Ellen G. White and Her Critics


True Meaning of Her Letter

In this larger context the major burden of her letter stands revealed as an appeal to the critical brethren to put themselves on record in writing, to be as frank in speaking to her as they were in speaking to “nurses” and others at the sanitarium. Her statement that the Lord would help her “answer these objections,” should be read in the light of her statement in the next sentence: “Let us see if we can not throw some light upon the matter.” Also with her further statement: “It may be that some matters that seem to you very objectionable can be explained.” Then, too, we should note carefully her words: “If any are framing excuses that have deceived their own minds, I plead with them to put these excuses away before the final judgment.” EGWC 346.5

In other words, we think that the reasonable interpretation of her whole letter—we have given virtually all of it—is that she was making a heaven-directed last appeal to this critical group to lay their grievances squarely before her. * She wanted everything to come out into the open, and she wanted to show a measure of good faith in advance by presuming that their questions would warrant an answer. Hence her words: “The Lord will help me to answer these objections.” But her following on to say, twice, by implication, that she might not be able to answer some questions to their satisfaction reveals that she was not sure that all these men were of a mood to consider valid the answers she might be prepared to give. After all, if people are “framing excuses that have deceived their own minds,” they may be impervious to any attempt to clear up their questions and grievances. EGWC 347.1

The charge before us implies that as soon as someone wrote out his “perplexities” and sent them to her she immediately was panic stricken, nonplused, and “had another ‘vision’” in which she reversed herself, and refused to answer any questions. EGWC 347.2