Messenger of the Lord

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Chapter 46—She Still Speaks

“Whether or not my life is spared, my writings will constantly speak, and their work will go forward as long as time shall last. My writings are kept on file in the office, and even though I should not live, these words that have been given to me by the Lord will still have life and will speak to the people.” 1 MOL 528.1

In February 9, 1912, in her 85th year, Ellen White affixed her signature to her last will and testament. 2 MOL 528.2

In essence, the will 3 created the Ellen G. White Estate, Inc., a self-perpetuating board of five members. 4 Its four-point task included disposition of her real property (such as personal goods and land), preservation of her manuscript files, printing of future compilations drawn from her writings, and supervision of the translation and publication of her books into other languages. MOL 528.3

In 1937-38, following the death of W. C. White, her literary properties were moved from her Elmshaven home at St. Helena, California, to vaults and offices at the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Washington, D.C. In the decades that followed, the Ellen G. White Board in cooperation with the General Conference set up eleven research centers in various world divisions of the church, plus branch offices at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and Loma Linda University, in California. 5 These centers contain copies of Mrs. White’s letters and manuscripts, historical material relating to the church, and significant books and pamphlets not easily available elsewhere. MOL 528.4

The Board has taken its responsibilities seriously. The original five-member Board worked together for nineteen years, “publishing ten posthumous compilations from Mrs. White’s manuscript files, prepared and published a Comprehensive Index to her published books, sponsored a thorough indexing of the manuscripts, and, in counsel with the General Conference officers, arranged for the perpetuation of the trusteeship and close collaboration with top church leadership.” 6 MOL 528.5