Ellen G. White Writings

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The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1, Page 274


Lt 6, 1851

April 1, 1851, Paris, Maine

Letter to
Reuben and Belinda Loveland.1

Identity: This letter is addressed “Reuben Loveland, Johnson, Vt.” For “Belinda” as his wife's name, see, for example, 1860 U.S. Federal Census, “Belinda Loveland” and “Reuben Loveland,” Vermont, Lamoille County, Johnson, p. 819.

Portions of this letter are published in Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 3, p. 63; idem, Manuscript Releases, vol. 6, p. 252.

Belinda Loveland questions the source of Ellen White's vision regarding Nelson Hollis. The influence of Hollis's accusations against James White causes crushing discouragement for the Whites.

Dear Brother and Sister Loveland:

We have just returned from a visit to Topsham [Maine] and Gorham [Maine]. On our return we found a number of letters, and among them was one from you. Many things in your letter I do not understand. You speak of your telling me concerning Brother Hollis [Nelson A. Hollis].2

Identity: The only “Hollis” mentioned in the Review throughout the 1850s and early 1860s is Nelson A. Hollis. This identity is confirmed by Ellen White in Spiritual Gifts, where, in narrating what appear to be the same events, she refers to “N. A. H.”

See: Search term “Hollis” in Words of the Pioneers; Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts [vol. 2], pp. 145, 146.

I cannot remember that you told me anything about [him]. I know that if you told me anything it affected me not or I could now remember it. But, dear sister, what if you had said ever so much? Would that affect the visions that God gives me? If so, then the visions are nothing.3

The issue raised here and in the fifth paragraph concern the genuineness of Ellen White's vision. Had the vision been “influenced” by what Belinda Loveland told Ellen White concerning the Hollis case? The question of whether Ellen White had prior knowledge of matters shown her in vision was seen by some as of central importance. But she makes the point in this letter that even if she had had prior information about Hollis, “would that affect the vision that God gives me? … My opinion has nothing to do with what God has shown me in vision.”

See also: Lt 3, 1847 (July 13), note 7.

God has shown me the true state of Brother Hollis. I know from the vision that his influence has been bad and against us.4

In what way had Hollis's influence “been bad and against us”? In a parallel account in Spiritual Gifts Ellen White says of “N. A. H.” (Nelson A. Hollis) that he was the “instigator” of accusations that “Bro. White was making money” and “had too good a horse.” James White had as a result “sunk beneath his trials.”

See: Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts [vol. 2], pp. 145-147.

How could Brother Hollis say

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