G. White -- the Myth and the Truth
by Å. Kaspersen
1875, Ellen White wrote about "a young man" who had appeared to her for 26 years
in her "visions" and "dreams".
"The following night I dreamed that a young man of noble appearance
came into the room where I was, immediately after I had been speaking. This
same person has appeared before me in important dreams to instruct me from time
to time during the past twenty-six years." (Signs of the Times, Nov.
11, 1875; Counsels on Health, p. 465. Emphasis supplied.)
This was probably her "accompanying angel" she quite often mentions in her writings.
26 years backwards from 1875 leads us to 1849, a time when Ellen White and other
early Adventists still were involved in fanaticism and "Shut Door" errors. Who
was this "young man" if he was real at all? There's no doubt that he sometimes
showed her false visions, failed prophecies and messages which did not come
to pass. If so, he was definitely not an angel from God.
Ellen White often refers to this "young man" as "my accompanying angel": "My
accompanying angel bade me...", "I asked my accompanying angel", "said my accompanying
angel..." "The angel of God pointed..." etc. (Early Writings, p. 45,77,243;
Testimonies, vol 4, p. 306 etc.).
In the book Early Writings, Ellen White often refers to the "angel" who spoke
to her, and it is quite strange that in one vision, this angel spoke to her
in modern English (you, your, p. 20,40,77), while in other visions the same
angel spoke to her in King James English (ye, thee, p. 50,52,62,64,66,73 etc.).
And in one particular vision, the angel spoke to her both in modern English
and King James English (you,ye, p. 64,119).
Ellen White says (Letter 56, 1911) that she often felt the presence of God's
angels while she was in the progress of writing the book The Great Controversy.
It is, however, an established and incontrovertible fact that very little material
in this book is original with Ellen White. The book is to a large degree compiled
("plagiarized") from various sources. It is difficult to imagine holy angels
from God surrounding Ellen White while she practiced her literary kleptomania
and stole material from other authors without giving them credit, in order to
publish it under her own name. Does God sanction such practice?
Who was this "young man", the "accompanying angel" who followed Ellen White
through most of her life. It is quite possible that he was fictitious, an imaginary
person who Ellen White "saw" during her trances.
Fragrance of roses
Nowhere does the Bible tell us that the prophets sensed the fragrance
of flowers during their visions. Ellen White, however, experienced such phenomena
from time to time during her "visions",
"At the home of Brother Hicks, where she was entertained, she was visited by
an old lady who was violently opposed in her Christian life by her husband.
This interview lasted an hour. After this, weary, weak, and perplexed, she thought
to retire to her room and pray. Climbing the stairs, she knelt by the bed, and
before the first word of petition had been offered she felt that the
room was filled with the fragrance of roses. Looking up to see whence the fragrance
came, she saw the room flooded with a soft, silvery light. Instantly
her pain and weariness disappeared. The perplexity and discouragement of mind
vanished, and hope and comfort and peace filled her heart. Then, losing
all consciousness regarding her surroundings, she was shown in vision many things
relating to the progress of the cause in different parts of the world, and the
conditions which were helping or hindering the work." (Life Sketches (1915-edition),
p. 310. Emphasis supplied.) This incident happened in 1890.
It is remarkable that such incidents, connected with lights and fragrance of
roses, often occur within psychic phenomena and spiritism. Also during Maria-apparitions,
those who are in trance often sense the fragrance of roses.
It has also been reported that patients suffering from certain epileptic disorders
sense the fragrance of flowers during their seizures.
Ellen White has described several visions which
thinking persons in no way can accept as genuine visions from God.
One of these visions was triggered after one of her literary assistants in Australia,
Francis Eugenia Bolton ("Fannie") complained to Dr. Merritt G. Kellogg that
she constantly wrote articles for Ellen White, which subsequently were published
in the Review under the name of Ellen White as a "Thus saith the Lord".
"I want to tell you that I am greatly distressed over this matter for I feel
that I am acting a deceptive part. The people are being deceived about the inspiration
of what I write. I feel that it is a great wrong that any thing which I write
should go out as under Sister White's name, as an article specially inspired
of God. What I write should go out over my own signature then credit would be
given where credit belongs." (Merritt G. Kellogg, A Statement (1908).)
But when Ellen White learned that Fannie had discovered her working-methods,
she became very angry and received a convenient "vision", according to what
she told G.B. Starr,
"There appeared a chariot of gold and horses of silver above me, and Jesus,
in royal majesty, was seated in the chariot.... Then there came the words rolling
down over the clouds from the chariot from the lips of Jesus, 'Fannie Bolton
is your adversary! Fanny Bolton is your adversary!' repeated three times." (EGW
letter to Marian Davis, Oct. 29, 1895; Letter 102, 1895, p. 42.)
And she further told that,
"I had the same vision seven years ago, when my niece Mary McClough was on my
Ellen White could not in any way bear that other people pointed their finger
at her writings, suggesting that something was wrong. In such cases she did
not shrink from swearing false in the name of the Lord, claiming "heavenly visions"
as support for her dishonesty. These are strong words, but fully justifiable,
according to the documentation available. It is a serious matter to make Jesus
an accomplice in dishonesty.
Ellen White fired Fannie Bolton and sent her back to America.
Now what did the secretary do which made Jesus come down from heaven in a golden
chariot pulled by silvery horses, shouting three times that Fannie Bolton was
an enemy of EGW? She had simply aired her concern to Dr. Merritt Kellogg about
Ellen's methods of working and plagiarism. At this time the book Desire of Ages
was published (1898), a book plagiarized almost in its entirety from other authors.
No wonder that Arthur G. Daniells, the president of the General Conference from
1901 to 1922, remarked during the Bible Conference in 1919, that when he was
in Australia and saw how Desire of Ages came into being, he almost lost his
faith and had to change his views on a number of things. More on this conference
Do we as normal, sensible persons really believe that the above mentioned visions
about golden chariots etc. were genuine visions from God? Is God a defender
of unjustice, lies and dishonest methods? Of course not. This vision was simply
a false vision triggered by Ellen White's state of mind against Fannie Bolton.
This is not the way God works.
On one occasion Ellen White slapped Fannie bolton in her face because she had
mentioned this plagiarism. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg tells,
"Fanny Bolton was with her at that time. A year or two later she returned to
Battle Creek. She left Mrs. White who incorporated in one of her books something
she had herself written and without giving her credit. She said Mrs. White was
in the habit of doing this, coping from various other books, so that she and
Mary Ann Davis had to go over the material and transpose sentences and change
paragraphs and in otherwise endeavor to hide the piracy. She spoke to Mrs. White
about it and objected to having her own manuscript used without credit.
Mrs. White was very angry and slapped her face. She mentioned the circumstance
to one of the preachers and was forthwith dismissed from Mrs. White's employ
and came back to America." (J.H. Kellogg to E.S. Ballenger, Jan. 9, 1936. Emphasis
The Chicago incident
In 1900, the last of Ellen White's Australian
years, she sent out a false vision which later would prove an embarassment both
to herself and others.
She had been reading an article in a newspaper which proved to be untrue. This
article claimed that Dr. John Harvey Kellogg had been spending several thousand
dollars to erect a poor peoples home in Chicago. Based on this sensational newspaper
article, Ellen White had a "vision" in which a sheet of paper was presented
to her, presumably by the "young man". She sent this "vision" and a testimony
to Dr. Kellogg in America.
Eight years later (1908), one year after Dr. J.H. Kellogg had been disfellowshipped
from the Battle Creek Church, Dr. Merritt G. Kellogg (half-brother of John Harvey)
wrote a statement about the Chicago-incident,
"She [Ellen White] then told me that whenever she asked Dr J. H. Kellogg to
have the Sanitarium send her money he always replied that they could not because
of their heavy indebtedness. This, said Mrs. White was not the truth, Dr Kellogg
lied to me about this matter, for at the very time when I was pleading with
him so hard for money he was spending thousands upon thousands of dollars of
the Sanitariums earnings in building up and carrying on the work which he is
doing in Chicago, for the unworthy poor, a work which God has never called him
"To this I replied, "Sister White I am confident that you are laboring under
a mistake in this matter, for the following reasons, 1st, the charter of the
Battle Creek Sanitarium forbids the use of its earnings outside of the State.
That Sanitarium has no state, county, or city tax to pay on the ground that
it is a charitable institution whose charities are to be expended wholly within
the state of Michigan. 2nd, I am informed that the money used by Dr J.H. Kellogg
in carrying on that Chicago work, is taken wholly from means donated for that
special work, and that it came very largely from people outside of the Seventh
Day Adventist Denomination. The following morning Sister White told me that
I was mistaken in my view of the matter we had been discussing. Said she, "I
have the proof right here that Dr Kellogg lied to me when he said the Sanitarium
could not send me money I asked for. I have the proof that at that very time
he was spending thousands of dollars of Sanitarium money in Chicago. She then
handed me a copy of a New York paper "The Observer" I think, in which there
was an article which purported to give a flattering account of a work conducted
by Dr J.H. Kellogg for the poor of Chicago, whose homes were in the slums of
that City. The article represented Dr Kellogg as a great philanthropist, said
that he had expended much of his own private means in that work, and many thousand
dollars of the Battle Creek Sanitarium's money. It further stated that the B.
C. Sanitarium intended to keep right on spending many thousand dollars every
year in that work."
"After reading the article through I said, "Sister White you must not
place much confidence in the statements contained in this paper, for it is quite
evident that the writer of the article which you asked me to read is either
a newspaper reporter who seeks to make a sensational article, or a person who
has a scheme of his own which he seeks to promote by means of the article. I
know Dr J. H. Kellogg too well to believe that he would knowingly allow any
such flattering stuff to be published, about either himself or his
work in Chicago. I do not think he ever saw, or knew anything about this article
until after it was published, if he had known anything of it.
"To this Mrs. White replied with some warmth, "I know what I am talking about.
That article was written by your brother's own man, the man who always travels
with him to do his writing. Your brother knew all about that article before
it was published for he directed the writing of it, and it was published by
"I again endeavored to show Sister White that she held a mistaken view of the
matter but she closed my mouth by declaring with much warmth that she was not
mistaken, that she knew where of she was speaking. She then exclaimed, "your
brother has been expending vast sums of money in the erection of buildings and
in caring on a work in Chicago to which God has never called him. It was his
duty, and the duty of the Battle Creek Sanitarium to help us in establishing
a Sanitarium here in Australia. He has always plead poverty and indebtedness
as an excuse for not helping us, yet he has spent thousands in his own work
in Chicago. A work which God never required at his hand. He has become exalted
like Nebuchadnezzar, and like Nebuchadnezzar he must be humbled."
(M.G. Kellogg, A Statement (1908). Emphasis supplied).
A few months later, Dr. M.G. Kellogg learned that his brother had received
two letters from Ellen White, accusing him (J.H. Kellogg) of having been spening
several thousand dollars in Chicago. In 1906, Meritt Kellogg went to
W.C. White, who showed him these letters. In these "testimonies" Ellen White
made the claim of having seen in a vision a large building in Chicago,
and that a sheet of paper was held before her, on which was written, "Consumers
not producers" and rows of figures showing how much money had been wasted.
These "testimonies" had been written in Australia in 1900. Dr. J.H. Kellogg
refused to accept them because they were not true.
"When W.C. White told me this in explanation of the testimony which accused
Dr. Kellogg of having squandered the Lord's money in erecting large buildings.
I asked him if he thought it was fair treatment to accuse Dr J.H.K.
with apostasy and rebellion because he did not acknowledge as true a testimony
which accused him of having done what he had not done nor even contemplated
doing a testimony based on a dream or night vision which Mrs. White said she
misunderstood. W.C. White refused to give me any reply to this question.
I then said, Bro White, just put yourself in Dr H. H. Kelloggs place, how would
you have felt? What would you have thought? What would you have said? How would
you have acted? Had you received such a testimony and then been compelled to
wait two years, for any kind of an explanation, and then to receive such an
explanation as you give to Dr Stewart here in 1906.W.C. White could
not answer these questions. . . . The third and chief thing which,
in my opinion, contributed most to the persecution of Dr J.H. Kellogg and his
final expulsion from the church, was the fact that Mrs. White had sent him,
as a testimony from God a charge that was not true, in any particular, a charge
that was based on a dream which came to her as a result of reading the newspaper
article concerning his work in Chicago and as a result of having seen in some
of our denominational papers, a cut of the rented building in which the work
in Chicago was conducted. Having made a mistake which she could not
satisfactory explain or correct she and others then made the mistake of trying
to humble the Doctor and bring him to terms by seeking to destroy his influence,
by proclaiming him a pantheist, a hypnotized and a dangerous person.
Not satisfied with this they sought to cripple the Sanitarium in its work by
an endeavor to prevent it from getting nurses to care for the patients, by circulating
all manner of vilifying stories about the Doctor and his helpers." (M.G. Kellogg,
A Statement (1908). Emphasis supplied.)
This incident put Dr. J.H. Kellogg into great embarassment. He knew that Ellen
White claimed heavenly visions for something that was not true. In 1903, she
wrote a letter to the doctor,
"Repeatedly it has been shown me that in many cases you have worded upon minds
to undermine confidence in the Testimonies. They must not be left to retain
impressions that have been made on their minds, as, after receiving a Testimony
of reproof from me, you have said, 'somebody has told her these things,
but they are not so.
"Over and over again you have told others how I once sent you a testimony reproving
you for erecting a large building in Chicago, before any such building had been
erected there. In the visions of the night a view of a large building
was presented to me. I thought that it had been erected, and wrote
you immediately in regard to the matter. I learned afterward that the
building which I saw had not been put up.
"When you received my letter, you were perplexed, and you said, 'Someone
has misinformed Sister White regarding our work.' But no mortal man had ever
written to me or told me that this building had been put up. It was presented
to me in vision. If this view had not been given me, and if I had not
written to you about the matter, an effort would have been made to erect such
a building in Chicago, a place in which the Lord has said that we are not to
put up large buildings. At the time when the vision was given, influences were
working for the erection of such a building. The message was received
in time to prevent the development of the plans and the carrying out of the
"You should have had discernment to see that the Lord worked in this matter.
The very feature of the message that perplexed you should have been received
as an evidence that my information came from a higher source than human
lips. But instead, you have over and over again related your version
of the matter, saying that some one must have told me a falsehood."
(EGW to J.H. Kellogg, Oct. 28, 1903. Emphasis supplied.)
We are to note that Ellen White admitted having had visions in which she was
shown that Dr. Kellogg had erected a large building in Chicago, and that a sheet
of paper was presented to her, showing how much money had been spent. There
is good reason to believe that it was "the young man", "my accompanying angel"
who showed her these figures which were not true.
Merritt Kellogg told Ellen White that she must have misunderstood, after having
read an article in a newspaper while she was in Australia. This newspaper article
was the source of Ellen White's "vision". She became angry and told M.G. Kellogg
that she "knew what she was talking about". She bore false witness against another
person - Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, in his absence, while his brother was listening
It took her two years to figure out how to "save" herself from the blunder.
The 1903 letter to Dr. Kellogg is an attempt in that direction.
At this time Ellen White accused Dr. Kellogg for having "rejected" the Testimonies.
However, in 1899, one year before she "saw" the Chicago-building,
she stated that he had not rejected the Testimonies (see the
paragraph on Dr. Kellogg later in this chapter). The truth was simply that Dr.
Kellogg could not accept the "Testimony" regarding the Chicago-building because
he knew that it was not true. This triggered Ellen White's ire, as always when
somebody would not accept her messages, and she accused Dr. Kellogg of being
an apostate who did not "believe the Testimonies".
Ellen White emphazised that she got her information directly from heaven, and
not from any mortal man. This was not true. It was the false
newspaper-article from 1900 which was the source for her false vision.
She never apologized to Dr. Kellogg for having lied on him and having put him
into an embarassing situation.
In 1906, Dr. Kellogg wrote a letter to G.I. Butler,
"Six weeks before the General Conference of 1901 I had a frank talk with Eld.
Daniells, W. C. White and with Sister White herself, with relation to the things
she had written me. I told her plainly that the things she had written
me were not the truth; that she had been misinformed; and I asked her to furnish
me evidence of the truth of some of the things she had written. I have never
retracted one word of what I said to her, and I can not, because I said nothing
but the truth. I did not accuse her of misrepresentation, but that
she had based her statements on wrong information. She said
to me, "You have taken money from the Sanitarium to erect buildings in Chicago
to harbor the unworthy poor." I asked her to show me the buildings. What would
you say my friend, if a charge of that sort were brought against you?" (J.H.
Kellogg to G.I. Butler, March 16, 1906. Emphasis supplied.)
Because Dr. Kellogg would not accept this vision and testimony as genuine, and
rightly so, he was accused by the prophet of "rejecting the Testimonies". It
is quite serious that EGW never apologized to other people for the embarassing
situations she led them into by accusing them for having done things they were
not guilty of. In this case she makes God an accuser of the brethren. It is
a serious matter indeed to accuse other people for things they were not guilty
of, but it is far more serious sending out a false accusation as a "vision from
God", pretending it to be a "thus saith the Lord!"
The Salamanca vision
On November 3, 1890, Ellen White allegedly received a vision during her stay
at Salamanca, New York. Because this vision apparently was fulfilled in a striking
manner, it is often referred to as "proof" of her prophetic gift. However, a
closer investigation of the circumstances around the vision and the alleged
"fulfillment", throws serious doubts on Ellen White's honesty.
In short, she allegedly received a vision on November 3, 1890, which she was
unable to recall. Four months later (March 8, 1891), she claimed that she was
awakened by an angel in the midst of the night (the "young man"?) who instructed
her to write down the vision she had received four months previous, but which
she could not recall.
On the previous evening, March 7, 1890, the General Conference had been holding
an important meeting behind closed doors. The matter in question was the magazine
The American Sentinel, a forerunner of today's Liberty Magazine. Some people
had been claiming that The American Sentinel should downplay its name and the
sabbath in order to gain influence among politicians and other leading people
in the United States.
Early in the morning, at 5:30 AM the following day (March 8), a few hours after
Ellen White allegedly had been awakened by the angel and instructed to write
down the vision she had received four months earlier, the General Conference
was going to hold a preacher's meeting. Shortly after O.A.Olsen, the President
of the GC, had opened the meeting, Ellen White entered the room, accompanied
by her youngest son Willie. She then read the manuscript she had written down
according to the instructions the angel had given her during the night. She
told the congregation that she had been receiving a vision four months earlier
in Salamanca, about what was going to happen during the meeting the night before,
and that a hard and unchristian attitude was being manifested during this meeting.
When Ellen White was finished reading her manuscript, Albion F. Ballenger was
the first man to arise to his feet and confess that they had been following
a wrong course during the meeting. Other people gave similar confessions. This
was being considered a direct intervention by God to prevent a mistake in regard
to The American Sentinel, and a mighty proof for Ellen White's prophetic gift.
After all, she had seen in a vision four months earlier what in fact did happen
during the meeting the night before, but was instructed to write down the vision
a few hours before the morning meeting, and read it before the preachers.
An analysis of this vision and the circumstances around it, could be read in
Adventist Currents, September 1986, in an article by Douglas Hackleman. The
conclusion is inevitable: Ellen White both lied and behaved as deceiver with
Ellen White's diary from this time shows up with misdated entries, and matters
of a later date which clearly had been put into previous entries to create the
impression that the later matter was of an earlier origin. The matter in the
diary which had been misdated 21. November 1891, gives no reason whatsoever
to the claim that this was a "revelation" from God, and that it depicted a meeting
to be held four months later. She had misdated four paragraphs in her diary
to create the impression that she knew about things before she actually learned
about them. She was in the habit of putting things of a later date into earlier
matter in her diary. Douglas Hackleman says,
"The appearance of evil is then strong. The evidently false dating of these
is a serious business that should become the basis for a more extensive study
of White Estate manuscripts to ascertain the extent of this practice." (Douglas
Hackleman, Adventist Currents, Sept. 1986.)
In her diary, under November 4, 1890 -- the day after the "vision" -- she wrote
that she was very frustrated because she was not able to recall the vision,
or to write down what she had been shown. But in a letter to W.P. Burke (October
1891), she writes about this experience, and that she "immidiately began to
write it down" in her diary. However, no one is able to find this today - at
least not with clear reference to Salamanca.
Ellen White makes it very plain that no one had told her anything before she
wrote down the vision from 1890 during the night on March 8, 1891. Recalling
this experience, she says,
"The circumstances were such that on this occasion the excuse could
not possibly be used, 'SOMEONE HAS TOLD HER.' No one had an opportunity to see
me or speak with me between the evening meeting [March 7] and the morning meeting
that I attended [March 8]." (EGW Diary, May 20, 1905. Quoted in Adventist
Currents, Sept. 1986. Emphasis supplied.
Because Ellen White during the morning-meeting could describe what had taken
place during the evening-meeting the night before, the question arises: From
where, or from whom did she get her information? There are just two possibilities:
Either the information came from the vision four months earlier, which she was
instructed to write down a few hours before the morning-meeting, or somebody
had told her. She makes it plain, however, that no one had any opportunity to
inform her, because "No one had an opportunity to see me or speak with me between
the evening meeting and the morning meeting that I attended".
"The angel" awoke her sometime between
01:00 and 04:00 AM. Edna K. Steele, who slept in the room adjacent to Ellen
White's room, recalled that Ellen told her secretary, Sara McEnterfeer, about
five in the morning, that she had no intentions to be present at the morning-meeting,
and that she (Sara) just could sleep on. Obviously Ellen did not wish her secretary
to be present at that particular time for some reason.
Ellen White's statement that no one
had had any opportunity to talk with her between the evening-meeting and the
morning-meeting, does not square up with the statement in the bookLife Sketches
of Ellen G. White (1915) about the same incident,
"Sunday morning, about 5:20, Brethren
A. T. Robinson, W. C. White, and Ellery Robinson were passing Mrs. White's residence
on their way to the early meeting. They saw a light in her room, and her son
ran up to inquire about her health. He found her busily engaged in writing.
She then told him that an angel of God had wakened her about three o'clock,
and had bidden her go to the ministers' meeting and relate some things shown
her at Salamanca. She said that she arose quickly, and had been writing for
about two hours." (Life Sketches (1915-edition), p. 315.)
It becomes therefore plain that Ellen
White contradicts herself in this respect. Her son William Clarence ("Willie")
was with his mother early in the morning and accompanied her to the meeting.
The documentation shows that Willie
was with his mother before the morning-meeting, and had ample opportunity to
talk with her and give her information on what had been going on at the evening-meeting
the night before, which he had attended. This is in contradiction with Ellen
White's letter from 1905, where she strongly rejects any claims that somebody
could have informed her because, as she said, no one had any opportunity to
talk with her between the two meetings.
The circumstances regarding this
"Salamanca-vision" are so full of contradictory statements, inaccuracies, undated
and misdated entries in Ellen White's diary, and also later matter inserted
in earlier matter in the diary, that her own version of the entire story has
to be taken with a big pinch of salt. The Ellen White defenders are catching
at straws when they use the "Salamanca-vision" as proof that she "saw" things
in advance which later were exactly "fulfilled".
When Douglas Hackleman wrote to Arthur
White in 1982 requesting a copy of Ellen White's hand-written diary for the
period November 3, 1890 to March 8, 1891 (the period for the "Salamanca-vision"
and the later meetings in the General Conference), he never received a reply
from Arthur White. However, he discovered that his request had created some
activity in the White Estate. Later in the year Mr. Hackleman went to Washington,
D.C., and visited the White Estate in order to get an opportunity to see this
diary. He had, however, called the Estate in advance, to inquire. During this
call, the Estate informed him that the diary possibly was not there when he
arrived. They informed him that somebody would do research in connection
with the diary, and had loaned it. Mr. Hackleman pointed out that that would
not be in harmony with the Estate's policy. The original manuscripts would never
be removed from the vaults -- just copies. However, Mr. Hackleman took his chance
and went to the White Estate. When he arrived, they informed him that he would
not get permission to see the diary. He expressed his astonishment and told
them that all who asked if there was anything in the vaults they would not be
allowed to see, had been informed that church members could just come in and
see everything they wanted -- including the so-called "Z-file", containing sensitive
Obviously, the prince of the vaults
did not have clean hands in regards to this particular diary -- and possibly
other things in the vaults. However, the person who in reality did not have
clean hands, was Ellen White herself, the author of the diary.
The information on the Salamanca-vision
has been taken from Adventist Currents, September 1986.
In his book Three Important Questions
for Seventh-Day Adventists to Consider (1876), Charles Lee recalls an experience
he had with Ellen White. The editor of the Swedish edition of Advent Herald,
Mr. C. Carlstedt, had become seriously ill. Charles Lee, James and Ellen White,
and two other persons went on a visit to Br. Carlstedt,
"We all knelt in prayer for the sick
man; and Mrs. W. praised the Lord because he was "present with his restoring
power, to raise Carlstedt, whose sickness," she said, was "not unto death, but
to the glory of the Son of God. . . .
"On our way back Mrs. W. said to
me that the Lord was there with his restoring power, and she was confident
that he would be restored to health again. I told her I did not realize
it, and that it was darkness to me. She did not speak to me again that
evening. As I parted from them, I went direct to Chicago, to continue
my meetings. A few days after I came to Chicago, Mrs. W. sent me a written
testimony; and in that she says she knew that I was under the influence of devils.
The next day I received a dispatch that Mr. C. was dead. I read and
re-read the testimony, and said to myself, "If she could see 3 years ago that
Satan should take possession of my soul and body because I would not give myself
entirely up to be led by her and her husband,why could she not see that
Mr. C. would die a few days before he did, as her attention was called directly
to his case? And if she saw my then pitiable condition so long before,
why did she not warn me before Satan got me entirely under his influence?
"The brethren at B.C. wrote me to
come right back to the Office. I did so. When there, Mr. J. Sawyer set me to
work, and I thought he was authorized to do so. Then Eld. W. came, and, in a
very harsh manner asked me, "Who has set you to work here? Do you intend to
come here and run the whole business?" etc. I told him who had set me to work,
but then he went out. This led to what he called "laboring meetings." When he
could not gain his object he turned to his wife and said, "Mrs. White, what
did you see in regard to Bro. Lee's case?" She answered, "I saw that
we should have to meet Spiritualism in Bro. Lee," or, "I saw that if
he does not yield his independent will to be led by the leading brethren, Satan
will take possession of his soul." "There, that's it," he said. "If
Bro. Lee does not accept the testimony, he is beyond our reach."
"Her testimony was considered above
the word of God. I did not know before that Mrs. W. held such a position in
the Advent church. It really astonished me. She said things that I never thought
a human being would say. She said, "You, foreigners, must be moulded by us for
eternity. . . . A few days before we were married, Mrs. W. sent for my wife
(then Miss Deedon) to come and see her. She then told her that I was "the
most deceived person in the world," and warned her against me. . .
. A few weeks from this, the testimony of Mrs. W. came out against me in print,and
I was looked upon as a doomed man." (Charles Lee, 1876. Emphasis supplied.)
Here we encounter the same spirit
again: If anyone would gainsay Ellen White, that person would later receive
a stinging "testimony from heaven", in which he/she would be accused of being
agents of Satan, led by the devil, etc. This happened time and again.
Later, Charles Lee learned from Br.
P. Hanson that Ellen White had instructed him (Hanson) to warn the Swedish brethren
against Lee, who continues his story,
"Bro. Hanson was very friendly to
me before he came under Mrs. W.'s influence. The day before I started to Chicago
in the fall of 1874, he felt so interested in me that he came 3 miles purposely
to relate a dream to me that he had dreamt the night before, which he declared
God had given him for my good. He dreamt that I went to meet Miss Deedon, now
my wife, and then he saw that we got into a great trouble. But we came out of
the troubles at last. About that time a short woman, dressed in black reform
dress, came to him and took him by the hand and led him off. She appeared to
him as an angel of light. But soon he heard a voice calling to him, saying,
"Beware of whom you are lead." At the same time the woman's hand turned cold
as a piece of ice in his hand, and she appeared to him as a dark demon. This
is the substance of the dream he told me.
"Bro. And Sr. Ericson felt very bad
to hear such news about us. They did not know what to believe. It was hard for
them to believe that I was led by Satan, for Sr. Ericson had been raised up
from a severe illness twice by our prayer. Once while we were in B.C. We kept
quiet and appealed to God to convince them of the truth. They also sought God
for light in regard to us. The second morning at the family worship they were
more free with us. At the breakfast table,
"Bro. E. related a dream to us, that
he had had during the night. He said he saw a great multitude of people looking
for Christ to come. In the midst of the mass was Mrs. White. -- He had never
seen her, but described her perfectly. All at once it became very dark upon
the earth. He looked about him, and found but a small company in comparison
with the great mass he first saw. In anxiety he cried out, "Where are they all
gone?" A voice answered him, "They are all lost with Mrs. White." At that he
awoke terrified." (Charles Lee, 1876.)
In 1862 the Adventist pioneer Moses
Hull was in the progress of losing his faith in Adventism. Ellen White wrote
him a testimony,
"If you proceed in the way you have
started, misery and woe are before you. God's hand will arrest you in a manner
that will not suit you. His wrath will not slumber." (Testimonies, Vol. 1, p.
This never happened. He "proceeded
the way he had started", but lived to a ripe old age without having experienced
any of these threatenings. We may ask, what kind of God does Ellen White present
here? Just because Moses Hull was losing his faith in Adventism, Gods wrath
"would not slumber". Is our Heavenly Father a revengeful God? He does not force
anybody. Ellen White did not present the God of the Bible to Moses Hull. Hundreds
of thousands of adventists have lost their faith in Adventism without being
struck by God's wrath and Ellen White's threatenings.
In 1888 Ellen White wrote the following
"The Sanitarium at Battle Creek has
been built up under a pressure of difficulties. There have had to be
decisive measures taken, contracts signed by those who were engaged as helpers
that they would remain a certain number of years. This has been a positive
necessity. After help has been secured, and by considerable painstaking efforts
these have become efficient workers, wealthy patients have held out inducements
of better wages to secure them as nurses for their own special benefit, at their
own homes. And these helpers have often left the Sanitarium and gone with them,
without taking into consideration the labor that had been put forth to qualify
them as efficient workers. This had not been the case in merely one or two instances,
but in many cases. Then people have come as patrons from other institutions,
that are not conducted on religious principles, and in a most artful manner
have led away the help by promising to give them higher wages." (Loyalty to
Our Institutions, in "Health, Philantropic, and Medical Missionary Work, pp.
30-33. Emphasis supplied.)
And in 1893 she wrote the same,
"Before persons are admitted to our
mission training schools, let there be a written agreement that after
receiving their education they will give themselves to the work for a specified
time. This is the only way that our missions can be made what they
should be." (1893 GC Daily Bulletin, pp. 162-163. Emphasis supplied.)
But in 1903 she wrote something different,
"No man or woman is to bind
himself or herself to serve for a certain number of years under the control
of a medical association. This is not God's plan, but a plan of human devising.
Human beings belong to the Lord, body, soul, and spirit, and they are to be
guided and controlled by him. He has bought us. We are under obligation to be
laborers together with him.No one should bind himself to serve for a
certain number of years in any institution. I know that some have thought
it advisable for the workers in our sanitariums to sign certain contracts.
But I know also that it is not in accordance with God's plan for the workers
to sign these contracts." (Testimony to Daniells, Prescott and W.C.
White, Aug. 3, 1903. Spalding/Magan Collection, p. 307. Emphasis supplied.)
"Yesterday I sent you the letter
containing the warning that has been given again and again: The workers
in our sanitariums are not to sign contracts binding themselves to an association
or an institution for a certain number of years. They are to be bound,
not to men, but to God." Testimony to A.G. Daniells, Aug. 4, 1903. Emphasis
To make the confusion total, the
original testimony from 1888, in which she reccomended the workers to bind themselves
to the health institution a certain number of years, was published again in
In 1888 and 1893 it was God's will
that people should bind themselves to the institutions a certain number of years.
In 1903 this was not God's will.
In 1905 it was God's will.
No wonder that Dr. Stewart wrote
"Later the managers were severely
criticized for doing what the testimony of 1903 above quoted advised." (Dr.
Charles Stewart to EGW, 1907.)
In 1899 Ellen White wrote this testimony,
"I know that when admonition and
warnings have been given, Dr. Kellogg has not despised these warnings
and set then aside. . . . God approves of his work in this line, let the brethren
appreciate this work." (Testimony, Feb. 21, 1899. Quoted in Stewart's
letter. Emphasis supplied.)
In 1902, she wrote this about Dr.
"I was instructed. . . I have a message
for you to bear to Dr. Kellogg, I thought, It will do no good. He does
not accept the messages that I bear to him unless these harmonize with
his plans and devisings." (Testimony, Aug. 5, 1902. Quoted in Stewart's letter.
Three months later, in November the
same year, she wrote,
"You tell me that you do not believe
the messages I send you, but I know that this is not true."
(Testimony to Dr. Kellogg, Nov. 12, 1902. Quoted in Stewart's letter. Emphasis
And in 1905 she wrote,
"When Dr. Kellogg receives
the messages of warning given during the past twenty years: . . . then
we may have confidence that he is seeking the light." (EGW, Tacoma Park, Wash.,
May 30, 1905. Emphasis supplied.)
Then we are left with this strange
In 1899 Dr. Kellogg had not
rejected the messages. God approved his work. He believed
In 1902 Dr. Kellogg had not
accepted the warnings. He did not believe the Testimonies.
Three months later, Dr. Kellogg stated
that he did not believe, but EGW claimed that he did.
In 1905, Dr. Kellogg, according to
Ellen White, had not accepted the warnings the last twenty
years. Twenty years backwards from 1905 leads us to 1885, fourteen years before
he, according to Ellen White's claims, believed the Testimonies. But in fact
she approves of his work before 1899! The "twenty years" must be taken with
a big pinch of salt.
In her letter to Ellen White, Dr.
Charles E. Stewart writes,
"During the spring of 1901
when you stated before a large audience in the College library that God was
in the medical missionary work and that he called Dr. Kellogg "My servant"
and appointed him as "His physician," you also at this very time (April, 1901)
recommended that Dr. Kellogg be ordained to the ministry, and in a
testimony to Dr. S, dated October 12, 1901, stated as follows: ". . . God
says of Dr. Kellogg, 'He is my physician.' Respect him and sustain him."
"During this period Dr. Kellogg was
preparing the "Living Temple," the teachings of which you, two years later,
claimed the Lord showed you would "sweep away the whole gospel economy."
"Is it possible that the
Lord would so fully endorse a man and his work as you claim that the Lord did
that of Dr. Kellogg, when he was engaged in preparing a work that would tend
to undermine the principles of the Christian religion?" (Dr. Charles
Stewart, A response to an Urgent Testimony, 1907. Emphasis supplied.)
Dr. Stewart never received a reply
to his letter. More on this in chapter 7, "A letter from A.T. Jones." On the
book "The Living Temple", see chapter 5. All this gives us some reflections
with regards to the "pantheistic crisis". This strenghtens the suspicion that
the whole affair was a foul play, supported by EGW -- who contradicts herself
-- to get rid of the good doctor.
In 1864 Ellen White published a little
book, entitled Appeal to Mothers. The purpose of this book was to warn the world
against the unimaginable sufferings and diseases of the worst kind caused by
"secret vice", or masturbation. She claimed to have seen this in visions,
"The state of our world was
presented before me, and my attention was especially called to the
youth of our time. Everywhere I looked, I saw imbecility, dwarfed forms, crippled
limbs, misshapen heads, and deformity of every description. Sins and crimes,
and the violation of nature's laws, were shown me as the causes
of this accumulation of human woe and suffering."(An Appeal to Mothers, p. 17.
"Many sink into an early grave, while
others have sufficient force of constitution to pass this ordeal. If the practice
is continued from the ages of fifteen and upward, nature will protest against
the abuse she has suffered, and continues to suffer, and will make them pay
the penalty for the transgression of her laws, especially from the ages of thirty
to forty-five, by numerous pains in the system, and various diseases, such as
affection of the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine,
diseased kidneys, and cancerous humors." (Ibid, p. 18.)
"A Mr. - professed to be a devoted
follower of Christ. He was in very feeble health. Our feelings of sympathy were
called out in his behalf. He could not hold his head steady. His eyes had a
glassy appearance, his hands trembled, and when he walked, his knees shook;
he staggered like a drunken man, and often seemed ready to fall. He was obliged
to fix his eyes upon an object in the distance before him, and then make for
that object. He would thus gain force enough to reach the place he desired.
"His case was shown me in
vision. I saw that he was deceived in regard to himself, that he was
not in favor with God. He had practiced self-abuse until he was a mere wreck
of humanity." (Ibid, pp. 24-25. Emphasis supplied.) This sound like a case of
"Females possess less vital force
than the other sex, and are deprived very much of the bracing, invigorating
air, by their in-doors life. The results of self-abuse in them is seen in various
diseases, such as catarrh, dropsy, headache, loss of memory and sight, great
weakness in the back and loins, affections of the spine, the head often decays
inwardly. Cancerous humor, which would lay dormant in the system their life-time,
is inflamed, and commences its eating, destructive work. The mind is often utterly
ruined, and insanity takes place." (Ibid, p. 27. Emphasis supplied.)
These were terrible things indeed,
but Ellen White was "shown" in several "visions" that this was the case. Most
probably, it was "the young man" who showed her all this.
When James White somewhat later (1870)
edited this material into the book A Solemn Appeal, he removed Ellen's words
about having seen all this in visions.
The book A Solemn Appeal, published
by James White in 1870, continues with still worse descriptions, gathered from
"There is hardly an end to these
diseases" (diseases caused by this vice). She enumerates "dyspepsia, spinal
complaint, headache, epilepsy, impaired eyesight, palpitation of the heart,
pain in the side, bleeding at the lungs, spasms of the heart and lungs, diabetes,
or incontinence of urine, fluor albus, or whites, inflammation of the urinary
organs." Dr. Deslandes, besides many of these, instances rheumatism, affected
perspiration, consumption, asthma, catarrh, polypus of the heart, affection
of the bones, fevers, priapism strangury, polypus uteri, blood discharges, &c.,
&c." (A Solemn Appeal, p. 12. Emphasis supplied).
"A boy, about four years old, was
afflicted with weakness and stiffness of limbs. (The exact symptoms the writer
has not learned.) His parents at length carried him to a distant physician.
The physician, after sufficient inquiry, told them that the child "handled bimself
too much." They returned, doubting what this could mean. Suggesting the matter
to some of their neighbors, their eyes were opened. "Well, said they, "we will
stop that." And they did stop it, by bandaging the genitals. And lo! the child
soon stopped being feeble and lame. He is now a healthy boy" (ibid, p. 12. Emphasis
"In the fall of 1844, the writer
visited the Massachusetts State Lunatic Hospital. While being conducted through
the various apartments; mingling promiscuously with the insane, our attention
was suddenly arrested by the peculiarly haggard, frantic, wild, and fiendish
appearance of a young man, turning from us with his eye turned back over his
shoulder. Struck with his shocking aspect, we inquired of our attendant, a young
physician, what was the cause of his insanitv. "Solitary vice, " was
the ready reply. . . . it destroys the strength, and finally
produces, in the patients, stupidity, phthisis, marasmus, and death"
(ibid, p. 19. Emphasis supplied).
These last statements from A Solemn
Appeal are not by EGW, but her statements in Appeal to Mothers, reflect the
same ideas. Ellen White did really believe this herself. Even lung-tuberculosis
was being caused by masturbation! Is there someone who can imagine why these
two books vanished into darkness and never were reprinted by the SDA-denomination?
"Solitary vice is killing
thousands and tens of thousands." (Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 97. Emphasis
It is a fact that health-reformers
in the first half of the 1800's believed that masturbation was the real cause
of these terrible sufferings. Ellen White's "visions" on health reform from
this time were strongly colored by strange myths and popular superstitions,
but were published as "the Spirit of Prophecy".
In 1758, Samuel Tissott wrote (Treatise
on the Diseases Produced by Onanism), that masturbation caused acne, rheumatism,
mental derangement an hemorrhoids. Sylvester Graham (Lectures to Young Men (1834)),
carried these ideas further. Graham wrote that the person who masturbates, grows
up ". . .with a body full of disease, and with a mind in ruins, the loathsome
habit still tyrannizing over him, with the inexorable imperiousness of a fiend
of darkness." (Sylvester Graham, Lecture to Young Men (1834.). According to
Graham, masturbation also caused fistulas, etc.,
"...ulcerous sores, in some cases,
break out upon the head, breast, back and thighs; and these sometimes enlarge
into permanent fistulas, of a cancerous character, and continue, perhaps for
years, to discharge great quantities of foetid, loathsome pus; and not unfrequently
terminate in death." (Ibid.)
Ellen White had access to all these
writings, from which she liberally borrowed material for her own writings on
health issues -- all the time while she claimed "heavenly visions" as the source.
The descriptions of the terrible diseases caused by "secret vice", were even
more elaborated in Ellen White's "health writings" from that time. However,
every knowledgeable and thinking person will understand that this material did
not come from "heavenly visions" -- despite EGW's claims to the contrary. The
1800's was flourishing with myths and superstitions of this kind, and Ellen
White was being colored by these popular ideas. But because books like Appeal
to Mothersand A Solemn Appeal carry the name on Ellen White on them, the strange
ideas suddenly became "The Spirit of Prophecy", a "thus saith the Lord!"
"By lacing, the internal organs of
women are crowded out of their positions. There is scarcely a woman that is
thoroughly healthy. The majority of women have numerous ailments. . . .Some
women have naturally small waists. But rather than regard such forms as beautiful,
they should be viewed as defective. These wasp waists may have been
transmitted to them from their mothers, as the result of their indulgence
in the sinful practice of tight-lacing, and in consequence of imperfect breathing."
(The Health Reformer, Nov. 1871. Emphasis supplied.)
A woman equipped with a natural,
narrow waist is then, according to Ellen White, to be regarded as "defective".
At that time, people believed that aquired traits would be inherited from parents
to their offspring. This forerunner of darwinism (lamarckism) explained, for
example, that the giraffe got his long neck because he constantly stretched
it still higher to be able to reach the leafs in the tree-tops. In this way,
the neck growed still longer, and the offspring inherited the longer neck. People
-- including Ellen White -- believed these superstitions, but that was a time
prior to the discovery of the genetic material, DNA. Will someone claim that
a son of a father who has lost his left hand in an accident, will be born without
a left hand? At that time people seem to have believed such nonsense, and Ellen
White was colored by such ideas. But when the ideas came under the name of Ellen
White, they suddenly became a "thus saith the Lord!"
No one would argue that it is an
unhealthy habit to lace the waists the way it was being done, but the idea that
these laced waists could be transmitted to the daughters, is sheer superstition
-- this is lamarckism from a bygone era.
Here comes another example of stray
genetics, this time regarding the terrible consequences of letting children
be nursed by strangers,
"A stranger performs the duties of
the mother, and gives from her breast the food to sustain life. Nor is this
all. She also imparts her temper and her temperament to the nursing
child. The child's life is linked to hers. If the hireling is a coarse
type of woman, passionate, and unreasonable; if she is not careful in her morals,
the nursling will be, in all probability, of the same, or a similar
type. The same coarse quality of blood, coursing in the veins of the hireling
nurse, is in that of the child." (The Health Reformer, Sept. 1871.
According to this theory, one should
expect that children being nursed on cow-milk would end up as grass-eaters,
dairy-workers and cattle-breeders!
Not just stray genetics was published
under the name of Ellen G. White. Also stray lungs carried her stamp of approval,
"At the hotel 'Dieu,' the great hospital
at Paris, a young girl of eighteen lately presented herself to Breschet for
his advice. On the right side of her throat, she had a tumor of variable size,
but never larger than one's fist. It reached from the collar-bone as high as
the thyroid cartilage. When pressed downward, it wholly disappeared; but as
soon as the pressure was removed, it was indolent, soft, and elastic. It was
observed to be largest when the chest was tightly laced with corsets. In short,
by placing the ear on it, the murmur of respiration could be heard in
the tumor which proves that a protrusion of the lungs had taken place, or, in
other words, that the poor girl had been laced so tightly that her lungs, having
no longer sufficient space in their natural position, were squeezed out of it,
and were forcing their way up along the neck." (The Health Reformer,
Dec. 1871. Emphasis supplied.)
There is no more to say about that.
These health-related articles under the name of Ellen White, published as "the
Spirit of Prophecy", vanished quite soon into the land of darkness, and for
"Many have lost their reason, and
become hopelessly insane, by following this deforming fashion. Yet the slaves
to fashion will continue to thus dress their heads, and suffer horrible
disease and premature death, rather than be out of fashion." (The Health
Reformer, Oct. 1871. Emphasis supplied.)
All these statements from The Health
Reformer, which was the denomination's health magazine at that time, reflect
popular superstitions and myths not medical facts. These articles under the
name of Ellen White show clearly that she was being colored by her own time,
but some people would make such statements into a "thus saith the Lord" because
they carry the name of Ellen G. White. It should be quite obvious that all these
articles had been borrowed from other health-reformers. A number of this material
in The Health Reformer had been enclosed within quotation marks, to show that
the material was being quoted from other authors. However, they all appeared
under the name of Ellen G. White.
flesh and leprosy
In the book How to Live (copied from
other authors and published as "the Spirit of Prophecy" in 1865), Ellen White
"The eating of pork has produced
scrofula, leprosy and cancerous humors." (Spiritual Gifts,
vol. 4a, p. 146. Emphasis supplied.)
It is quite strange that the SDA-denomination
still puts statements like that into their current books, or rather compilations,
by EGW -- like Counsels to Diet and Foods (p. 393). Swine neither get leprosy
nor transmit this disease to man. Leading authorities on animal diseases confirm
No more children to be born after 1885
In 1885 Ellen White received a testimony
with "special light from heaven" to the effect that the time had come, it was
now (1885) that no more children should be born. God would
have very little to do with children born after that time, she claimed. This
testimony was written to pastor Isaac D. Van Horn and his wife Adelia,
"This is the burden of the message,
that in accordance with our faith we are required to make any and every sacrifice
for the truth's sake; that at this time, when amid the trials
of the last days, it was not in accordance with our faith or God's will, that
our missionaries should fill their hands with cares and burdens which were not
essential to the work... The message we have to bear requires much self-sacrifice,
and if the workers make no change in their habits and in their practices, then
worldlings in general, they are not letting their works correspond with their
faith. I was shown that Brother and Sister Van Horn had departed from
God's counsel in bringing into the world children. God required all
there was of them in his work, and both could have done a good work for the
Master, but the enemy came in, and his counsel was followed,
and the cause of God was robbed of the attention it should have had... They
were doing a work which was bringing upon them cares and burdens and retarding
the work that God had given them to do. God will say to them, "Who required
this at your hands?" ...
"When I learned that you
were to soon have an increase in your family, I knew that you were not doing
the will of God, but following your own inclination - to please yourselves.
I have special light in regard to these things; but hardly know how
to present it. The missionaries had better set the people an example in these
things that correspond with our faith... I am distressed as I see the state
of things among our workers. Brother and Sister Enoch professed gave themselves
to the missionary work... How much better would have been their influence if
they had not married, but both devoted their interests in God's cause, and after
they were married, how much better for them if they had thoughtfully considered
the situation, and decided that God should have all the power he had given them
in the work of saving precious souls. Brother Cudney could have done a very
good work for the Master, had he devoted himself to this work as the Lord's
servant. When married, his work has not been more than one half what it might
have been. Then he must bring a child into the world, and now
he can do one-third what he might have done had he studied how he could but
serve God who called him to be a soldier of the cross of Christ. If our workers
were walking close to God, they see the situation,and would feel that
it was no matter of rejoicing to bring a child into the world. A blessing is
pronounced upon the eunuchs who keep the Sabbath (Isa. 65:3-5). . . .The time
is and has been for years, that the bringing of children into the world is more
an occasion of grief than joy. . . .Satan controls these children, and the Lord
has but little to do with them. . . .The time has come when, in one sense, they
that have wives be as though they have none. God wants us to be consistent
people, our works corresponding to our faith ... I am thoroughly disgusted with
the course of our preachers and workers." (Testimony DF 97 B, Feb. 15, 1885,
Manuscript 34, 1885. Emphasis supplied.)
One would have to ask: What kind
of God does EGW present in this testimony? At least not the God of the Bible,
who said, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for
of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matt 19:14.
This testimony had been given different
archive numbers in the Estate, so that people, when asking, could be refused
by a "sorry, there is no letter or manuscript with such and such number here".
The letter was brought to light by Sherman A. Nagel in 1934, in his book God's
Love, the Remnant Church. Obviously, Nagel ran into problems because he had
published this embarassing testimony from "the Spirit of Prophecy".
"It was shown me", "I have special
light on this", Ellen White claimed -- and she was "shown" in 1885, 114 years
ago, that the time had come for married workers and preachers
not to produce more children. Was it "the young man" who showed her this?
Can you imagine why this testimony
would get different archive numbers in the vaults?
One does not know whether to weep
or smile over the fruits this testimony produced. During the camp-meeting in
Portland, Oregon the same year (1885), workers and preachers were summoned to
a special adult's meeting where no children were allowed. Str. White would make
it plain thatno more children were to be born. The workers,
missionaries and preachers were to set an example before the rest of the congregations.
But when sabbath came, two or three preachers entered the platform, with tears
on their cheeks, confessing before the congregation that they had sinned
against God and slept with their wives. They pleaded the people to
pray for them, so they could be true to the testimony. But next sabbath they
entered the platform again and confessed before their respective congregations
that they had sinned again and slept with their wives!
This testimony and its fruits caused
such consternation that a group of women -- preacher's wives -- marched against
Str. White and demanded an explanation.
After all, it was a testimony
from "the Spirit of Prophecy", a "special light from heaven" to the effect that
the time was NOW (1885) for no more children to be born among
adventists, and those who would not accept this, sinned against God.
Obviously the testimony did not apply
to EGW's own son Willie. He had two children with his first wife, Mary Kelsey,
and got five children with his second wife, Ethel May Lacey, whom he married
in Australia in 1895, ten years after his mother had been declaring as "special
light from heaven" that no more children were to be born. All in all, he had
seven children. Their twins were born while he was working in Australia (1891-1900),
several years after his mother wrote out her testimony. According to his mother,
God would have very little to do with the children both he himself and other
workers produced after that time.
It should be plain enough that we,
who are reading this "testimony" 114 years after "the time had come" for no
more children to be born, that this "special light" was more than dubious. Simply
stated, it was a false testimony. In addition one would have to ask some questions
about persons who would send out testimonies of this sort in the name of God.
The book Early Writings was published
in 1882, with an "explanatory" preface,
"Footnotes giving dates and explanations,
and an appendix giving two very interesting dreams, which were mentioned but
not related in the original work, will add to the value of this edition. Aside
from these, no changes from the original work have been made in the
present edition, except the occasional employment, of a new word, or
a change in the construction of a sentence, to better express the idea, and
no portion of the work has been omitted. No shadow of change has been
made in any idea or sentiment of the original work, and the verbal changes have
been made under the author's own eye, and with her full approval."
(Preface to Early Writings, 1882-edition. Emphasis supplied.)
This plain lie had full approval
from Ellen White and the SDA-denomination. There is no doubt but that this statement
was a lie. Or let us rather say, it is a half lie. In Early Writings from 1882
there had been made no particular changes from the original edition, which was
entitledExperience and Views (1851), they claimed, and this was quite correct.
But there was something they did not tell, namely that the 1851-edition was
based on material found in earlier writings, material which had been edited
before it found its way into Experience and Views. A number of paragraphs and
sentences had been removed by the Whites because of their dubious character.
Experience and Views was published
in 1851, shortly after Ellen and James White swung open the "Shut Door". For
more on this, see chapter 4. The book was based on previous material from the
pamphlet A Word to the Little Flock from 1847, and articles in The Present Truth
from 1849-1850. Both these publications advocated the Shut Door-theory and other
unbiblical things. All the dubious material were edited away before it found
its way into the new book Experience and Views.
In the very first vision from December,
1844, published for the first time in The Day Star, January 24,1846, then in
the April 6, 1846 broadside To The Remnant Scattered Abroad, and republished
in 1847 in the pamphlet A Word to the Little Flock, four lines had been removed
after 33 lines. After 72 lines, 22 lines had been removed. Further down two
lines had been removed, and still further down eight lines had been removed,
and then nine lines. All this deleted material had to do with the Shut Door,
but also other things of a dubious nature.
When Experience and Views was published
in 1851, some complained that the book did not contain all the early visions.
James White explained that they did not have all the means available to publish
all the visions, but as soon as the means came in, he would publish a complete
edition of the visions. (See Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 53.)
The money came, but James White never
kept his promise, and had never intended to do. Ellen's image in the church
as God's true prophet was to be retained at any cost, and the early visions
which contained errors had to be either forgotten or heavily edited.
22 Lines were removed, where EGW
says she saw Abraham, Noah, Isaac, Daniel and other biblical heroes in heaven,
and that she saw the ark of the Covenant, containing the pot of manna and Aaron's
rod. She does not mention having seen in the ark the stone tablets with the
ten commandments. Obviously she was not aware at that time that the stone tablets
were in the ark. Later, she received visions where she saw the stone tablets
in the ark, but makes no mention of the pot of manna and Aaron's rod. Therefore
they found it safest to remove the 22 lines from the first vision. A sentence
with reference to the Shut Door had been removed, and also five lines claiming
that people who once kept the sabbath, but had abandoned it, shut themselves
out from the City of God.
In another vision, nine lines were
removed, where she says that the number of the Beast (666) was made up at the
time she had the vision, about 1847.
Then the question arises: Does a
prophet who claims to be a true prophet of God, have any right to manipulate
and edit away -- remove -- material from visions they received from God? Ellen
White definitely claims that her visions were from God, and the SDA-denomination
claims that those visions are inspired in the same way as was the case with
any biblical prophet. Who then gave Ellen and James White license to remove
material she "saw" in those visions? Ellen White did in fact what no biblical
prophet did. John the Revelator was given this plain command, "And if any man
shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take
away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from]
the things which are written in this book." Rev. 22:19. These are plain words.
A prophet has no right whatsoever to remove a single word from what God has
shown them in vision. Ellen White removed material from her visions, when it
became obvious that something in them did not square up, but in spite of this,
she still claimed that her visions were all from God. In so case, she falls
under the threat in Rev. 22:19. A more reasonable explanation is that the visions
were not from God at all, because they contained heresies. Then Ellen White
and the SDA-denomination lies with regard to her visions.
And irrespective of all, the preface
to Early Writings tells the readers something which is not true -- with Ellen
White's approval, since she "supervised" the matters.
"Thou shalt not bear false witness
against thy neighbour." Ex. 20:16.
In 1856 Ellen White depicts a vision,
in which she "saw" several people gathered in a meeting,
"I was shown the
company present at the Conference. Said the angel: "Some food for worms,
some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon
the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus. Solemn words were these,
spoken by the angel." (Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 131-132. Emphasis supplied.)
Also quoted in Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, p. 208 (1860) and vol. 4b 1864).
143 years have passed, and all
who were in this group have been food for worms, years ago. Neither the seven
last plagues nor the second coming of Christ took place in their lifetime. The
accompanying angel, "the young man" predicted something that did not come to
pass. This was another false vision from Ellen White, and "the young man" will
have to bear some testing questions.
Some of the 67 people who were present
at this meeting believed firmly that they would live until the second coming.
This belief was so strong that the names of all persons present were recorded
-- to the great annoyance of Ellen White!
In 1862 she prophesied that England
would declare war against the United States during the Civil War,
"I was shown. . . .Said the
angel. . . . When England does declare war, all nations will have an
interest of their own to serve, and there will be general war, general confusion."
(Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 258-259. Emphasis supplied.)
This prophecy failed. England did
not declare war, and the United States was not humbled in the dust. Once more
we are to ask "the young man" some pertinent questions.
Ellen White also prophesied -- purportedly
in visions from heaven -- that Old Jerusalem never would be rebuilt,
"Then I was pointed
to some who are in the great error of believing that it is their duty to go
to Old Jerusalem and think they have a work to do there before the Lord comes.
. . .I saw that Satan had greatly deceived some in this thing. . . . I also
saw that Old Jerusalem never would be built up; and that Satan was doing his
utmost to lead the minds of the children of the Lord into these things now,
in the gathering time." (Early Writings, p. 75. Emphasis supplied.)
This prophecy too failed. After the
state of Israel was declared in 1948, Old Jerusalem has been rebuilt and modernized.
In addition, this prophecy is in variance with the Bible, which says, "Behold,
the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from
the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner." Jer. 31:38. This period
does not refer to the present Jerusalem. The time for the fulfillment of Jer.
31 has not come yet, but will surely come. The Bible never fails.
Adventists claim that many of Ellen
White's prophecies have been fulfilled, and that other prophecies of her are
in the process of "fulfillment" -- especially some chapters in the book The
Great Controversy about the influence of the Papacy, etc.
Her statements on the Papacy and
the Roman Catholic Church are colored from popular beliefs at that time regarding
the Roman Pontiff and the Catholic Church. Later in this study we will discover
how the book The Great Controversy came into being, and that the majority of
the material in the book has been "borrowed" from other authors. To give EGW
the "honor" for the "fulfillment" of prophecies, is quite an overstatement.
Ellen White's "predictions" in the
last chapters of The Great Controversy are not so much "predictions" as they
are interpretations of end-time events she believed were still unfulfilled.
Uriah Smith had written the same in his book Daniel and Revelation. Ellen White
"prophesied" to a great extent what Smith and others had interpreted before
No rivals allowed
In the book Selected Messages, vol.
2, p. 77-78, Ellen White has the following to say about others who claimed to
have visions at that time (1890),
"It was all a farce, a deception.
Yet many things they told came to pass as they predicted. I was asked
how this could be if the visions were all false. I told them that it was Satan's
purpose to mingle truth with error, that through these deceptive exercises he
might make of none effectthe genuine work of God. From that
time all their many visions ceased." (Selected Messages, vol. 2, pp. 77-78.
By "the genuine work of God" she
meant herself and her visions. She sits down in the judgment seat and passes
harsh judgment over all who have dreams and visions -- they are all from the
devil. Her own visions and dreams are the only true ones. We have no intentions
to sit in judgment over other people's dreams and/or visions, but it is more
than obvious that Ellen White could not bear any "rivals" in her work. She wanted
to have full monopoly on dreams, visions and revelations.
We are to note the following: She
says that many things those people had predicted, came to pass.
In so case, those people were at times far more accurate in their predictions
than the "Messenger of the Lord" ever had been. If people whom Ellen White labeled
"false prophets" did as good job as herself, or even better, this is something
adventists are to take note of!
Ellen White says further,
"Those who so presumptuously preach
definite time, in so doing gratify the adversary of souls; for they
are advancing infidelity rather than Christianity. They produce Scripture and
by false interpretation show a chain of argument which apparently proves their
position. But their failures show that they are false prophets."
(Testimonies, vol 4, p. 307. Emphasis supplied.)
In the chapter on "the Shut Door",
we will find a testimony by Lucinda Burdick. She says,
"During the year 1845 I met Miss
Ellen G. Harmon several times at my uncle's house in South Windham, Me. The
first of these meetings was in the month of May, when I heard her declare
that God had revealed to her that Jesus Christ would return to this earth in
June, the next month. During the haying season I again met her in company
with James White at the same place, and heard my uncle ask her about the failure
of the Lord to appear in June, according to her visions, she
replied that she had been told in the language of Canaan which she did not understand
but that she had since come to understand that Christ would return in
September, at the second growth of grass instead of the first." (Lucinda
Burdick, 1908. Emphasis supplied.)
According to Lucinda Burdick, Ellen
White declared that Jesus would return in June 1845, but when that failed, she
corrected the date to September the same year. This was during the period the
Whites and other pioneers were deep into the "Shut Door" errors. All these predictions
failed utterly, and by her statement from Testimonies, quoted above, she passes
judgment over herself: "But their failures show that they are false prophets".
When Ellen White claimed to have
seen in visions things which did not happen, were those visions from God?
"When a prophet speaketh in the name
of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that [is] the thing
which the LORD hath not spoken, [but] the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously:
thou shalt not be afraid of him." Deut. 18:22.