Ellen G. White Writings

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Homeward Bound, Page 13

Foreword

Revelation 14:6-11 presents the three angels’ messages, in which Seventh-day Adventists find their commission. Then verse 12 helps provide their identity: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Immediately after, the very next verse includes this blessing: “‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on’ . . . ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them’” (v. 13). Ellen G. White, one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist movement, who helped proclaim those three messages and urged keeping the commandments and the faith of Jesus, died in 1915. Her works have followed her, especially in the writings she left with us.

Those writings have inspired and instructed the church since its beginning. They have given us important insights into Scripture, enriching our Bible understanding. They have contributed significant instruction on organization, education, publishing, and other matters relating to church structure. They have presented key principles regarding diet, health, spiritual growth, and other topics of personal benefit to Christ’s followers. Where the church has taken these writings seriously, the members and the organization have been blessed.

In Ellen White’s later years, she often included an autographed note in copies of her books that she gave away (see a photo of one of her notes at the end of this foreword). The opening words on this note were “We are homeward bound.” This unshakeable belief in the return of Christ and the promise of heaven was a hallmark of her life and ministry. It therefore seems appropriate that the title and focus of this collection of daily meditative thoughts, released during the centennial year of her death, is Homeward Bound.

As we mark a century’s passing since Ellen White’s death, it is fitting that Homeward Bound provides a retrospective of some of the major themes she dealt with in those writings. Each month’s readings will take up one of these themes. In doing so, this book may depart in some respects from the customary devotional book pattern. The readings are not aimed solely at providing inspirational uplift, but at presenting matters that Ellen White deemed important. Sometimes these will call on the readers to do or to avoid certain things as part of their faithful service for the Lord. Sometimes they will highlight particular aspects of Seventh-day Adventist teaching and Bible understanding, such as Satan’s fate during the millennium and at its close. Items like this are included here because they are a part of Ellen White’s emphasis on the given theme.

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