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The Ellen G. White Writings

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    How Far Can We Depend on Mrs. White?

    Just how far, then, can we depend on Mrs. White? Where do we set the bounds? There were other points in The Great Controversy in the historical account, which even when challenged Ellen White, because of the visions, refused to surrender. Note the W. C. White statement in the same document and on the same page as the much-used “Mother has never claimed to be authority on history“:EGWW 34.4

    On pages 50, 563-564, 580, 581, and in a few other places where there were statements regarding the papacy which are strongly disputed by Roman Catholics, and which are difficult to prove from accessible histories, the wording in the new edition has been so changed that the statement falls easily within the range of evidence that is readily obtainable.EGWW 35.1

    Regarding these and similar passages, which might stir up bitter and unprofitable controversies, Mother has often said: “What I have written regarding the arrogance and the assumptions of the papacy, is true. Much historical evidence regarding these matters has been designedly destroyed; nevertheless, that the book may be of the greatest benefit to Catholics and others, and that needless controversies may be avoided, it is better to have all statements regarding the assumptions of the pope and the claims of the papacy stated so moderately as to be easily and clearly proved from accepted histories that are within the reach of our ministers and students.”EGWW 35.2

    Here in a historical area was a basic concept brought to Ellen White by vision. Any modification in the account was made by Ellen White for reasons quite different from inconsequential details concerning which she made no claim for “authority.”EGWW 35.3

    The Ellen G. White declaration that historical evidence has been destroyed is well sustained by the purging of libraries and the combing of secondhand bookstores. Andrews University holds some of the rarest of volumes, dating back to the beginnings of printing and having to do with the persecutions by the Catholic Church. They are in our possession today only because the director of a large public library in Minnesota placed these priceless works from its rare book room in the hands of Elder Christian Edwardson, with the suggestion that he check them out and not bring them back, for, said the director, “I have orders to get rid of them.” The author personally saw these books in the Edwardson study as he related how he came into possession of them. They are now in the university’s Heritage Room.EGWW 35.4

    The reader will find further discussion of The Great Controversy in Chapter 4, “Ellen G. White as a Historian.”EGWW 35.5

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