Someone Change E W's Writings?
(By Jeannie McReynolds)
I have been hearing, promoted also by a dear friend of mine, a theory which has
concerned me a great deal. It is
the idea that, during the lifetime of the prophet, people were making changes in
the writings of Ellen White. It
is said that others, including her son, Willie, were making significant changes
in the wording of her later books. For
this reason they claim that the later books are not to be trusted.
I have no problem with the early books.
But a theory which weakens people's faith in even part of the books
written by Ellen White, as this one does in the later ones, deserves to be
examined very carefully. This
is especially true when we are specifically told that, at the end time,
Satan would work through different means to undermine faith in the Spirit of
Prophecy. "Satan is . .
. constantly pressing in the spurious--to lead away from the truth. The very
last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the
Spirit of God. 'Where there is no vision, the people perish.' (Prov. 29:18.) Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through
different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in
the true testimony." Letter
theory is especially credible to conscientious, conservative Adventists,
because they often have come to distrust the leadership of the denomination.
They have seen so many apostasies in high places that it is easy for
them to believe that some leaders may have even been capable of changing
Ellen White's writings. So,
believing that they are protecting the Spirit of Prophecy, and finding the
"pure truth," many are accepting this teaching.
But is it true? Or is it another trap of Satan, to weaken our faith in the
Spirit of Prophecy?
first question was, "Did she say that this is true?" I
was given reports of what she supposedly said to someone who supposedly said
it to someone else. But in
spite of requesting it again and again, no one has been able to produce
anything from her pen saying that any unauthorized changes were being made,
other than a few by Fannie Bolton, which we will detail later.
my mind, this is very significant. She
certainly had no problem with speaking out, even in a most forceful manner,
to the top men of the organization. She
reproved the General Conference presidents again and again. Was
she too shy or frightened to protest her own writings being adulterated?
who thinks that simply does not know Ellen White!
Our leaders feared her, and with good reason. On one occasion the angel told her to go to the California
Conference Constituency meeting. Her
helpers were surprised when she asked to be taken there. When she arrived,
she walked up to the platform and asked to speak. No one had expected her
that day. The startled officer in charge allowed her to speak. She told the
assembled conference leaders and delegates that the conference president
needed to be replaced. This was
promptly done. She had a lot of influence with the people.
did she not know that others were changing her writings?
Did she never read what they printed? Did the God, who revealed so many secrets to her, fail to
reveal to her that others were undermining her writings?
if she did know, but her protests were in vain, and they wouldn't
stop? What would she have done?
She would have done just what she did do in 1888 when the
leaders opposed her. They would
not accept the 1888 message, which she said that God had sent to the people.
So she took it to the people herself!
spoke before the people very frequently.
It would have been a simple matter to stand before those
congregations and say, "Someone is changing my writings!
The books that are printed are not the same as what I have written!
This must stop!" But
she never, ever said that. The
leaders were afraid of her. They
knew the power she had with the people.
There was plenty she could have done if they had been changing her
writings in ways that she did not approve!
could have taken her books to other publishing houses if she distrusted the
men at the top. In the mid
1890's she was in such conflict with the leaders that they threatened not to
publish her new book, Steps to Christ.
That didn't bother her for a minute.
She just took it to a non-Adventist publishing house and had it
do we think that we have an accurate Bible today?
We have no original documents, only copies of copies. But
we believe that the God who inspired the Bible has been able to preserve it
for us for the last two thousand years without any change of serious
that is the case, and the Spirit of Prophecy is the inspired word of
God also, has He been unable to preserve it for us for even one hundred
is not one of the charges that are leveled against the Spirit of Prophecy
that cannot be leveled also against the Bible. In fact, when Walter Rea
spoke before a large congregation of Adventists in the Walla Walla area,
after completing his message of attack against the Spirit of Prophecy, he
started to sit down. Then he
went back to the microphone and said, "Now don't you do to the Bible
what I have just done to Ellen White's writings!"
He was quite aware that every charge he had leveled against the
Spirit of Prophecy could also be made convincingly against the Bible.
do God's people listen to those who are trying to tear down their faith in
the Word of God? Ellen White
" I saw that God had especially guarded the Bible, yet learned
men, when the copies were few, had changed the words in some instances,
thinking that they were making it more plain, when they were mystifying that
which was plain, in causing it to lean to their established. Views, governed
by tradition. But I saw that the word of God, as a whole, is a perfect
chain, one portion of scripture explaining another. True seekers for truth
need not err for not only is the word of God plain and simple in declaring
the way to life, but the Holy Spirit is given to guide in understanding the
way of life revealed in his Word." 1SG 117.
have a few of the words of scripture been changed by men?
Yes, God's prophet says that it is so.
Has this destroyed the Bible so that it is no longer God's word, and
our light to light our way to heaven? Not
at all. Does this give us
license to pick and choose which part of the Bible we are going to believe?
say that God has not protected His Word is to make a serious charge against
Him. And if that were true, what hope have we of eternal life?
Are we to say that God sent His Son to die in order to save us, then
allowed men to so distort His words that we cannot hear and understand the
message? God would never do
that. We can trust Him. And if
the Spirit of Prophecy is God's Word to us also, then in the same way, we
must trust Him to keep it for us.
we are to make it safely to the kingdom of heaven, we had better rely on
every word of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. "Then I saw
that God knew that Satan would try every art to destroy man therefore He had
caused his Word to be written out, and had made his designs to man so plain
that the weakest need not err. Then, after he had given his Word to man, he
had carefully preserved it, so that Satan and his angels, through any agent
or representative, could not destroy it." 1SG 116.
have the few changes that have been made "destroyed" God's word,
so that we cannot trust in it? Never.
God has made sure that no changes have been made that prevent His
Word from being our refuge and guide. We
must trust Him.
also have to ask, if the leaders were making all those changes, then why
didn't they get rid of the strong reproofs that were directed against them?
Some of them must have hated those reproofs!
Wouldn't they have changed or eliminated them if they had dared?
this day many of the leaders are so unhappy about the reproofs in the
Testimonies that they have prevented them from being translated into other
languages. A friend of mine spoke with a man who had accepted $10,000 from
the General Conference to NOT translate the Testimonies!
If you doubt my word, I will give you the name and number of the
friend so you can call him yourself!
why didn't they add words to tell the people to trust and obey the leaders? Wouldn't
they have liked the Spirit of Prophecy to say that to the people?
Why didn't they just insert a few statements like that?
men changed the Spirit of Prophecy, they would only have done it to change
the meaning. They would
certainly have brought in false doctrine.
Yet if every word had been changed that they claim was changed, where
is all the false doctrine that was brought in?
Does the Spirit of Prophecy now teach dangerous error?
If so, where is it?
is illustrated by the fact that they have added footnotes and headings,
etc.. Have you noticed that the
footnotes and headings sometime contradict the text?
If men add things, you can tell!
If they had dared to change the text, you would also be able to tell.
There would be contradictions.
found that one thing that was causing confusion was a lack of knowledge
about how inspiration works. If
God gives the prophet the exact words that he/she is to write or speak, then
not even the prophet has the right to change a word.
if God gives the prophet the idea to be expressed, and the prophet states
that idea in his/her own words, then the prophet would have the right to
change or allow others to change, the words in order to express the idea
is it? Does the prophet tell
us? Does the Bible tell us?
Was the Bible inspired in the same way as the Spirit of Prophecy?
decided to study some of the issues that had been raised by searching the
CD-rom for statements bearing on this subject.
Here are the results of my search:
the Writings were Done:
"Although I am as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in
writing my views as I am in receiving them, yet the words I employ in
describing what I have seen are my own, unless they be those spoken to me by
an angel, which I always enclose in marks of quotation." Review and
Herald, Oct. 8, 1867.
the writing of Great Controversy, she said:
"As the Spirit of God has opened to my mind the great truths of
his Word, and the scenes of the past and the future, I have been bidden to
make known to others what has thus been revealed, --to trace the history of
the controversy in past ages, and especially to so present it as to shed a
light on the fast-approaching struggle of the future. In pursuance of this
purpose, I have endeavored to select and group together events in the
history of the church in such a manner as to trace the unfolding of the
great testing truths that at different periods have been given to the world,
that have excited the wrath of Satan, and the enmity of a world-loving
church, and that have been maintained by the witness of those who
'loved not their lives unto the death.'. . .
"The great events which have marked the progress of reform in
past ages, are matters of history, well known and universally acknowledged
by the Protestant world they are facts which none can gainsay. This history
I have presented briefly, in accordance with the scope of the book, and the
brevity which must necessarily be observed, the facts having been condensed
into as little space as seemed consistent with a proper understanding of
their application. In some cases where a historian has so grouped together
events as to afford, in brief, a comprehensive view of the subject, or has
summarized details in a convenient manner, his words have been quoted but
except in a few instances no specific credit has been given, since they are
not quoted for the purpose of citing that writer as authority, but because
his statement affords a ready and forcible presentation of the subject. In
narrating the experience and views of those carrying forward the work of
reform in our own time, similar use has occasionally been made of their
The Author's Preface, pp. g-h.
"After I come out of vision I do not at once remember all that I
have seen, and the matter is not so clear before me until I write, then the
scene rises before me as was presented in vision, and I can write with
freedom. Sometimes the things which I have seen are hid from me after I come
out of vision, and I cannot call them to mind until I am brought before a
company where the vision applies, then the things which I have seen come to
my mind with force.
"I am just as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in relating
or writing the vision as in having the vision. It is impossible for me to
call up things which have been shown me unless the Lord brings them before
me at the time that He is pleased to have me relate or write them.
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, pp. 292, 293.
"I am exceedingly anxious to use words that will not give anyone
a chance to sustain erroneous sentiments. I must use words that will not be
misconstrued and made to mean the opposite of that which they were designed
to mean".--Manuscript 126, 1905.
Ellen White wrote Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, it was an account of her
own experiences. She wrote about how she had done this:
"In preparing the following pages, I have labored under great
disadvantages, as I have had to depend in many instances on memory,
having kept no journal till within a few years. In several instances I have
sent the manuscripts to friends who were present when the circumstances
related occurred, for their examination before they were put in print. I
have taken great care, and have spent much time, in endeavoring to state the
simple facts as correctly as possible.
"I have, however, been much assisted in arriving at dates by the
many letters which I wrote".--Preface to Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2.
the appendix to the first 400 copies, she wrote:
"A special request is made that if any find incorrect
statements in this book they will immediately inform me. The edition will be
completed about the first of October therefore send before that time."
Bible was written in the same way:
"It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the
men that were inspired. Inspiration acts, not on the man's words or his
expressions, but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy
Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words receive the impress of the
individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is
combined with the human mind and will thus the utterances of the man are the
Word of God." Manuscript 24, 1886 (I SM 21)
we look at the Bible carefully, it is obvious that this is so. Each different writer speaks in his own way, and his own
personality shows in the writings. Yet
the different writers present a perfect and unified whole because it is the
same Spirit that inspired them all.
White Made and Authorized Changes:
Ellen White did not have much formal education.
Especially at first her English was not very polished, and she needed
others to correct the grammar on her writings.
At the beginning this work was done by James White, and later by
others. Later in life she educated herself so that she continually
improved. But there were always
some corrections to be made. These
she authorized and approved. In
the early years she wrote:
"This morning I take into candid consideration my writings. My
husband is too feeble to help me prepare them for the printer, therefore I
shall do no more with them at present. I am not a scholar. I cannot
prepare my own writings for the press. Until I can do this I shall write
no more. It is not my duty to tax others with my
manuscript."--Manuscript 3, 1873. (Diary Jan. 10, 1873.)
"While my husband lived, he acted as a helper and counselor in
the sending out of the messages that were given to me. We traveled
extensively. Sometimes light would be given to me in the night season,
sometimes in the daytime before large congregations. The instruction I
received in vision was faithfully written out by me, as I had time and
strength for the work. Afterward we examined the matter together, my husband
correcting grammatical errors and eliminating needless repetition. Then it
was carefully copied for the persons addressed, or for the printer.
"As the work grew, others assisted me in the preparation of
matter for publication. After my husband's death, faithful helpers
joined me, who labored untiringly in the work of copying the testimonies and
preparing articles for publication.
"But the reports that are circulated, that any of my
helpers are permitted to add matter or change the meaning of the messages I
write out, are not true."-- Letter 225, 1906, 3SM 89.
she was preparing the Testimonies, she wrote:
"During the last nine years, from 1855 to 1864, I have written
ten small pamphlets, entitled, Testimony for the Church, which have been
published and circulated among Seventh-day Adventists. The first edition
of most of these pamphlets being exhausted, and there being an increasing
demand for them, it has been thought best to reprint them, as given in the
following pages, omitting local and personal matters, and giving those
portions only which are of practical and general interest and importance.
Most of Testimony No. 4 may be found in the second volume of Spiritual
Gifts, hence, it is omitted in this volume."
3 SM 95.
said that God had instructed her to publish papers and books in the
original, rough form, and then polish them later:
"I wish to state some matters, which you can do what you please
with. These statements you have heard me make before--that I was shown
years ago that we should not delay publishing the important light given me
because I could not prepare the matter perfectly. My husband was at
times very sick, unable to give me the help that I should have had and that
he could have given me had he been in health. On this account I delayed
putting before the people that which has been given me in vision.
"But I was shown that I should present before the people in the
best manner possible the light received then as I received greater light,
and as I used the talent God had given me, I should have increased
ability to use in writing and in speaking. I was to improve everything, as
far as possible bringing it to perfection, that it might be accepted by
intelligent minds." 3 SM 96.
"As far as possible every defect should be removed
from all our publications. As the truth should unfold and become widespread,
every care should be exercised to perfect the works published."
3 SM 97.
the Testimonies, volumes 1-4 were to be printed, Ellen White wanted
the grammar corrected and improved. At
her urging, a committee was set up to do this in November of 1883.
The resolution to set up this committee was printed in the Review
and Herald for Nov. 27, 1883.
who are complaining about the changes made often quote this resolution.
They say, "See, it says right here that they were going to make
changes." But if there had
been any secret about what they were doing, they would hardly have printed
it publicly in the Review. And the following statement, from a letter to Uriah Smith,
makes it very clear that Ellen White was approving of what they did:
"Now, Brother Smith, I have been making a careful, critical
examination of the work that has been done on the Testimonies, and I see a
few things that I think should be corrected in the matter brought before you
and others at the General Conference [November, 1883]. But as I examine the
matter more carefully I see less and less that is objectionable. Where
the language used is not the best, I want it made correct and grammatical,
as I believe it should be in every case where it can be without destroying
the sense. This work is delayed, which does not please me. . . .
" My mind has been exercised upon the question of the
Testimonies that have been revised. We have looked them over more
critically. I cannot see the matter as my brethren see it. I think the
changes will improve the book. If our enemies handle it, let them do so. [This
remark is because she was aware that others would criticize the fact that
changes had been made.]
"I think that anything that shall go forth will be criticized,
twisted, turned, and boggled, but we are to go forward with a clear
conscience, doing what we can and leaving the result with God. We must not
be long in delaying the work.
"Now, my brethren, what do you propose to do? I do not want this
work dragging along any longer. I want something done, and done
now."--Letter 11, 1884. (Written from Healdsburg, California, Feb. 19,
considered it not only her right, but also her duty, to leave out some
portions of the testimonies she had written to individuals, when these were
presented to the church. Many
of these individuals were still living, and she left out things that would
identify the person. God
instructed her that much of what she had written to certain individuals
applied to many in the church, and would be a benefit to all.
But these things were not to be made public in a way to injure the
individuals who had been addressed. When
she was putting together the material for Testimonies Vol. 6, she
"I must select the most important matters for the Testimony
(vol. 6) and then look over everything prepared for it, and be my own
critic for I would not be willing to have some things which are all truth to
be published because I fear that some would take advantage of them to hurt
"After the matter for the Testimony is prepared, every article
must be read by me. I have to read them myself for the sound of the voice in
reading or singing is almost unendurable to me.
"I try to bring out general principles, and if I see a
sentence which I fear would give someone excuse to injure someone else, I
feel at perfect liberty to keep back the sentence, even though it is all
perfectly true."--Letter 32, 1901.
"We have decided to have the printers [at the Review and Herald
office in Battle Creek] go on my book and not transport these books across
the plains again. Part of the book is here already printed. We shall not
have them stereotyped, [which would make changes impossible] because we
shall not wait to have matters of my book so very, very exact, but get
out this first edition and get it in market. Then we can take time to
get out a more perfect edition on Pacific Coast and have [it] stereotyped.
[And, of course, 'a more perfect edition' would be changed somewhat from the
first.] Then your father's and my life will be written and printed in
the Pacific Printing Office. But we have all used our best judgment and
think we had better remain here [Battle Creek] till December and complete
this edition."--Letter 45, 1876.
the manuscripts were prepared, she read them over:
"I read over all that is copied, to see that everything is
as it should be. I read all the book manuscript before it is sent to the
printer. So you can see that my time must be fully occupied. Besides
writing, I am called upon to speak to the different churches and to attend
important meetings. I could not do this work unless the Lord helped
me.--Letter 133, 1902.
while the early books are precious, and are fully the word of God, yet if we
are to prefer any of them above the others, it should be the later books.
For many, many years God continued to give more and more light to
Ellen White. She added this
light into her later books, so that they contain a fuller revelation.
The grammatical and spelling errors have been removed, and they have
been perfected. But I also find
details in the earlier books that were omitted in the later, so they are all
of great value. None should be
downgraded or omitted.
Helpers: Marian Davis
her later years, she employed helpers that assisted in getting out her
books. One of the most
important of these was Marian Davis. She
wrote this about her work:
"She does her work in this way: She takes my articles which
are published in the papers, and pastes them in blank books. She also has a
copy of all the letters I write. In preparing a chapter for a book, Marian
remembers that I have written something on that special point, which may
make the matter more forcible. She begins to search for this, and if when
she finds it, she sees that it will make the chapter more clear, she adds
"The books are not Marian's productions, but my own,
gathered from all my writings. Marian has a large field from which
to draw, and her ability to arrange the matter is of great value to me. It
saves my poring over a mass of matter, which I have no time to do.
"So you understand that Marian is a most valuable help to me in
bringing out my books."--Letter 61a, 1900. 3SM 91-92.
sometimes made suggestions which Ellen White appreciated:
"Tell her [Marian Davis] I have just one minute ago read the
letters in which she has specified the improvements to be made in articles
for Volume 1 [Patriarchs and Prophets]. I thank her. Tell her that she has a
point about Zedekiah's having his eyes put out. That needs to be more
carefully worded--also the rock, when the water flowed--something in
reference to this. I think I can make the articles specified more
full."--Letter 38, 1885.
than making free with Ellen White's writings, Marian was sometimes too picky
about asking about every detail. Ellen
White wrote to her daughter-in-law:
"Mary, Willie is in meeting early and late, devising, planning
for the doing of better and more efficient work in the cause of God. We see
him only at the table. Marian will go to him for some little matters that it
seems she could settle for herself. She is nervous and hurried and he so
worn he has to just shut his teeth together and hold his nerves as best he
can. I have had a talk with her and told her she must settle many things
herself that she has been bringing Willie. Her mind is on every point and
the connections, and his mind has been plowing through a variety of
difficult subjects until his brain reels and then his mind is in no way
prepared to take up these little minutia. She must just carry some of these
things that belong to her part of the work, and not bring them before him
nor worry his mind with them. Sometimes I think she will kill us both, all
unnecessarily, with her little things she can just as well settle herself as
to bring them before us. Every little change of a word she wants us to see.
I am about tired of this business." Letter 64a, 1889, p. 1.
Release No. 728, p.22. (About
the writing of Desire of Ages)
"I feel very thankful for the help of Sister Marian Davis in
getting out my books. She gathers materials from my diaries, from my
letters, and from the articles published in the papers. I greatly prize her
faithful service. She has been with me for twenty-five years, and has
constantly been gaining increasing ability for the work of classifying and
grouping my writings".--Letter 9, 1903. 3 SM 93.
Marian became very ill. Ellen
"I am leaving tomorrow for Battle Creek. Yet my soul is drawn to
the dying girl who has served me for the last twenty-five years. We have
stood side by side in the work, and in perfect harmony in that work. And
when she would be gathering up the precious jots and tittles that had come
in papers and books and present it to me, 'Now,' she would say, 'there is
something wanted [needed]. I cannot supply it.' I would look it over, and in
one moment I could trace the line right out." 3 SM 93.
"I would have been very glad, could I have felt free to remain
another week in Battle Creek. I would have done this, but Marian's sickness
called me home. Her case was a heavy weight on my mind. We received letters
every day telling us of her increasing weakness. The thought that I must
part with her was a great trial to me. She had been with me for twenty-five
years, and we blended nicely in our work. I knew that if she should die, I
could not find another to supply her place. Our ideas in regard to the
work were one, and we often talked together. Every word that I spoke to
make a point clearer, she would write out at once." 9MR 271.
and a number of others, were faithful helpers to Ellen White, and helped her
do the work on her manuscripts. But
she said of them:
copyists you have seen. They do not change my language. It stands as I write
it." Letter 61A, 1900.
my writings have not stopped. They go out as I have written them.
No words of my copyists are put in the place of my own words. This is
a testimony that cannot be contraverted."
Manuscript Release 926,
White says that this cannot be controverted!
But many today are contradicting her statements.
there was one of her helpers who did make trouble, and did try to change her
Bolton: the Helper Who Did Make Changes
story of Fannie Bolton is an interesting one.
She was already a writer when she was employed by Ellen White as a
helper. She proved to be a very
difficult case. She did make
some changes in the manuscripts. God
showed Ellen White in vision what was happening.
If God did this in the case of Fannie Bolton, why would He not have
done the same thing if anyone else was making changes which were improper?
Manuscript Release 926, she wrote:
"Again I was listening (in vision) to earnest talk between
herself and Marian, and it was of that character that gave me great pain of
heart. A voice spoke to me, 'Beware and do not place your dependence
upon Fannie to prepare articles or to make books. She cuts out words that
should appear, and places her own ideas and words in their stead, and
because she has done this she has become deceived, deluded, and is deceiving
and deluding others. She is your Adversary. Additions and
subtractions are made that do not represent your simplicity. She is not true
to her duty, yet flatters herself that she is doing a very important work.'
"I am now brought where I lay down my pen. I cannot write even
on the Life of Christ, until I understand whether my writings are to come
forth with Fannie's ideas and language, or with Marian's ideas and fixing up
and the productions are claimed to be Marian's and Fannie's. [The only
time Ellen White had any trouble with Marian was when Fannie was making
problems. Fannie made Marian discontented by complaining that they were not
getting enough credit for their work. As soon as Fannie was gone, Marian was
just fine.] Let this impression be made on the minds of our ministers,
and of what value or force will the testimonies be to them. [Here she
refers to the impression that Fannie was changing the writings.] I have
called a halt and here I stand until some things are decided. I request
Elder Daniells, Elder Rousseau and Willie C. White come to help me just as
soon as you can adjust your business and let us counsel together, and see
some way to adjust these matters. I have plainly but kindly told Fannie, I
have no confidence in her as far as her reformation within the last three or
four weeks is concerned. Her ardent love for praise and ambition was very
similar to that presented to me in regard to the workings of Satan in the
heavenly courts to bring disaffection among the angels, and she would repeat
the same course she had pursued, and I could not trust her and depend on
her. I beg you will come to my help just as soon as possible, but I am not
willing Elder Olsen should return to America before these matters have a
most thorough, careful investigation. I do not think I can in the future
have any copy placed in the hands of Fannie. I would come at once to you but
do not think that that would be wisdom." p. 20.
"When I take the position which I am sorry, very sorry, to
take, that I cannot consistently continue the connection with Fannie by
entrusting her with my writings as I have done, some will misjudge me
because they think she has sincerely repented but the fact that she has not
had respect for the writings, will endanger the work I am called of the Lord
to do. The fact that her mind could be tampered with so often again and
again by the enemy, that she could be led to regard the writings as she has
regarded them, will be a temptations to place them at a disadvantage. This
past experience has given a mold to the thoughts, and has fashioned the mind
and judgment. I can see no safety in trusting the matter the Lord shall give
me in the hands of one of such unstable, unreliable developments of
character that a balance wheel is needed constantly, else she will be
running off on a side track where Satan may choose to lead the way. . . .
The work which she has handled, she does not always appreciate as necessary
or essential, and if she dared, would mold them all over." pp. 26-27.
a visit that Fannie made to the Prescotts, Ellen White wrote:
"She had underscored some words in a book, 'Christian
Education,' 'beautiful words,' she called them, and said that she had put in
those words, they were hers. If this were the truth, I ask, who told her to
put in her words in my writings? She has, if her own statement is correct,
been unfaithful to me."
"Sister Prescott however says that, in the providence of God
that very article came to them (Brother and Sister Prescott) uncopied and in
my own handwriting, and that these very words were in that letter. So
Fannie's statement regarding these words is proved to be untrue.
"She becomes at times as verily possessed by demons as were
human beings in the days of Christ. And when these paroxysms are upon
her, many think she is inspired of God. She is fluent, her words come thick
and fast, and she is under the control of demons. Then she claims that she
has done the very things in my service I have told her in no case to do,
that she has substituted her words for my words. This is bad enough. But
when she takes the position that she has made my books, my articles and is
responsible for the beautiful language, it is evident that Satan can through
her do me any amount of harm. She can do more to implant doubts and sow
seeds of evil than any person I know. She is a dangerous helper to me. She
shall never have a chance again of mingling Fannie Bolton's wonderful talent
with my work." MR 926, pp.
"She appears in great distress and grief, weeping. Sister
Prescott, while in Cooranbong, asked her what was the matter. She held back
apparently reluctant to speak, and finally she did just exactly that which
she calculated to do--make her statement and complained of the little
attention 'poor little Marian' and she received 'for all the talent they
gave to Sister White's work.' These
my workers were set down in a corner and hid. Well, Sister Prescott met her
decidedly, also Brother Prescott. They told her this was all the work of the
devil. They knew Sister White's work and writings before she touched it, and
they received letters from her just as they came from her pen and that the
very words she claimed to put into the writings were her own imagination.
All the ideas, all the material, was furnished her to prepare into articles,
"When I called back all the writings placed in her hands, then
she began to think I was in earnest. I told her decidedly she must
have no connection with me and my work. She could represent me and my work
as her originating, that this 'beautiful expression' was hers, and that was
hers, and make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God." [I
want you to notice that Ellen White said that when Fannie Bolton claimed to
have changed the words she was "making of none effect the testimony of
the Spirit of God. I wonder what she would say to those today who claim that
others did the same thing?]
MR 926, pp. 54-55.
"No, I am entirely separated from Fannie. Never while time
lasts will another article of mine pass into her hands. She has sought
to betray me, to turn traitor, to say things that leave untrue impressions
upon minds. She has educated herself in theatrical methods, and can act out
to life in apparent sincerity a thing that is false."
wrote to Fannie:
"Your words regarding me and my writings are false, and I
must say that you know them to be false. Nevertheless, those unacquainted
with you take your words as being the words of one who knows. Because
you have been acquainted with me, and connected with me, you can state what
you please, and you think that your tracks are so covered that they will
never be discovered. But my writings have not stopped. They go out as I have
written them. No words of my copyists are put in the place of my own words.
This is a testimony that cannot be controverted. My articles speak for
"When I heard that McCullagh had apostatized, I said, I am glad
that all my connection with him has been of the tenderest character. I
thought that there was nothing they could have to say against me. But both
he and his wife bore the same report that Sister Malcolm bore to me.
McCullagh stated in a large congregation that it was reported by one who
knew that I picked up things written in books, and sent them out as
something the Lord had shown me. At the Bible Institute in Cooranbong,
McCullagh told me that you had made a statement to him and his wife similar
to the statement made to Sr. Malcolm. Your sowing is producing its harvest.
Many in Melbourne have been repeating the same things, things which you have
told them, and which they thought must be true." Ibid. 77-78. [And
these very things are still being passed around today.]
"I have told you these things that you may understand about the
matter. We had the affair between Fannie and Caldwell all through the
Armadale camp meeting. I talked with them both separately, and told them
that the Lord had a controversy with them both. They denied that there was
anything like particular attachment between them. I knew better but the Lord
helped me to work through the meeting. Just before the meeting closed,
Fannie came to me, and said, 'O Sr. White, I have come to you as to a
mother. I do love Bro. Caldwell with all my heart, and my heart is just
broken. Three times has this cup of bliss been presented to me, and then
been snatched away.' Then the girl said, 'I prayed that if it was right for
us to get married, his wife might get a divorce from him, and it was not
many weeks before she did get a divorce. Now don't you think the Lord heard
my prayer?' I dared not talk with her for I had to speak that day before a
large congregation. If Sr. Prescott is in Battle Creek, she will be able to
tell you the particulars.
"Well, from that time I cut loose from Fannie, never, as I
thought, to connect with her again. But a little while after this, Fannie
was in Sydney, and wrote me another confession. I thought that I could not
take her back, but the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and said, 'Give
her another trial.' So I decided that I would see Fannie, and tell her that
I would take her back. This I did, and she remained with me several weeks,
but was not able to do any work and then she decided that she wanted to go
home to her mother, and I told her that she might feel free to do so. And
now after all the suffering and distress that I have passed through because
of the actions of these two, and the downright lies they told, to have
Fannie Bolton put these articles in the paper, exalting her poor, miserable,
blind, poverty-stricken soul, Miss Ashbury is a little too large a mouthful
for me to swallow. It tastes strong of the dish. If I can find them, I will
send you copies of letters written to both Fannie and Caldwell....
"In the past she has expressed wonderful sorrow for her wicked
course of action, but she does not stay penitent. She does not continue to
be contrite in heart. She flashes forth, thinking she is inspired by God.
While she was praying the Lord that if it was right for her to marry
Caldwell, his wife might get a divorce from her husband, she told me that as
she talked and gave Bible readings, the people turned pale to hear her talk,
and she thought she was inspired by God. Her imagination is very strong, and
she makes such exaggerated statements that her words are not
trustworthy." Ibid. 80.
"You may reason with others on this line: Wherein do my articles
in the papers now differ from what they were when Fannie was with me? Who is
it that now puts in words to supply the deficiencies of my language, my
deplorable ignorance? How was this done before Fannie Bolton had anything to
do with my writings?
"Cannot people who have reason see this? If Fannie supplied my
great deficiency, how is it that I can now send articles to the papers?
"What Fannie says in regard to this is all a sham. Does she not
know it? Or does Satan work on her imagination in such a way that she thinks
what she says is true?
"I tell you that there is not a semblance of truth in her
statements. . . .
"This is the difference between the workers. As I have stated,
Fannie has been strictly forbidden to change my words for her words. As
spoken by the heavenly agencies, the words are severe in their simplicity
and I try to put the thoughts into such simple language that a child can
understand every word uttered. The words of someone else would not rightly
"I have written thus fully in order that you may understand the
matter. Fannie Bolton may claim that she has made my books, but she has not
done so. This has been Marian's field, and her work is far in advance of any
work Fannie has done for me.
"I have written this letter between half past twelve and
four o'clock a.m. I must now leave it to write other letters. But I wish to
ask, If Fannie is converted and is used by the Lord, why is not her vision
clear in reference to her past representation of the work she has done for
me? I think the first work the Holy Spirit would do for her would be to lead
her to confess that by false statements she has misrepresented me to others.
The Lord would clear away the mist and fog from her mind, leading her to see
the great injury she has done me by saying that she made over all my
"When the Lord teaches her and reveals to her how she has
unsettled and undermined the faith of many in the testimonies of the Spirit
of God, as she has unsettled and undermined the faith of Brother Bartholf in
the work the Lord has given me to do, by making the statement that she was
directed to write a testimony to A. R. Henry, she will see where she is
standing. The statement in regard to the testimony for A. R. Henry is an
"Those who receive such statements are without excuse. 'By their
fruits ye shall know them.' My
work has been in the field since 1845. Ever since then I have labored with
pen and voice. Increased light has come to me as I have imparted the light
given me. I have very much more light on the Old and New Testament
Scriptures, which I shall present to our people if my way is not blocked by
such influences as the influence exerted by Fannie Bolton. Such a work as
hers calls for my pen and voice to contradict her statements, in order to
save poor souls from being entirely swamped by her assertion that she has
received the Holy Ghost. This is another phase of her desire to exalt
herself as ordained by the Lord to bear a message to His people. The Lord
did not send her, yet she ran. She will not honor the cause of God, but will
"Some may ask, why was Sr. Bolton allowed to be so long
connected with the work, if this desire for praise, this tendency to
self-exaltation was manifested? At different times I labored with her
faithfully, pointing out her danger, and endeavoring to help her to
understand the character of the work, and the relations of the human agent
to it. Many times she acknowledged the mistakes that her approbativeness had
led her to make, and confessed her weakness, and love of praise. She would
declare that the lesson had now been thoroughly learned, and that thereafter
she would guard against self -exaltation. And she was always anxious to
retain her connection with the work, sometimes begging with tears not to be
disconnected from it." Ibid.
Letter 166, 1900, pp. 1,2. (To Bro. and Sr. Haskell, and Bro.
G. A. Irwin, April 25, 1900.) "Something is being sent to you in regard
to Fannie Bolton. You need to say to all our people that she is not the
Lord's messenger, and she should in no way be encouraged. She would mingle
the theatrical with her spiritual actions, that would not elevate, but
degrade the cause of God. She is a farce. I have several copies of letters
in her own handwriting, confessions, which I cannot possibly get copied.
They must not go out of my hands until they are copied. Caldwell took a
testimony from her hands that related to them both, and burned it up, and
then told her she need not worry any more about [it] she nor Sister White
would ever see it again. Then he was pressed by me for the Testimony.
Caldwell said he would bring it to me, and then said he could not find it
and then when I told him I knew what he had done with it, he said he must
have burned it with some of his letters he did not care to keep and then
afterward he confessed his falsehoods, and said he burnt it designedly.
Well, I have quite a large amount of letters concerning this matter between
Fannie and me. If it needs to be all exposed before the people will be
undeceived, I will send these letters after they are copied. But tell our
people I do not want to expose Fannie, unless I am obliged to do this to
save the cause of God from being corrupted."
experience with Fannie Bolton is a sad one.
Yet we can learn a lot from it. We
can learn that as soon as someone tried to change the writings, God warned
Ellen White. She took action to
stop them, and warned others about that person.
She also wrote it down, so we have the information. You can be sure that if others were trying to change her
writings, similar things would have happened.
I have been hearing people saying that Willie White tampered with his
mother's writings. I decided to
check out what she herself said to and about him in all her writings.
I made a search on "Willie," which is what she called him.
There were 835 references. I
could not find a single reproof directed at him, nor complaint about him.
The same was not true of her older son, Edson.
I have copied here a few of her references to Willie that seemed
significant as to the character of his work with her.
Sands, Va., Sabbath, Nov. 8, 1890. "We have beautiful weather.
Willie White spoke in the morning with great freedom and his discourse made
a favorable impression on all who heard him. This is the very work the Lord
would have him to do. His work will be more in this line, as he will
necessarily have to accompany me from place to place as I journey among the
people of God. I have had neither of my sons to accompany me. I have
been alone with Sara McEnterfer as my companion. It is time this order of
things changed. Willie is correspondent of foreign missions and I
need him, and he must be prepared to preach the gospel to the people
wherever he goes." 2 MR 326.
Oct. 23, 1907, Ellen White wrote the following letter to F.M. Wilcox.
"About a year after the death of my husband (1882), I was very
feeble, and it was feared that I might live but a short time. At the
Healdsburg campmeeting, I was taken into the tent where there was a large
gathering of our people. I asked to be raised up from the lounge on which I
was lying, and assisted to the speaker's platform, that I might say a few
words of farewell to the people. As I tried to speak, the power of God came upon me, and
thrilled me through and through. Many in the congregation observed that I
was weak, and that my face and hands seemed bloodless but as I began to
speaking they saw the color coming into my lips and face, and knew that a
miracle was being wrought in my behalf. I stood before the people healed,
and spoke with freedom.
"After this experience light was given me that the Lord had
raised me up to bear testimony for Him in many countries, and that He would
give me grace and strength for the work.
It was also shown me that my son, W.C. White, should be my helper and
counselor, and that the Lord would place on him the spirit of wisdom and of
a sound mind. I was shown that the Lord would guide him, and that he would
not be led away, because he would recognize the leadings and guidance of the
"The assurance was given me . . . 'The Lord will be your
instructor . . . .You will meet with deceptive influences they will come in
many forms, in pantheism and other forms of infidelity but follow where I
shall guide you, and you will be safe.
I will put My Spirit upon your son, and will strengthen him to do his
work. He has the grace of
humility. The Lord has selected him to act an important part in His work.
For this purpose was he born.'
"This word was given me in 1882, and since that time I have been
assured that the grace of wisdom was given him. More recently, in a time of
perplexity, the Lord said: 'I have given you my servant, W.C. White, and
I will give him judgment to be your helper. I will give him skill and
understanding to manage wisely.' "
"The Writing and Sending out of the Testimonies to the
White wrote about a vision she had in regard to her two sons:
"He [God] had chosen my sons to be my helpers. My son
Willie especially was assigned the work of ministry with me to advise and
counsel how to prepare the communications that were to come to the people.
" 'I will be his wisdom, I will be his judgment, and he
shall work out in connection with his mother the important matter to come
before the people. Select helpers must be given, for a great work
was to be done. I will be your wisdom, I will be your judgment, for your son
to carry out understandingly the matters I shall reveal to you that which is
for the churches must be brought out distinctly in print that the churches
may have it.
" 'I will appoint both your children that they shall strengthen
your hands in sound judgment. But your youngest son shall carry the
work with you, and I have appointed the eldest his work to do. They
must be united firmly in harmony, and in no way fail or be discouraged. They
are to aid one another to stand firmly, unitedly, in heart and mind. But the
youngest will I endow with special wisdom to work intelligently for a
special performance of this responsibility.
" 'Both will be your helpers, in perfect agreement, conducting
different lines in missionary work, standing firmly, unitedly, for great
battles are to be fought. Your sons are of different temperaments. Your
youngest will be your dependence, but the eldest shall be my minister to
open the Word to very many people and to organize the work in various lines.
" 'Temptations will come to the eldest that preference in
judgment shall be given him above the youngest. But this cannot be. Both are
to be guided by the light given their mother and stand in perfect harmony.
Trials will come, but unitedly victories will be gained.
" 'There will be the character in the youngest that he
will be counselor in large degree, and receive the words I shall give you
and act upon them. Let no jealousy come in because of the position I
have appointed the youngest. I have put My Spirit upon him, and if
the eldest will respect the position given the youngest, both shall become
strong to build up the work in different lines. The eldest must be standing
as ready to be counseled by the youngest, for I have made him My counselor.
And because I have given him from his birth special traits of character
which the eldest has not, there is to be no contention, no strife, no
division, but [they are to be] sanctified in the same work to bring about
the desired end.'
"Much more was definitely explained in the words I may hereafter
write, but I would not pen them now.
"The Lord said, 'I will prove them both, but both must stand
distinct and separate from influences which will be brought to bear to break
up the plans I have marked out. But the youngest is fitted for a work that
will make him counselor, receiving the words from his mother. Both must
carefully consider matters that I shall give, for there are times and places
for the subjects to be taken up and certain times and certain places for the
subjects to be left.
" 'The Lord will be your guide if you work obedient to all that
I shall command you. This matter is not to be opened to your children, for
both are to be proved. The time will come when you may have to speak all
that I shall give you, but both sons are to be workmen and are to be at
perfect agreement if they accomplish the work. They are to [be] faithful in
performing [it]. They are to stand distinct and not bound up with men, to be
influenced by them. I am your Counselor and theirs.
21 MR 141-142."
Much criticism of Willie White came about because of the 1888
conflict. He stood with his mother and Jones and Waggoner, and those on the
other side said bitter, angry things about him and about Ellen White. These
were sometimes written, and are picked up by critics today who believe the
lies that were said. Here is
the account of a vision EGW had right after 1888, showing the attitude of
"I listened to
words uttered that ought to make every one of those ashamed who uttered
them. Sarcastic remarks were passed from one to another, ridiculing their
brethren A. T. Jones, E. J. Waggoner, and Willie C. White, and myself. My
position and my work were freely commented upon by those who ought to have
been engaged in the work of humbling their souls before God and setting
their own hearts in order. There was seemingly a fascination in brooding
over imaginary wrongs and expressions of imagination of their brethren and
their work, which had no foundation in truth, and in doubting and speaking
and writing bitter things as the result of skepticism and question and
unbelief." 1888 Materials, p. 277.
of these men continued to hate Ellen White, Willie, and Jones and Waggoner.
They, and later Kellogg, all of whom were reproved by the Spirit of
Prophecy, yet did not receive the reproof, were bitter.
They told lies, which are sometimes accepted today as truth.
people believe that Uriah Smith made many changes.
Uriah Smith is different than Willie.
Smith was not true to God at all times.
He took the wrong side in the 1888 conflict, and had a very hard time
really recovering his Christian experience.
It is hard to say if he ever completely recovered.
is probable that he would have loved to change many things in the Spirit of
Prophecy, since he was often in conflict with Ellen White.
But did he? Ellen White
reproved him a number of times for different things, and that sometimes
publicly. She could easily have
stated that he was changing the wording in her writings.
Yet she never did. She
certainly was not afraid of him. Would
she have stood by and allowed him to change her writings? That is
people claim that he changed a great deal in the 1888 Great Controversy.
That would be really strange, since he fought that book in
underhanded ways for a long time. First he and the men who agreed with him put off
printing it as long as they could, then he put out Bible Readings and
persuaded all the canvassers to sell that instead of Great Controversy, which
he prevented from getting out to the people. Ellen White had to
complain strongly and publicly to get them to put it out. Now if he had
written a lot of that book, would he have fought it, and kept it back?
the 1888 Great Controversy she wrote: "Great Controversy should be very
widely circulated. It contains the
story of the past, the present, and the future. In its outline of the closing scenes of this earth's history,
it bears a powerful testimony in behalf of the truth. I am more anxious to see a wide circulation for this book
than for any others I have written for in the Great Controversy the
last message of warning to the world is given more distinctly than in any of
my other books." Letter 281, 1905. (Colporteur Ministry, p.
1911 Great Controversy
are some who say that the 1911 Great Controversy cannot be trusted,
because it was changed from the earlier editions.
Here is what the prophet herself said about it:
--Sanitarium, Cal., July 25, 1911
Brother [F. M.] Wilcox:
"A few days ago I received a copy of the new edition of
the book Great Controversy, recently printed at Mountain View, and also a similar copy
printed at Washington. The book pleases me. I have spent
many hours looking through its pages, and I see that the publishing houses
have done good work.
"The book Great Controversy
I appreciate above silver or gold, and I greatly desire that it shall
come before the people. While writing the manuscript of Great
Controversy, I was often
conscious of the presence of the angels of God. And many times the scenes
about which I was writing were presented to me anew in visions of the night,
so that they were fresh and vivid in my mind.
"Recently it was necessary for this book to be reset, because
the electrotype plates were badly worn. It has cost me much to have this
done, but I do not complain for whatever the cost may be, I regard this new
edition with great satisfaction.
"When I learned that Great Controversy must be reset, I
determined that we would have everything closely examined, to see if the
truths it contained were stated in the very best manner, to convince those
not of our faith that the Lord had guided and sustained me in the writing of
"As a result of the thorough examination by our most experienced
workers, some changing in the wording has been proposed. These changes I
have carefully examined, and approved. I
am thankful that my life has been spared, and that I have strength and
clearness of mind for this and other literary work."
3 SM 123-124.
Conflict of the Ages Set
(Speaking of the Conflict of the Ages books) "Sister White is
not the originator of these books. They contain the instruction that during
her lifework God has been giving her. They contain the precious, comforting
light that God has graciously given His servant to be given to the
world." Colporteur Ministry, p.
Did Not Believe Her Editors Were Changing Her Words
"I have a large amount of matter which I desire to have come
before the people, but I have no one to consider these matters with me. If I
could have Sister Peck and Willie, I could get off many important things
much more perfectly. I ought to have someone to whom I can read every
article before sending it to the mail. This always helps the writer for the
writer, after reading the matter before one who is interested, often
discerns more clearly what is wanted, and the slight changes that should be
made. It is an important matter to keep in its simplicity all that matter
which I write. I am sure my two editors endeavor to preserve my words,
not supplying their own in the place of them."--Letter 76,
1897, pp. 1, 2. (To George A. Irwin, July 22, 1897.)
8 MR 56.
One EGW Says Manipulated Her Writings
"There are those who say, 'Someone manipulates her
writings.' I acknowledge the charge. It is One who is mighty in counsel, One
who presents before me the condition of things."--Letter 52,
Ones Who Pick and Choose
results of this teaching is that people feel they can pick and choose what
is the words of the prophet, and what is not. This makes this deception very
deadly. It destroys the ability
of the Spirit of Prophecy to rescue the person who believes it from any
did she say about picking and choosing which statement is true, and which is
"I have my work to do, to meet the misconceptions of those
who suppose themselves able to say what is testimony from God and what is
human production. If those who have done this work continue in this course,
satanic agencies will choose for them." 3 SM
Bible Written the Same Way
the introduction to the Great Controversy, it explains how
inspiration worked in the Bible:
"The Bible points to God as its author yet it was written by
human hands and in the varied style of its different books it presents the
characteristics of the several writers."
is an important point. If God
gave the writers of the Bible the very words that they were to say, then why
did they each write in their own style?
God gave them the thoughts, the ideas, the visions, and they put the
truths God had taught them into their own words.
truths revealed are all 'given by inspiration of God' (2 Tim. 3:16) yet they
are expressed in the words of men. The Infinite One by his Holy Spirit has
shed light into the minds and hearts of his servants. He has given dreams
and visions, symbols and figures and those to whom the truth was thus
revealed, have themselves embodied the thought in human language.
"The ten commandments were spoken by God himself, and were
written by his own hand. They are of divine, and not human composition. But
the Bible, with its God-given truths expressed in the language of men,
presents a union of the divine and the human. Such a union existed in the
nature of Christ, who was the Son of God and the Son of man. Thus it is true
of the Bible, as it was of Christ, that 'the Word was made flesh, and dwelt
among us.' John 1:14.
"Written in different ages, by men who differed widely in rank
and occupation, and in mental and spiritual endowments, the books of the
Bible present a wide contrast in style, as well as a diversity in the nature
of the subjects unfolded. Different forms of expression are employed by
different writers often the same truth is more strikingly presented by one
than by another. And as several writers present a subject under varied
aspects and relations, there may appear, to the superficial, careless, or
prejudiced reader, to be discrepancy or contradiction, where the thoughtful,
reverent student, with clearer insight, discerns the underlying harmony.
"As presented through different individuals, the truth is
brought out in its varied aspects. One writer is more strongly impressed
with one phase of a subject he grasps those points that harmonize with his
experience or with his power of perception and appreciation another seizes
upon a different phase and each, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
presents what is most forcibly impressed upon his own mind a different
aspect of the truth in each, but a perfect harmony through all. And the
truths thus revealed unite to form a perfect whole, adapted to meet the
wants of men in all the circumstances and experiences of life.
"God has been pleased to communicate his truth to the world by
human agencies, and he himself, by his Holy Spirit, qualified men and
enabled them to do this work. He guided the mind in the selection of what to
speak and what to write. The treasure was intrusted to earthen vessels,
yet it is, none the less, from Heaven. The testimony is conveyed through the
imperfect expression of human language yet it is the testimony of God and
the obedient, believing child of God beholds in it the glory of a divine
power, full of grace and truth." GC, The Author's Preface, pp. c-d.
in the Bible?
who promote this theory of changes in the Spirit of Prophecy, do so by
showing that the words have been changed in the later books, from what they
were in the earlier ones. They
infer by this that someone has been "messing up" the writings of
the Spirit of Prophecy. But the
very same method, if used on the Bible, would show similar changes:
temptation of Jesus came last, being carried to a pinnacle of the temple and
challenged to jump off (Luke 4:9-13)?
being tempted by all the kingdoms of the world (Matt. 4:8-10)?
did the devil say to Jesus in this temptation?
these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me"?
Matt. 4:9. Or--
this power will I give thee and the glory of them: for that is delivered
unto me and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship
me, all shall be thine." Luke
really happened? Did someone
change the words and the order of what was written?
Or did the two authors tell the story in their own words?
Jesus healed Peter's wife's mother, how did He do it?
He take her by the hand and lift her up, and the fever left her, (Mark 1:31),
did He touch her hand and the fever left her (Matt. 8:15),
did He stand over her and rebuke the fever and it left her (Luke 4:39)?
next morning when He refused to go back to Capernaum, did He say:
us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also for therefore came I
forth (Mark 1:38)"
"I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also for therefore am
I sent (Luke 4:43)"?
someone change the words? Or
does the inspired writer state things in his own words--is it the meaning
that is inspired?
Christ, in the synagogue, healed the man with the withered hand, did He say:
it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil, to save life, or to
kill?" Mark 3:4.
"What man shall there be among you that shall have one sheep, and if it
fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it and lift it
out? How much, then, is a man
better than a sheep! Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath
days." Matt. 12:11-12.
"I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath days to do good,
or to do evil? to save a life,
or to destroy it?" Luke
changed what? Or were part of
His words left out? Who had the
right to do that?
the sermon on the mount did Jesus say, "Be ye therefore perfect, even
as your Father in heaven is perfect (Matt. 5:48)" or
ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:36)"?
whole sermon on the mount sounds different, but if you read the whole thing,
it is obvious it is the same sermon. Who
changed the words? Whole sections are left out. Who had the right to do
that? Did someone change the
Bible? Did one of the authors
change the words of Christ?
in Mark 4 and Matt. 13 we have two accounts of the same sermon.
In this case also, some of the words are different.
In Matt. 13 we have a quote from Isaiah in the sermon, for instance,
that is missing in Mark's account. Who
could have changed the words of Jesus, or left out some of them?
morning after Jesus stilled the sea, he healed the Gadarene demoniac--or was
it demoniacs? In Mark and Luke
there are one of them. But
Matt. says there were two. (See Mark 5:1-3, Luke 8:26-27, and compare with
someone change the Bible? Or
did God allow the apostles to tell the story as they remembered it? Or was
this one of those cases where a copyist "helped out" by making a
small change? Does it matter in
the least to our salvation if there was one demoniac or two?
things are all the way through the gospels.
If some changes of wording in the Spirit of Prophecy is a sign that
the later books are not trustworthy, then what are you going to do with the
gospels? You might as well
throw them out too.
it be a lot better to recognize that, as Ellen White says, human authors
were given dreams and visions, and then allowed to express them in their own
words? Sometimes they were just given experiences, and then told by the Holy
Spirit to share their memories.
it possible for them to get a few details wrong?
Of course it was. Can we
trust the Holy Spirit to make sure the essentials are clear and accurate?
Of course we can.
it even possible and proper for them to tell
the whole thing under some circumstances, and leave out part under
others? Was it proper for them
to use some words at one time, and change the words at another time.
If the words were their own, then why not?
we accept what Ellen White says about inspiration, or the Bible is a real
problem too. Once we understand
how inspiration works, then none of these things are problems. And all of
the writings are inspired, and profitable.
And anything that breaks down faith in
them is causing harm to people .
greatest danger of this theory is that once people believe it, it is almost
impossible to help them. If you
bring them a statement that contradicts the theory, they will simply say,
"That must be one of the statements that they changed."
is unfortunately true that the statements that we most need from the Spirit
of Prophecy are the ones we disagree with!
This is the way that it corrects our errors. And if we feel free to discard statements that we disagree
with, assuming that they must have been changed, the Spirit of Prophecy can
no longer correct our errors. It
has lost its power to help us. We
are in danger of being in the same condition as those in Battle Creek to
whom Ellen White said:
"What voice will you acknowledge as the voice of God? What power
has the Lord in reserve to correct your errors, and show you your course as
it is? What power to work in the church? You have, by your own course, closed every avenue whereby the
Lord would reach you. Will He
raise one from the dead to speak to you?"
"God will never remove every occasion for doubt. He gives
sufficient evidence on which to base faith, and if this is not accepted, the
mind is left in darkness."