Messenger of the Lord


What About Ellen White’s Denials?

We have seen in this book many examples of the human element in God’s communication system, both in the Bible and in the writings of Ellen White. We have also seen a few instances that are not readily explained. MOL 462.8

Some have pointed to certain Ellen White denials regarding her use of contemporary sources as examples of duplicity. Others look at these examples in context and find Mrs. White void of deceit. 41 MOL 462.9

Robert W. Olson, for twelve years director of the Ellen G. White Estate, summed up the focus on these denials by joining Fred Veltman’s 42 conclusion: “It seems clear to me that Ellen White was worried over the danger of emptying the messages of their power through her dependence upon the writing abilities of others.... In my judgment it is basically this same burden of Ellen White’s over the reception of her writings as messages from the Lord that led her not to fully disclose her dependence on literary sources.” 43 MOL 462.10

Olson listed ten alleged denials, or nonadmissions, made by either James or Ellen White—most of which presented no problem when seen in context. 44 He concluded his article: “In my opinion, she did not want her readers to be distracted from her message because of concentrating on her method. Undue attention to how she wrote might raise unnecessary doubts in some minds as to the authority of what she wrote. “If this is the correct explanation ... let us not allow questions about methodology and inspiration to pull our focus away from the inspired communications God has sent us.” 45 MOL 462.11