and it really helped me. Would you mind checking it out and letting me know what you think?” What young person would reject such an offer?
Today I have the distinct honor of working for one of the great institutions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Ellen. G. White Estate. I doubt seriously that I would be here had my parents not introduced me to her writings at an early age. To the degree that our church can support the Adventist family in its mission to fulfill the educational imperative found in Deuteronomy 6, we will have done God’s remnant church—and our youth—a great service.
Dwain N. Esmond, a pastor, author, and editor, is an associate director of the Ellen G. White Estate. He and his wife, Kemba, have been married for more than 20 years. Their son, Dwain, Jr., is a budding reader of Ellen White’s writings.
1. Ellen G. White, Mind, Character, and Personality (Nashville: Southern Pub. Assn., 1977), vol. 1, p. 91. 2. Ellen G. White, Selected Messages (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1958, 1980), book 3, p. 30. 3. Roger L. Dudley and Des Cummings, Jr., “Who Reads Ellen White?” Ministry 55, no. 1 (1982): 10-12. 4. Kathryn Zickhur and Lee Rainie, “Younger Americans and Public Libraries,” Pew Research Center, Sept. 10, 2014, http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/09/10/younger-americans-and-public-libraries/
Faultfinding and discouragement are not spiritual gifts. The mind should be elevated to dwell upon eternal scenes
Faultfinding and discouragement are not spiritual gifts.
By Ellen G. White
The mind should be elevated to dwell upon eternal scenes, heaven, its treasures, its glories, and should take sweet and holy satisfaction in the truths of the Bible. It should love to feed upon the precious promises that God’s Word affords, draw comfort from them. . . .
But, oh, how differently has the mind been employed! Picking at straws! Church meetings, as they have been held, have been a living curse to many. . . . These manufactured trials have given full liberty to evil surmising. Jealousy has been fed. Hatred has existed, but they knew it not. A wrong idea has been in the minds of some, to reprove without love, hold others to their idea of what is right, and spare not, but bear down with crushing weight. . . .
It has been made too light an affair to rein up a brother, to condemn him, and hold him under condemnation. There has been a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. If each would set his own heart in order, when the brethren meet together their testimony would be ready and come from a full soul, and the people around that believe not the truth would be moved. The manifestation of the Spirit of God would tell to their hearts that you are the children of God. Our love for one another should be visible to all. Then it will tell. It will have an influence. . . .
Love, Not Selfishness
Take hold of the work individually, be zealous and repent; and after all known wrongs are righted, then believe that God accepts you. Go not mourning, but take God at His word. Seek Him diligently, and believe that He receives you. A part of the work is to believe. He is faithful who has promised. Climb up by faith. The brethren . . . can drink of the salvation of God. They can move understandingly, and each have an experience for himself in this message of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. The church feel that they are down, but know not how to rise. The intentions of some may be very good; they may confess; yet I saw that they are watched with suspicion, and are made offenders for a word, until they have no liberty, no salvation. They dare not act out the simple feelings of the heart, because they are watched. It is God’s pleasure that His people should fear Him, and have confidence before one another.
With tender compassion should brother deal with brother. Delicately should he deal with feelings. It is the nicest and most important work that ever yet was done to touch the wrongs of another. With the deepest humility should a brother do this, considering his own weakness, lest he also should be tempted.
I have seen the great sacrifice which Jesus made to redeem man. He did not consider His own life too dear to sacrifice. Said Jesus: “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Do you feel, when a brother errs, that you could give your life to save him? If you feel thus, you can approach him and affect his heart; you are just the one to visit that brother. But it is a lamentable fact that many who profess to be brethren, are not willing to sacrifice any of their opinions or their judgment to save a brother. There is but little love for one another. A selfish spirit is manifested.
Discouragement has come upon the church. They have been loving the world, loving their farms, their cattle, etc. Now Jesus calls them to cut loose, to lay up treasure in heaven, to buy gold, white raiment, and eyesalve. Precious treasures are these. They will obtain for the possessor an entrance into the kingdom of God.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry. This counsel was given at Ulysses, Pennsylvania, on July 6, 1857, and is recorded in Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 1, pp. 164-166).
In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers.
Your Neighbor Is Waiting
By Ellen G. White
In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import—the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.1
God expects personal service from everyone to whom He has entrusted a knowledge of the truth for this time. Not all can go as missionaries to foreign lands, but all can be home missionaries in their families and neighborhoods. There are many ways in which church members may give the message to those around them.
One of the most successful is by living helpful, unselfish, Christian lives. Those who are fighting the battle of life at great odds may be refreshed and strengthened by little attentions which cost nothing. Kindly words simply spoken, little attentions simply bestowed, will sweep away the clouds of temptation and doubt that gather over the soul. The true heart expression of Christlike sympathy, given in simplicity, has power to open the door of hearts that need the simple, delicate touch of the spirit of Christ.2
My brethren and sisters, give yourselves to the Lord for service. Allow no opportunity to pass unimproved. Visit the sick and suffering, and show a kindly interest in them. If possible, do something to make them more comfortable. Through this means you can reach their hearts and speak a word for Christ.
Investing in Eternity
Eternity alone will reveal how far-reaching such a line of labor can be. Other lines of usefulness will open before those who are willing to do the duty nearest them. It is not learned, eloquent speakers that are needed now, but humble, Christlike men and women, who have learned from Jesus of Nazareth to be meek and lowly, and who, trusting in His strength, will go forth into the highways and hedges to give the invitation: “Come; for all things are now ready.”3
There is earnest work for every pair of hands to do. . . . There are so many that need to be helped. The heart of him who lives, not to please himself, but to be a blessing to those who have so few blessings, will thrill with satisfaction. Let every idler awake and face the realities of life. Take the Word of God and search its pages. If you are doers of the Word, life will indeed be to you a living reality, and you will find that the reward is abundant. The Lord has a place for everyone in His great plan. Talents that are not needed are not bestowed. Supposing that the talent is small. God has a place for it, and that one talent, if faithfully used, will do the very work God designs that it should do.4 Church members, let the light shine forth. Let your voices be heard in humble prayer, in witness against intemperance, the folly, and the amusements of this world, and in the proclamation of the truth for this time. Your voice, your influence, your time—all these are gifts from God and are to be used in winning souls to Christ.
Visit your neighbors and show an interest in the salvation of their souls. Arouse every spiritual energy to action. Tell those whom you visit that the end of all things is at hand. The Lord Jesus Christ will open the door of their hearts and will make upon their minds lasting impressions. . . . Tell them how you found Jesus and how blessed you have been since you gained an experience in His service. Tell them what blessing comes to you as you sit at the feet of Jesus and learn precious lessons from His Word. Tell them of the gladness and joy that there is in the Christian life. Your warm, fervent words will convince them that you have found the pearl of great price. Let your cheerful, encouraging words show that you have certainly found the higher way.5
There are many who can and should do the work of which I have spoken. My brother, my sister, what are you doing for Christ? Are you seeking to be a blessing to others? Are your lips uttering words of kindness, sympathy, and love? Are you putting forth earnest efforts to win others to the Savior?6
Consecrate yourselves wholly to the work of God. He is your strength, and He will be at your right hand, helping you to carry on His merciful designs. By personal labor reach those around you. Become acquainted with them. Preaching will not do the work that needs to be done. Angels of God attend you to the dwellings of those you visit. This work cannot be done by proxy. Money lent or given will not accomplish it. Sermons will not do it. By visiting the people, talking, praying, sympathizing with them, you will win hearts. This is the highest missionary work that you can do. To do it, you will need resolute, persevering faith, unwearying patience, and a deep love for souls.
Find access to the people in whose neighborhood you live. As you tell them of the truth, use words of Christlike sympathy. Remember that the Lord Jesus is the Master Worker. He waters the seed sown. He puts into your minds words that will reach hearts. Expect that God will sustain the consecrated, unselfish worker. Obedience, childlike faith, trust in God—these will bring peace and joy. Work disinterestedly, lovingly, patiently, for all with whom you are brought into contact. Show no impatience. Utter not one unkind word. Let the love of Christ be in your hearts, the law of kindness on your lips.7
Heavenly angels have long been waiting for human agents—the members of the church—to cooperate with them in the great work to be done. They are waiting for you.8
1 Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 9, p. 19. 2 Ibid., p. 30. 3 Ibid., p. 36. 4 Ibid., p. 37. 5 Ibid., p. 38. 6 Ibid., p. 39. 7 Ibid., p. 41. 8 Ibid., pp. 46, 47.
A new resource from the Ellen G. White Estate helps provide the backstory to many of her counsels.
Ellen White’s Letters and Manuscripts
Things you should know about the new online collection.
By Tim Poirier
In July 2015, on the centennial of Ellen White’s death, the White Estate made available for free on its Web site and apps the letters and manuscripts of Ellen White. The entire collection, found at www.egwwritings.org, consists of more than 8,000 documents roughly equivalent to 50,000 pages. These materials were previously available for reading and study only in hard copy form at the White Estate main office and its many branch offices and research centers around the world.
Why Not Published Earlier?
Although commonly referred to as Ellen White’s unpublished manuscripts, it is important to note that many of the documents—in fact, about two thirds of them—have already been printed in whole or in part in the many compilations and manuscript releases published over the years. Sensitive materials, often dealing with the personal failings of individuals, had remained largely unpublished up to their 2015 release, but with the passing of more generations since the time of the original recipients, it was decided the materials could be made available generally.
Another factor is the advance of technology. If the entire collection was to be printed and sold in bookstores, it would take the shelf space of more than 100 volumes, and the cost would be prohibitive. However, thanks to our digital age, if you want to read the complete letter from which only a portion was quoted in one of the compilations, you can access the materials with a few clicks of a mouse or by simply launching the EGW Writings app.
Some might ask why anyone would take an interest in these materials when we already have all her published works. That’s a good question, because there is nothing wrong with confining one’s study to the thousands of articles and scores of books and pamphlets Ellen White published during her lifetime. In fact, she said quite plainly regarding herself: “If you desire to know what the Lord has revealed through her, read her published works.”1 We might regard her letters, sermons, diaries, and other unpublished communications as complementary materials that provide a window not only into her beliefs and prophetic teachings, but also into her personal life as a wife, mother, counselor, and church pioneer.
Some Major Distinctions
At the same time, it is important to recognize some of the major distinctions between her unpublished manuscripts and her published works. Foremost is that what she wrote in her articles and books was intended to speak to the church at large. In contrast, Ellen White’s personal letters were addressed to individuals in particular circumstances; they often dealt with matters of local interest, such as who might best serve at a certain sanitarium, or how “Brother Smith” needed stronger support from his fellow believers. Principles can be derived from such communications, but understanding the historical context is important so as not to misapply the instruction given. In 2014 the White Estate made a start toward providing such background with its publication of volume 1 of The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts With Annotations, covering the first 15 years of her ministry. It is hoped that funding will be forthcoming to keep that project moving forward.
Another distinction between Ellen White’s unpublished collection and her published works is in the level of attention she gave to materials she never expected to be published. In other words, consider the difference in how you write a quick routine e-mail compared to one that you expect to be posted online and read by anyone in the world. You would scrutinize every sentence to make sure it accurately expressed your thoughts so as to avoid as much misunderstanding as possible. And if you shared a draft with your associates, they might suggest ways in which the communication could be better organized or rephrased.
So it is with Ellen White’s letters and manuscripts. When comparing what she first wrote in letter form with what she may have later incorporated into a published article or book, we should not be surprised to find the material improved editorially. That was the assignment of her literary assistants: not to write the content, but to assist Ellen White in preparing it for publication.
Ellen White’s son W. C. White explained that “Mother’s workers of experience . . . are authorized to take a sentence, paragraph, or section from one manuscript and incorporate it with another manuscript where the same thought was expressed but not so clearly. But none of Mother’s workers are authorized to add to the manuscripts by introducing thoughts of their own.”2 The documents were then reviewed and approved by Ellen White before being printed or mailed. Similarly, changed circumstances might result in Ellen White’s choosing to add or omit entire sentences or paragraphs when making use of a letter or manuscript in a later publication.
Was Everything Ellen White Wrote Inspired?
Perhaps the most challenging question related to Ellen White’s letters and manuscripts is: Can we draw a sharp line between what is inspired counsel and what is mere human opinion? Her collection consists of letters written to well-known Adventist leaders, but it also contains letters addressed to “My Dear Son Edson,” or “My Dear Niece Addie,” or “My Dear Granddaughter Mabel.” Fully one fourth of the letters preserved are addressed to Ellen White’s family. Did she write those under inspiration? What about letters written to those managing her property back in America while she was serving the church in Europe and Australia?
We are reminded that at least 20 books in the New Testament are actually letters written to churches or individuals, and we correctly regard them as having been written under inspiration. In a similar fashion, Ellen White used letters to convey Spirit-inspired instruction she received. At the same time, however, she plainly expressed that she did not expect us to take everything she said or wrote as a revelation from God.
Ellen White explained that “there are times when common things must be stated, common thoughts must occupy the mind, common letters must be written and information given that has passed from one to another of the workers. Such words, such information, are not given under the special inspiration of the Spirit of God. Questions are asked at times that are not upon religious subjects at all, and these questions must be answered. We converse about houses and lands, trades to be made, and locations for our institutions, their advantages and disadvantages.”3 “In my words, when speaking upon these common subjects, there is nothing to lead minds to believe that I receive my knowledge in a vision from the Lord and am stating it as such.”4
We should also remember that the mere absence of phrases such as “I was shown” does not automatically mean that counsel she was giving was not in harmony with light that she had received on the subject.5 Although it may be impossible to lay down a rule that neatly divides what is inspired from what is uninspired, it’s usually the case that it is self-evident from the message itself what authority was being claimed in the letter.
Users accessing the letters and manuscripts in the new database may wonder why there are occasional gaps in the file number sequence. For example, letter 20, 1889, might be followed by letter 22, 1889. What happened to letter 21? Why is it missing? There are several reasons for these “gaps,” none of which is that documents have been withheld. In most cases the reason is that the document was found to be misdated and it has been refiled with a new number in the correct year. In other cases the document was found to be a duplicate of one already on file, or merely retyped from an already available, published source. Additionally, for some years—1904, for example—Ellen White’s secretaries assigned only odd numbers for letters and only even numbers for manuscripts. The database will soon be updated to indicate the reason for each “missing” number.
These are some of the issues to be aware of when researching Ellen White’s unpublished materials. Fortunately, there are new tools and resources available that assist us in appreciating the context for these writings: publications such as the Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, scholarly biographies of Adventist leaders, and digital access to the church’s historical papers. In addition, the White Estate is placing on its Web site the tens of thousands of pages of correspondence written to Ellen White by church members and leaders giving the “other side” of the conversation to her letters.
Whether reading the day-to-day accounts of Ellen White’s activities in her diaries, a strongly worded testimony to an unfaithful leader, or a mother’s heart-wrenching appeal to her wayward son, we are privileged to find in these writings insights and guiding principles that still speak to our time and circumstances.
1-Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 5, p. 696. 2-W. C. White to G. A. Irwin, May 7, 1900, cited in Herbert E. Douglass, Messenger of the Lord (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1998), p. 110. 3-Ellen G. White, Selected Messages (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1958, 1980), book 1, p. 39. 4-Ibid., p. 38. 5-See E. G. White, Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 64-67.
Apart from Christ we have no merit, no righteousness. Our sinfulness, our weakness, our human imperfections make it impossible that we should appear before God, unless we are clothed in Christ’s spotless righteousness.
Christ, Our Righteousness
Ellen White “answers” our questions on the topic.
By Ellen G. White
What does it mean to say Christ is our righteousness? Apart from Christ we have no merit, no righteousness. Our sinfulness, our weakness, our human imperfections make it impossible that we should appear before God, unless we are clothed in Christ’s spotless righteousness. We are to be found in Him, not having our own righteousness, but the righteousness which is through Christ. . . . Christ is called “the Lord our righteousness,” and through faith, each one should be able to say, “The Lord my righteousness.” . . . No works that the sinner can do will be efficacious in saving his soul. Obedience was always due to the Creator; for He endowed man with attributes for his service. God requires good works from man always; but good works cannot avail to earn salvation. It is impossible for man to save himself.
That sounds pretty bleak. There is hope for every one; for “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” [John 3:16] . . . .When faith lays hold upon this gift of God, the praise of God will be upon our lips, and we shall be able to say, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Then we shall be able to tell the lost concerning the plan of salvation, that while the world was lying under the curse of the law, meriting death, the Lord presented terms of mercy to the fallen and hopeless sinner, and brought out the meaning and value of His grace. Grace is unmerited favor.
But how does Christ take our place? In his humanity Christ was tried with as much greater temptation, with as much more persevering energy than man is tried by the evil one, as his nature was greater than man’s. This is a deep mysterious truth, that Christ is bound to humanity by the most sensitive sympathies. The evil works, the evil thoughts, the evil words of every son and daughter of Adam press upon His divine soul. . . . The work of Christ upon earth was to seek and save that which was lost. Ever before Him, He saw the result of His mission, although the baptism of blood must first be received, although the weight of sins of the world was to gather upon His innocent soul, although the shadow of an unspeakable woe was ever over Him; yet for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross and despised the shame. He endured all this that sinful man might be saved, that he might be elevated and ennobled, and have a place with Him upon His throne.
Does that mean “once saved, always saved”? If the love of God is not appreciated, and does not become an abiding principle in the hard heart to soften and subdue the soul, we are utterly lost. The Lord has no reserve power with which to influence man. He can give no greater manifestation of His love than that which He has given. Heaven’s richest gift has been freely offered for your acceptance. If the exhibition of the love of Jesus does not melt and subdue your heart, by what means can you be reached? Has the love of Christ failed to bring forth an earnest response of love and gratitude? . . . Let not Christ say of you, “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” . . . It is impossible for man to save himself. He may deceive himself in regard to this matter; but he cannot save himself. Christ’s righteousness alone can avail for his salvation, and this is the gift of God. . . . Let faith take hold of Christ without delay, and you will be a new creature in Jesus, a light to the world.
This dialogue is arranged from the article “Christ Our Hope,” published in Review and Herald, December 20, 1892. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.
In obedience to the Word of God, and in harmony with His will, there is happiness. The family that is governed by right principles is a witness to the world of the power of a pure and holy faith; the influence of such households has a tendency to check in the church and in society the corrupting, polluting influences that are now coming in like a flood.
God speaks to us through His creation.
By Ellen G. White
In obedience to the Word of God, and in harmony with His will, there is happiness. The family that is governed by right principles is a witness to the world of the power of a pure and holy faith; the influence of such households has a tendency to check in the church and in society the corrupting, polluting influences that are now coming in like a flood. The religion of Jesus is powerful to lift up the fallen, and to bring to reason the intemperate, that they may be found sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in their right mind.
If men were more in love with natural simplicity, and cared less for the artificial and for fashionable show, they would escape many of the perplexities of life, and would find much more peace, quiet, and rest than they now enjoy. God does not impose heavy burdens upon His creatures; they bring them upon themselves by their unwillingness to conform to nature’s laws, and their eager desire to meet the demands of fashion. It is this that wears the human machinery by bringing a constant strain upon mind and body. . . .
He who loves us speaks to us of His tender care in the works of nature. They are the evidences of His wisdom and power, and are designed to impress us with the fact that there is a living God, and that in Him we may trust. “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” The hand of God formed every bud and every blooming flower; it was His wisdom that gave them their varied and delicate tints. What beauty has He bestowed upon these silent soulless things, which are today in the field, tomorrow cast into the oven. If God so clothe [sic] the tender, perishing grass of the field, “how much more will he not clothe you, O ye of little faith?”
The Great Master Artist
On our journey westward we have been watching to catch everything new and interesting in the scenery. We have looked upon the lofty, terraced mountains in their majestic beauty, with their rocky battlements resembling grand old castles. These mountains speak to us of the desolating wrath of God in vindication of His broken law; for they were heaved up by the stormy convulsions of the flood. They are like mighty waves that at the voice of God stood still—stiffened billows, arrested in their proudest swell. These towering mountains belong to God; He presides over their rocky fastnesses. The wealth of their mines is His also, and so are the deep places of the earth.
If you would see the evidences that there is a God, look around you wherever your lot may be cast. He is speaking to your senses and impressing your soul through His created works. Let your heart receive these impressions, and nature will be to you an open book, and will teach you divine truth through familiar things. The lofty trees will not be regarded with indifference. Every opening flower, every leaf with its delicate veins, will testify of the infinite skill of the great Master Artist. The massive rocks and towering mountains that rise in the distance are not the result of chance. They speak in silent eloquence of One who sits upon the throne of the universe, high and lifted up. “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” All His plans are perfect. What awe and reverence should His name inspire! how should a knowledge of His works quicken our perception of His attributes!
The Rock of Ages
God is Himself the Rock of Ages, a refuge for His people, a covert from the storm, a shadow from the burning heat. He has given us His promises, which are more firm and immovable than the rocky heights, the everlasting hills. The mountains shall depart, and the hills shall be removed; but His kindness shall not depart, nor His covenant of peace be removed, from those who by faith make Him their trust. If we would look to God for help as steadfastly as these rocky, barren mountains point to the heavens above them, we should never be moved from our faith in Him and our allegiance to His holy law.
Then why not seek for the things that make for your peace? Why not, dear brethren and sisters, make the kingdom of God and His righteousness the first consideration, assured that your heavenly Father will add unto you all things necessary? He will open ways before you, and all you do shall be blessed; for He has said, “Them that honor me I will honor.” Christ died for your redemption. Shall He have died for you in vain? Will you not take His proffered hand, and walk with Him in the humble path of faith and obedience?
God is full of love and plenteous in mercy; but He will by no means acquit those who neglect the great salvation He has provided. The long-lived antediluvians were swept from the earth because they made void the divine law. God will not again bring from the heavens above and the earth beneath waters as His weapons to use in the destruction of the world; but when next His vengeance shall be poured out against those who despise His authority, they will be destroyed by fire concealed in the bowels of the earth, awakened into intense activity by fires from heaven above. Then from the purified earth shall arise a song of praise: “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” And every one who has made the heavenly treasure the first consideration, regarding it as of priceless value, will join in the glad triumphant strain.
This article is taken from “Notes of Travel: A Sermon on the Cars,” published in the Review and Herald, Feb. 24, 1885. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.
Ellen White’s arrival in Australia in December 1891, and her nine-year ministry in the land down under (1891-1900), coincide with a significant period of her literary contribution to the global church.
God’s Messenger Australian Writings Motivate Worldwide
A look at Ellen White’s life and legacy.
By John Skrzypaszek
Ellen White’s arrival in Australia in December 1891, and her nine-year ministry in the land down under (1891-1900), coincide with a significant period of her literary contribution to the global church.
The reality of the great controversy theme, and its impact on the spiritual life of the church, was clearly settled in her thoughts. She referred to the effect of the struggles not only “upon human hearts in America” but also “upon the human minds in that far-off country.”1 Further, prior to her arrival in Australia, Ellen White struggled with the challenge of facing the unknown, namely a clear lack of direction from God regarding her forthcoming journey. “This morning my mind is anxious and troubled in regard to my duty. Can it be the will of God that I go to Australia? . . . I have no special light to leave America for this far-off country. Nevertheless, if I knew it was the voice of God, I would go.”2
Ellen White was close to the age of retirement, in poor health, and her major goal was to complete her book on the life of Christ. “I long for rest, for quietude, and to get out the ‘Life of Christ,’?”3 However, her continual search to understand God’s involvement in human life heightened her confidence in His presence and guidance. She wrote, “I am presenting the case before the Lord and I believe He will guide me.”4 With such entrenched confidence in God, she arrived in Sydney aboard the S.S. Alameda on December 8, 1891. This time away from home opened new opportunities to reflect on what matters to God.
Ellen White’s contribution to the church during her years in Australia may be divided into three significant segments. First, she nurtured the spiritual life of the relatively infant church. Second, she provided a visionary motivation for institutional progress combined with an urgency for mission. Third, in the period of her most productive literary years (1888-1911), the nine years in Australia were significant. She placed a noteworthy emphasis on the spiritual life for the worldwide church. In the context of the great controversy, her publications explored the inspirational depth of God’s love that uplifts human value, dignity, and uniqueness.5 The focal point of her admiration was Jesus.
Ellen White’s spiritual nurture of the young church commenced the moment she arrived in Sydney. On her first Sabbath in Sydney she spoke from John 17. In a letter to O. A. Olsen she explained, “They had never before heard words that gave them such hope and courage in regard to justification by faith and the righteousness of Christ.”6
The same letter suggests that there was a general lack of understanding of this vitally important topic. Referring to A. G. Daniells, she wrote, “He has only a little glimmering of light upon the subject of justification by faith and the righteousness of Christ as a free gift.”7
The following Wednesday Ellen White arrived in Melbourne, where conditions among the workers at the Echo Publishing Company were poor. Based on a vision given to her in 1875, she spoke about the lack of unity and harmony among the workers.8 She warned of the dangers of the prevailing attitudes. In response, hearts were broken. “The brethren confessed to one another and fell on one another’s necks, weeping and asking forgiveness.”9
Space does not permit exploration of the plethora of spiritual nurturing provided by Ellen White during this period, nurture that stemmed from the depth of her personal search to understand God’s love. In a diary note dated December 27,1891, she wrote, “I had great freedom in presenting the plan of salvation and the wondrous love of God for fallen man.” The theme of God’s love and the authenticity of her spiritual nurture created a strong intimacy between Ellen White and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia. This relational bond has been compared to the impact that a mother exerts on a young child.10
Ellen White shaped the church’s vision for institutional progress and the urgency of the mission. In a vision dated April 1, 1874, she was instructed: “You are entertaining too limited ideas of the work for this time. . . . You must take broader views.”11
The challenge was astounding, for it had a global application. “The message will go in power to all parts of the world, to Oregon, to Europe, to Australia, to the islands of the sea.”12
A few months after settling in Australia, she was able to say, “I now look back at this matter as part of the Lord’s great plan, for the good of His people here in this country, and for those in America, and for my good.”13
With this view Ellen White was instrumental in setting up a Bible school for missionary work (August 24, 1892), followed by the establishment of the educational institution known today as Avondale College of Higher Education (1897). Sheinspired an interest in health care and healthful living, encouraging the church to expand the realm of God’s mission. Her visionary impetus gave birth to the Sydney Adventist Hospital and Sanitarium Health Food Company. In her mind all institutions had a part to play in God’s great plan. They were to engage in the harmonious task of expanding His mission to the world and were to be seen as the means to an end.
Ellen White’s Vision for the Global Church
Ellen White greatly elaborated on the core biblical idea of the great controversy during her Australia years. The previously penned historical overview of the conflict between good and evil highlighted the reality of the interplay between the two opposing forces, God and Satan. The publications written between 1888 and 1911 directed the reader’s attention to the heart of the matter, namely the significance of one’s spiritual journey with God in a life opposed by the powers of darkness. In her classic book The Desire of Ages (1898), completed in Australia, she penned the following gem. “Everyone needs to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God.”14
In 1897 she began to focus on another theme, the value of Christian education. Commenting on the content for Ellen White’s coming book Education (1903), Willie White wrote that “more of the plan of redemption has been worked in by drawing from Mother’s published works, such as Patriarchs and Prophets, The Great Controversy, Desire of Ages, Mount of Blessing, and Christ’s Object Lessons.”15
It is evident that Ellen White encapsulated the heart of Christian education and its role in restoring human value, potential, and uniqueness in the vortex of the struggle between the opposing forces. While the forces of evil diminish human life, God’s presence inspires and restores its potential for service and the betterment of society.
While “down under,” Ellen White drew the attention of the worldwide church to the importance of shaping a point of reference not in time speculations but in a personal, implicit trust and confidence in Jesus. To her, such faith stems from the trustworthiness of God’s promises in the Bible. Her writings urged the worldwide church to become the extended hands of Jesus. In fact, while in Australia she stimulated the work in the United States through her letters and counsels.
Ellen White’s departure in August 1900 left the Australian church in a state of loss. During the nine years of her ministry people felt the kindness of her loving care. The spirit of the loss was summed up well by Thomas Russell, a businessman in the village of Cooranbong: “Mrs. E. G. White’s presence in our little village will be sadly missed. The widow and the orphan found in her a helper. She sheltered, clothed, and fed those in need, and where gloom was cast, her presence brought sunshine.”16
1-Ellen G. White manuscript 29, 1891, in Sermons and Talks (Silver Spring, Md.: Ellen G. White Estate, 1990), vol. 1, pp. 155, 156. 2-Ellen G. White manuscript 44, 1891, in Manuscript Releases (Silver Spring, Md.: Ellen G. White Estate, 1990), vol. 18, p. 155. 3-Ellen G. White manuscript 29, 1891, in Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, p. 156. 4-Ellen G. White letter 57, 1891, in Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: The Australian Years (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1983), vol. 4, p. 18. 5-Books written between 1888 and 1911: The Great Controversy (1888); Patriarchs and Prophets (1890); Steps to Christ (1892); Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing (1896); The Desire of Ages (1898); Christ’s Object Lessons (1900); Education (1903); The Ministry of Healing (1905); The Acts of the Apostles (1911); and several Testimonies for the Church volumes. 6-Ellen White letter 21, 1891. (See also A. L. White, Ellen G. White: the Australian Years, vol. 4, p. 22.) 7-Ibid. 8-Ellen G. White Estate Document File 105j: William C. White, “A Comprehensive Vision.” 9-Ellen White manuscript 45, 1891, in A. L. White, Ellen G. White: The Austrailian Years, vol. 4, p. 26. 10-Arthur Patrick, “Ellen White: Mother of the Church in the South Pacific,” Adventist Heritage, Spring, 1993, p. 30. 11-Ellen G. White, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1915), pp. 208, 209. 12-Ibid. 13-Ellen G. White letter 18a, 1892, in Selected Messages (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1958), book 2, p. 234. 14-Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), p. 363. 15-Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1981), p. 181. 16-Thomas Russell, Cooranbong, May 3, 1900. This note was written in an album given to Ellen White on her departure to America in August 1900.
God could have sent angels to work for the reformation of man, but He did not do this. Humanity must touch humanity. The church is the Lord’s instrumentality.
Tell others of redemption
By Ellen G. White
God could have sent angels to work for the reformation of man, but He did not do this. Humanity must touch humanity. The church is the Lord’s instrumentality. He works through those that are willing to be worked. If the church had cherished a sense of her accountability, fervent, earnest messengers would have carried the truth to countries far and near. God’s living Word would have been preached in every corner of the earth. What was Christ’s last commission to His disciples before He left them? Lifting up His hands, He blessed them, and said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” . . .
Christ’s commission is to be received and acted upon. We are to go forth in faith, with earnest prayer for the promise of One who has said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” With the promise of such companionship, we are guilty of great unbelief and disobedience if we refuse to take up the cross of self-denial and self-sacrifice.
God Uses the Teachable
The words, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” are spoken to every individual. We may be adapted for different branches of the work; but while we do our part unselfishly, we are obeying the command.
Do we search the precious Word of God interestedly, that we may say, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple,” not to men and women of weak intellect, but to those who cherish simplicity of heart and mind, who are willing to be taught by the Holy Spirit, that they may know how to open the Word of life to others? As we communicate the light that has found entrance to our souls, the Holy Spirit gives increased light, and our hearts are filled with the precious joy of the Lord. . . .
God will use humble men [and women] as His instruments. Even though they have but one talent, if they trade upon it, it will increase. The great fault in the church is that the work of saving souls is so limited that the advancement of the kingdom of God is slow.
A backslidden church is the sure result of a selfish church—a church that does not use her talents in cooperating with Jesus to restore the image of God in men. We are to minister to every creature. A responsibility is laid upon us to work for all—our friends, our acquaintances, those who are bound up with the world and alienated from God. The apparently amiable and agreeable are to come into the sphere of our labors. The truth is for them as much as for us, and we must say, “Come.”
God has entrusted the knowledge of the truth of redemption to every converted soul, and this knowledge is to be given to others. With a tender, sympathetic heart, tell them of the great truth of redemption.
If we are in earnest, we can and will so speak that all will see that we have the love of the truth in our hearts. The frivolity and love of amusement that we encounter may chill our soul, but it will not silence the message we bear as Christ’s witnesses. And each soul saved will save other souls; for those who are truly converted will realize that they are the depositaries of sacred trusts. What rich blessings will follow pure, consecrated effort, the worker depending on God to give the increase!
This is taken from the article “Christ’s Commission,” published in Review and Herald, April 26, 1898. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.
A great work is committed to those who present the truth in Europe.
Giving Our All
Counsel on early mission work in Europe can inspire us today.
By Ellen G. White
A great work is committed to those who present the truth in Europe. No branch of our work has a more important field that the Central European Mission. There are France and Germany, with their great cities and teeming population. There are Italy, Spain, and Portugal, after so many centuries of darkness, freed from Romish tyranny, and opened to the Word of God—opened to receive the last message of warning to the world. There are Holland, Austria, Romania, Turkey, Greece, and Russia, the home of millions upon millions, whose souls are as precious in the sight of God as our own, who know nothing of the special truths for this time. The population comprised within the limits of this mission alone is four times that of the United States.
A good work has already been done in these countries. There are those who have received the truth, scattered as light-bearers in almost every land. We have nearly three hundred Sabbathkeepers in Switzerland. There are little companies in France, Germany, and Italy, and two hundred souls in Russia, who are obeying God’s law; and there is a church of forty members away in the far east, almost to the line of Asia. The foundation has been laid for a church in Holland. In Romania and Corsica there are a few who are seeking to keep God’s commandments, and to wait for His Son from heaven. . . .
Obstacles to Overcome
There will be obstacles to retard this work. These we have had to meet wherever missions have been established. Lack of experience, imperfections, mistakes, unconsecrated influences, have had to be overcome. How often have those hindered the advancement of the cause in America! We do not expect to meet fewer difficulties in Europe.
Some connected with the work in these foreign fields, as in America, become disheartened, and, following the course of the unworthy spies, bring a discouraging report. Like the discontented weaver, they are looking at the wrong side of the web. They cannot trace the plan of the Designer; to them all is confusion, and instead of waiting till they can discern the purpose of God, they hastily communicate to others their spirit of doubt and darkness.
But we have no such report to bring. After a two years’ stay in Europe we see no more reason for discouragement in the state of the cause there than at its rise in the different fields in America. There we saw the Lord testing the material to be used. Some would not bear the proving of God. They would not be hewed and squared.
Every stroke of the chisel, every blow of the hammer, aroused their anger and resistance. They were laid aside, and other material was brought in, to be tested in like manner. All this occasioned delay. Every fragment broken away was regretted and mourned over. Some thought that these losses would ruin the building; but, on the contrary, it was rendered stronger by the removal of these elements of weakness. The work went steadily forward. Every day made it plainer that the Lord’s hand was guiding all, and that a grand purpose ran through the work from first to last. So we see the cause being established in Europe.
One of the great difficulties there is the poverty that meets us at every turn. This retards the progress of the truth, which, as in earlier ages, usually finds its first converts among the humbler classes. Yet we had a similar experience in our own country, both east and west of the Rocky Mountains. Those who first accepted this message were poor, but as they set to work in faith to accomplish what they could with their talents of ability and means, the Lord came in to help. In His providence He brought men and women into the truth who were willing-hearted; they had means, and they wanted to send the light to others. So it will be now. But the Lord would have us labor earnestly in faith till that time comes.
The word has gone forth to Europe, “Go forward.” The humblest toiler for the salvation of souls is a laborer together with God, a coworker with Christ. Angels minister unto him. As we advance in the opening path of His providence, God will continue to open the way before us. The greater the difficulties to be overcome, the greater will be the victory gained. . . .
God is the source of life and light and joy to the universe. Like rays of light from the sun, blessings flow out from Him to all the creatures He has made. In His infinite love He has granted men the privilege of becoming partakers of the divine nature, and, in their turn, of diffusing blessings to their fellow-men. This is the highest honor, the greatest joy, that it is possible for God to bestow upon men. Those are brought nearest to their Creator who thus become participants in labors of love. He who refuses to become a “laborer together with God”—the man who for the sake of selfish indulgence ignores the wants of his fellow-men, the miser who heaps up his treasures here—is withholding from himself the richest blessing that God can give him.
Brethren, “ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” As we recount the numberless mercies of our God, and meditate upon His matchless love; as we behold the wonderful sacrifice of the Redeemer, may gratitude awaken in our hearts, till it shall kindle a flame of sacred love that shall flow out to souls even in far-off Europe.
This is taken from the article “Our Missions in Europe,” published in Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Dec. 6, 1887. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.
Ellen G. White’s pivotal role in Adventism’s early camp meeting years
God’s Messenger: A Leading Influence
A look at Ellen White’s life and legacy
By Reuel U. Almocera
HORNELLSVILLE, NEW YORK: In 1880 Ellen (center, front) and James White (white beard to her left) pose with some of those who attended camp meeting.Ellen White was recognized as God’s messenger for the Seventh-day Adventist Church since its founding in the early 1860s. How did this messenger’s life impact the church during its maturing years?
During the May 1869 General Conference (GC) session in Battle Creek, Michigan, the assembly resolved to practice a “more careful reading of, and a more strict compliance with, the Testimonies to the church.”1 This leading influence was sustained through Ellen White's public speaking ministry, and the publication of her articles, pamphlets, and books by the church’s publishing enterprise. But GC leaders' emphasis on the significance assigned to Ellen White’s prophetic ministry caused a temporary setback. Early in 1871 the Seventh-day Adventist Church recorded a 12.8 percent decrease in membership, mainly because of the lingering attitude against the prophetic guidance of her ministry. Yet God intervened. In a dream on April 30, 1871, the Lord described to Ellen White the relationship between the Bible and her testimonies. Reporting on this impressive dream, Ellen White wrote, “The Lord designs to warn you, to reprove, to counsel, through the testimonies given, and to impress your minds with the importance of the truth of His Word. The written testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed.”2 Her vision on December 10, 1871, in Bordoville, Vermont, triggered a spiritual revival and led to increased confidence in Ellen White’s prophetic ministry. The influence of Ellen White through her published works continued to flourish as James White, for health reasons, relinquished the office of GC president to G. I. Butler during the December 1871 GC session. With an opportunity to expand their ministry, and for Ellen to write more, the Whites moved west.
The “Guiding Hand” and Revival
While living in both California and Colorado in 1873, Ellen published more than 20 articles for Review and Herald, Health Reformer, and Youth’s Instructor. Most focused on the life of Christ.3 By August she had published Testimony 23, in which she described the state of the Laodicean church. Attached to that pamphlet was James White’s “earnest appeal,” enumerating an agenda to be considered by the church for an assertive expansion program. In response to its publication, G. I. Butler called for a second GC session in 1873. Encouraged by a “Guiding Hand,”4 James and Ellen White left Colorado to attend the session, in November. In Battle Creek during the Sabbath morning worship Ellen preached a sermon on the temptation of Christ. Many hearts were touched. The church experienced revival; and significant initiatives were launched for the growth and progress of the church. Experiencing physical and emotional problems, James White felt that he should have more influence over the work of God’s messenger. Ellen White decided that it would be best for them to work independently.5 So in the summer of 1874 Ellen left James, who was working on the first issue of Signs of the Times, in California and traveled east to participate in camp meeting tours and raise funds for the growing work on the West Coast of the United States. James became GC president again in August 1874. This gave Ellen an opportunity to influence the church’s strategic progress. Here are two examples: a January 3, 1875, vision charted some major strategies for the worldwide mission of the church (sending missionaries to foreign lands and establishing publishing houses in many countries); and a September 12, 1875, dream in Rome, New York, showed Ellen White the colporteur ministry, which birthed the literature evangelism ministry—one of the most successful worldwide missionary programs of the church.
Times of Progress
The marital anxiety experienced in 1874 seemed to reappear. Ellen White, in California for the winter of 1876, did not travel back east with James. She was determined to finish writing a volume on the life of Christ. Later Ellen, however, did join James in the east, attending 14 camp meetings. The most memorable of these was in Groveland (near Haverhill), Massachusetts, with an estimated attendance of 20,000 people. A report of that camp meeting states that “special trains were run from the cities of Lawrence, Newburyport, Haverhill, etc., and at 9:00 a.m. the auditorium was filled with intelligent people. . . . Still the people poured in from the towns about, and the trains came loaded with their living freight. . . . Mrs. White ascended the platform, amid the profound stillness of that vast multitude and addressed the people on the subject of Christian temperance. Her original and comprehensive manner of handling this subject elicited the highest commendation of all that heard.”6 Ellen White’s influence expanded with each passing year. From 1875 to 1878 she published more than 250 articles in the church papers. She even helped organize a local conference in Oregon, and actively participated in the organization of the Texas Conference. In Texas she met 21-year-old A. G. Daniells, who later became GC president and, to date, has served the longest (1901-1922). During the fall of 1878 Ellen White received several visions, including the solemn judgment vision (October 23); and another on November 23. Major resolutions adopted by the GC session in response to these visions.
Times of Distress
But the “rebuke” and “chastening” contained in the 1878 visions caused distress. Members reacted negatively. Some influential leaders defected. Ellen White went to California in 1880 with S. N. Haskell and W. C. White to manage the crisis. She later reported, “The tangled condition of affairs here are distressing.”7 She was in California when she penned a pointed testimony to James regarding his erratic judgment and autocratic leadership style.8 She even hinted that it might now be time for him to retire. During the 1880 GC session James White turned the GC presidency over to Butler. In December the Whites moved to their “retirement” home a mile from Battle Creek, near Goguac Lake. But the turmoil in Battle Creek did not subside. Ellen wrote, “I dare not give counsel, even to my brethren. It is a perilous time. There was never such a state of things as now in Battle Creek.”9 Just after 5:00 p.m. on Sabbath, August 6, 1881, James died in Battle Creek Sanitarium. During his funeral service on August 13, at the Dime Tabernacle, Ellen, after nearly 35 years of marriage, said, “I shall be alone, and yet not alone, for my Savior will be with me.”10 It was clear to Ellen White that she would continue to minister as God’s “leading influence” for the church in times of distress and progress.
Reuel U. Almocera is director of the Ellen G. White Estate Branch Office at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines.