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Ellen G White: Seventh Day Adventism - Christian Biographies

Ellen G White is a foundational influence on the Seventh Day Adventist movement and their theology. In this video, I will outline the life of Ellen and touch on some of the influences behind her most well-known visions and writings. This video is not designed to defend the beliefs of Ellen or Seventh Day Adventists, but I will explain some of the important parts of Ellen's work that is still fundamental to the belief system of SDA.

Time Stamps:
0:00 Introduction
1:18 Early Life
1:45 Head Injury
2:46 Turn to Faith
4:37 Great Disappointment
5:03 Sanctuary Theory
7:20 Sabbath as Set apart
9:54 Marriage and Family
10:37 Publications and Battle Creek
11:24 Many More Writings
11:54 Great Controversy Vision and Publication
12:48 Health Reform
13:45 James White Dies
14:40 Going to Australia
15:30 Later Years
16:26 Legacy

Ellen was born to a family of 8, which settled in Portland, Maine, shortly after her birth for job opportunities. At a young age, Ellen was struck in the head, which caused her to go into a coma for three weeks. It's debated how much this would impact the visions she would later start to have, although it's likely this did impact the mental and physical aspects of her later visions.

After her coma, her family began to turn toward Christianity, and after a conversion experience that made Ellen feel at peace, they joined the local Methodist Church. But soon after, they began to be involved with William Miller and his followers. As they grew closer to Miller, the Methodist Church began to turn their backs on them, and all of this led to Ellen feeling terrible because she thought she would be lost forever. But this changed when she was baptized again, this time as a follower of Miller. For the next couple of years, she said she was filled with joy and happiness as she waited for the coming of Jesus.

Things started to fall apart when October 22 came and went without Christ's second coming. Many people fell away from their faith, and the Millerite movement split apart. Ellen was shocked in December when she was struck with her first vision that shown a new light on October 22. In this vision, she saw the Adventist believers going up a narrow path to the New Jerusalem. In this vision, she was shown two foundational belief systems that would shape the SDA faith.

The two ideas are the Sanctuary Theory, and the Sabbath as set apart. The Sanctuary Theory combines the vision given to Hiram Edson and Ellen to show that Christ entered into the Holy of Holies on October 22 to offer up a sacrifice for humanity. The second aspect, Sabbath as set apart, combined the work of Joseph Bates in a pamphlet and the vision of Ellen, who saw the Sabbath commandment illuminated by the Holy Spirit. These two would go on to be foundational for SDA theology.

After the SDA movement began to grow, Ellen married James White and had four children, although one died as a child, and the other at 16. After they married and moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, Ellen began to produce many writings. They gained a new printing press, and with that, SGA really began to grow, and Ellen became a very well-known leader in the movement. Because she was seen as a significant leader, she produced two more major ideas, the Great Controversy and Health reforms. Both of these would be widely accepted and began to take hold in SDA theology today. It would be in 1881 that James would pass away, and Ellen would spend the rest of her life as a widow. She would go on one last long trip to Australia before she returned to Elmshaven.

Links to Follow:
https://www.nonsda.org/egw/headinjury.shtml (A very extensive look int the head injury of Ellen) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWTqi_oVA2Y (Bruce Gore Video) https://whiteestate.org/ (Website for the official Ellen G White brand) https://whiteestate.org/about/egwbio/ (official biography from Ellen G White Estate) https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/659.278/toc (The Great Visions of Ellen G. White) https://m.egwwritings.org/en/folders/13 (Many free books about Ellen White and SDA) https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/659/toc (Personal list of visions)
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