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Life Sketches of Ellen G. White

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    In Confirmation of Faith

    In November, 1846, I attended, with my husband, a meeting at Topsham, Maine, at which Elder Joseph Bates was present. He did not then fully believe that my visions were of God. That meeting was a season of much interest. The Spirit of God rested upon me; I was wrapped in a vision of God's glory, and for the first time had a view of other planets. After I came out of vision, I related what I had seen. Elder Bates then asked if I had studied astronomy. I told him I had no recollection of ever looking into an astronomy. Then he said, “This is of the Lord.” His countenance shone with the light of heaven, and he exhorted the church with power.LS 97.2

    Regarding his attitude toward the visions, Elder Bates made the following statement:LS 97.3

    “Although I could see nothing in them that militated against the Word, yet I felt alarmed and tried exceedingly, and for a long time unwilling to believe that it was anything more than what was produced by a protracted debilitated state of her body.LS 97.4

    “I therefore sought opportunities in the presence of others, when her mind seemed freed from excitement (out of meeting), to question and cross-question her, and her friends which accompanied her, especially her elder sister, to get if possible at the truth. During the number of visits she has made to New Bedford and Fairhaven since, while at our meetings, I have seen her in vision a number of times, and also in Topsham, Maine; and those who were present during some of those exciting scenes know well with what interest and intensity I listened to every word, and watched every move to detect deception or mesmeric influence. And I thank God for the opportunity I have had with others to witness these things. I can now confidently speak for myself. I believe the work is of God, and is given to comfort and strengthen His ‘scattered, torn, and peeled people,’ since the closing up of our work for the world in October, 1844.” [From a Broadside, entitled, “A Vision,” published in April, 1847 (press of Benjamin Lindsey, New Bedford), and reprinted by Elder James White in A Word to the Little Flock, 21, May, 1847.]LS 97.5

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