Messenger of the Lord


How the Book Is Organized

This book is divided into eight sections: MOL xv.3

I. God’s Communication System (chapters 1 to 3). MOL xv.4

II. The Real Ellen White (chapters 4 to 12). MOL xv.5

III. The Listening Messenger (chapters 13 to 16). MOL xv.6

IV. The Voice of a Movement (chapters 17 to 21). MOL xv.7

V. Nurturer of Inspired Concepts (chapters 22 to 31). MOL xv.8

VI. How to Listen to the Messenger (chapters 32 to 40). MOL xv.9

VII. How to Evaluate Criticism (chapters 41 to 44). MOL xv.10

VIII. Continuing Relevancy of God’s Messenger (chapters 45 to 47). MOL xv.11

Chapters 1 to 3 will explore briefly the Biblical teaching about how God has been revealing the “good news” (the gospel) of salvation to men and women. The “good news” is the truth about God and His way of running the universe—a picture in sharp contrast to Satan’s lies and libels. God is revealed through Jesus Christ, the Revealer. The Holy Spirit passes on, through the “gift of prophecy,” the truth as revealed in Jesus. MOL xv.12

Chapters 4 to 12 will focus first on Ellen Harmon’s childhood and teenage experiences. Then, her role as Mrs. Ellen G. White—wife, mother, neighbor, soul winner, and public personality—by examining her life from her own writings as well as from the viewpoint of those who knew her best. Because one’s thought as well as temperament are largely determined by contemporary social, economic, and philosophical influences, we will briefly note the circumstances prevailing in northeastern United States, and later national factors that most probably touched her as she developed under her divine assignment. Her fascinating blend of Victorian woman and rugged American pioneer will be studied. MOL xv.13

Chapters 13 to 16 will observe how the prophetic gift functioned in the ministry of Ellen White. The historical background of the 1840s and 1850s will help us to understand the unfavorable climate that existed for anyone claiming to have visions. Nevertheless, the vision phenomena of Ellen White brought clarity and assurance to those who wanted a Biblical explanation for the 1844 experience. MOL xv.14

We will study Ellen White as a writer and speaker, by: MOL xv.15

• noting her development in style and content as she responded to changing circumstances and deepening enlightenment during her seventy-year ministry; MOL xv.16

• tracing how she, as any writer would and does, employed research materials to amplify and make more specific the core message she was commissioned to bear; MOL xv.17

• noting the remarkable reception to her spoken and written words by non-Adventists; MOL xv.18

• recalling her unusual speaking abilities, often with physical circumstances that would overwhelm her contemporaries, or even anyone today. MOL xv.19

Chapters 17 to 21 will explore the phenomenal relationship between Ellen G. White and the church with which she became so intimately involved for seventy years. No other person has so directly affected the growth and shaping of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, theologically and institutionally. She had much to do with its strategic planning. Her counsel was sought from Australia to Europe and across North America regarding the establishment of schools, health institutions, and publishing houses. Her writings became beacons of enlightenment to be avidly studied in later generations. MOL xvi.1

Chapters 22 to 31 will examine Ellen White’s role as conceptual nurturer. She had a unique ability to synthesize the clear prophetic message with human experience and the insights of others. Out of this synthesis developed a distinctively integrated and coherent body of thought, firmly and consistently Biblically based. This integration unified her vast contribution to practical principles of education, evangelism, organization, and health, for which Seventh-day Adventists have become well known. MOL xvi.2