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Exposing Adventism - How Ellen White turned on one of her best apologists, Uriah Smith

Many Adventists are not aware of Ellen White's highly embarrassing "amalgamation of man and beast" statement.

Every species of animal which God had created were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood. Since the flood there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men. (Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 75)

Mrs. White said the results of amalgamation could be seen "in certain races of men." The question that has haunted the SDA Church for more than 140 years is, which races are the result of amalgamation of man and beast?

Ellen White's statement provoked instant controversy and stinging criticism of her in the 1860s, and forced church leaders to attempt to defend their prophet. In 1868, four years after the amalgamation statements first appeared in print, Adventist leader Uriah Smith published his defense of Ellen White. In that book he conjectured that the union of man with beast had created "such cases as the wild Bushmen of Africa, some tribes of the Hottentots, and perhaps the Digger Indians of our own country".

James and Ellen White reviewed Uriah Smith's book, which they then approved, and sold at campmeetings they attended. James White "carefully" reviewed Smith's book prior to its publication, and then recommended it in glowing terms to the readers of the church's official magazine, the Review and Herald:

"The Association has just published a pamphlet entitled, 'The Visions of Mrs. E.G. White, A Manifestation of Spiritual Gifts According to the Scriptures.' It is written by the editor of the Review. While carefully reading the manuscript, I felt grateful to God that our people could have this able defense of those views they so much love and prize, which others despise and oppose."

As noted, the prophet's husband carefully read Smith's book. It is inconceivable that the statements about the Bushmen of Africa passed by James White without notice. His endorsement of the book indicates his implicit approval of the explanation. In fact, because it supposedly established Mrs. White's claims, James and Ellen took 2,000 copies of Smith's book with them to peddle at camp meetings that year! By promoting and selling Smith's book the Whites placed their stamp of approval on his explanation of the amalgamation statement.

Without Smith's explanation, anyone reading Ellen White's statement might easily be confused as to exactly which race she was talking about. While Smith may have limited the amalgamation to the Bushmen, a few Adventists have gone further and applied the statements to the negro race.

Ironically Ellen White's statement had a significant impact on Joseph Felding Smith (descendent of Joseph Smith), and affected how the Mormon Church related to acceptance into the Mormon priesthood of blacks. (See "Exposing Adventism - Ellen White and Mormon Race Relations" at http://exposingadventism.com/content/facts/ellen-white_race-relations-mormonism.php)

In 1866 B. F. Snook & William H. Brinkerhoff, early Seventh-day Adventist leaders in Iowa, produced a booklet ,"The Visions of E. G. White Not of God". Snook and Brinkerhoff's booklet was vigorously denounced by Uriah Smith, editor of The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald in a series of 39 rebuttals published June 12 through July 31, 1866. In 1868 Uriah Smith updated these rebuttals, and included 13 more, for a total of 52 rebuttals. This was published in a 144 page book, "The Visions of Mrs. E. G. White, a Manifestation of Spiritual Gifts according to the Scriptures". (These can be viewed in our Library at http://www.defendingthegospel.com/library/)

Even Uriah Smith's vigorous defense of Ellen White was not enough to keep him in her good graces. In later years he, like Dudley Canright, A. T. Jones, A. F. Ballenger, and Ellen's own nephew, F. E. Belding, found himself the victim of Ellen White's vitriolic wrath. She forced Uriah Smith into an impossible situation of publicly humiliating himself by reading to the public one of her "testimonies" to him. She told him that if he did not get up front and read it to the public, that would be an admission of guilt, and she would have someone else do it!

At this point Uriah Smith turned to one of the only friends that he could actually confide in, Dudley Canright (co-founder of the Adventist Church, along with James and Ellen White) and wrote:

Battle Creek, Michigan
July 31, 1883

Dear Bro. Canright:—
Yours of July 28 is at hand. I have shown it to Bro. Gage as you request. It is true G. I. B. (Geo. I. Butler) has asked me to write something for the proposed Supplement, and in the presence of Brn. Littlejohn and Fargo, has urged it hard; or rather they three together have urged me to it. But I have not yet made up my mind to say anything, because I do not know what I can say that will be of any particular help to them.

I told these brethren so plainly. And my reason is that Sr. W. has herself shut my mouth. In the "Special Testimony to the B. C. church," quoted in the "Sab. Advocate Extra," (both of which I suppose you have seen) she has published me as having rejected not only that testimony; but all the testimonies.

Now if I say that I haven't rejected them, I thereby show that I have, for I contradict this one. But if I say that I have, that will not do them any good that I can see, but will be saying that which I have not supposed to be true. Her attack on me seems to me most uncalled for and unjust.

I told the brethren that I did not understand why she seemed so anxious and in such haste to publish me to the world as a disbeliever in the testimonies. She has forced me without cause, into a very embarrassing position, because if I say nothing, of course it will be taken as a virtual acknowledgment of the correctness of the charges. But if I do say anything, I must speak my convictions,which will not be at all satisfactory to them.

I have just written a letter to Bro. Waggoner on the subject giving my position quite fully. I am going to keep a copy, and if you would like to see it, I will send it out to you to read and return. I would like to have you see some correspondence I have had with Sr. W. . .

In haste and love,

U. Smith.

What a sad predicament for an early Seventh-day Adventist pioneer who had faithfully supported her for so many years. She truly had no shame. Her power was all that mattered to her. And she wielded that like an iron whip over anyone who dared to question her.

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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.