- Weighted Relevancy
- Content Sequence
- Earliest First
- Latest First
Variation in the Visions
When the facts are all known, it is very clear that no one set of circumstances can be set forth as describing just what took place in connection with the giving of the visions. There are several quite well known eyewitness accounts of what usually took place in connection with the visions accompanied by physical phenomena. James White published a statement on this point in 1868:VFEGWV 2.3
2. She does not breathe. During the entire period of her continuance in vision, which has at different times ranged from fifteen minutes to three hours, there is no breath, as has been repeatedly proved by pressing upon the chest, and by closing the mouth and nostrils.
3. Immediately on entering vision, her muscles become rigid, and joints fixed, so far as any external force can influence them. At the same time, her movements and gestures, which are frequent, are free and graceful, and cannot be hindered nor controlled by the strongest person.
4. On coming out of vision, whether in the daytime or a well-lighted room at night, all is total darkness. Her power to distinguish even the most brilliant objects, held within a few inches of the eyes, returns but gradually.—Life Incidents p. 272, (to the Remnant, p. 6)
Statements might be brought forward by a number of witnesses as W. C. White, Martha Byington-Amadon, J. N. Loughborough, et cetera, each covering essentially the same ground. The three just named, each mention’s that as she went into vision there was an animated exclamation of “Glory,” or “Glory to God,”—at times repeated. Of this, Martha Amadon wrote:VFEGWV 3.1
Elder George I. Butler, long-time President of the General Conference, in 1874 presents another contemporary report of the visions accompanied by physical phenomena, published in the Review and Herald in an article entitled “Visions and Prophecy”VFEGWV 3.3
For nearly thirty years past, these visions have been given with greater or less frequency, and have been witnessed by many, oftentimes by unbelievers as well as those believing them. They generally, but not always, occur in the midst of earnest seasons of religious interest while the Spirit of God is specially present, if those can tell who are in attendance.
The time Mrs. White is in this condition has varied from fifteen minutes to one hundred and eighty. During this time the heart and pulse continue to beat, the eyes are always wide open, and seem to be gazing at some far distant object, and are never fixed on any person or thing in the room. They are always directed upward. They exhibit a pleasant expression. There is no ghastly look or any resemblance of fainting.
While she is in vision, her breathing entirely ceases. No breath ever escapes her nostrils or lips when in this condition. This has been proved by many witnesses, among them physicians of skill, and themselves unbelievers in the visions, on some occasions being appointed by a public congregation for the purpose. It has been proved many times by tightly holding the nostrils and mouth with the hand, and by putting a looking glass before them so close that any escape of moisture of breath would be detected. In this condition she often speaks words and short sentences, yet not the slightest breath escapes.
When she goes into this condition, there is no appearance of swooning or faintness, her face retains its natural color, and the blood circulates as usual. Often she loses her strength temporarily and reclines or sits; but at other times she stands up. She moves her arms gracefully, and often her face is lighted up with radiance as though the glory of heaven rested upon her. She is utterly unconscious of everything going on around her while she is in vision, having no knowledge whatever of what is said and done in her presence....
When she comes out of this condition she speaks and writes from time to time what she has seen while in vision; and the supernatural character of these visions is seen even more clearly in what she thus reveals than in her appearance and condition while in vision, for many things have thus been related which it was impossible for her to know in any other way....
The physical phenomena which provided tangible and convincing evidence to the early believers at a time when the fruitage of Ellen White’s work was less abundant than what may be observed today, filled a more important place then than now. Ellen White rarely spoke of it, perhaps because she was totally unconscious to what was taking place. One reference made in 1906 is significant:VFEGWV 5.1
Sometimes while I was in vision my friends would approach me and exclaim, “Why, she does not breathe!” Placing a mirror before my lips, they found that no moisture gathered on the glass. It was while there was no sign of any breathing, that I kept talking of the things that were being presented before me. These messages were thus given to substantiate the faith of all, that in these last days we might have confidence in the Spirit of Prophecy.—.