Many Seventh-Day Adventists that seek to defend the charges made against Ellen White and her failed prophecies will be quick to assert that she said she never claimed to be a prophet. They claim she was just the “lesser light that points to the greater light (the Bible).” This is a very common tactic they try to use to downplay her errors or outright dismiss them.
These individuals are either ignorant of the facts and are repeating what they’ve heard from the organization or they are being dishonest.
The statement in question is this:
“During the discourse, I said that I did not claim to be a prophetess. Some were surprised at this statement, and as much is being said in regard to it, I will make an explanation. Others have called me a prophetess, but I have never assumed that title. I have not felt that it was my duty thus to designate myself. Those who boldly assume that they are prophets in this our day are often a reproach to the cause of Christ.
My work includes much more than this name signifies. I regard myself as a messenger, entrusted by the Lord with messages for His people.
When this work was first given me, I begged the Lord to lay the burden on someone else. The work was so large and broad and deep that I feared I could not do it. I have been weak and feeble physically much of my life, but by His Holy Spirit the Lord has given me ability to perform the work entrusted to me. God has made plain to me the various ways in which He would use me to carry forward a special work. Visions have been given me with the promise, “If you deliver the message faithfully, and endure unto the end, you shall eat of the fruit of the tree of life, and drink of the water of the river of life.”—Selected Messages, Book 3, pg. 74 (3SM 74.2)
In context, Mrs. White was not downplaying herself. She said that the title of “prophet” did not fully encompass what she believed to be doing so she rejected it. What she was doing supposedly encompassed far more than what that title signified. She was saying the opposite of what Adventists are claiming when they say she never claimed to be a prophet.
Furthermore, Fundamental Belief #18 of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church clearly states that she was a prophet and that her writings speak with “prophetic authority.” They claim her prophetic gifting is supposedly the identifying mark of the Remnant Church. If she never claimed to be a prophet, then why do the Fundamental Beliefs canonize her as such? As a double-whammy, Adventist’s that deny this are also denying that the SDA Church is the remnant church of end times prophecy.
Below is a compiled list of the claims that Mrs. White made for herself and her writings:
- The Holy Spirit authored both the Bible and her writings
- She never wrote one sentence of heresy
- Her writings are one straight chain of truth
- The words in her books are “barricaded by a thus saith the Lord”
- Rejecting her writings is the first step to eventually rejecting the Bible outright
- It is Satan’s plan to lessen the confidence in her writings and those that do will eventually doubt scripture and lead to perdition
- To go against her writings, which are not merely her opinion, is to insult the Spirit of God because the Lord himself has manifested in her writings
- If you lessen the confidence of people in her writings, you are rebelling against God as sure as Korah, Dathan and Abiram did and you’ll be accountable for doing such
- God has outlined his plan in both the Bible and her writings where He is speaking
- She took the Bible and wrapped it with her writings and God gave them to allow one to understand the Bible
- There has never been a time where God has instructed people more earnestly than through her writings
- Her books make clear the present duty of man that God would have them listen and obey
- The Spirit of God worked upon her mind to give her the words to write
- It is God, not an erring mortal, that is speaking through her writings—seeking to saving one from ruin
- Her works either bear the signet of God or Satan
- Those that reject her writings will be left in blindness and become deceived
This is why the SDA Church openly affirms that her writings are divinely inspired and correct inaccurate interpretations of scripture. It is dishonest for Adventists to try and claim otherwise or downplay the function of Ellen White’s supposed prophetic gifting. It is one of the seven pillar doctrines of the Seventh-Day Adventist system of theology.