By the atmosphere surrounding us, every person with whom we come in contact is consciously or unconsciously affected.… Our words, our acts, our dress, our deportment, even the expression of the countenance, has an influence. COL 339.
OFFICIAL Ellen G. White
Ellen G. White
G. White was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church along with her husband James and close
friend Joseph Bates. Mrs. White is also known
as a messenger from God. She was born Ellen Gould
Harmon in Gorham, Maine, November 26, 1827, to
Robert and Eunice Harmon. She and her twin sister
Elizabeth were the youngest of eight children.
When Ellen was in her early teens she and her
family accepted the Bible interpretations of the
Baptist farmer-turned-preacher, William Miller.
Along with Miller and 50,000 other Ad-ventists,
she suffered bitter disappointment when Christ
did not return on October 22, 1844, the date marking
the end of the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8.
In December 1844 God gave young Ellen the first
of an estimated 2,000 visions and dreams. In August
1846 she married James White, a 25-year-old Adventist
minister who shared her conviction that God had
called her to do the work of a prophet. Soon after
their marriage the Whites began to keep the seventh-day
Sabbath according to the fourth commandment.
mother of four boys, Mrs. White suffered the pain
of losing two of her sons. Herbert died as an
infant a few weeks old, and Henry died at 16.
Her other two sons, Edson and William, both became
White was a prolific writer, with a total literary
output of 100,000 pages. Her first book was published
in 1851. She wrote a steady stream of articles,
books, and pamphlets until her death in 1915.
Of her scores of books, some are devotional in
nature, while others are selections from the many
personal letters of counsel she wrote over the
years. Still others are historical and trace the
ongoing struggle between Christ and Satan for
control of individuals and nations. She also published
books on education, health, and other topics of
special significance to the church. Since her
death about 50 compilations have been produced,
in large part from previously unpublished writings.
She also authored several thousand articles which
were published in the Review and Herald, Signs
of the Times, and other Seventh-day Adventist
shy and reluctant, Ellen White eventually became
a very popular public speaker, not only in the
United States, but in Europe and Australia as
well. She was much in demand in Adventist meetings
and also before non-Adventist audiences, where
she was a much-sought-after temperance lecturer.
In 1876 she addressed her largest audience—estimated
at 20,000—at Groveland, Massachusetts, for
more than an hour without a microphone.
her vision of June 6, 1863, Mrs. White was given
instruction on such health-related matters as
the use of drugs, tobacco, tea, coffee, flesh
foods, and the importance of exercise, sunshine,
fresh air, and self-control in diet. Her health
counsels, based on such visions, have resulted
in Adventists’ living approximately seven
years longer than the average person in the United
White read widely. She found that this helped
her in her own writing as she presented the truths
revealed to her in vision. Also, the Holy Spirit
impressed her at times to draw literary gems from
the works of others into her own articles and
books. She did not claim infallibility nor did
she hold that her writings were equal to Scripture,
yet she firmly believed that her visions were
of divine origin and that her articles and books
were produced under the guidance of the Spirit
of God. Basically an evangelist, her primary concern
in life was the salvation of souls.
White was a generous, practical Christian. For
years she kept bolts of cloth on hand so that
if she saw a woman who needed a new dress, she
could provide assistance. In Battle Creek she
attended auctions and bought items of used furniture,
which she stored; then if someone’s home
burned or some other calamity befell a family,
she was prepared to help. In the days before the
church started its retirement plan, if she heard
of an older minister in financial straits, she
sent a little money to help him meet his emergency
70 years, until her death on July 16, 1915, Ellen
White faithfully delivered the messages God gave
her for His people. She never was elected to an
office in the church, yet her advice was constantly
sought by denominational leaders. Her formal education
ended at age nine, yet her messages set in motion
the forces that produced the present worldwide
Adventist education system, from day-care centers
to universities. Though she herself had no medical
training, the fruitage of her ministry can be
seen in the network of Adventist hospitals, clinics,
and medical facilities that circle the earth.
And though she was not formally ordained as a
gospel minister, she has made an almost unparalleled
spiritual impact on the lives of millions, from
one end of the earth to the other.
G. White’s books continue to this day to
help people find their Savior, accept His pardon
for their sins, share this blessing with others,
and live expectantly for Jesus' promised soon