Those Tall Jupiter People!
By Dirk Anderson
Your Questions Answered
Could these planets have been somewhere else in the Universe?
With recent scientific discoveries showing the vast number of moons circling Jupiter and Saturn, it is painfully obvious that Mrs. White did not have a vision of these planets. Furthermore, the fact that these planets are completely inhospitable to any type of known life casts further doubt on the "vision." So, in order to justify their belief in the visions, some Adventists have conjectured that Mrs. White was actually viewing planets elsewhere in the universe. They claim that since she did not actually name the planets herself in the vision, then the planets could literally be anywhere. Does this stand to reason? Was she actually viewing planets somewhere else in the cosmos?
Let us review the facts. As noted in the article, James said Ellen had seen a vision of "Jupiter, Saturn, and I think one more." SDA historian J.N. Loughborough, who talked with the other eyewitnesses, Joseph Bates and Mrs. Truesdail, claimed both understood the vision to be of our solar system. In fact, everyone that mentioned this vision during Ellen White's lifetime applied it to our solar system, and none of them ever changed their stance on that subject during their lifetimes.
What was the purpose of the vision? According to Adventists, it was given to convince Bates that Mrs. White was a true prophet. The vision had no other discernable purpose. Bates compared his knowledge of our solar system to what was revealed in Ellen White's "vision" and he came to the conclusion she was a true prophet because he thought she had no prior knowledge of Astronomy. Now ask yourself this question: Why would God give Sister White a vision of some other planetary system which, by odd coincidence, just so happened to have an identical arrangement of planets, rings, and moons that our own solar system was thought to have in 1846, in order to convince Bates that Mrs. White was viewing our own solar system? Are we to believe that God engages in trickery? Furthermore, neither God nor the angels ever bothered to correct the misconception during the lifetimes of those involved. In other words, God tricked Bates into believing the vision was of our solar system in order to convince him to believe Ellen White, and then He kept quiet about it and did not tell anyone about the little charade! This is preposterous! It is contrary to God's methods to use trickery (see 2 Cor. 4:2).
The truth, however painful it may be, is that James and Ellen White, Joseph Bates, Mrs. Truesdail, J.N. Loughborough, and many other early Adventists all recognized this "vision" to be of our own solar system, and none of them ever recanted that position.
Could Mrs. Truesdail's memory about the inhabitants have failed her?
To avoid embarrassment, defenders of Ellen White are forced to attack the eyewitness account of Mrs. Truesdail. The Truesdail letter is dated over 40 years after the vision. According to Mrs. Truesdail, Ellen White saw inhabitants on Jupiter and/or Saturn. Interestingly, Adventists never questioned Mrs. Truesdail's memory while it was believed Jupiter/Saturn were inhabitable. Even more interesting, Adventists never questioned Mrs. Truesdail's memory when she made positive statements about Mrs. White, such as Ellen lofting a heavy Bible in vision! However, whenever any eyewitness makes a statement that shows Ellen White to be a false prophet, Adventists assure us that eyewitness is mistaken. Why is that? Why is the eyewitness always wrong when revealing something unflattering about Ellen White, and always right when bolstering SDA claims about Ellen White?
Two-and-a-half years after the Bates planetary vision, Ellen White wrote of a planetary vision in the January 31, 1849, publication To Those Who are Receiving the Seal of the Living God. In it she writes:
The Lord has given me a view of other worlds. Wings were given me, and an angel attended me from the city to a place that was bright and glorious. The grass of the place was living green, and the birds there warbled a sweet song. The inhabitants of the place were of all sizes, they were noble, majestic and lovely. They bore the express image of Jesus, and their countenances beamed with holy joy, expressive of the freedom and happiness of the place. I asked one of them why they were so much more lovely than those on the earth. The reply was—'we have lived in strict obedience to the commandments of God, and have not fallen by disobedience, like those on the earth.' Then I saw two trees, one looked much like the tree of life in the city. The fruit of both looked beautiful; but of one they could not eat. They had power to eat of both, but were forbidden to eat of one. Then my attending angel said to me—'none in this place have tasted of the forbidden tree; but if they should eat they would fall.' Then I was taken to a world which had seven moons. There I saw good old Enoch.
This appears to be an elongated retelling of her earlier vision with Bates. In both there is mention of a "majestic" people, a world free from sin, and an unnamed planet with seven moons. As noted in the quotation at the beginning of this article, SDA historian A.W. Spalding wrote as if the visions were one and the same event. Later, when Adventists discovered Jupiter and Saturn were uninhabitable, they changed their story.
The fact is, all early Adventists regarded Truesdail as a reliable witness. Ellen White read Loughborough's book and we know of no objection that she or any of her family made about the Truesdail letter. Their silence speaks volumes. Nearly every point Truesdail made is also made by other eyewitnesses proving they are telling the same story. While memory of recent events can fade with age, often memories from early years remain fixed in the mind. There is no reason whatsoever to doubt Mrs. Truesdail's recollection of this event. Ellen White did not question it, so why should we?
Category: Shocking Statements
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