Reviving the Original Spirit of Prophecy Writings: PART 2


Firstly, we need to understand that Elder James White was chosen by God, to be the legal protector and “HOUSEBAND” around the Spirit of Prophecy; and that he also sustained and worked in unison with the Testimonies of the Spirit of God, to rebuke sin in the church.

Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White; pp. 126. 238: – “We both viewed the coming of Christ near, even at the doors, and when we first met, had no idea of marriage at any future time. But God had a work for both of us to do, and he saw that we could greatly assist each other in that work. As she should come before the public, she needed a lawful protector; and God having chosen her as a channel of light and truth to the people in a special sense, she could be of great help to me …. The subject of this narrative was very feeble. She seemed like one rapidly going to the grave with consumption. Her weight was only eighty pounds. As she traveled on the steamboats and in the cars, she would very frequently faint and remain breathless several minutes. In this condition it was necessary that she should have one or more attendants. Either her sister Sarah, or Sister Foss traveled with her. And as neither her aged father nor feeble brother were suitable persons to travel with one so feeble, and introduce her and her mission to the people, the writer, fully believing that her wonderful experience and work was of God, became satisfied that it was his duty to accompany them. And as our thus traveling subjected us to the reproaches of the enemies of the Lord and his truth, duty seemed very clear that the one who had so important a message to the world should have a legal protector, and that we should unite our labours. • (Written by Elder James White; 1888 edition. NOTE: – This is not to be confused with the 1915 edition of “Life Sketches”, which most SDA’s are familiar with.)

*Original Testimony. 23, pp. 15. 85. 86: – “As my husband has stood by my side to sustain me in my work, and as he has had a plain testimony to bear in unison with the work of the Spirit of God, many have felt that it was my husband who was injuring them personally, when it was the Lord that laid upon him the burden, and was, through his servant, reproving them, to bring them where they would repent of their wrongs, and have the favor of God …. God has seen fit to thrust me into positions in which he has not placed any other one in our ranks. He has laid upon me burdens of reproof that he has not given to any other one. My husband has stood by my side to sustain the testimonies, and to give his voice in union with the testimony of reproof. He has been compelled to take a decided stand to press back the unbelief and rebellion, which has been bold and defiant, and that would break down any testimony I might bear, because the ones reproved were cut, and felt deeply over the reproof given.” (1873)

NOTE: – *The “Testimonies” to the Church were originally published in pamphlet form, and were not published in the big black or red volumes that SDA’s are familiar with today. For documentation on this point, see The SDA Encyclopedia. p. 1596. 1976 Edition. From this statement, we gather that if Elder White was not there to sustain Sr. White in giving her testimony of reproof, the rebellious would be able to break down her warning message.

Ellen G. White. Pamphlets in the Concordance. Volume 1. p. 478: – “I was shown that God had qualified my husband for a specific work, and in his providence had united us to carry forward this work. Through the testimonies of his Spirit he had imparted to him great light. He had cautioned, warned, reproved, and encouraged; and it was due to the power of his grace that we had been enabled to bear a part in the work from its very commencement.” (“The Judgment”. p. 8. based on a vision given October 23, 1879. This has been left out of the present edition of 4th Testimony, pp. 384-387.)

These statements plainly document the role of Elder James White, in relation to his being the “HOUSEBAND” around the Spirit of Prophecy writings. Also, having been a schoolteacher, Elder White had the necessary qualifications to help Sr. White correct the grammar of the “Testimonies” as she initially wrote them out for publication. One example we have of this, is in relation to the preparation of “Spirit of Prophecy. Volume 3”, which was published in 1878.

R. & H .. book 1. p. 188: – “My husband had been laboring incessantly to advance the interests of the cause of God in the various departments of the work centering in Battle Creek. His friends were astonished at the amount of labor he was accomplishing. Sabbath morning, August 18, he spoke in our house of worship. In the afternoon his mind was closely and critically exercised for four consecutive hours, while he listened to the reading of manuscript for Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 3. The matter was intensely interesting, and calculated to stir the soul to its very depths, being a relation of the trial, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Christ.” (1877.)

NOTE: – As long as James White was alive to protect the Spirit of Prophecy writings, the messages were essentially kept pure and unchanged.


1860: – Sr. White rebuked Sr. Harriet Smith (Uriah Smith’s wife), and Uriah Smith himself very plainly. Sr. White had no freedom to relate her testimonies in the presence of the Smiths. In fact, the spiritual situation at the Battle Creek Church was so bad, that James and Ellen G. White, had no union with the church, and they were spending their Sabbaths at home, and were not worshipping with the Battle Creek Church. The Smiths were cherishing jealous and suspicious feelings against the Whites, working secretly against them.

Pamphlets in the Concordance, No. 16. pp. 5-7. 17. 18: -“Letter to Sister H. N. Smith.”

Battle Creek, Mich., June, 1860.

“Dear Sister Harriet: I think it is my duty to unburden my mind to you this morning. After we came home from the West you well know a burden rested upon us. We felt no union with the church generally, and have spent our Sabbaths at home. But I will go back. When we came from the East last fall I told James that I had no liberty to bear my testimony in the church at Battle Creek; but he urged me to do so. I continued to do so, but to the discouragement of my own soul; and when I prayed in the meetinghouse I had so little freedom I told my husband it should be the last time. I knew not the occasion of all this. I felt the same when relating or reading a vision in Uriah’s and your presence. I was reluctant to do so, and had no freedom, and felt a strange dissatisfaction.” {PH016 5.1}

“While at Knoxville some things were explained to me which I was ignorant of before. While at a meeting at Bro. Kellogg’s the whole matter as shown me at Knoxville was opened before me. Things came vividly to mind which it had been impossible for me to recall .. I was shown while at Knoxville the state of things at Battle Creek. I was shown the case of C. Smith’s family, and was pointed back to the visions which they had not heeded. Then I saw Fletcher, Uriah, yourself and other individuals. It seemed to be a chain of connection, with dissatisfied feelings, and watching James and me with jealousy and suspicion. Uriah and James were shown me a distance apart from each other, not united. Darkness was in the Office. The angels of God were grieved, and had but little to do with the work there. There was a secret dissatisfaction, all carried on in darkness, concealed from us. Then I saw J. H. Waggoner, and the communications between him and Uriah. Uriah wronged James in writing to Bro. Waggoner, and Bro. Waggoner wronged him by not being open and frank. If Bro. Waggoner had said to Uriah, If Bro. White is wrong in his feelings in regard to you, I am more so; I have burdened his mind with my feelings in regard to these things; do not judge harshly of Bro. White in this matter, for I was equally to blame, then matters would have been left in a different shape. But that matter was not left right. It was left half finished, with all the censure upon James, like many other things. God frowns upon such injustice. There was occasion for Bro. White’s feelings and Bro. Waggoner’s; but their feelings were too strong, and their course was wrong in not going directly to Uriah and talking over matters with him. But Uriah’s and your wrong was still greater in carrying the matter to others, and writing to Waukon before speaking to James upon the matter.” {PH016 5.2}

“Harriet, I saw that a strange work has been going on here for months in the past. There has been a strengthening the hands of one another in unbelief of the visions because the wrongs of some have been reproved. I feel crushed in spirit, and that I have been abused. I have no more testimony to bear in Battle Creek until there is an entire change. This is darker than the work in Rochester, and is certainly worse; for I saw that they had their example and present condition before them as a warning.” {PH016 6.1}

” … Had you heeded the vision given you and Uriah two years ago you would have saved much; but you neglected all that light, chose your own views of matters, have been free to make confidants of those you should not, but have been very close and secretive to us, whom of all others you should confide in. This is the greatest injustice.” {PH016 15.2}

” … I have been shown that the Lord would have a shrewd manager in that Office; one that will reprove, and one that will not be dumb and senseless to wrongs or carelessness. He will have some one there who is sensitive to wrong, quick to feel, and who feels that the cause is a part of him, a part of his very existence. Uriah and you have not felt this as you should. When a word of admonition or even counsel is given which crosses your feelings and ideas, instead of looking closely and seeing that there was a cause for it, and confessing that you might be wrong, you have kept silent and considered you was suffering wrongfully, and Bro. White was censorious, exacting and severe. O Harriet, whether you realize it or not, those feelings came from a selfish, unconsecrated heart. Bro. White is not perfect. In the ardor of his feelings he may speak too strongly and if you at any time felt injured, in confidence open your mind to him; he would not be backward to relieve your mind of any burden he could. And if you and Uriah were as free to confess when you err as he has been, there would not be the trouble which now exists.” {PH01617.2}

1871: – Elder Smith was a flesh eater and did not follow health reform. He was an “Eli” in his family, and was not following the Testimonies.

Testimony to the church at Battle Creek- 1872. pp. 41-45: – “If Bro. and sister Smith had unitedly taken their position, and maintained it, upon health reform, as God had given them light, they would have had better health and greater spiritual strength. Their backsliding upon health reform and yielding to the temptations of Satan on the side of indulgence of appetite have injured both themselves and their children. Had the light been followed, which God had been pleased to give them, and had they observed regularity in eating of simple food, letting alone flesh-meats, they would have realized a blessing. … If the daily habits of Bro. and sister Smith in eating, drinking, and exercising, had been in accordance with the light God has given upon health reform, that prostrating fever. which separated Bro. Smith from the work, would not have taken hold upon him. … Health reform carried out in his family with strictness, would be a blessing to Bro. and sister Smith and their children. The neglect of sister Smith to live up to the light on health and dress reform has been a stumbling-block to others. … Bro. and sister Smith have a work before them to properly educate their children. They should call to mind the sin of Eli, and shun his example. Bro. Smith has not taken upon himself the responsibility which rests upon a father to control his children.”

NOTE: – This has been left out of the present 3rd Testimony, pp. 186-197.

1879: – Elder Smith was an “Eli” in the church, and would not deal faithfully with sin and rebuke it. Ellen G. White, Pamphlets in the Concordance, Volume 1. p. 479: – “Had Elder Smith exercised more firmness and boldness in defending the right and condemning the wrong, my husband would not have been forced to take such firm decided positions. This disposition on the part of Elder Smith to overlook wrong, and leave evils uncorrected, which, though small at first, would increase till they finally destroyed the purity of the church, has forced my husband to act, and caused his course, in contrast with Elder Smith’s, to seem very severe and dictatorial. Had Elder Smith stood as a bold soldier for Jesus Christ, had he called sin, fraud, and dishonesty by their right names, had he given these evils their just rebuke, less of such disagreeable work would have fallen upon my husband, and less cause would have been given for temptation in regard to his course of action. God would have the facts appear as they are. Elder Smith has neglected to cultivate those traits of character which it is so needful that all who are engaged in the work of God should possess. Pleasing or unpleasing to human nature, faithfulness, vigilance, and boldness must be exercised, or sin will triumph over righteousness. A failure to see and sense the wants of the cause for this time, and to reprove sin, is called by some, meekness; God calls it unfaithfulness, and spiritual sloth.”

NOTE: – “The Judgment”. pp. 9. 10. based on a vision given October 23, 1879. This has been left out of the present 4th Testimony. pp. 384-387.

1882: – Sr. White wrote some of the strongest rebukes to the Battle Creek Church, but particularly to Elder Smith, for rejecting the Testimonies, shunning responsibilities, and for being in spiritual darkness. Each of these rebukes has been omitted from the present edition of 5th Testimony. pp. 21-98. (There are other important omissions which do NOT appear in the present edition of Volume 5.)

“Testimony for the Battle Creek Church” – 1882. pp. 29. 42. 43, 46. 47. 50: – “I am sorry that Eld. Smith, who has been considered so mild, so kind, and so tender that he shrank from reproving wrongs in the office, or performing his duty in the church and in his own family, is for some unexplainable reason found on the side of the accuser: I can but think that this is due to some influence which has blinded his eyes and confused his senses. I cannot say to Bro. Smith, God speed you in this work, for it is wrong. … Bro. Smith, the stand which you have taken in this case proves you responsible for all your past neglect of duty in the church and in the office. You have shown that you can be firm, decided, and severe, even when it is uncalled for …. Hence I wrote to you as I did; but Eld. Smith felt at liberty to withhold the testimony from the church for weeks. If God was leading him and those who united with him and counseled him in this act, he was not leading me; the burden which moved me to write was a false burden, imposed by another spirit. Further than this, Eld. Smith questioned the propriety of bringing the testimony before the church at all. Thus he takes the responsibility of standing between God’s word of reproof and the people …. Oct. 23, 1879, the Lord gave me a most impressive testimony in regard to the church in Battle Creek, especially in reference to Eld. Smith. Now he is found firm, persistent, stubborn, on the wrong side. He is not led by the Spirit of God in his decisions. The Lord has laid no such-burden upon him. Human influences have molded his judgment. No greater evidence of this can be given than the course he has taken in regard to my testimony to the church. … In rejecting this testimony, Eld. Smith, you have virtually rejected all the testimonies. You must know this is the case. This testimony bears the same evidence of its character that all others have borne for the last thirty-six years. But it condemns certain wrongs which you have committed, and which God condemns. The reason why you cannot see it, is because you have been cherishing feelings wholly opposed to the Spirit of God. Your actions stand registered in the books of Heaven. Eld. Smith, I was more grieved than I can express to find you again working on the side of the enemy. … After I wrote you the long letter which has been belittled by Eld. Smith as merely an expression of my own opinion, …”

1883: – This is a very crucial year. Elder Smith was going into darkness, and Sr. White feared for his soul.

Letter 3. 1883: – “I fear for you, my brother. I have the tenderest feelings of pity and respect for you, while I know you are steadily going into darkness; … This makes me more earnest, more anxious, in regard to you. I know that you are under a deception and unless you break away from William Gage and others in no better condition, the Lord will let you go with them to your certain ruin; … I know when one is in the position you are in, truth is turned to error and light to darkness. … But I do feel so sorry that you should be so entangled with a party who have the spirit of the dragon. … You are in darkness and you and he (William Gage – compilers) are not light bearers now in the office. Your influence is for evil. You are scattering from Christ and from the truth. … You know that my husband was strictly, conscientiously honest. You certainly know this; then why do you keep silent and let the vultures tear his reputation to pieces, when you stand as editor of the Review, and have every means in your own hands to vindicate his honor against the insinuations and the suggestions of these satanic agents? … Again I entreat, break the chains of Satan. Be again a free man.” (Letter to Uriah Smith; July 31 , 1883.)

14 MR., pp. 4-7: – “I do feel sorry for you, my brother, because God has bestowed upon you great light, great talents and ability, but the possession of these will not save you. They lay you under heavier responsibilities, and if these are not fully and entirely consecrated to Him who gave them to you, it would be far better for you if you did not possess them. I know you have been in the snare of the enemy, but I have kept your case on my soul. I have prayed in the night season. I have prayed in the daytime, and I have still the deepest interest for you that Satan shall not prevail over you but that you may break his bands and come boldly to the front in the very time when your earnest efforts are most needed.” {14MR 4.1}

“I do not want you should lose your crown or the eternal reward, but as one who loves your soul I tell you [you] will surely do so if you continue to follow the path you have started in upon. You have been deceived, and will never come to the light until you have the moral courage and strength to separate from your adviser and your counselor. His suggestions, his insinuations, his active, ready wit exercised even upon sacred subjects, have had their influence upon you nearly to destroy. If you fail, the blood of your soul will be upon William Gage.” {14MR 5.1}

“This is a fascination that is wholly of the devil that binds you to influences that will ruin. Unless you show a determination to break these fetters, you will soon be unable to do so, and I know that adversity will come to you; and I love you and I love yours. I want you to see. I want you [to] break the fetters of darkness. I want you to stand free and whole in God. I want Satan to be disappointed. I write you this letter [that] you may be saved now from further deception if you will make one determined effort of resistance. I write you this letter although I know my enemies would turn and twist and misconstrue and play upon words and misinterpret anything I may say or write. Yet I do not think you will do this, and I shall venture to send this letter.” {14MR 5.2}

“William Gage will do the very work I have described. He has never known the experience you have had. He has never had the sweet connection with God you have had. He has moved by impulse, not by principle, not from deep, earnest conviction. He has had no power to resist temptation. He knows nothing by experience of what it is to walk with God. The Lord reads this poor, deceived soul as an open book, and he wants you to withdraw from him; separate your interest from him, for it is corrupting to your faith. I want you [to] come off victorious.” {14MR 6.1}

“I would do this man William Gage good, if I could, but his course, I have been shown, was most contemptible in the sight of God. I do not think he sees it all so, but thus God regards it. I hope he will repent. I hope he will not wait until the Judgment before he sees that he has betrayed holy trusts and strengthened the hands of our worst enemies.” {14MR 6.2}

You are also doing this work-strengthening the hands of our enemies. But the Lord will work for His own cause and will bring to nought the smartest, the wisest-laid, schemes of wicked men, and that you should even by your silence sanction the work of Satan through his own agents is too dreadful to contemplate. I will write no more now in regard to the book. You are welcome to it and more, if you want it.

Yours with sincere love in Christ Jesus,

Ellen G. White.” {14MR 6.3} – Letter 14. 1883.”


We have recently come across a number of letters that Uriah Smith wrote to D. M. Canright in 1883, which reveal his real attitude to Sr. White’s spiritual gift at this time, and how he had personally reacted to the public rebukes that Sr. White wrote to and about him in 1882. These letters are rather illuminating relating to the issue of whether Smith did accept what Sr. White had written about him in 1882; and more importantly how he really viewed Sr. White’s Spiritual Gift. He was a “Bible alone” man and he was NOT a true believer in Sr. White’s spiritual gift, even believing that the arguments raised against the Mormon Gifts could also be applied to the spiritual gift of Sr. White!

“I have no doubt the quotations [given in the Marion paper] are correct. I remember coming across the tract, ‘Word to Little Flock,’ when we were in Rochester, but I have not seen a copy since [i. e., in more than 25 years], and did not know but Experience and Views contained the full text of the early visions. It seems to me that the testimonies, practically, have come into that shape, that it is not of any use to try to defend the erroneous claims that are now put forth for them. At least, after the unjust treatment I received the past year, I feel no burden in that direction. Theoretically, the doctrine of Spiritual Gifts is clear enough, and I think all our people stand together on that. Bro. Uttlejohn has preached on the subject here, treating it mostly from a theoretical standpoint. But that does not touch the question at issue among us at all. I presume you noticed in the Review of March 13 Bro. Waggoner’s extinguisher of the Mormon Gifts. But if the same reasoning will not apply somewhat to our own experience, I cannot see straight.” (Uriah Smith Letter to D. M. Canright, dated March 22, 1883.)

“I do not take the disconsolate view of our experiences that you seem to; for if the visions should drop out entirely, it would not affect my faith on our Biblical theories at all; hence, I should not consider my experience worthless, nor my life thrown away; for I am rooted and grounded in our doctrines. I believe the system of prophetic interpretation we present is sound, and that so far as we have been instrumental in presenting it to the world, we have done a good work. I did not learn any of these things from the visions, and they don’t stand on their authority. You ask if there is any way out. I do not know, or rather, while there must be some way through present difficulties (for God will carry on and bring through His own work) I do not now see what that way is. The idea has been studiously instilled into the minds of the people that to question the visions in the least is to become at once a hopeless apostate and rebel; and too many, I am sorry to say, have not strength of character enough to shake off such a conception, hence the moment anything is done to shake them on the visions, they lose faith in everything and go to destruction. I believe this state of things never would have occurred had the position of our people on this manifestation of the gifts been correct.” (Uriah Smith Letter to D. M. Canright, dated April 6, 1883.)

Her attack on me seems to me most uncalled for and unjust. I told the brethren that I did not understand why she seemed so anxious, and in such haste, to publish me to the world as a disbeliever in the testimonies. She has forced me without cause into a very embarrassing position, because if I say nothing, of course it will be taken as a virtual acknowledgment of the correctness of the charges. But if I do say anything, I must speak my convictions, which will not be at all satisfactory to them.” (Uriah Smith Letter to D. M. Canright, dated July 31, 1883.)

“Logically, my case cannot be let alone till I have acknowledged what Sr. W. wrote in our School troubles, which I have no evidence was or is vision, and as I write to Bro. W., I know I have to discriminate between ‘testimony’ and ‘visions.’ Well, I think I know myself as well as Sr. W. knows me.” (Uriah Smith Letter to D. M. Canright, dated August 7, 1883.)


1881: – The “HOUSEBAND” around the Spirit of Prophecy writings died. With Elder White gone, the “wolf-pack” led by Uriah Smith and others, who were in rebellion against the Testimonies of the Spirit of God, could move in and have free reign to change and tamper with the original Spirit of Prophecy writings.

Did Sr. White have any inkling that her writings would be tampered with, and that she would be betrayed by her so called “brethren”? YES!

Original Testimony, 13, pp. 12-14: – “That night I dreamed I was in Battle Creek looking out from the side glass at the door, and saw a company marching up to the house, two and two. They looked stem and determined. I knew them well and turned to open the parlor door to receive them, but thought I would look again. The scene was changed. The appearance now presented was like a Catholic procession. One of the company bore in his hand a cross. Another had a reed. And as they neared the house, the one carrying a reed made a circle around the house, saying three times, “This house is proscribed. The *goods must be confiscated. They have spoken against our holy order.” Terror seized me, and I ran through the house, out of the north door, and found myself in the midst of a company some of whom I knew, but I dared not speak a word with them for fear of being betrayed. I tried to seek a retired spot where I might weep and pray without meeting eager, inquisitive eyes everywhere I turned. I repeated frequently, “If I could only understand this! If they will tell me what I have said, or what I have done!” I wept and prayed much as I saw our *goods being confiscated. I tried to read sympathy or pity for me in the looks of those around me, and marked several countenances of those whom I thought would speak with me, and comfort me, if they did not fear that they would be observed by others. I made one attempt to escape from the crowd, but I saw that I was watched, and I concealed my intentions. I commenced weeping aloud, and saying, “If they would only tell me what I have done, or what I have said!” My husband, who was sleeping in a bed in the same room, heard me weeping aloud, and awoke me. I found my pillow wet with tears, and a sad depression of spirits upon me.” (1867. NOTE: – * = the goods confiscated, would not be the personal belongings of Elder and Sr. White; they would represent the truth filled writings of James and Ellen White.)

R. & H .. book 1. p. 372: – “I will not shun to declare the whole counsel of God. Unpleasant as it may be, I must warn, reprove, rebuke, as God bids me, whether the carnal heart will accept or reject the words of warning. For forty years, Satan has made the most determined efforts to cut off this testimony from the church; but it has continued from year to year to warn the erring, to unmask the deceiver, to encourage the desponding. My trust is in God. I have teamed not to be surprised at opposition in any form or from almost any source. I expect to be betrayed, as was my Master, by professed friends.” (October 16, 1883.)

The above statement from Sr. White was published about six weeks before the 1883 General Conference Session, passed the following resolution, to set up a committee to change the Testimonies of the Holy Spirit.

Ellen G. White – Messenger to the Remnant; by A. L. White, p. 65: – “32. WHEREAS, Some of the bound volumes of the ‘Testimonies to the Church,’ are out of print, so that full sets cannot be obtained at the office; and,

WHEREAS, There is a constant and urgent call for the reprinting of these volumes; therefore, resolved, That we recommend their republication in such a form as to make four volumes of seven or eight hundred pages each.

33. WHEREAS, Many of these testimonies were written under the most unfavorable circumstances, the writer being too heavily pressed with anxiety and labor to devote critical thought to the grammatical perfection of the writings, and they were printed in such haste as to allow these imperfections to pass uncorrected; and,

WHEREAS, We believe the light given by God to His servants is by the enlightenment of the mind, thus imparting the thoughts, and not (except in rare cases) the very words in which the ideas should be expressed; therefore,

Resolved, That in the republication of these volumes, such verbal changes be made as to remove the above-named imperfections, as far as possible, without in any measure changing the thought; and further,

34. Resolved, That this body appoint a committee of five to take charge of the republication of these volumes according to the above preambles and resolutions.” (R. & H .. November 27. 1883.)”

NOTE: – The committee of five appointed to change the Testimonies of the Holy Spirit, consisted of the following individuals:

G. I. Butler – chairman: S. N. Haskell; URIAH SMITH; J. H. Waggoner; W. C. White.

The fact that the “brethren” put Uriah Smith on this committee, when he had been publicly rebuked in the previous year (1882), for rejecting the Testimonies, shows us how much faith the leaders of the SDA organization had in the Testimonies of the Holy Spirit! We can now see why in the previous pages, the rebukes personally addressed to Uriah Smith, have been removed from the “Testimonies to the Church”, after the 1883 G. C. resolution was passed.

The 1883 G. C. resolution uses the excuse, that the Testimonies as originally published, contained grammatical errors, which needed to be corrected by the committee of five:

“Many of these testimonies were written under the most unfavorable circumstances, the writer being too heavily pressed with anxiety and labor to devote critical thought to the grammatical perfection of the writings, and they were printed in such haste as to allow these imperfections to pass uncorrected.”

The following statement from Sr. White herself, refutes the above argument from the 1883 G. C. resolution.

Selected Messages, book 1. p. 57: – “Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered. Nothing must be done untimely. Some matters must be withheld because some persons would make an improper use of the light given. Every jot and tittle is essential and must appear at an opportune time. In the past, the testimonies were carefully prepared before they were sent out for publication. And all matter is still carefully studied after the first writing.”

In recent years, the church leaders have admitted, that most of the changes in the Testimonies, were not because of grammatical errors at all!

Ministry Magazine. April. 1994. pp. 10. 12: – “Mrs. White’s remarks concerning the revision were not recorded, but whatever she said, the General Conference session did NOT choose to cite her as authority for their action. … Relatively few changes involved actual grammatical errors. … The vast majority of wording changes did NOT involve grammatical errors at all.” (By Ronald Graybill.)

Therefore, the 1883 G. C. resolution to change the Testimonies of the Holy Spirit, was founded upon a false premise, and was merely an excuse to set up the committee of five, to change the Testimonies! This 1883 G. C. resolution set a precedent for the tampering with the Spirit of Prophecy writings.


The General Conference Session of 1883 set up a Committee to examine the Changes being proposed in the “Testimonies” of Sr. White. Various meetings were held throughout the 1883 General Conference Session. The minutes of this Committee were recorded in the document entitled:

“Report of Committee on Examination of the Testimonies” – it is listed in the White Estate Document File as DF 194a

Ronald Graybill’s “Ministry” Magazine article previously quoted refers to this document frequently. But the following little known fact concerning this Committee Report, is completely ignored by Graybill in his article. In the Fifth Meeting of the Committee held on November 14, 1883, at 1:30pm, the following motion was proposed by ElderS. H. Lane, which we quote from the Committee Report verbatim:

A motion was introduced by Eld. S. H. Lane to refer the matter of the further examination of the work of the General Conference Committee; they to be assisted by Eld. U. Smith and Sr. White. Remarks followed by many, each expressing a wish that no change had been made in the revision, further than those pertaining to grammatical change. The motion of Eld. Lane was then by vote, tabled.” (Emphasis supplied.)

“TABLE” – “In the U. S. Congress, to lay on the table as a way of postponing indefinitely; to shelve”- The Oxford Universal Dictionary Illustrated, Volume 2. paae 2118.

When Elder Lane proposed consulting (amongst others) with the author of the “Testimonies”. Sr. White, the Committee of Church Ministers and leaders tabled the motion; that was a political tactic to shelve the motion, and yet it could be truthfully said that the majority had not voted against it. When put to the test, this General Conference Committee refused the opportunity to consult with Sr. White concerning the proposed changes to be made in her “Testimonies”.


The following letter from W. C. White reveals how the Testimony Changes were carried out after the 1883 General Conference Session finished. Elder J. H. Waggoner had the final say of approving or rejecting the changes to the Testimonies. (He was a member of the “Committee of Five” to supervise the Testimony changes.)

“First, the first and second editions were carefully read and compared by Mary and Sr. Burnham, and each change which had been made in the second edition was marked on the margin of the first, then the proofs of the new plates were read and compared with this, and every change was as carefully marked on the margin. Then this marked copy was placed in Eld. Waggoner’s hands and he read it carefully criticising every mark and correction, and accepting or condemning these corrections according to his good judgment and the instruction of the committee appointed by the conference. It has been a herculean task, and has taken a large part of his valuable time since the last General Conference; but he does not seem to regret the labor, because the work is worthy of it.”W. C. White to Brother Olsen, July 11, 1885.)

Testimonies on Sexual Behaviour, Adultery and Divorce, pp. 182-184: – “27. An Honored Minister”

“Dear Brother H: I have somewhat to say unto thee … .” {TSB 182.1}

“My brother, you have had the respect of the church, old and young. But your course is condemned of God, and you have not had His Spirit, and you are not a free man. You have pursued a course that has caused your good to be evil spoken of. *The very things that transpired at the Piedmont Sabbath school reunion, I would not have [had] occur for thousands of dollars. You, a gray-haired man, lying at full length with your head in the lap of Georgie S. Had I done my duty, I would have rebuked you there. Many saw this and made remarks about it. After such exhibitions as this, of what value would be your admonitions to them to be guarded against everything of this free and easy familiarity? You have yourself neutralized your efforts to elevate the young by your example”. {TSB 182.2}

“The course of intimacy with Sister S and her family has been a subject of remark. And how could you expect to have influence with the young as a father when such manifest want of judgment and such weakness has been exhibited by you? If you will only be a man in your old age instead of a sentimental lover; if you would only be guarded, God would not remove His wisdom from you as He has done. Your reputation would have been dearer to you than your very life. Better, far better, go down to the grave with honor untarnished, than to live with a reproach upon your name.” {TSB 182.3}

Now look, my brother, at the years you have been living in unlawful sympathy and love with another man’s wife. And you have a daughter who would be glad to give you attention and sympathy and make a home for you, but you have been so completely infatuated that everything in this life that was sensible and proper has been distasteful and insipid to you. I do not feel that the charm is broken, that you are a free man. You have not broken the snare. The Lord is not supreme with you.” {TSB 183.1}

Now, my brother, it would be folly for you to think that you have wisdom to discern spiritual things while you have been growing weaker and weaker for years in moral power, and separating from the God of wisdom. The letters written to your wife are harsh and unfeeling. The withdrawing of your support in a large degree is not wisdom or right on your part. And had she not a cause when she was at Oakland to be jealous of you? Did not she see in you the interest, sympathy, and love you gave to Sister S?” {TSB 183.2}

“Now, for Christ’s sake, save your harsh condemnation of others, for this shows that you are not Christlike, that you have another spirit. I write thus plainly because I feel deeply that you need to make a more determined effort than you have done before you stand free in the sight of God. All your sharpness and overbearing comes from you with an ill grace. Do humble yourself under the hand of God. Do make sure of the favor of God, and put sin away from you.” {TSB 183.3}

There are but few who know to what extent this intimacy has gone, and God forbid it shall be known and your influence lost to God’s cause and your soul lost. I beg of you not to take it upon you to pronounce judgment against anyone but yourself.” – Letter 10, 1885. {TSB 183.4} Letter 10, 1885.

In this compiled book there is no indication as to whom this letter of rebuke was written to. But on checking the Complete Published Writings of Ellen G. White CD-ROM DISK, we find that Letter 10. 1885 was written to Elder J. H. Waggoner, on November 4, 1885.

  • Sr. White left for Europe in August 1885. This means that this incident at the Piedmont Sabbath School Reunion took place before then, as Sr. White herself witnessed this disgraceful conduct of Waggoner’s. This adulterous relationship of Waggoner’s had been going on for some time – years according to this letter. This would mean that as Waggoner was accepting or rejecting the changes in the Testimonies, he was guilty of adultery! What a terrible situation this is. A man committing adultery, who had not the Spirit or Wisdom of God, had the final say about the changes in the Testimonies!

Before we conclude this chapter, we will give the following statements, which plainly document from inspiration, that God did not authorize Sr. White, to change her published writings.

In the early days of Sr. White’s public ministry, she changed the messages that God gave her, which was unfaithfulness on her part; she did not want to give the messages exactly as the Lord had given them to her. And as a result she was shown in vision that she was under the frown of Jesus, which absolutely terrified her. If Sr. White changed the messages, which God gave her, if she did not give the messages exactly AS God had given them to her, she would be lost!

A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White. p. 63: – “When the Lord first gave me messages to deliver to his people, it was hard for me to declare them. And I often softened them down, and made them as mild as possible for fear of grieving them. It was a great trial to declare the messages AS the Lord gave them to me. I did not realize that I was so unfaithful, and did not see the danger and sin of such a course, until! was taken in vision into the presence of Jesus. He looked upon me with a frown, and turned his face from me. It is not possible to describe the terror and agony I then felt. I fell upon my face before him, but had no power to utter a word. O, how I longed to be covered and hid from that dreadful frown. Then could I realize, in some degree what the feelings of the lost will be, when they cry, ‘Mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” (1851.)

Original Testimony 26, p. 4: – “Here is a work that has been subjected to the most rigid criticisms, and the most violent persecutions for the long period of twenty years, and yet remains unchanged. Had this work originated in the mind of an unsophisticated woman, it would have been forced out of its course long since and brought to confusion and to naught.” (1876 – by Elder James White. This statement has been deleted from the present edition of 4th Testimony.)

A Word to the Little Flock. p. 27: – “So far from desiring to withhold anything that I have ever published, I would feel great satisfaction in giving to the public every line of my writings that has ever been printed.” (This statement was written in 1883, the very year that the General Conference set up the committee to change the Testimonies. Obviously, Sr. White did not want material deleted from her previously published works at all. The very opposite is the case. She wanted all of her previous writings published without any omissions taking place.)

Battle Creek Letters. p. 62: – “The more Dr. Kellogg is argued with, the more subterfuges will he use. His danger is not now as great as it will be. If he will heed the councils I shall give you for him, I can use him to accomplish an important work. He will make many crooked paths. He will hurt your soul; nevertheless continue to bear the testimonies that I give you, diminishing them not so much as by a word; for this is his hope.” {BCL 62.4} (1902)

R. & H .. book 5, p. 110: – “That which I have written is what the Lord has bidden me write. I have not been instructed to change that which I have sent out.” (1905.)

Special Testimonies. Series B. No. 7. pp. 57. 58: – “Not a word is changed or denied. That which the Holy Spirit testified to as truth after the passing of the time, in our great disappointment, is the solid foundation of truth.” (1905 – How did the Holy Spirit testify as to what was truth, after October 22, 1844? Through the visions given to Sr. White. Not a word is changed or denied, concerning the truths revealed through Sr. White’s visions, after the great disappointment of 1844!)

R. & H .. book 5. p. 231 : – “I am not to retract one word of the message I have borne.” (1906.)

R. & H .. book 5, p. 260: – “I understood that some were anxious to know if Mrs. White still held the same views that she did years ago when they had heard her speak in the sanitarium grove, in the Tabernacle, and at the camp-meetings held in the suburbs of Battle Creek. I assured them that the message she bears to-day is the same that she has borne during the sixty years of her public ministry.” (1906 – There had been no change in Sr. White’s message during the sixty years of her public ministry.)

Preach The Word. p. 7: – “The less that is done unnecessarily to change our publications, the better it will be.” – Preach the Word, p. 7. (1910.)