Autobiographical Sketch of Ellen G. White
Note: Since criticisms about Ellen White's life are dealt with elsewhere on this site,
we here simply let her tell in her own words her life story.—WebMaster
Chapter 3: Feelings of Despair
Sharing the Joy
The night after receiving so great a blessing, I attended the advent meeting. When the time came for the followers of Christ to speak in His favor, I could not
remain silent, but rose and related my experience. Not a thought had entered my mind of what I should say; but the simple story of Jesus' love to me fell from
my lips with perfect freedom, and my heart was so happy to be liberated from its bondage of dark despair that I lost sight of the people about me and seemed to
be alone with God. I found no difficulty in expressing my peace and happiness, except for the tears of gratitude that choked my utterance as I told of the
wondrous love that Jesus had shown for me.
Elder Stockman was present. He had recently seen me in deep despair, and the remarkable change in my appearance and feelings touched his heart; he wept
aloud, rejoicing with me and praising God for this proof of His tender mercy and loving-kindness.
Not long after receiving this great blessing, I attended a conference meeting at the Christian church, where Elder Brown was pastor. I was invited to relate my
experience, and I felt not only great freedom of expression, but happiness, in telling my simple story of the love of Jesus and the joy of being accepted of God.
As I spoke, with subdued heart and tearful eyes, my soul seemed drawn toward heaven in thanksgiving. The melting power of the Lord came upon the
assembled people. Many were weeping and others praising God.
Sinners were invited to arise for prayers, and many responded to the call. My heart was so thankful to God for the blessing He had given me that I longed to
have others participate in this sacred joy. My mind was deeply interested for those who might be suffering under a sense of the Lord's displeasure and the
burden of sin. While relating my experience, I felt that no one could resist the evidence of God's pardoning love that had wrought so wonderful a change in me.
The reality of true conversion seemed so plain to me that I felt like helping my young friends into the light, and at every opportunity exerted my influence
toward this end.
I arranged meetings with my young friends, some of whom were considerably older than myself, and a few were married persons. A number of them were vain
and thoughtless; my experience sounded to them like an idle tale, and they did not heed my entreaties. But I determined that my efforts should never cease till
these dear souls, for whom I had so great an interest, yielded to God. Several entire nights were spent by me in earnest prayer for those whom I had sought out
and brought together for the purpose of laboring and praying with them.
Some of these had met with us from curiosity to hear what I had to say; others thought me beside myself to be so persistent in my efforts, especially when they
manifested no concern on their own part. But at every one of our little meetings I continued to exhort and pray for each one separately, until every one had
yielded to Jesus, acknowledging the merits of His pardoning love. Every one was converted to God.
Night after night in my dreams I seemed to be laboring for the salvation of souls. At such times special cases were presented to my mind; these I afterward
sought out and prayed with. In every instance but one these persons yielded themselves to the Lord. Some of our more formal brethren feared that I was too
zealous for the conversion of souls, but time seemed to me so short that it behooved all who had a hope of a blessed immortality and looked for the soon
coming of Christ, to labor without ceasing for those who were still in their sins and standing on the awful brink of ruin.
Though I was very young, the plan of salvation was so clear to my mind, and my personal experience had been so marked, that, upon considering the matter, I
knew it was my duty to continue my efforts for the salvation of precious souls and to pray and confess Christ at every opportunity. My entire being was offered
to the service of my Master. Let come what would, I determined to please God, and live as one who expected the Saviour to come and reward the faithful. I felt
like a little child coming to God as to my father, and asking Him what He would have me to do. Then as my duty was made plain to me, it was my greatest
happiness to perform it. Peculiar trials sometimes beset me. Those older in experience than myself endeavored to hold me back and cool the ardor of my faith;
but with the smiles of Jesus brightening my life, and the love of God in my heart, I went on my way with a joyful spirit.
As often as I recall the experience of my early life, my brother, the confidant of my hopes and fears, the earnest sympathizer with me in my Christian
experience, comes to my mind with a flood of tender memories. He was one of those to whom sin presents but few temptations. Naturally
devotional, he never sought the society of the young and gay, but chose rather the company of Christians whose conversation would instruct him in the way
of life. His manner was serious beyond his years; he was gentle and peaceful, and his mind was almost constantly filled with religious thoughts. His life was
pointed to, by those who knew him, as a pattern to the youth, a living example of the grace and beauty of true Christianity.
(Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 32-35)