Messenger of the Lord


Chapter 37—Hermeneutics-Part 6: How Contemporaries Understood Ellen White’s Authority

“Our position on the Testimonies is like the keystone of the arch, take that out and there is no logical stopping-place till all the special truths of the message are gone.... Nothing is more sure than this, that this message and the visions belong together, and stand or fall together.” 1 MOL 426.1

In 1947 L. H. Christian, church administrator for decades, summarized the thinking of Adventists for a century: “Adventists have never regarded Mrs. White as infallible. They think she was inspired as Ezekiel and other prophets were inspired, and they accept her messages as counsels from the Lord. What our leaders and believers in earlier years thought of Mrs. White was well expressed in 1922 by O. A. Johnson, one of our respected Adventist college Bible teachers: ‘While neither Mrs. White nor any of her most devoted followers ever claimed that she, as a human being, never erred, yet she claims that what she wrote under the direction of the Spirit of God was to be regarded as nearly perfect as could be given through human agency.’” 2 MOL 426.2