Reform in Dress
This is a chapter from the first volume of the testimonies, in which Sister White clarified her position on dress reform.Read more
Who is Ellen White, and what is her role in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church?
Ellen Gould White, born Ellen Gould Harmon, was chosen by the Lord to guide and encourage the Adventists after the Great Disappointment of 1844. Miracles, such as superhuman strength and not breathing for hours, marked her open visions. These convinced many that they were of God. However, many now doubt her inspiration. Indeed, many did during her lifetime as well. Hence, she made many statements regarding the source of her words. This is a compilation of such statements.
As you learn what Ellen White herself said of her own writings, our prayer is that your faith will be established. Then, you can read the many articles and quotes we republished on Bright Beams, which you will find below, with full confidence that you are as verily reading the Word of God as you would be if it was the Bible.
…Believe in Jehovah your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.
— 2 Chronicles 20:20
“The Spirit was not given – nor can it ever be bestowed – to supercede the Bible; for the Scriptures exclusively state that the word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested….Isaiah declares, ‘To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ Isaiah 8:20.”
— Great Controversy, p. 7 (“Introduction”)
“In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the testimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly than He instructs them now concerning His will and the course that He would have them pursue…”
— 4 Testimonies, p. 147
“The Holy Ghost is the Author of the Scriptures and of the spirit of prophecy…”
— Letter 92, 1900
“I speak the words of the Lord, with the authority that He gives me, and then I leave the matter in His hands, knowing that I have done my duty. This I must do, whether men will hear or whether they will forbear. But I am not to speak words of my own, lest I weaken the testimony God gives me.”
— Letter 145, 1902.
“I do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision–the precious rays of light shining from the throne.”
— 5 Testimonies, p. 67.
“As soon as I take my pen in hand I am not in darkness as to what to write. It is as plain and clear as a voice speaking to me, ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go.’ ‘In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct [make plain] thy paths.’”
— Manuscript 89, 1900.
“I am just as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in relating or writing the vision as in having the vision. It is impossible for me to call up things which have been shown me unless the Lord brings them before me at the time that He is pleased to have me relate or write them.”
— 2 Spiritual Gifts, pp. 292, 293.
“I cannot at my own impulse take up a work and launch out into it. I have to be impressed by the Spirit of God. I cannot write unless the Holy Spirit helps me. Sometimes I cannot write at all. Then again I am aroused at eleven, twelve, and one o’clock; and I can write as fast as my hand can move over the paper.”
— Letter 11, 1903.
“In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me.”
— 5 Testimonies, p. 67.
“When writing these precious books, if I hesitated, the very word I wanted to express the idea was given me.”
— Letter 265, 1907
“Many times in my experience I have been called upon to meet the attitude of a certain class, who acknowledged that the testimonies were from God, but took the position that this matter and that matter were Sister White’s opinion and judgment. This suits those who do not love reproof and correction, and who, if their ideas are crossed, have occasion to explain the difference between the human and the divine.”
— Manuscript 16, 1889.
“You have talked over matters as you viewed them, that the communications from Sister White are not all from the Lord, but a portion is her own mind, her own judgment, which is no better than anybody else’s judgment and ideas. This is one of Satan’s hooks to hang your doubts upon to deceive your soul and the souls of others who will dare to draw the line in this matter and say, this portion which pleases me is from God, but that portion which points out and condemns my course of conduct is from Sister White alone, and bears not the holy signet. You have in this way virtually rejected the whole of the messages, which God in His tender, pitying love has sent to you to save you from moral ruin.”
— Letter 16, 1888
“I saw that in striking against the visions they did not strike against the worm—the feeble instrument that God spake through—but against the Holy Ghost. I saw it was a small thing to speak against the instrument, but it was dangerous to slight the words of God. I saw if they were in error and God chose to show them their errors through visions, and they disregarded the teachings of God through visions, they would be left to take their own way, and run in the way of error, and think they were right, until they would find it out too late.”
— 1 Selected Messages, p. 40
“Sister White is not the originator of these books. They contain the instruction that during her life-work God has been giving her. They contain the precious, comforting light that God has graciously given his servant to be given to the world…”
— Review and Herald, January 20, 1903, Art. B
“These messages were thus given to substantiate the faith of all, that in these last days we might have confidence in the spirit of prophecy. I thank God that he has preserved my voice, which in my early youth physicians and friends declared would be silent within three months. The God of heaven saw that I needed to pass through a trying experience in order to be prepared for the work he had for me to do. For the past half century my faith in the ultimate triumph of the third angel’s message and everything connected with it, has been substantiated by the wonderful experiences through which I have passed. This is why I am anxious to have my books published and circulated in many languages. I know that the light contained in these books is the light of heaven.”
— Review and Herald, June 14, 1906
“I am instructed that I am the Lord’s messenger; that he called me in my youth to be his messenger, to receive his word, and to give a clear and decided message in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
— Review and Herald, July 26, 1906
“The messages that God has given me have been communicated to His people both by word of mouth and in printed form. Thus my work has been made doubly sure. I am instructed that the Lord, by His infinite power, has preserved the right hand of His messenger for more than half a century, in order that the truth may be written out as He bids me write it for publication, in periodicals and books. Why?—Because if it were not thus written out, when the pioneers in the faith shall die, there would be many new in the faith who would sometimes accept as messages of truth teachings that contain erroneous sentiments and dangerous fallacies.”
— Letter 136, 1906
“Although I am as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in writing my views as I am in receiving them, yet the words I employ in describing what I have seen are my own, unless they be those spoken to me by an angel, which I always enclose in marks of quotation.”
— 1 Selected Messages, p. 37
“There are some, who upon accepting erroneous theories, strive to establish them by collecting from my writings statements of truth, which they use, separated from their proper connection and perverted by association with error.”
— Letter 136, April 27, 1906, to Brethren Butler, Daniells, and Irwin
“Every article I prepare to be edited by my workers, I always have to read myself before it is sent for publication…”
— Letter 84, 1898
“I read over all that is copied, to see that everything is as it should be. I read all the book manuscript before it is sent to the printer. So you can see that my time must be fully occupied. Besides writing, I am called upon to speak to the different churches, and to attend important meetings. I could not do this work unless the Lord helped me.”
— Letter 133, 1902
“I wish to write words that shall remove from the minds of any of my brethren the impression that I did not, before their publication, read the pages in Testimony for the Church, Vol. 9, relating to Sunday labor.”
— Letter 94, 1910
“I am now looking over my diaries and copies of letters written for several years back, commencing before I went to Europe, before you were born. I have the most precious matter to reproduce and place before the people in testimony form. While I am able to do this work, the people must have these things to revive past history, that they may see that there is one straight chain of truth, without one heretical sentence, in that which I have written. This, I am instructed, is to be a living letter to all in regard to my faith.”
— Letter 329a, 1905
“And now to all who have a desire for truth I would say: Do not give credence to unauthenticated reports as to what Sister White has done or said or written. If you desire to know what the Lord has revealed through her, read her published works. Are there any points of interest concerning which she has not written, do not eagerly catch up and report rumors as to what she has said.”
— 5 Testimonies, p. 696
“And now, brethren, I entreat you not to interpose between me and the people, and turn away the light which God would have come to them. Do not by your criticisms take out all the force, all the point and power, from the Testimonies. Do not feel that you can dissect them to suit your own ideas, claiming that God has given you ability to discern what is light from heaven and what is the expression of mere human wisdom. If the testimonies speak not according to the word of God, reject them. Christ and Belial cannot be united. For Christ’s sake do not confuse the minds of the people with human sophistry and skepticism, and make of none effect the work that the Lord would do. Do not, by your lack of spiritual discernment, make of this agency of God a rock of offense whereby many shall be caused to stumble and fall, “and be snared, and be taken.”
— 5 Testimonies, p. 691
“I have my work to do, to meet the misconceptions of those who suppose themselves able to say what is testimony from God and what is human production. If those who have done this work continue in this course, satanic agencies will choose for them.”
— Letter 28, 1906
“The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish’ (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony. He will bring in spurious visions to mislead, and will mingle the false with the true, and so disgust people that they will regard everything that bears the name of visions as a species of fanaticism; but honest souls, by contrasting false and true, will be enabled to distinguish between them.”
— 2 Selected Messages, p. 78
“Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.”
— Letter 196, 1902 (also published in Review and Herald, January 20, 1903, Art. B and 3 Selected Messages, p. 30)
“Sister White is not the originator of these books. They contain the instruction that during her life-work God has been giving her. They contain the precious, comforting light that God has graciously given his servant to be given to the world. From their pages this light is to shine into the hearts of men and women, leading them to the Saviour. The Lord has declared that these books are to be scattered throughout the world. There is in them truth which to the receiver is a savor of life unto life. They are silent witnesses for God. In the past they have been the means in his hands of convicting and converting many souls. Many have read them with eager expectation, and, by reading them, have been led to see the efficacy of Christ’s atonement, and to trust in its power. They have been led to commit the keeping of their souls to their Creator, waiting and hoping for the coming of the Saviour to take his loved ones to their eternal home. In the future, these books are to make the gospel plain to many others, revealing to them the way of salvation.”
— Letter 196, 1902
“The life of one of the greatest prophets that God had sent as a messenger to the earth, was in the balance, and this company of great men pronounced sentence of death after the intellect and manhood had been sacrificed to sensual indulgence.”
— Review and Herald, April 8, 1873
“The prophet John was the connecting link between two dispensations. He was the lesser light which was to be followed by a greater. He was to shake the confidence of the people in their traditions, call their sins to their remembrance, and lead them to repentance; that they might be prepared to appreciate the work of Christ. God communicated to John by inspiration, illuminating the understanding of the prophet, that he might remove the superstition and darkness from the minds of the honest Jews, which had, through false teachings, been gathering upon them for generations. But the least disciple who followed Christ, witnessing His miracles, and receiving His divine lessons of instruction and the comforting words that fell from his lips, was more privileged than John the Baptist. No light has even shone or ever will shine so clearly upon the mind of fallen man, as that which emanated from the teachings and example of Jesus. Christ and his mission had been but dimly understood and typified in the shadowy sacrifice….Although not one of the prophets had a higher mission or greater work to perform than had John, yet he was not to see even the result of his own labors. He was not privileged to be with Christ and witness the divine power attending the greater light.”
— 2 Spirit of Prophecy, p. 83, 84 (also published in Review and Herald, April 8, 1873, par. 15, 16)
“The prophet John was the connecting link between two dispensations. As God’s representative he stood forth to show the relation of the law and the prophets to the Christian dispensation. He was the lesser light, which was to be followed by a greater. The mind of John was illuminated by the Holy Spirit, that he might shed light upon his people; but no other light has ever shone or ever will shine so clearly upon fallen man as that which emanated from the teaching and example of Jesus.”
— Desire of Ages, p. 220
“With the first advent of Christ there was ushered in an era of greater light and glory; but it would indeed be sinful ingratitude to despise and ridicule the lesser light because a fuller and more glorious light had dawned. Those who despise the blessings and glory of the Jewish age are not prepared to be benefited by the preaching of the gospel.”
— Signs of the Times, August 25, 1887
“Christ makes no apology when he declares, ‘I am the Light of the world.’ He was, in life and teaching, the gospel, the foundation of all pure doctrine. Just as the sun compares with the lesser lights in the heavens, so did Christ, the source of all light, compare with the teachers of his day. He was before them all; and shining with the brightness of the sun, he diffused his penetrating, gladdening rays throughout the world.”
— Youth’s Instructor, September 16, 1897
Learn More: Biography of Ellen White | Chronology Ellen White
Now that you are, undoubtedly, standing firmly on the platform of faith, we invite you to enjoy these various Ellen White writings that we have republished. Blessings!
This is a chapter from the first volume of the testimonies, in which Sister White clarified her position on dress reform.Read more
Do you watch unto prayer always, or do you only engage in occasional, listless seasons of prayer? We need to understand that this is war!Read more
“Every day we are deciding our own eternal destiny in harmony with the atmosphere that surrounds the soul.”Read more
The burden that we bear for Christ’s sake, the willingness of our service, the completeness of our surrender,–this is the measure of our love for Him, and of our success in service.Read more
“Much of the public worship of GOD consists of praise and prayer, and every follower of CHRIST should engage in this worship.”Read more
This is a talk Sister White gave at one of our sanitariums. It is full of excellent counsel, especially for those dealing with difficult people.Read more
“It is the duty of the children of GOD to be all light in the LORD, and scatter blessings upon the path of others.”Read more
Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are filled with a longing desire to become CHRISTlike in character, to be assimilated to his image, to keep the way of the LORD, and to do justice and judgment.Read more
If the mind of CHRIST is in you, you will practice the lessons of CHRIST, and because you appreciate His great mercy and love, you will be peacemakers.Read more
The mission of CHRIST was to heal the broken-hearted. He comforted those who were sorrow-stricken, those who had lost courage and hope.Read more
“Diligent heart-keeping is essential to a healthy growth in grace. When the soul has been cleansed, it is the duty of the Christian to keep it undefiled.”Read more
Those who mourn, the meek who feel themselves unworthy of the favor of God, and those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, are all included in “the poor in spirit.”Read more
If meekness and love are not a part of our character, we are not the disciples of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, and our whole experience is feeble and uncertain.Read more
“The pure in heart shall see GOD. While all men shall behold CHRIST as a judge, the pure in heart shall behold him as a friend.”Read more
“You have been taken out of the quarry of the world, and now you are to submit to be hewn, and fitted, and polished for the heavenly building.”Read more
Do you want to be one of GOD’s heroes? You can be; you just need to develop the amazing superpower of self-control!Read more
There is no reason for us to fix our eyes upon error, to grieve and complain, and lose precious time and opportunities in lamenting the faults of others.Read more
How are we to prepare to meet our LORD when He comes? And how can we be sure we will be one of the wise virgins at that time?Read more
Good and evil never harmonize. The safety of CHRIST’s soldiers is assured only when they work and sleep with their armor on.Read more
GOD is calling upon His people to go forth into the places where the truth has never been proclaimed, teaching only those things that CHRIST has commanded.Read more
There are attractions on every hand to draw the mind away from the contemplation of the coming of our Lord and Saviour; but it is absolutely necessary to bear in remembrance that “the great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly.”Read more