Ellen G. White

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Ellen G. White in 1899
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Indulgence in unlawful things has become a power to deprave mankind, to dwarf the mind and to pervert the faculties. Just such a state of things as exists today existed before the flood and before the destruction of Sodom. Dissipation is on the increase in our world. Handbills on which indecent pictures are printed are posted up along our streets to allure the eyes and deprave the morals. These presentations are of such a character as to stir up the basest passions of the human heart through corrupt imaginings. These corrupt imaginings are followed by defiling practices like those in which the Sodomites indulged. But the most terrible part of the evil is that it is practiced under the garb of sanctity. Our youth will be defiled, their thoughts degraded, and their souls polluted unless they are barricaded with the truth.
—Ellen White, ranting about pornography and homosexuality in 1875[1]

Ellen G. White (1827-1915) co-founded Seventh-day Adventism (SDA). Some followers of her writings consider her a prophet. Her best-known books, The Great Controversy (1858), Steps to Christ (1892), and The Desire of Ages (1898), circulate widely, and the distribution of them is a core outreach of Adventism, thus they can often be had for free. The Great Controversy offers a Restorationist narrative of the apostasy and later restoration of the Christian Church, the key issue for White being the abandonment and later restoration of Saturday (or Sabbath-day) worship. The Desire of Ages is a long book on the person and life of Jesus, while Steps to Christ is a shorter evangelistic book. White also wrote on health matters and espoused vegetarianism, teetotalism, and exiting the cities to move to rural areas and become self-sufficient,[2] both for health reasons and because of her belief in the coming end times, perhaps within her lifetime. This latter belief is a sort of forerunner to more recent survivalist practices of some Christians who believe the end times are imminent. Those who consider her a prophet take her visions of the end times seriously, including a vision of hers cited by believers as purportedly predicting 9/11.[3]

One can view White as the mother of Young Earth creationism (YEC), though not that many people noticed while she was alive.[4] White proclaimed that YHWH constructed the Earth in 6 literal days, and furthermore that The Flood rearranged the geological record - key elements of YEC.[4] A fellow-SDA member, George McCready PriceWikipedia published three books that helped popularize White's pronouncements: Outlines of Modern Christianity and Modern Science (1902), The Fundamentals of Geology (1913) and The New Geology (1923).[4]

In addition to White's irrational obsession about a particular day of the week, her writings are filled with rants about sexuality, pornography, masturbation, and other examples of what she called "moral depravity."[5][6][7] White has been accused of plagiarizing contemporary sources in her writings about the ill effects of masturbation and that she was merely reflecting the prevailing beliefs of her times.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, Chapter 16—Homosexuality. egwwritings.org.
  2. See, for example, Country Living, a booklet compiling her writings on this subject.
  3. The September 11 World Trade Center Attacks. The Ellen White Research Project at truthorfables.net.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Righting America at the Creation Museum by Susan L. Trollinger & William Vance Trollinger Jr. (2016) Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 1421419513.
  5. Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, Chapter 51—Moral Pollution.
  6. Ellen G. White, Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, Chapter 17—Masturbation.
  7. Ellen G. White, Child Guidance, Section 16—Preserving Moral Integrity, Chapter 68—Prevalence of Corrupting Vices.
  8. Robert L. Numbers, Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White, 2008, p. 207-208. ISBN 0802803954.