Books do not arise in a vacuum. A lifetime of influences pour into an author's mind, and all those people, books, and teachers in one's past fill the cerebral omnibus that the author drives in the development of his manuscript. To acknowledge all those contributions would be impossible because they have become faceless thoughts--but this author is acutely aware of this immense reservoir that others have filled for him.
But in the specific task of responding to the request of the church's Board of Higher Education and the Ellen G. White Estate, this author wants to give credit to those who have made this somewhat technical book possible.
Without the enormous vision and editorial skills of Kenneth H. Wood, this book would not have been conceptualized nor completed in its present state. His empathetic encouragement and insights for more than three years during the research and writing provided the environment to think in areas that have been cloudy for many.
The two directors of the Ellen G. White Estate under which this book was commissioned and then finished, Paul Gordon and Juan Carlos Viera, have provided not only encouragement but special insights at crucial points. Norma Collins, the tireless and efficient associate director, courageously entered the many suggestions and the often-revised author's comments into the final computer copy.
The White Estate is fortunate to have two proven scholars in their particular specialities-- Jim Nix in Adventist History and lore, and Tim Poirier, archivist and technical craftsman of Ellen White materials. Although they are not responsible for any errors or omissions, they contributed much to the level of accuracy in this book. Besides these two scholars, I owe much to Drs. Robert Olson and Roger Coon, who in past years had done careful research on many topics dealt with in the book.
Among many others who provided timely help and suggestions are my brother Melvyn who served as my browser in the mysterious world of Internet, finding, on many occasions, most elusive information almost immediately; Drs. John Scharffenberg and Gary Fraser, who patiently read and contributed to the chapters on health; Dr. Richard Schwarz, who used his historio- graphical micrometer in reviewing final pages; and Francis Wernick, Neal Wilson, and Rowena Rick, members of the Ellen G. White Board, who read and critiqued the manuscript.
Special appreciation also must go to skilled scholars and specialists such as P. Gerard Damsteegt, Fritz Guy, Bert Haloviak, Roland Hegstad, Robert Johnston, Mervyn Maxwell, and Alden Thompson, who shared thoughtful insights at certain points.
No author can go far without an understanding, encouraging publishing house. Robert Kyte and Russell Holt provided the needed touch at the right times that kept the window on the future open and bright; they were determined that the product of their hands would be worthy of the subject of this book.
And to all this I add the input of my understanding soulmate, dear Norma, who continually refocused priorities for three and one-half years, as she sensed the dimensions of this assignment. To God be the glory!
Herbert E. Douglass