Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5)


Completion of the Ministry of Healing Manuscript

Back in her home environment she and her helpers took up the work of completing the manuscript for the health book to be called The Ministry of Healing. 5BIO 376.6

This book was long in the planning stage. For a decade or more it had been Ellen White's hope to produce a book that presented the health message in its fullness—a book not for the reading of Adventists only, but for the general public. 5BIO 377.1

In 1864 she published her first writing on health, presenting it in a thirty-one-page chapter in Spiritual Gifts, Volume IV. This was a resume of what was revealed to her in the June 6, 1863, vision. A year later she prepared six articles on the main phases of healthful living for publication in the six pamphlets entitled Health: or How to Live. In the following years she presented various phases of healthful living in chapters of the Testimonies and articles in the Health Reformer, Review and Herald, and Youth's Instructor. 5BIO 377.2

In 1890 a compilation was made from materials appearing in these sources and the unpublished E. G. White manuscripts available, for the book Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene. The first part, “Christian Temperance” (156 pages), was from her pen; the “Bible Hygiene” section (105 pages) was from James White's editorials and articles in the Health Reformer. 5BIO 377.3

“The work of compilation,” the preface denotes, “has been done under the supervision of Mrs. White, by a committee appointed by her for the purpose, and the manuscript has been carefully examined by her.” 5BIO 377.4

Dr. J. H. Kellogg, who served on the committee and wrote the preface, declares that the compilation of Ellen White's teachings was prepared for “those for whom they were specially intended”—in other words, Seventh-day Adventists. The book had wide distribution. Portions, and some chapters, are found today in Counsels on Health and Fundamentals of Christian Education. 5BIO 377.5

In 1897, while Ellen White was in Australia, the medical missionary board of Battle Creek, Michigan, published, under the title Healthful Living, a 284-page compilation of “the various teachings upon the subject of health, health reform, and allied matters, which are to be found in the writings of Mrs. E. G. White” (p. 3). This was described as being in “the most concise and condensed form possible’’ (Ibid.). Dr. David Paulson led out in arranging this reference work, which presented her teachings in selected numbered paragraphs, with appropriate source references. It was somewhat of an encyclopedic work, and was much loved by health-minded Seventh-day Adventists. This book, prepared in Ellen White's absence, came short of being a book for the general public and served for the reading of the rank and file of Seventh-day Adventists. 5BIO 377.6

Not until her return to North America could consideration be given to a new comprehensive book on health, and even then it must await the preparation of the book Education. In a letter to Elder Daniells written June 24, 1901, she mentions the “temperance book” that “should ... be published” (Letter 55, 1901). As that project neared reality, she wrote in September, 1903, “My next book is to be on temperance and the medical missionary work.”—Letter 209, 1903. 5BIO 378.1

Twelve months later she told of how “Marian [Davis] is collecting that which I have written and placing it in order to frame the book now being prepared, The Ministry of Healing.”—Manuscript 144, 1904. 5BIO 378.2