Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1), Page 394

Chapter 26—(1859) Through 1859 With Ellen White's Diary

Ellen White would not have started to keep a diary on the first day of January, 1859, if she was not planning to publish an account of her experience. She had started on the manuscript early in 1858. A back page note in the Review and Herald in late March, in very small type, provides a clue:

I now design publishing a book of two or three hundred pages, containing a sketch of my Christian experience up to this time, my views, and a Bible argument on the perpetuity of spiritual gifts. My friends who have received letters from me containing views, exhortations, or a statement of events of my experience worthy of publication in such a work are invited to return them to me immediately by mail to Battle Creek, Michigan.—The Review and Herald, March 25, 1858.

When the little book My Christian Experience, Views, and Labors came out two years later, she mentioned that in its preparation she had to depend in many instances on her memory, for she had not kept a “journal,” but the letters she had written that were returned to her at her request were a great help. As she endeavored to reconstruct her life story she sensed the importance of a day-by-day record of her experience and activities. She purchased a little black, leather-bound diary, lightly lined and three by five inches in size, for this purpose. This diary is rich in the information it contains about her life and work.

As 1859 dawned, Ellen had just turned 31; James was 37; Henry, 11; Edson, 9; and Willie, 4. They were living in a modest

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