Ellen G. White — Messenger to the Remnant


“Is Sister White Getting Rich?”

Knowing of her incomes, some asked, “Is Sister White getting rich?” She answers the question thus: EGWMR 124.15

“Sometimes it has been reported that I am trying to get rich. Some have written to us, inquiring, ‘Is not Mrs. White worth millions of dollars?’ I am glad that I can say, ‘No.’ I do not own in this world any place that is free from debt. Why?—Because I see so much missionary work to be done. Under such circumstances, could I hoard money?—No, indeed. I receive royalties from the sale of my books; but nearly all is spent in missionary work. EGWMR 124.16

“The head of one of our publishing houses in a distant foreign land, upon hearing recently from others that I was in need of means, sent me a bill of exchange for five hundred dollars; and in the letter accompanying the money, he said that in return for the thousands upon thousands of dollars royalty that I had turned over to their mission field for the translation and distribution of new books and for the support of new missionary enterprises, they regarded the enclosed five hundred dollars as a very small token of their appreciation. They sent this because of their desire to help me in time of special need; but heretofore I have given, for the support of the Lord’s cause in foreign lands, all the royalties that come from the sale of my foreign books in Europe; and I intend to return this five hundred dollars as soon as I can free myself from debt.”—Manuscript 8, 1904. EGWMR 124.17

Much more might be said of the messenger of the Lord as a steward of means. We are not, however, attempting to give a complete chronicle of her life and work. The few items here presented give a typical and accurate picture of this phase of her experience. EGWMR 124.18

In these days of well-established institutions the Sustentation Fund, various reserves, and well-defined financial policies it may not be necessary for any individual to lead out as did James and Ellen White in giving to the cause. Some may have wished that she had not borrowed money to be used in advancing the work. Under the circumstances and at the time, it seemed to be the right thing to do. We will leave others to judge as to whether or not Ellen G. White was a good financier measured by today’s standards. She was, however, beyond all challenge, a faithful steward of means. EGWMR 124.19