Messenger of the Lord



In the mid-nineteen-fifties T. Housel Jemison, an associate director of the White Estate, wrote a book entitled, A Prophet Among You. This comprehensive work on the gift of prophecy focused specifically on the life and ministry of Ellen G. White. For many years it was used in Seventh-day Adventist colleges as the standard textbook on the gift of prophecy. MOL 2.1

But in recent decades, much has been learned regarding inspiration/revelation, hence in 1989 the Board of Trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate authorized production of a new book. Sponsors included not only the White Estate but the General Conference Department of Education and the Board of Higher Education. MOL 2.2

Herbert E. Douglass was selected as the author. Dr. Douglass, who taught Spirit of prophecy courses in college, had also served as a college president, associate editor of the Adventist Review, and book editor of the Pacific Press. He immediately began work on the project, researching the subject thoroughly. MOL 2.3

Exposure to a galaxy of scholars and ideas is reflected in the footnotes throughout the book, but the fact that an author is quoted on a particular point should not be taken as an endorsement either of the person or of all the ideas and positions held by that person. MOL 2.4

We believe that this book presents the prophetic ministry of Ellen G. White in a way that makes it appealing to both young and old. Instead of approaching the subject from the abstract to the personal, it leads from the personal to the abstract. As a result, readers will become acquainted with the gift of prophecy by becoming personally acquainted with Mrs. White. Further, they will be drawn closer to the personal God whom she served; they will admire the wise and careful way in which He communicated His messages to His messenger; and they will be awestruck as they observe the way He led her through the theological, medical, and social mine fields of her day. MOL 2.5

Readers will find at the end of each chapter a series of study questions that will lead into further, deeper study of the subject covered by the chapter. The questions may function as a review of the chapter, and may encourage research that will enlarge readers’ understanding of the topic presented in the chapter. MOL 2.6

We believe that everyone who reads this book will understand better how God works through His prophets, and will be deeply convicted that Ellen White was divinely called to the prophetic office. They also will face the future with new confidence and strengthened faith, exclaiming with God’s messenger: “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history” (Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 196). MOL 2.7

The Board of Trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate, Inc.
Silver Spring Maryland.

An Overview by the Author
God’s Communication System
1. The Revealer and the Revealed
2. God Speaks Through Prophets
3. Characteristics of the Prophets
The Real Ellen White
4. The Person and Her Times
5. Messenger, Wife, and Mother
6. Physical Health
7. Personal Characteristics
8. As Others Knew Her
9. Humor, Common Sense, and a Practical Counselor
10. The American Pioneer and the Victorian Woman
11. The Prolific Writer
12. The Sought-for Speaker
The Listening Messenger
13. Delivering God’s Message
14. Confirming the Confidence
15. Timely Instruction and Predictions
16. Ellen White’s Self-awareness as a Messenger
The Voice of a Movement
17. Organization, Unity, and Institutional Development
18. Theological Crises
19. Evangelism, Local and Global, and Race Relations
20. Stewardship, Government Relations, and Humanitarian Involvement
21. Dissidents, Within and Without
21a. Who’s Who in the Adventist World of Ellen G. White (Photo Section)
Nurturer of Inspired Concepts
22. The Organizing Theme
23. Clarification of Major Doctrines
24. Health Principles/1: Emergence of a Health Message
25. Health Principles/2: Relationship of Health to a Spiritual Mission
26. Health Principles/3: Quality Improvement in Adventist Health
27. Health Principles/4: Principles and Policies
28. Health Principles/5: Reviewing a Century of Health Reform Principles
29. Education/1: Principles and Philosophy
30. Education/2: Establishing Educational Institutions
31. Publishing, Temperance, and Social Principles
How to Listen to the Messenger
32. Hermeneutics 1: Basic Principles
33. Hermeneutics 2: Basic Rules of Interpretation—Internal
34. Hermeneutics 3: Rules of Interpretation—External
35. Hermeneutics 4: Characteristics Shared by Biblical Writers & White’s
36. Hermeneutics 5: Authority and Relationship to the Bible
37. Hermeneutics 6: How Contemporaries Understood White’s Authority
38. Hermeneutics 7: 1919 Bible Conference/History Teachers Council
39. Understanding How the Books Were Written
40. Understanding How the Books Were Prepared
How to Evaluate Criticism
41. Truth Still Makes One Free
42. Criticism Involving Relationships With Other People
43. Predictions, Scientific Observations, and Unusual Statements
44. The Shut Door—A Case Study
Continuing Relevancy of God’s Messenger
45. Does Ellen White Measure Up?
46. She Still Speaks
47. Messenger and Message Inseparable
Appendix A: Camp Meetings in Early Nineteenth Century
Appendix B: Background to Exchange of 1874 Letters Between James & Ellen
Appendix C: Excerpts From Robert Louis Stevenson’s Across the Plains (1892)
Appendix D: A Partial List of Ellen G. White Visions
Appendix E: Basic Presuppositions Shared by Most Shut-door Critics
Appendix F: Time-conditioned or Time-related?
Appendix G: Ellen White’s Growth in Understanding Her Own Visions
Appendix H: Ellen White Enriched the Term “Shut Door”
Appendix I: Ellen White Led the Way in Building a Biblically-Oriented Message
Appendix J: Response to Deletion of “Wicked World”
Appendix K: Why Ellen White Seemed to Reach Out Only to Shut-door Advocates
Appendix L: Chief Charges Against Ellen White Regarding Shut-door Issue
Appendix M: The July 13, 1847 Letter to Joseph Bates
Appendix N: Last Will and Testament of Ellen G. White
Appendix O: Comments of National Leaders in the Early 1860s on Slavery Crisis
Appendix P: The Ellipse of Salvation Truth