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J.N. Loughborough, a long-standing acquaintance of Ellen White who saw her in vision 50 times, describes the events as follows:
In passing into vision, she gives three enrapturing shouts of “Glory!” which echo and re-echo, the second, and especially the third, fainter but more thrilling than the first, the voice resembling that of one quite a distance from you, and just going out of hearing. For about four or five seconds she seems to drop down like a person in a swoon, or one having lost his strength; she then seems to be instantly filled with superhuman strength, sometimes rising at once to her feet and walking about the room. There are frequent movements of the hands and arms, pointing to the right or left as her head turns. All these movements are made in a most graceful manner. In whatever position the hand or arm may be placed, it is impossible for anyone to move it. Her eyes are always open, but she does not wink; her head is raised, and she is looking upward, not with a vacant stare, but with a pleasant expression, only differing from the normal in that she appears to be looking intently at some distant object. She does not breathe, yet her pulse beats regularly. Her countenance is pleasant, and the colour of her face is florid as in her natural state (emphasis added).i
All four of the criteria mentioned in the Scriptures, in the right sequence, are listed here, and were verified by numerous reputable eyewitnesses. A further eyewitness, Nellie Sisley Starr, reports the events associated with a vision that Ellen White had on June 12, 1868 at a prayer meeting held at Battle Creek:
She [Ellen White] walked back and forth and talked to us, and as she walked, she fell right down. She fell down gently. She went down as if an angel’s hands were under her...We thought she had fainted, but Brother White said “Cause yourselves no alarm. Wife has not fainted, but has fallen in vision.” I wish I could describe the feeling that we all had. It was perfect quietness; even the children made no noise...It seemed as though heaven was settling down upon us and closing us in...Sister White lay perfectly quiet and unconscious. Oh, the feeling that was sensed in that building.
Brother White said, “There may be some in the congregation that may have doubts in regard to my wife’s inspiration. If there are any such we would be glad to have them come forward and try the physical tests given in the Bible. It may help some of you.” I knew my mother had some doubts. We had come over from England and she had come from the Church of England, and she could not quite understand it, so I said, “Mother, let us go right up and stand right by her head”. In the meantime, Brother White had knelt down, and raised Sister White’s head and shoulders on his knees.
Others came up, and there were two unusually large men. They stood one on each side of her shoulders. “Now”, Brother White said, “we all saw Sister White fall; we know she lost her natural strength. Now we will see if she has supernatural strength.” She was lying with her hands gently folded over her chest. She was lying quietly and looking up in the corner of the building. Her eyes were open, with a pleasant expression on her face. Nothing unnatural or unusual.
Brother White said to these large men, “Take her hands apart. You have two hands to her one. Just pull her hands apart.” So they tried. They pulled and pulled till some of us got anxious that they would hurt her. Brother White said, “Don’t be anxious; she is safe in God’s keeping, and you can pull until you are perfectly satisfied.” They said, “We are satisfied now. We don’t need to pull anymore.”
He said, “Take up one finger at a time.” That was impossible. They could not do so much as move a finger. It seemed like a block of granite. There was no change in appearance, but it just couldn’t be moved.
We looked to see if her eyes were closed and see if she was breathing. Then she took her hands apart and waved her hands. We said, “We will see when she comes out of vision that she has been flying.” Brother White said to these men, “Now hold her.” I think they thought they could. They grasped her by the wrists, but they could not retard the motion. It looked like any child could hold her, but she went on just the same.
Elder White said, “Now we are satisfied with that. Now we must see if her eyelids will close.” There was a large Rochester (kerosene) lamp close by on the stand. He removed the shade and put this light right in front of her eyes. We thought she would move her eyes to protect them. She didn’t. She was perfectly unconscious. The expression of her countenance changed at times. Sometimes she look pleased. At other times we could see that there was something distressing her, but the eyelids did not close.
“Now,” Brother White said, we must see if there is any breath in her body.” There didn’t seem to be any. Everything looked all right, only there was no breath. Brother White said, “No we will send out and get a mirror, and we will test it.” So someone went to the next door and got a mirror, and it was held close to her face, but no moisture gathered. So there was no breathing (emphasis added).ii
It is noteworthy that the sequence of events is again exactly in agreement with the Scriptures. Ellen White had to often contend with aggressive opposition. On one such occasion, she was taken into vision at a gathering of people who were opposed to her visions. The opposers shouted, interjected, read loudly from the Scriptures and tried every means possible to interrupt her, but she continued to speak from about midday to sunset with a voice that cut through the din until those who opposed her were exhausted.
At one stage, they placed a heavy Bible in her hand from which she began to quote. She held the Bible up above her head with the one hand, and paged to the passages with the other without looking where she pointed. Otis Nichols, an eyewitness at the meeting describes the events as follows:
Then Thayer took a heavy, large quarto family Bible which was lying on the table and seldom used, and opened it, and laid it open upon the breast of Ellen while in vision, as she was then inclined backward against the wall in one corner of the room. Immediately after the Bible was laid upon her, she arose upon her feet and walked into the middle of the room, with the Bible open in one hand and lifted up as high as she could reach, and with her eyes steadily looking upward, declared in a solemn manner, “The inspired testimony of God” or words of the same import, and then she continued for a long time, while the Bible was extended in one hand and her eyes [were] looking upward and not on the Bible, to turn over the leaves with the other hand and place her finger upon certain passages and correctly utter their words with a solemn voice. Many present looked at the passages where her finger was pointed to see if she spoke them correctly, for her eyes at the same time were looking upward. Some of the passages referred to were judgments against the wicked and blasphemous; and others were admonitions and instructions relative to our present condition. In this state, she continued all the afternoon until nearly sundown when she came out of vision.iii