Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


Writing “Spiritual Gifts,” Vol. 1

In the vision at Lovett's Grove, most of the matter which I had seen ten years before concerning the great controversy of the ages between Christ and Satan, was repeated, and I was instructed to write it out. I was shown that while I should have to contend with the powers of darkness, for Satan would make strong efforts to hinder me, yet I must put my trust in God, and angels would not leave me in the conflict. LS 162.1

Two days afterward, while journeying on the cars to Jackson, Mich., we arranged our plans for writing and publishing, immediately on our return home, the book entitled, “The Great Controversy between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and His Angels,” commonly known as “Spiritual Gifts,” Vol. 1. [Note.—This volume, dealing with the fall of man, the plan of redemption, and the history of the church from the time of Christ to the new earth, corresponds with the latter part of Early Writings, 145-295 (new edition). A portion of the volume, as enlarged in later years, is now published separately under the general title, “The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan.”] I was then as well as usual. LS 162.2

On the arrival of the train at Jackson, we went to Brother Palmer's. We had been in the house but a short time, when, as I was conversing with Sister Palmer, my tongue refused to utter what I wished to say, and seemed large and numb. A strange, cold sensation struck my heart, passed over my head, and down my right side. For a time I was insensible, but was aroused by the voice of earnest prayer. I tried to use my left limbs, but they were perfectly useless. For a short time I did not expect to live. It was my third shock of paralysis; and although within fifty miles of home, I did not expect to see my children again. I called to mind the triumphant season I had enjoyed at Lovett's Grove, and thought it was my last testimony, and felt reconciled to die. LS 162.3

Still the earnest prayers of my friends were ascending to heaven for me, and soon a prickling sensation was felt in my limbs, and I praised the Lord that I could use them a little. The Lord heard and answered the faithful prayers of His children, and the power of Satan was broken. That night I suffered much, but the next day I was sufficiently strengthened to return home. LS 163.1

For several weeks I could not feel the pressure of the hand or the coldest water poured upon my head. In rising to walk, I often staggered, and sometimes fell to the floor. In this afflicted condition I began to write on the great controversy. At first I could write but one page a day, and then rest three days; but as I progressed, my strength increased. The numbness in my head did not seem to becloud my mind, and before I closed that work [“Spiritual Gifts,” Vol. 1], the effect of the shock had entirely left me. LS 163.2

At the time of the conference at Battle Creek, in June, 1858, I was shown in vision that in the sudden attack at Jackson, Satan intended to take my life, in order to hinder the work I was about to write; but angels of God were sent to my rescue. I also saw, among other things, that I should be blessed with better health than before the attack. LS 163.3