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Autobiographical Sketch of Ellen G. White

from EGW Estate
Earliest photograph of James and Ellen White, made in 1854.—White Estate.

Marriage and United Labours

August 30, 1846, I was united in marriage to Elder James White. Elder White had enjoyed a deep experience in the advent movement, and his labors in proclaiming the truth had been blessed of God. Our hearts were united in the great work, and together we traveled and labored for the salvation of souls.

In Confirmation of Faith

In November, 1846, I attended, with my husband, a meeting at Topsham, Maine, at which Elder Joseph Bates was present. He did not then fully believe that my visions were of God. That meeting was a season of much interest. The Spirit of God rested upon me; I was wrapped 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. Elder Bates then asked if I had studied astronomy. I told him I had no recollection of ever looking into an astronomy. Then he said, "This is of the Lord." His countenance shone with the light of heaven, and he exhorted the church with power.

Regarding his attitude toward the visions, Elder Bates made the following statement:

"Although I could see nothing in them that militated against the word, yet I felt alarmed and tried exceedingly, and for a long time unwilling to believe that it was anything more than what was produced by a protracted debilitated state of her body.

"I therefore sought opportunities in the presence of others, when her mind seemed freed from excitement (out of meeting), to question and cross-question her, and her friends which accompanied her, especially her elder sister, to get if possible at the truth. During the number of visits she has made to New Bedford and Fairhaven since, while at our meetings, I have seen her in vision a number of times, and also in Topsham, Maine; and those who were present during some of those exciting scenes know well with what interest and intensity I listened to every word, and watched every move to detect deception or mesmeric influence. And I thank God for the opportunity I have had with others to witness these things. I can now confidently speak for myself. I believe the work is of God, and is given to comfort and strengthen His 'scattered, torn, and peeled people,' since the closing up of our work . . . in October, 1844."

Fervent, Effectual Prayer

During the meeting at Topsham, I was shown that I would be much afflicted, and that we would have a trial of our faith after our return to Gorham, where my parents were then living.

On our return, I was taken very sick, and suffered extremely. My parents, husband, and sisters united in prayer for me, but I suffered on for three weeks. I often fainted like one dead, but in answer to prayer revived again. My agony was so great that I pleaded with those around me not to pray for me; for I thought their prayers were protracting my sufferings. Our neighbors gave me up to die. For a time it pleased the Lord to try our faith.

Brother and Sister Nichols, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, had heard of my affliction, and their son Henry came to Gorham, bringing things for my comfort. During his visit, my friends again united in prayer for my recovery. After others had prayed, Brother Henry Nichols began to pray most fervently; and with the power of God resting upon him, he arose from his knees, came across the room, and laid his hands upon my head, saying, "Sister Ellen, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole," and fell back, prostrated by the power of God. I believed that the work was of God, and the pain left me. My soul was filled with gratitude and peace. The language of my heart was: "There is no help for us but in God. We can be in peace only as we rest in Him and wait for His salvation."

Labors in Massachusetts

A few weeks after this, on our way to Boston, we took the steamer at Portland. A violent storm came up, and we were in great peril. But through the mercy of God we were all landed safe.

Of our labors in Massachusetts during February and the first week in March, my husband wrote from Gorham, Maine, March 14, 1847, shortly after our return home:

"While we have been from our friends here near seven weeks, God has been merciful to us. He has been our strength on the sea and land. Ellen has enjoyed the best state of health for six weeks past that she has for so long a time for six years. We are both enjoying good health. . . .

"Since we left Topsham, we have had some trying times. We have also had many glorious, heavenly, refreshing seasons. On the whole, it has been one of the best visits we ever had to Massachusetts. Our brethren at New Bedford and Fairhaven were mightily strengthened and confirmed in the truth and power of God. Brethren in other places were also much blessed."

(Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, pp. 88-90)

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