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Exposing Adventism - How I Deal With People Who Disagree With Me

Hi, I'm Ellen White.

Seventh-day Adventists say that I am "a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction." They consider me to be a prophet.

It didn't come easy. In the beginning I was young and new to the business of having visions. And there was lots of competition in the vision business. Plus, I was just learning the "language of Canaan." Now, that is a language that no one else knew. But I couldn’t depend on that. I even copied William Foy’s vision, but that wasn’t enough either.

Another problem was keeping my visions current. Take for example, my visions about William Miller’s 15 Proofs. I thought I had something solid here, but then everytime I would commit to a date it would fail. I even tried claiming in the beginning that God had intentional deceived us by holding his hand over the date October 22, 1844. Of course, I couldn’t use that for 1849, 1850, 1851, 1856, 1884 and 1885. But you can see that I didn’t give up. How’s that for persistence!

Some people blamed my vision failures on my medical condition. People would try to compare my visions with the visions of Bible prophets. During the 1919 Bible Conference at the General Conference it looked as though I might loose my influence. Fortunately the Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership stayed the course, and President A. G. Daniels decided to lock up the minutes of the meetings for 50 years.

Even today, 163 years after 1844, the second date my early visions stated that God was going to come, the Seventh-day Adventist Church still teaches that my writings are a "continuing and authoritative source of truth." Just like the Catholics with their reliance on "tradition", the Seventh-day Adventists even use my writings to help them "understand" the Bible.

They actually have done one better. One of their theologians has rewritten the Bible so that it agrees with my writings, and calls it the "Clear Word Bible". They even have a version for children! Now, how’s that for an endorsement! Of course they say that they don’t have anything to do with it. They just "happen" to sell it at their Adventist Book Centers and promote it in full page advertisements in the Adult Sabbath School Quarterly Lesson Studies.

Now that I’ve shared with you just a few of my credentials, let’s look at ways I have found that are highly successful at shutting up people who question your reputation. Here’s what you do. You blast them back so badly that no one believes them anymore. When you are done people are even afraid to associate with them.

Some people call it "character assassination. I call it "getting even." I crush the opposition.

Here’s how it’s done. During my early attempts at visions in the 1840’s many of the Adventist people began to question why my predictions had failed.

Here’s how I dealt with them.

People in all the churches soon began to get their eyes open, and came out decidedly against her visions; and, just as soon as they did so, she used to see them ‘with spots on their garments,’ as she expressed it. I was personally acquainted with several ministers, whom she saw landed in the kingdom with ‘Oh! such brilliant crowns, FULL of stars.’ As soon as they took a stand against the visions, she saw them ‘doomed, damned, and lost for ever, without hope.’" (Miles Grant, An Examination of Mrs. White’s Visions, Boston: Advent Christian Society, 1877)
I thought I could count on the president of the Iowa conference, B.F. Snook. I wrote a very complimentary endorsement of him and his family.
Marion, Iowa, March 18, 1861. My Dear Children, Henry, Edson, and Willie: We are now at Bro. Snook’s. This is a good home. When I see their little babe, and take it in my arms, I yearn for my own dear babe which we laid in Oak Hill Cemetery; but I will not permit one murmuring thought to arise. I enjoy the society of this family. Sister Snook is an excellent woman. (An Appeal to the Youth, pp. 63,64)
But then B. F. Snook and W.H. Brinkerhoff began to openly question my divine inspiration! I had no choice but to issue a scorching rebuke. Here is how you stick it to them! Remember you may not have a second chance. And so the first one has to do the job.
When B. F. Snook embraced the truth, he was very destitute. Liberal souls deprived themselves of conveniences, and even of some of the necessaries of life, to help this minister, whom they believed to be a faithful servant of Christ. They did all this in good faith, helping him as they would have helped their Saviour. But it was the means of ruining the man. His heart was not right with God; he lacked principle. He was not a truly converted man. The more he received, the greater was his desire for means. He gathered all he could from his brethren, until he had been helped, through their liberalities, to a valuable home; then he apostatized, and became the bitterest enemy of the very ones who had been most liberal to him. (Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 625)
When H.E. Carver wrote some uncomplimentary statements about me an Adventist minister got involved. That meant that I had two people to deal with — Carver and the Adventist pastor. Here’s how I dealt with the Adventist pastor.
Your time can be better employed in having a more general interest and giving to the people food, meat that will feed them now. While your time is employed in following the crooks and turns of Preble you are not wise. You are bringing to their notice a work which has but limited circulation, and interesting minds in objections that they would never have been troubled with. You manufacture a train of quibbles and doubts for thousands of people and present his work to those who would never have seen it. This is just what they [our opponents] want to have done, to be brought to notice and we publish for them. This is what Carver wants. This is their main object in writing out their falsehoods and misrepresentations of the truth and the characters of those who love and advocate the truth. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, p. 346)
D.M. Canright was a real disappointment. He was a close associate of ours. James and I trusted him. He was part of the upper leadership of the SDA church for 25 years. He was a high church official, an insider, whose high position in the church allowed him access to information that most others didn’t know about. But then he started questioning my visions! I had no choice but to move into high gear with damage control. Here is one of my finest pieces.
Battle Creek, Oct. 15, 1880 Elder D. M. Canright Dear Brother: I was made sad to hear of your decision, but I have had reason to expect it. It is a time when God is testing and proving His people. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken. Only those will stand whose souls are riveted to the eternal Rock. Those who lean to their own understanding, those who are not constantly abiding in Christ, will be subject to just such changes as this.
If your faith has been grounded in man, we may then expect just such results. But if you have decided to cut all connection with us as a people, I have one request to make, for your own sake as well as for Christ’s sake: keep away from our people, do not visit them and talk your doubts and darkness among them.
Satan is full of exultant joy that you have stepped from beneath the banner of Jesus Christ, and stand under his banner. He sees in you one he can make a valuable agent to build up his kingdom. You are taking the very course I expected you would take if you yielded to temptation.
You have ever had a desire for power, for popularity, and this is one of the reasons for your present position. But I beg of you to keep your doubts, your questionings, your skepticism to yourself. The people have given you credit for more strength of purpose and stability of character than you possessed.
They thought you were a strong man; and when you breathe out your dark thoughts and feelings, Satan stands ready to make these thoughts and feelings so intensely powerful in their deceptive character, that many souls will be deceived and lost through the influence of one soul who chose darkness rather than light, and presumptuously placed himself on Satan’s side in the ranks of the enemy.
The Influence of Doubt I do not ask an explanation of your course. Brother Stone wished to read your letter to me. I refused to hear it. The breath of doubt, of complaint and unbelief, is contagious; if I make my mind a channel for the filthy stream, the turbid, defiling water proceeding from Satan’s fountain, some suggestion may linger in any mind, polluting it.
If his suggestions have had such power on you as to lead you to sell your birthright for a mess of pottage–the friendship of the Lord’s enemies–I want not to hear anything of your doubts, and I hope you will be guarded, lest you contaminate other minds; for the very atmosphere surrounding a man who dares to make the statements you have made is as a poisonous miasma.
I beg of you to go entirely away from those who believe the truth; for if you have chosen the world and the friends of the world, go with those of your own choice. Do not poison the minds of others and make yourself Satan’s special agent to work the ruin of soul. (Letter 1, 1880, published in Notebook leaflets from the Elmshaven Library, pp. 73-75.)
A.T Jones was another one. Initially I endorsed him as God’s messenger. What more could a person want? But then he and others began to question my prophetic ministry. In 1906 a number of concerns had been raised by the brethren in Battle Creek regarding my ministry. And so I wrote a letter to the brethren asking that their concerns be written out and sent to me, and I would respond. This is what I wrote:
Recently in the visions of the night I stood in a large company of people. There were present Dr. Kellogg, Elders Jones, Tenny and Taylor, Dr. Paulson, Elder Sadler, Judge Arthur and many of their associates. I was directed by the Lord to request them and any others who have perplexities and grievous things in their minds regarding the testimonies that I have borne, to specify what their objections and criticisms are. The Lord will help me to answer these objections, and to make plain that which seems to be intricate.
The brethren obeyed my request, and sent a letter detailing their concerns. I realized that I had backed myself into a corner, and so I had no choice but to pronouncing it was not the Lord’s will for me to answer these questions. But then A.T. Jones turned on me. Since he was familiar with these events, he also soon began to question my prophetic ministry. I had no choice but to "deal" with him. These people are like weeds. They have to be eliminated before they can cause more damage. Here’s how I handled him.
July 3, 1906 J -242- ‘06 Sanitarium, California July 3, 1906 Elder A. T. Jones: Dear Brother, Again and again your case has been presented before me. I am now instructed to say to you, You have had a large knowledge of truth, and less, far less, spiritual understanding. When you were called to the important work at Washington, you had need of far more of the humble grace that becometh a Christian. Since the Berrien Springs meeting, your attitude and the attitude of several others has grieved the Spirit of God. You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Kress Collection, p. 33
There you go, my friend. When you really get in a tight spot just tell the person who sends you nasty emails that they have been "weighed in the balance and found wanting." The problem with A. T. Jones was that I was afraid that his Satanic influence would spread. I had to do damage control, and so I wrote this:
A. T. Jones, Dr. Kellogg, and Elder Tenney are all working under the same leadership. They are classing themselves with those of whom the apostle writes, "Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils." In the case of A. T. Jones, I can see the fulfillment of the warnings that were given me regarding him.
I want this message to come to you before you shall make a wrong move. I do not want you to imperil your souls. Heed the message that the Lord sends, and have nothing to do with those at Battle Creek who are opposing the messages of the Spirit of God. Clear light has been given me regarding those who are thus departing from the faith. Loma Linda Messages, p. 276, 277
Albion Fox Ballenger was a Seventh-day Adventist minister in England. While studying the book of Hebrews he discovered that he could not establish the SDA doctrine of the Sanctuary from the Scriptures. His conscience bothered him so much that he decided not to preach on the subject again until he could explain it from the Scriptures. After spending many months studying the subject, he decided that my writings were in error. Against my urgent advice, he made his studies public. Naturally he was expelled from the church. He wrote me this letter:
And now Sister White, what can I do? If I accept the testimony of the Scriptures, if I follow my conscientious convictions, I find myself under your condemnation; and you call me a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and warn my brethren and the members of my family against me. But when I turn in my sorrow to the Word of the Lord, that Word reads the same, and I fear to reject God’s interpretation and accept yours.
Oh that I might accept both. But if I must accept but one, hadn’t I better accept the Lord’s? If I reject his word and accept yours, can you save me in the judgment?
When side by side we stand before the great white throne; if the Master should ask me why I taught that ‘within the veil’ was in the first apartment of the sanctuary, what shall I answer? Shall I say, ‘Because Sister White, who claimed to be commissioned to interpret the Scriptures for me, told me that this was the true interpretation, and that if I did not accept it and teach it I would rest under your condemnation? (A.F. Ballenger, Cast Out for the Cross of Christ, 1909)
Obviously he didn’t understand that preserving my reputation was the most important thing. It was obvious that he was lost. I had to contain any influence that he might have. Here’s how I did it:
I declare in the name of the Lord that the most dangerous heresies are seeking to find entrance among us as a people, and Elder Ballenger is making spoil of his own soul. (A.L. White, The Early Elmshaven Years, vol. 5, p. 409)
I testify in the name of the Lord that Elder Ballenger is led by satanic agencies and spiritualistic, invisible leaders. Those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will turn away from these seducing spirits. (Manuscript 59, 1905. Manuscript Release #760, p. 4)
So there you have it. There is an ugly side to this business. This is how I handled it — and I survived. When people start calling you all kinds of un-Christian descriptions like “Satanic” this is how you’ve got to deal with it. Always take the high road. Remember, this is not for the public to know. They wouldn’t understand.

Ellen White
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Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this ExposingAdventism.com website is 2007-2008 by Gilbert Jorgensen. Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.