Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen White: Woman of Vision, Page 27

Adventists in Portland! They knew her family. They had heard that a vision had been given to her, and when they heard it from her own lips they accepted what she told them as a message from God. It met a need in their experience. According to James White, about 60 belonging to the Advent band in Portland accepted the vision and through it regained their confidence in the fulfillment of prophecy concerning October 22, 1844 (A Word to the Little Flock, 22).

But the task of traveling and sharing the vision seemed to her impossible to accomplish and doomed to failure. Oh, how welcome death would have been, for it would have released her from the responsibilities that were crowding in upon her. She talked with her father of her perplexities. He repeatedly assured her that if God had called her to a public ministry, He would not fail her. But to Ellen it seemed impossible to submit to the commission.

Soon the peace of God that she had enjoyed left her. She even refused to attend the meetings held in her home. But one evening she was persuaded to be present. At this meeting John Pearson encouraged her to surrender her will to the will of God. In her distress she could not muster courage to bring her own will into play. But now her heart united with the petitions of her friends. She later recounted:

While prayer was offered for me, that the Lord would give me strength and courage to bear the message, the thick darkness that had encompassed me rolled back, and a sudden light came upon me. Something that seemed to me like a ball of fire struck me right over the heart. My strength was taken away, and I fell to the floor. I seemed to be in the presence of the angels. One of these holy beings again repeated the words, “Make known to others what I have revealed to you” (Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 71).

When Ellen regained consciousness, Elder Pearson, who because of rheumatism could not kneel, stood and declared:

“I have seen a sight such as I never expected to see. A ball of fire came down from heaven, and struck Sister Ellen Harmon right on the heart. I saw it! I saw it! I can never forget it. It has changed my whole being. Sister Ellen, have courage in the Lord. After this night I will never doubt again” (Ibid.).

Fear Of Exaltation

One reason Ellen shrank from the trying ordeal was that she recalled the experience of some who had become proud after being entrusted by God with large responsibilities. In vision she discussed this with the angel. “If I must go and relate what thou hast shown me,” she pleaded, “preserve me from undue exaltation.” Replied the angel:

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