Messenger of the Lord


Section V—Nurturer of Inspired Concepts

Chapter 22—The Organizing Theme

“Seventh-day Adventism is one of the most subtly differentiated, systematically developed and institutionallysuccessful of all alternatives to the American way of life.... The central figure in Adventism has remained largely out of public view. Ellen White ... her life and thought shaped the characteristic features of Adventism. To understand how and why Adventism has impinged on the public consciousness, a detailed analysis of Adventist theology and Ellen White’s writings is necessary.” 1 MOL 256.1

In the preceding chapters we have observed that Ellen White and the history of the Adventist movement are as interconnected as the warp and woof of a beautiful rug. The same can be said about the close relationship between Ellen White and the Adventist mind as expressed in its distinctive theological contribution, its educational and health principles, its sense of social responsibilities, and its missiology. 2 Without Ellen White, the Adventist mind in all these areas, as historically understood, would be as porous as a window screen. 3 MOL 256.2

The uniqueness of Ellen White’s contribution lies not in total originality of thought but in her synthesis of divinely revealed insights and the results of her own reading and observation. While selecting specific expressions from her contemporaries that helped her to depict more fully the broad principles of truth that were revealed to her, she avoided notions from those same authors that were not consonant with those principles. MOL 256.3