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What Did Others Say about Ellen White?
Publish date: Feb 11, 2013
Summary: Read testimonials and proofs of Ellen White's nature and the veracity of her teachings.
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The following quotes cover a wide range of sources and speak to the legacy of Ellen White:
William Foxwell Albright (1891-1971), 20th-century archaeologist and author
In his book From the Stone Age to Christianity, Albright named Mrs. White as one of five individuals whom he considered to be authentic prophets during the past 250 years.
In spite of the fact that the writings of Mrs White were written long before the advent of modern nutrition, no better over-all guide is available today.
I feel that if you Adventists had followed the teachings in these books, you would be a much healthier group. I think that the Adventist dietary plan is really very close to our nutritional recommendations. It was marvelous that this woman was able to write all that she did without any real scientific background.
William A. Spicer, The Spirit of Prophecy in the Advent Movement (Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1937)
One of our members in Massachusetts reported having taken some university extension work there. Abbreviated, our student’s story is this: "One day our teacher, who had just returned from an extended study of literature in Europe, asked each member of the class to come next day with three quotations from a favorite author...I presented passages from 'The Desire of Ages,' No one could name the author. Then to my happy surprise, the teacher said, ‘Well, class, that is from the pen of Mrs. E. G. White.’ She spoke at length, saying she knew nothing of the author’s religion, but she felt able to declare herself as to literature; and she said it was a pity Mrs. White’s writings were not better known in the literary world. She said she was going to make a strong statement, but she meant every word. Of all the writings she knew, outside of the Bible, there were none so full of beauty, so pure, and yet so simple, as the writings of Mrs. E. G. White.
The minister of education of a Southern European country had been studying at Teachers’ College, Columbia University. He had come to the United States for the newest and best in educational policy and program of his newborn state.
Upon his return to Southern Europe, Raja R. Radosavlyevish “authored” a work on religious and moral education. It was written in the Serbian language, published by the state university press, and acclaimed by that institution as the “best book” on religious education in that language.
When Adventist church leaders in Serbia read the work, they recognized it immediately—it was a translation of Ellen White’s Education, with an introduction written by the Serbian minister of education. Eighty percent of the new book came directly from Ellen White’s pen!
Even the bitterest critic one who had left the movement and turned to write many attacks upon the works of his former associates, and especially upon the Spirit of prophecy in the church, came to Mrs. White's funeral. His brother told us of D.M. Canright's emotion as they walked together past the casket, with others of the congregation, at the close of the funeral service. They came back to their pew, and stood while the great congregation was still filing past. "Then" said our member, "my brother suggested that we go down again, to take one more look. We joined the passing throng, and again stood by the bier. My brother rested his hand upon the side of the casket, and with tears rolling down his cheeks, he said brokenly, 'There is a noble Christian woman gone!'"
In one of the large cities, a man was looking over books in a second hand store: He asked for the religious books, and was directed to a miscellaneous assortment in the back of the store. He remarked to the proprietor that he saw none in which he was interested. Being asked what author he proffered, he said "Mrs. E. G. White."
"Oh", said the proprietor, "that's different. Her writings are not classes here with those books back there at all. We have them here in the front, with the Bibles. They are in a class by themselves."
Ingemar Linden, Would Catholics Have Canonized E. G. White? (Northern Light, September 1968): 7
In 1965 a German sociologist, Irmgard Simon, published her doctoral dissertation in Münster, Westphalia. It dealt with Seventh-day Adventists and Ellen White. She said, in part:
“As to the question of how it was possible that a woman who had never received a real education, and also suffered from poor health, would fill such an important and far-reaching office in spite of these handicaps—many answers have been given.
“The most important reason was to be found in her powerful faith, in her strong religious equipment, and in her visionary capacities, things that rendered her absolutely certain of being one especially called...The feeling of being one especially chosen gave her energy, persistency, and patience.
“She was filled with lofty moral ideas, which she met in her own personal life and which she also expected her fellow beings to live up to. In addition to this, she knew human beings as few have...She looked upon people in the modern way in the wholeness of their beings, with body, mind and spirit. She was without fear of men; courageous and consistent, she struggled within the movement to solve the many problems. She solved problems which the churches did not expect to see solved in many decades.
“In spite of her strong, yes, ecstatic union with God, she rarely lost the ground of reality. On the contrary, she tackled many practical questions in life. Ellen G. White lived for only one purpose, to benefit and expand the denomination she served, in order that her church members might be well prepared, and by a God-pleasing life belong to the number of ‘the remnant church.’
“Her knowledge of the various subjects she would practice with all emphasis, yet not in an overzealous way, for she rebuked all kind of fanaticism, but in such a way as to fit prevailing circumstances. E. G. White was a wise and commanding woman, and she had a strong soul. She thought of and lived for the movement which she formed. She disdained ‘the world’ and worked untiringly for the purpose of breaking its ties and winning people to Christ."
Recently the book Education, by Ellen G. White, has been brought to my attention. Written at the turn of the century, this volume was more then fifty years ahead of its times. And I was surprised to learn that it was written by a woman with but three years of schooling. The breadth and depth of its philosophy amazed me. Its concepts of balanced education, harmonious development, and of thinking and acting on principle are advanced educational concepts. The objective of restoring in man the image of God, the teaching of parental responsibility, and the emphasis on self-control in the child are ideals that the world desperately needs.
Mrs. White did not necessarily use current terms. In fact, she did not use the word curriculum in her writing. But the book Education in certain parts treats of important curriculum principles. She was concerned with the whole learner—the harmonious development of mental, physical, and spiritual powers. Today many are stressing the development of the intellect. Burt feelings and emotional development are equally important. In our changing society, the ability to act on thought and in terms of principle is central. It is this harmonious development that is so greatly needed, yet so generally neglected today. I am not surprised that members of the SDA church hold the writings of Mrs. White in great respect and make them central in developing the education program in their schools.
Education, written with the inspirited pen of Ellen G. White, has for 50 some years been a well-known book which has rendered the greatest possible service and joy to students, teachers, and parents the world over. When I was studying at the University of Illinois, it was my privilege to read the book in its original language. I was profoundly moved by the book at that time and it has been my desire ever since to recommend it to the educators in Japan. It is my sincere joy to hear that the book has been finally translated into the Japanese language.
Paul Harvey (1918-2009), American Broadcasting Company news commentator and United Features syndicated columnist, 1960
Once upon a time, a hundred years ago, there lived a young lady named Ellen White. She was frail as a child, completed only grammar school [actually, she never really finished the third grade], and had no technical training, and yet she lived to write scores of articles and many books on the subject of 'healthful living. Remember, this was in the days when doctors were still bloodletting and performing surgery with unwashed hands. This was in an era of medical ignorance bordering on barbarism. Yet Ellen White wrote with such profound understanding of the subject of nutrition that all but two of the many principles she espoused have been scientifically established.
Mrs. White... early manifested some of the gifts of prophecy. With the formation of the church of the Seventh-day Adventists, she immediately developed an influence and that influence was maintained to the hour of her death, a period of seventy years. Besides unusual talents as a preacher, she had organizational and administrative powers. These were all given to her church. It prospered and grew until it has spread through many lands. Universities were founded, medical schools, hospitals and schools for teachers and missionaries. Mrs. White was a remarkable woman. Had she lived in an earlier period of the career of Christianity and escaped the bigots and the fire she would most surely have been canonized. She was the flesh of which saints are made.
Barna Group, "Survey Reveals The Books and Authors That Have Most Influenced Pastors" (May 30 2005), barna.org
The under-40 pastors championed several authors who were not ranked highly by older church leaders. Those authors included business consultant James Collins, seminary professor Thom Rainer, nineteenth century Seventh-Day Adventist icon Ellen White, and pastor John Ortberg.
DM Canright, former Seventh-day Adventist who left the church after 28 years, "A Plain Talk to Murmurers," Review and Herald (April 26, 1877)
I have heard Sister White speak hundreds of times, have read all her Testimonies through and through, most of them many times, and I have never been able to find one immoral sentence in the whole of them, or anything that is not strictly pure and Christian; nothing that leads away from the Bible, or from Christ; but there I find the most earnest appeals to obey God, to love Jesus, to believe the Scriptures, and to search them constantly. I have received great spiritual benefit times without number, from the Testimonies. Indeed, I never read them without feeling reproved for my lack of faith in God, lack of devotion, and lack of earnestness in saving souls. If I have any judgment, any spiritual discernment, I pronounce the Testimonies to be of the same Spirit and of the same tenor as the Scriptures.
For thirty years these Testimonies have been believed and read among our people. How has, it affected them? Has it led them away from the law of God? Has it led them to give up faith in Christ? Has it led them to throw aside the Bible? Has it led them to be a corrupt, immoral people? I know that they will compare favorably with any other Christian denomination. One thing I have remarked, and that is, that the most bitter opponents of the visions of Sister White admit that she is a Christian. How they can make this admission is more than I know. They try to fix it up by saying that she is deceived. They are not able to put their finger upon a single stain in all her life, nor an immoral sentence in all her writings. They have to admit that much of her writings are excellent, and that whoever would live out all she says would be a good Christian, sure of heaven.
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