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 4: Leaving the Methodist Church
Spreading the Word
The Adventists held meetings at this time in Beethoven Hall. My father, with his family, attended them quite regularly. The period of the second advent was
thought to be in the year 1843. The time seemed so short in which souls could be saved that I resolved to do all that was in my power to lead sinners into the
light of truth. But it seemed impossible for one so young, and in feeble health, to do much in the great work.
I had two sisters at home, Sarah, who was several years older, and my twin sister, Elizabeth. We talked the matter over among ourselves, and decided to earn
what money we could, and spend it in buying books and tracts to be distributed gratuitously. This was the best we could do, and we did this little gladly. I could
earn only twenty-five cents a day; but my dress was plain, nothing was spent for needless ornaments, for vain display appeared sinful in my eyes; so I had ever a
little fund in store with which to purchase suitable books. These were placed in the hands of experienced persons to send abroad.
Every leaf of this printed matter seemed precious in my eyes, for it was as a messenger of light to the world, bidding them prepare for the great event near at
hand. Day after day I sat in bed propped up with pillows, performing my allotted task with trembling fingers. How carefully would I lay aside the precious bits
of silver taken in return, which were to be expended for reading matter to enlighten and arouse those who were in darkness. I had no temptation to spend my
earnings for my own personal gratification; the salvation of souls was the burden of my mind, and my heart ached for those who flattered themselves that they
were living in security, while the message of warning was being given to the world.
(Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 38, 39)