Ellen G White -- the Myth and the Truth

by Åsmund Kaspersen


A short historical background

The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy" is a well-known phrase among Seventh-day Adventists, and with the phrase "the Spirit of Prophecy" they mean Ellen G. White and her writings.

It is hardly an exaggeration to say that without Ellen G. White's influence there would hardly be a Seventh-day Adventist church -- at least not the way we know it today.

Ellen Gould Harmon was born on November 26, 1827 and died on July 16, 1915 at the age of 87. In December 1844 she began to have visions, and kept having them until 1884, according to her grandchild Arthur L. White, and she had approx. two thousand visions altogether. After 1884 and unto her death, she had mainly "prophetic dreams" during the night.

On August 30, 1846, at the age of 19, Ellen Gould Harmon married James White, who was six years older. This was less than a year after James White had reprimanded two of their former friends for getting married, and in this way "denied their faith (in the shut door)" (The Day star, October 11, 1845). Mr. and Mrs. White participated actively in the years to follow with the formation of the early Adventist church, well supported by EGW's visions.

By the time of her death in 1915 she had authored 24 books, 4600 articles, more than 2000 tracts, 6000 manuscripts and 40 000 typewritten pages. Today, more then eighty years after her death, the number of books published under her name have grown to more than sixty.

It has been claimed that EGW wrote some 25 million words, and that all the material used was her own, and that nothing is in opposition with the word of God. These are strong words, which most people, including myself, did accept without any further questions. There has been a shortage of faithful Bereans who by their own studies has put EGW's writings to the test under the Bible. The reason, I guess, is that everyone without a doubt accepted the picture of their own prophet as a part of their Adventist upbringing. As a result there was no need for further questions. All the pieces of the puzzle fitted neatly together.

There shouldn't be any dissension about the Bible being the clear authority and that the Bible must test everything else that claims divine inspiration.

The Adventists are testing other "prophets" by the word of God, but don't want to bring their own prophet under the same test. Non-Adventists are testing Ellen G. White by the Bible, but neither they will neither try their own prophet (if they have any) with the word of God. Both parties claim, when confronted, that "there is no disharmony, it just depends on how you read it".

There are quite a few Adventists that through the years have stood up as faithful Bereans and put Ellen G. White to the test by the Word of God. These received neither gratitude nor reward for their discoveries, but were being accused by the prophetess herself to be inspired by satanic spirits. The treatment of A.F. Ballenger is a good example.

Several others were put out of the church because they "held to heretical teachings" as it were called. The same apply to members of other churches/denominations who have tried their own "prophets" and teachings by the Word of God and found that a great deal of the propaganda doesn't fit reality.

This booklet is intended for the noble Berean. Many no doubt will be offended, while others who are of a nobler spirit will think through what they have been reading. The intention here is to come with objective and well documented facts about the prophetess which the leaders of the Adventist church for different reasons, have been hiding for the rest of the church members. Some leaders have not been familiar with some of the information that has leaked out through the passing of time. For quite a number of years, The White Estate has been muffling a number of uncomfortable truths about Ellen G. White and the fundamental teachings. It was important to keep a right picture of their prophet and of the pioneer-times.

It is important that these things that have been hidden in darkness, and which now throw light over both EGW and Adventism from new and surprising angles, now comes to the surface. In this way each individual can evaluate the foundation whereupon he is standing and assure himself that he is building his faith on the right foundation, which is Jesus and his Word, and nothing else. See 1. Cor. 3:11.

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