Ellen G. White and Her Critics


What Are the Sources?

Information concerning the vision of November, 1846, in which Mrs. White viewed certain heavenly bodies, has come to us from several sources, some primary, some secondary. The first question before us is this: What did Mrs. White, and those present at her vision, actually say, and when did they say it? In the charge before us, Loughborough is quoted as the source of the account of this astronomy vision. But Loughborough was not present when Mrs. White had this vision, and did not write his work till more than forty years afterward. What did Mrs. White herself record regarding it? In her first autobiographical work, printed in 1860, she makes this brief mention of the vision: EGWC 92.2

“August 30th, 1846 I was married to Elder James White. In a few months we attended a conference in Topsham, Me. Bro. J. Bates was present. He did not then fully believe that my visions were of GOD. It was a meeting of much interest. But I was suddenly taken ill and fainted. The brethren prayed for me, and I was restored to consciousness. The Spirit of GOD rested upon us in Bro. C.’s [Curtis’] humble dwelling, and I was wrapt in a vision of GOD’s glory, and for the first time had a view of other planets. After I came out of vision I related what I had seen. Bro. Bates asked if I had studied astronomy. I told him I had no recollection of ever looking into an astronomy. Said he, ‘This is of the LORD.’ I never saw Bro. Bates so free and happy before. His countenance shone with the light of Heaven, and he exhorted the church with power.”—Spiritual Gifts 2:83. EGWC 92.3

In 1849 Mrs. White refers to a vision of other worlds, which the critics declare, though without proof, is the 1846 vision. We give the portion of it that might be supposed to have a bearing: EGWC 92.4

“The Lord has given me a view of other worlds. Wings were given me, and an angel attended me from the city to a place that was bright and glorious. The grass of the place was living green, and the birds there warbled a sweet song. The inhabitants of the place were of all sizes, they were noble, majestic and lovely.... Then I was taken to a world which had seven moons. There I saw good old Enoch, who had been translated.”—Broadside, To those who are receiving the seal of the living God. Topsham, Jan. 31, 1849. (See also Early Writings, 39, 40, current edition.) EGWC 92.5