Homeward Bound


Homeward Bound


Revelation 14:6-11 presents the three angels’ messages, in which Seventh-day Adventists find their commission. Then verse 12 helps provide their identity: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Immediately after, the very next verse includes this blessing: “‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on’ . . . ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them’” (v. 13). Ellen G. White, one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist movement, who helped proclaim those three messages and urged keeping the commandments and the faith of Jesus, died in 1915. Her works have followed her, especially in the writings she left with us. HB 13.1

Those writings have inspired and instructed the church since its beginning. They have given us important insights into Scripture, enriching our Bible understanding. They have contributed significant instruction on organization, education, publishing, and other matters relating to church structure. They have presented key principles regarding diet, health, spiritual growth, and other topics of personal benefit to Christ’s followers. Where the church has taken these writings seriously, the members and the organization have been blessed. HB 13.2

In Ellen White’s later years, she often included an autographed note in copies of her books that she gave away (see a photo of one of her notes at the end of this foreword). The opening words on this note were “We are homeward bound.” This unshakeable belief in the return of Christ and the promise of heaven was a hallmark of her life and ministry. It therefore seems appropriate that the title and focus of this collection of daily meditative thoughts, released during the centennial year of her death, is Homeward Bound. HB 13.3

As we mark a century’s passing since Ellen White’s death, it is fitting that Homeward Bound provides a retrospective of some of the major themes she dealt with in those writings. Each month’s readings will take up one of these themes. In doing so, this book may depart in some respects from the customary devotional book pattern. The readings are not aimed solely at providing inspirational uplift, but at presenting matters that Ellen White deemed important. Sometimes these will call on the readers to do or to avoid certain things as part of their faithful service for the Lord. Sometimes they will highlight particular aspects of Seventh-day Adventist teaching and Bible understanding, such as Satan’s fate during the millennium and at its close. Items like this are included here because they are a part of Ellen White’s emphasis on the given theme. HB 13.4

In keeping with recent practice in the devotional books, the readings here have reduced her generic use of such words as man, men, brethren, he, him, and his, which were widely used in Ellen White’s time to refer to men and women in general, but which usage is much less common today. Without altering Ellen White’s meaning, these adjustments in wording will avoid distracting the reader from the message of the book. HB 14.1

Ellen G. White famously wrote, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history” (Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 196). It is our prayer that this volume may remind us not only of how the Lord has led us but also of His teaching through His servant Ellen G. White. HB 14.2

The Ellen G. White Estate Board of Trustees

We are homeward bound. A little longer, and the strife will be over. May we who stand in the heat of the conflict, ever keep before us a vision of things unseen—of that time when the world will be bathed in the light of heaven, when the years will move on in gladness, when over the scene the morning stars will sing together and the sons of God will shout for joy, while God and Christ will unite in proclaiming, “There shall be no more sin, neither shall there be any more death.” “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” let us “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” HB 14.3

Ellen G. White