Ellen Gould Harmon was born in the northeastern United States on November 26, 1827. As a child, she thought a lot about Jesus and spiritual things. At age twelve Ellen gave her heart to Jesus. The next year she listened carefully to William Miller's prophecy lectures from Daniel and Revelation and believed the advent message of Jesus' return on October 22, 1844. At age fourteen, Ellen was baptized by immersion into a Protestant church. But because the advent message was not accepted by most Protestant churches, Ellen and her family were later disfellowshipped from their church for believing in Jesus' soon return. Advent believers were disappointed when Jesus did not return on the day they expected.

Two months after this Great Disappointment, Ellen attended a prayer group at the home of a young friend. But as that little group of friends were praying, the Holy Spirit came close with a special sense of assurance. At that moment seventeen-year-old Ellen, who was frail and ill from a childhood accident, received her first vision.

A week after her first vision, God called Ellen to be His messenger. At first, Ellen was shy and sensitive and very reluctant to speak or pray publicly - especially when asked to deliver unpopular messages.

But the messages from God were to help His faithful followers draw closer to Him. Ellen put aside her reluctance to be God's messenger when she

understood that God desires people to change their lives so they can enjoy His presence for eternity. Ellen also brought messages of hope that expressed the love of Jesus.


 

Ellen married her good friend, James White, in 1846. The couple had four boys, two of whom lived to adulthood and became Adventist ministers. Together with Joseph Bates, Ellen and James founded the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Today, there are millions of Adventists all over the world. We are diverse! We come from different cultures, we look different, we have different ideas about how to practice our religion worldwide. So what unifies us?

First, the Bible brings us together; it is the core of our beliefs. Second, the writings of Ellen White have greatly helped unify our movement for the purpose of sharing the gospel to the whole world!

During Ellen White's 70 years of public ministry, she received about 2000 visions. Her last recorded vision concerned God's great love for young people. Her 100,000 pages of writings are the basis of more than 135 books.

Ellen White is the world's most translated woman author and the most translated American author of either sex. What did she write about? Her favorite topic was salvation-how we are saved, how to pray, and what to do with doubt. But she also wrote a lot about wellness, education, relationships, careers, families, evangelism, social justice, and the importance of Scripture.

 

During Ellen White's long career, she helped establish schools, colleges, hospitals, and publishing houses in North America, Europe, and Australia. She loved youth and was a favorite speaker among people of all ages.

In speaking and writing, she urged young people to carry the Good News about Jesus' soon coming to their friends, family, and communities.

Ellen White promoted social activism in her writings, especially urging Christians to respond to the needs of the poor and suffering. She even urged people to disobey the fugitive slave law, which required people to return escaping

slaves to their masters. She practiced continual acts of compassion and mercy in her personal life, like having students live in her home, regularly sharing garden produce, and sewing for the poor.

Boldly and fearlessly Ellen proclaimed that the Ten Commandments are based on God's great love and that God will help His children keep His commandments as long as life lasts. She especially loved the Sabbath commandment because it provides a special time to spend with Jesus and because keeping it shows our loyalty to Him.

Ellen White died at age 87 at her home in northern California. Her last words were, "I know in Whom I have believed." She dedicated her entire life to serving others. Most importantly, her inspired words continue to lead men and women, boys and girls, into a growing relationship with Jesus. What an example!

God also wants you to be His witness and lead others to Jesus (Jeremiah 1:6-7; Isaiah 43:10).

Why not read Ellen G. White's writings for yourself? Two suggestions for starters are: A Call to Stand Apart and Messiah, both re-written in youth-friendly language. Discover, enjoy, and build a stronger friendship with Jesus!


Copyright © 2007 Ellen G. White Estate, Inc.