Chapter 42

Criticism Involving Relationships

With Other People

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James White’s So-called “Cover-up”
The Up-and-Down Experience of Fannie Bolton
Fannie Bolton’s Weaknesses
Fannie Bolton’s False Claims
Influenced by Others?
Struggles of Uriah Smith
Response to Physicians’ Questions in 1906
Areas of Concern Involving the Files of Ellen White’s Writings
Endnotes
Study Questions


“The work of judging his brother has not been placed upon any man. ‘Judge not,’ the Saviour says, ‘that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.’ He who takes upon himself the work of judging and criticizing others, lays himself open to the same degree of judgment and criticism. Those who are ready to condemn their brethren, would do well to examine their own works and character.”1

At times critics refer unfavorably to Mary Clough’s contacts with the public press as if the Whites were seeking publicity and financial advantage for themselves. Mary, Mrs. White’s young niece, worked with her aunt for about two years in the mid-1870s, and because of her exceptional editorial abilities prepared Ellen White’s sermons for newspapers.

In James White’s report on camp meetings in 1876 he lauded the favorable newspaper publicity “in nearly all parts of the United States” that he thought was worth more than ten thousand dollars. But some have missed the point of James’s appreciation. He was not referring to the value of his wife’s personal publicity. He stated specifically that it was the favorable exposure given to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, its “history, movement, and doctrine” that was valued at more than $10,000.2


James White’s So-called “Cover-up”

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James White is sometimes accused of a cover-up because of the following statement in the 1880 edition of Life Sketches: “Does unbelief suggest that what she writes in her personal testimonies has been learned from others? We inquire, what time has she had to learn all these facts? . . . And where is the person of superior natural and acquired abilities who could listen to the description of one, two, or three thousand cases, all differing, and then write them out without getting them confused, laying the whole work liable to a thousand contradictions? If Mrs. W. has gathered the facts from a human mind in a single case, she has in thousands of cases, and God has not shown her these things which she has written in these personal testimonies.

“In her published works there are many things set forth which cannot be found in other books, and yet they are so clear and beautiful that the unprejudiced mind grasps them at once as truth. . . . If commentators and theological writers generally had seen these gems of thought which strike the mind so forcibly, and had they been brought out in print, all the ministers in the land could have read them. . . . And if they are not to be found in print, and are not brought out in sermons from the pulpit, where did Mrs. W. find them? . . . She could not have learned them from books, from the fact that they do not contain such thoughts. . . . It evidently requires a hundred times the credulity to believe that Mrs. W. has learned these things of others, and has palmed them off as visions from God, than it does to believe that the Spirit of God has revealed them to her.”3

In 1880 when James White’s statement was printed, only a small fraction of his wife’s works had been produced.4 Examples of literary borrowing in her writings prior to 1880 are very few. To use James’s statement today as if he were writing in 1915 (the year his wife died) regarding Ellen White’s literary borrowings, is manifestly unfair.

After James’s death, certain issues arose in Battle Creek wherein Ellen White acknowledged that she had letters from those distressed with the operation of the college. Further, she compared her situation to Paul’s when he responded to circumstances in Corinth after receiving letters from some of its members. When Paul, “an inspired apostle,” wrote his counsel, he responded on the basis of “the light which he had previously received. . . . The Lord had not given him a new revelation for that special time.”5

When James White referred to “her published works,” he said “there are many things set forth which cannot be found in other books. . . . They are new to the most intelligent readers and hearers.” He did not claim originality for all her writings (that would be more than could be claimed for anyone, even Biblical writers!6). He simply drew attention to those writings that were original, to those “gems of thought” that were “beautiful and harmonious which cannot be found in the writings of others.” James White was neither ignorant nor dishonest.7


The Up-and-Down Experience of Fannie Bolton

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The sad story of Francis (Fannie) E. Bolton would not be mentioned here except for the fact that critics still use her to cast a cloud over Ellen White’s integrity. Shortly after 28-year-old Miss Bolton was baptized in early 1888, she was enthusiastically recommended to Ellen White for employment. Although she knew relatively little about Mrs. White before joining her staff, she worked, on and off, as a literary assistant for about seven years. The files contain a long exchange of letters between Mrs. White and Fannie Bolton, as well as other correspondence between Fannie and others until her death in 1926.8

Miss Bolton, a gifted writer with an artistic bent, seemed at first to be an ideal co-worker for Marian Davis.9 Soon, however, difficulties arose. After a few months, Ellen White wrote about her concern for Fannie: “I want her to recover from this nervousness . . . and in order to do this she must take time to rest the brain that the nerves may not be completely out of tune like our old organ. . . . I want you to get waked up to this matter. Do not be a creature of impulse.”10

Because of Fannie’s nervous, unsettled temperament, Ellen White decided not to take her with her on speaking appointments: “Fannie is not the one to go with me [on trips]. It is too great a tax for her to take the discourses and to write them out. As soon as I came here they fastened upon her to get out articles for the paper, but after a little [time] I could not consent to it and again she feels so intensely that she becomes . . . much exhausted.”11

Fannie Bolton’s nervous weakness made her “utterly exhausted” when she prepared some of Ellen White’s letters of reproof.12 In addition, she thought that she could make the letters better by substituting her words for Ellen White’s, leading Mrs. White to write: “I think Fannie feels that many of my expressions can be bettered, and she takes the life and point out of them.”13

Not long after Fannie Bolton had been hired (June 1889), W. C. White, the overseer of Ellen White’s editorial assistants, concluded that Fannie could do her best work elsewhere: “I believe that Sister Fannie Bolton is much better qualified for work on a journal like the Pacific Health Journal, for in this she would have more occasion for original work, and it would not demand the accuracy which our work on the Signs must have.”14

Was Fannie Bolton instructed carefully about her role as an assistant? Was she familiar with the way prophets received divine revelations? Did she work from a background of verbal inspiration rather than thought inspiration?

In 1933 W. C. White and D. E. Robinson (another editorial supervisor) reviewed how she was instructed, emphasizing that “only Mrs. White’s thoughts were to be used” and only “her own words as far as grammatically consistent in expressing those thoughts.”15

Editing another’s manuscripts was a pleasurable challenge to Marian Davis16 but not for Fannie. She soon felt that she was burying her own talent in editing someone else’s materials, and so she was released in 1891 to attend college at Ann Arbor, Michigan.17 Shortly after Fannie was released, she wrote a warm, congenial letter to Ellen White which included: “Dear Sister White, forgive me [for] all; I know you do. I do love you, and thank you for all your many acts of love toward me.”18

Five times Ellen White endured this pattern of confrontation and Fannie’s confession of misrepresenting her, until Fannie finally left Mrs. White’s employ in May 1896. On her ocean voyage returning to the United States from Australia, Fannie wrote: “I know your prayers will follow me. Thank you again for your patience and kindness and mercy to me. I go home with much lighter heart than I could have done before this.”19


Fannie Bolton’s Weaknesses

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What should we make of all this? On one hand, many letters reveal both Ellen White’s patience and concern for Fannie’s welfare. On the other, documentation indicates that Ellen White did not avoid confrontation when Fannie’s misrepresentations became apparent. Unfortunately, Fannie’s confessions, candid and forthright as they were, did not change her weaknesses.

What were Fannie’s weaknesses that were at the bottom of her “fitful, skyrocket experience”?20

In an 1895 letter to Dr. J. H. Kellogg, Mrs. White wrote regarding Fannie: “She has a temperament that is high as the skies at one moment, and the next is deep down in proportion as she was up.”21

As Fannie clearly confessed (1892), “I mourn over the hardness of my heart in so long centering my thoughts upon myself and looking critically upon others.”22 Part of her criticism was that Ellen White took all the credit for her books and articles “when those who worked up the matter were not recognized. . . . that [Fannie’s] ideas were put into the books and papers, and yet sunk out of sight.”23 Her exaggerated claims as to how much she had “improved” the manuscripts with her own words became common talk in Australia. Sowing these seeds of untruth created discord and unrest, even among those who deeply valued Ellen White’s writings. This imperiled the legitimacy and integrity of Mrs. White’s ministry.24

Fannie’s thirst for recognition and approval drove her to make many misrepresentations of how Ellen White’s articles and books were prepared. At a time when few people seemed able to understand the difference between verbal and thought inspiration, misleading “inside” information bordered on betrayal.25

At the root of Fannie’s problems, other than her nervous, flighty, disposition and desire to be recognized, was her treatment of Ellen White’s writings as only a literary effort. Mrs. White wrote her in 1894: “In your mind they are too often placed on a level with common things; but the ideas, words, and expressions, which seem to you rather inferior, and which you regard as non-essential, may be the very things that should appear as they are, in their simplicity. . . . The writings given you, you have handled as an indifferent matter, and have often spoken of them in a manner to depreciate them in the estimation of others. . . . In changing, you would not improve, but would weaken and dilute with your supposed sparkling ideas.”26

To Dr. J. H. Kellogg she wrote: “[Fannie] has represented my writings as being in need of taking all to pieces and doing up in another style. If this is the case the sooner I lay down my pen the better. The power of imagination is good, but when it leads to a highflown strain that only creates emotion, I do not care for it to be mingled with my work.”27

After Fannie Bolton returned to Battle Creek, Dr. Kellogg wrote in 1897: “Miss Bolton looks thin and is extremely nervous and hysterical. She has done some writing for me but I have not been able to make use of it. What she writes seems to exhibit the hysterical, nervous character which she shows in her manner. I think she is sick.”28

Mrs. S. M. I. Henry, nationally recognized temperance leader and a convert to the Seventh-day Adventist faith,29 wrote to Ellen White in 1898 about her long-time friend, Fannie Bolton: “She has always been willful and impetuous, and she has never had training of any sort which would help her to correct these things, so they have grown with her growth. . . . I have, as you express yourself, sometimes been fearful that her mind was not exactly well balanced in these later years.”30


Fannie Bolton’s False Claims

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By 1900 Fannie Bolton had become convinced that she had the gift of prophecy, and had created “something of a sensation” at Battle Creek. During this time, she returned to her malicious ways (no doubt due in part to her unbalanced mind that had become known to those who knew her well) and told of how years before she had written out testimonies to people, such as to A. R. Henry, after only a few points from Ellen White. Further, she “spoke rather contemptuously” about The Desire of Ages, saying: “Do you know that Marian Davis wrote the most of that book, and that I also wrote a portion of it?”31

When Marian Davis heard about Fannie’s wild assertions, she wrote to G. A. Irwin, president of the General Conference: “It is reported that the writing of a testimony for a prominent man in Battle Creek [A. R. Henry] was entrusted to one of Sister White’s former workers [Fannie Bolton], or that she was given matter for him, with instruction to fill out the points, so that the testimony was virtually her work.

“I cannot think that anyone who has been connected with Sr. White’s work could make such a statement as this. I cannot think that anyone who is acquainted with Sr. White’s manner of writing could possibly believe it. . . . For more than twenty years I have been connected with Sister White’s work. During this time I have never been asked either to write out a testimony from oral instruction, or to fill out the points in matter already written. . . . From my own knowledge of the work, as well as from the statements of Sister White herself, I have the strongest possible ground for disbelieving that such a thing was done.”32

In early spring, 1901, Miss Bolton wrote an open confession to “Brethren in the truth,” in which she acknowledged her misunderstanding of the purpose of Mrs. White’s prophetic ministry and of the “deadly work” her criticisms had caused.33

Fannie Bolton’s later years were sad. She is quoted as saying that she “wrote Steps to Christ without any dictation or assistance from Mrs. White. It was her product, in toto, but was published as Mrs. White’s production.”34 The claim was totally false.

Fannie Bolton was committed to the Kalamazoo State Hospital in February 1911, discharged one year later, and then recommitted in October 1924 for another year. She died at Battle Creek, Michigan, June 28, 1926. At the funeral, Fannie Bolton’s well-loved hymn, “Not I, but Christ,” was sung.35


Influenced by Others?

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Throughout her ministry Ellen White had to contend with those who asserted that she reflected the gossip and bias of others, not divine revelation. While her husband James was alive, her enemies accused him of being the dominant influence on her.36 After his death, her son and counselor, W. C. White, was often accused of exercising inappropriate influence, even by his brother Edson.37

Ellen White responded to these charges, acknowledging the “unpleasant duty” to “reprove wrongs” but that she was “compelled by the Spirit of God” and not by other human beings.38


Struggles of Uriah Smith

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In 1855, at the age of 23, Uriah Smith became editor of the church paper. His name remained on the editorial masthead until his death in 1903. Other than the Whites, not many have had more influence than Uriah Smith in developing Adventist thought. On two particular occasions he received warnings and pleadings from Ellen White to change his thinking and attitudes. The first occurred in 1882 while he was chairman of the board of Battle Creek College.39 The second circumstance that called for direct intervention from Mrs. White was his militant relationship to A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner and their presentations at the General Conference session of 1888.

This usually gracious church leader had problems with these young and eloquent editors from the west coast. When Ellen White supported them, Smith was confused. Although he never fully capitulated to the emphasis on righteousness by faith as presented in 1888, nor to what he thought to be a change of position on the “law” in Galatians, his attitude became reconciled.40 Not often do people other than the parties involved have the opportunity to read sensitive letters between two old friends, two friends in disagreement, as we do to when reading the interchanges between Ellen White and Uriah Smith.


Response to Physicians’ Questions in 1906

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For the most part, this interesting charge is contrary to fact; the rest of the charge is a misunderstanding. On March 30, 1906, during a troubled period in Battle Creek, the forces of Dr. J. H. Kellogg and A. T. Jones were arrayed against church leadership and, by association, against Ellen White. Mrs. White wrote a letter addressed “To Those Who Are Perplexed Regarding the Testimonies Relating to the Medical Missionary Work.” The letter was specifically addressed to Drs. J. H. Kellogg, David Paulson, and W. S. Sadler, Elders A. T. Jones, G. C. Tenney, and Taylor, Judge Jesse Arthur, and about a dozen others. She wrote: “I was directed by the Lord to request them and any others who have perplexities and grievous things in their minds regarding the testimonies that I have borne, to specify what their objections and criticisms are. The Lord will help me to answer those objections, and to make plain that which seems to be intricate.”41

The questions that arrived were, for the most part, sincere.42 Many of them were caused by a faulty understanding of inspiration, expecting more from Ellen White than of Bible writers.43

How did Mrs. White and her staff respond? Between April and October, 1906, she wrote more than thirty letters dealing with the questions that had been sent her. In addition to these letters, four articles were published in the church paper relating to these questions.44

Accompanying the charge that she reneged on her “promise” to “answer these objections,” was the citing of another vision she had on May 25, 1906, in which she was “directed by a messenger from heaven not to take up the burden of picking up and answering all the sayings and doubts that are being put into many minds.”45 Some have assumed that Ellen White used this vision as an excuse for not fulfilling her previous commitment.

The facts show that three-fourths of the letters written between April and October, 1906, were written after the vision of May 25. Ellen White and her assistants responded to those questions that could be answered with objective information; she did not promise that she would answer all the questions. She answered some, her assistants others. In responding to Dr. Charles Stewart, W. C. White wrote: “But that portion of the document addressed to her, which takes the form of an attack upon her integrity and her work, she will refer to her brethren to answer, because for many years she has been instructed that it is not any part of her legitimate work to answer the numerous and violent attacks which have been made upon her by her critics and the enemies of her work.”46

Further, some questions can never be answered well enough to convince everybody. Some questions were “frivolous,” some were “straw men.” Ellen White appealed to the “elders of the Battle Creek church” to look beyond the human aspects of her writings to the message, to the content, not the container.47

She wrote: “In response to the enemy’s work on human minds, I am to sow the good seed. . . . But those who are picking at straws had better be educating mind and heart to take hold of the grand and soul-saving truths that God has given through the humble messenger, in the place of becoming channels through whom Satan can communicate doubt and questioning. To allow images of straw to be created as something to attack, is one of the most unprofitable things that one can engage in. It is possible for one to educate himself to become Satan’s agent in passing along his suggestions. As fast as one is cleared away, another will be proffered. . . . I have written something on the meaning of the words, ‘I,’ ‘we,’ and ‘us,’ in the Testimonies. This point is, as it were a man of straw, set up in the imagination of some who have been sowing tares.”48


Areas of Concern Involving the Files of Ellen White’s Writings

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The “Z” file. In the White Estate vault there are 120 file drawers containing about 50,000 pages of typewritten documents. For several decades two of those drawers were commonly referred to as the “Z” file. While accessible to responsible researchers, these documents were segregated from the general file to remind the staff that they dealt with especially personal matters.

Over the years W. C. White and, later, Arthur L. White, placed in the “Z” file highly sensitive materials such as references to adultery and/or other difficult episodes that had potential to embarrass certain living individuals and family members. Ellen White counseled on several occasions against publishing the deficiencies of others, especially the leading workers: “The Lord by His power [through her writings] revealed the mistakes and errors that the brethren were committing, and those souls who had sincere love for God opened their minds and hearts to receive the light that was sent of God, and He forgave the mistakes they made, and through His great mercy cast their mistakes and errors into the depths of the sea. Now since God has thus covered their errors, who will presume to uncover them, and to present them to the world? Who has authorized anyone to present God’s chosen, adopted children to the world, clothed in a robe of darkness?”49

Ellen White well knew the problems of misinformation caused by references removed from context.50 She did her best to protect others who had been falsely accused or maligned. In a letter to a prominent minister, she laid out the problem clearly: “It is possible to relate that which has happened in connection with the past experiences of the people of God, and so relate it as to make their experience assume a ludicrous and objectionable appearance. It is not fair to take certain features of the work and set them apart from the great whole. A mixture of truth and error may be presented in so doing.”

Continuing in that letter, she wrote: “You have made public the errors and defects of the people of God, and in so doing have dishonored God and Jesus Christ. I would not for my right arm have given to the world that which you have written. . . . You have given but a partial view; for you have not presented the fact that the power of God worked in connection with their labors, even though they made some mistakes. . . . God will charge those who unwisely expose the mistakes of their brethren with sin of far greater magnitude than He will charge the one who makes a misstep.”51

The Board of Trustees in 1987 voted to discontinue this file and include all of its contents in the regular file. This decision was made in light of today’s climate of research and the passage of time in relation to the principals mentioned in the file. Further, the Board has voted to publish all of Ellen White’s available correspondence on a CD-ROM.


Endnotes

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1. Christian Leadership, p. 59.

2. Review and Herald, Oct. 19, 1876.

3. Life Sketches, (1880 ed.), pp. 325-329. For whatever reason, when Life Sketches was reprinted in 1888, James White’s statement was not reprinted.

4. In 1880 Ellen White’s major works included Testimonies 1-29 (known today as Testimonies, vol. 1 and most of vol. 2), Spiritual Gifts, vols. 1-4; and Spirit of Prophecy, vols. 1-3. James White, in 1880, estimated that his wife had “five thousand pages of her writings in the field.” Today, her published books total more than 20,000 pages, plus thousands of periodical articles in addition to thousands of additional pages in the form of letters and manuscripts.

5. Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 65.

6. See pp. 378, 379, 413.

7. See Tim Poirier’s “Did James White Attempt a ‘Cover-up’ of Ellen White’s Literary Borrowing?”—Ellen G. White Estate Document, August 15, 1985.

8. “The Fannie Bolton Story—A Collection of Source Documents (Updated, March, 1990),” Ellen G. White Estate, Washington, D.C.

9. See p. 110.

10. Letter 76, 1888, “The Fannie Bolton Story,” p. 1.

11. Letter 66, 1889, Ibid., p. 2.

12. Ibid., p. 8.

13. Ibid., pp. 8, 9.

14. Ibid., p. 2.

15. “It was explained to Miss Bolton, as was made clear to other workers who shared a part in the copying and correcting of Mrs. White’s writings for publication, that the matters revealed to Mrs. White in vision were not a word-for-word narration of events with their lessons, but that they were generally flashlight or panoramic views of various scenes in the experiences of men, sometimes in the past, and sometimes in the future, together with the lessons connected with these experiences. . . .

“Miss Bolton learned that the things revealed to Mrs. White were sometimes written out immediately after the vision, and that other things were not spoken of or written out till a long time afterward. . . .

“In cases where paragraphs and sentences lost some of their power because of imperfect arrangement, Mrs. White’s secretaries were instructed to make transpositions, leaving out what was clearly a repetition, when preparing matter for the printer. . . . It was made emphatic that only Mrs. White’s thoughts were to be used, and also her own words as far as grammatically consistent in expressing those thoughts. In no case was the copyist given the privilege of introducing thoughts not found in Mrs. White’s manuscripts.”—Bio., vol. 4, pp. 238, 239.

16. See p. 116.

17. “The Fannie Bolton Story,” p. 29.

18. Ibid., pp. 2, 3.

19. Ibid., p. 71.

20. Ibid., p. 53.

21. Ibid., p. 59.

22. Ibid., p. 5.

23. Ibid., p. 23, 29.

24. Many were the confessions from Fannie regarding the spreading of doubt about the integrity of Ellen White’s writings. In a lengthy letter in 1897 from Battle Creek, she wrote: “The personal testimonies that have seemed so harsh, so unkind, so unChristlike, now seem the most loving kindness. To think that God writes through you to me . . . why words cannot express my gratitude. That testimony I thought so cruel, is my treasure. Why have I persisted in being blind so long? . . . I meant to tell the truth; but the doubt, the suspicion, the magnifying of your literary faults and your editors’ literary excellences, caused me to leave a false impression, because of my own false but to me real conception of matters. . . . As to the testimony you sent of my feelings, faults, errors, and ignorance of my attitude, I say it is true, true to the core.”—Ibid., pp. 83, 85, 86.

25. Fannie Bolton, later in 1901, spoke of her dissembling as “my rebellion.”—Ibid., p. 103.

26. Ibid., pp. 20, 21.

27. Ibid., p. 59.

28. Ibid., p. 73.

29. See pp. 409, 517.

30. Ibid., p. 89.

31. Ibid., pp. 90, 91.

32. Ibid., p. 91. Ellen White’s letter to G. A. Irwin at that time expands on Fannie Bolton’s relationship with her as an editorial helper, pp. 92-96.

33. Anyone interested in Miss Bolton’s thoughtful review of her relationship with Ellen White should read her entire statement of confession. At times, some have lifted paragraphs from this confession to challenge Mrs. White’s own statements regarding her relationship with Fannie. In so doing they misrepresented Fannie Bolton as well as Mrs. White. She referred to the damage that her criticisms had caused: “The influence of what I had told others . . . began its deadly work. One minister left the truth and spread far and wide my words of information, and great trial come [sic] upon the Australian brethren. . . . This work I have done among my brethren and some outsiders; but God has at last found me in a place where He could open the true principle upon which His work stands vindicated and infallible, and which eliminates all my objections, clears up my difficulties, and gives me a new gift for which to praise His glorious and terrible name. I now wish to make all the reparation possible in counteracting the influence I have disseminated. . . . I must say I was deceived in regard to myself. I did not know what was ruling me. I did it ignorantly and in unbelief.”—“The Fannie Bolton Story,” pp. 102-106.

34. The Gathering Call, Sept. 1932, pp. 20, 21. For an examination of this charge, see Nichol, Ellen G. White and Her Critics, pp. 481-485. See pp. 444, 445 for the background in writing Steps to Christ, noting that some of the text material was written before Miss Bolton joined Mrs. White’s staff.

35. Review and Herald, Aug. 5, 1926.

36. Selected Messages, book 1, p. 26.

37. See Bio., vol. 5, p. 335.

38. “God has been pleased to open to me the secrets of the inner life, and the hidden sins of His people. The unpleasant duty has been laid upon me to reprove wrongs and to reveal hidden sins. When I have been compelled by the Spirit of God to reprove sins that others did not know existed, it has stirred up the natural feelings in the hearts of the unsanctified. . . . Some are ready to inquire, Who told Sister White these things? They have even put the question to me, Did anyone tell you these things? I could answer them, Yes; yes, the angel of God has spoken to me. . . . For the future, I shall not belittle the testimonies that God has given me, to make explanations to try to satisfy such narrow minds, but shall treat all such questions as an insult to the Spirit of God. . . . He has laid upon me burdens of reproof that He has not given to any other one.”—Testimonies, vol. 3, pp. 314, 315; see also Ibid., vol. 5, pp. 65, 683-687. For a review of many of these charges that Ellen White was influenced by others in her testimonies, see Nichol, Critics, pp. 487-515.

39. Smith shared his frustrations with D. M. Canright who used these letters in his forthcoming attack on Ellen White. See Eugene F. Durand, Yours in the Blessed Hope, Uriah Smith (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1980), pp. 286-288.

40. Ibid., pp. 252-269.

41. Letter 120, 1906, cited in Bio., vol. 6, p. 90; see pp. 89-103 for a contextual study of this period.

42. For a review of some of the questions, see Ibid., pp. 92-103.

43. See pp. 16, 120, 173, 375, 376, 421 for problems that arise when the concept of verbal inspiration controls one’s study of inspired writings. For example, Ellen White wrote to young Dr. Paulson regarding his misunderstanding of how divine inspiration works in the writings of the prophet.—Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 24, 25.

44. Review and Herald, July 26, Aug. 9, 30, Sept. 6, 1906; information supplied by Tim Poirier, Ellen G. White Estate.

45. Manuscript 61, 1906, cited in the Paulson Collection, pp. 66-68.

46. Letter from W. C. White to C. E. Stewart, June 9, 1907. White Estate Correspondence File.

47. See pp. 26, 518.

48. Letter 244, 2906, cited in MR, vol. 12, pp. 87, 88. Ellen White answered this question regarding the occasional use of “I,” “we,” and “us,” in her writings (some implying that others were influencing her) in a letter to Dr. C. E. Stewart, on June 13, 1906. See Spalding and Magan’s Unpublished Manuscript Testimonies, (Graham, Wash.: Cornerstone Publishing, 1992), pp. 467-470.

49. Ms 27, 1894, cited in MR, vol., 5. pp. 286, 287. In that same 1894 manuscript, she also wrote: “Does it seem fitting that finite men, who have the benefit of their experience in order that they might be enabled to shun the mistakes and failures they may have made, and have had the blessing of the divine illumination these chosen men of God have received, so that they were enabled to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, should present these saints of God as though they were clothed in filthy garments? God forbid.”

50. See pp. 394-405.

51. MR, vol. 5, pp. 283-286. See Letter 32, 1901, cited in Bio., vol. 5, p. 48.


Study Questions

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1. What was Fannie Bolton’s job description when she worked for Ellen White?

2. What were Uriah Smith’s theological problems in the late 1880s?

3. How did Ellen White and her staff respond to the questions asked by certain Battle Creek leaders allied with Dr. Kellogg in 1906?

4. What is meant by the “Z” File?

5. List the considerations that prompted the White Estate to create the “Z” File. Evaluate these concerns.

6. How can you answer the charge that James White “covered up” Ellen White’s use of the writings of others?

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