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 7: My First Vision
On to Heaven
We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought the crowns,
and with His own right hand placed them on our heads. He gave us harps of gold and palms of victory. Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a
perfect square. Some had very bright crowns, others not so bright. Some crowns appeared heavy with stars, while others had but few. All were perfectly
satisfied with their crowns. And they were all clothed with a glorious white mantle from their shoulders to their feet. Angels were all about us as we marched
over the sea of glass to the gate of the city. Jesus raised His mighty, glorious arm, laid hold of the pearly gate, swung it back on its glittering hinges, and said to
us: "You have washed your robes in My blood, stood stiffly for My truth, enter in." We all marched in and felt we had a perfect right there.
Within the city we saw the tree of life and the throne of God. Out of the throne came a pure river of water, and on either side of the river was the tree of life. On
one side of the river was a trunk of a tree, and a trunk on the other side of the river, both of pure, transparent gold. At first I thought I saw two trees; I looked
again, and saw that they were united at the top in one tree. So it was the tree of life on either side of the river of life. Its branches bowed to the place where we
stood; and the fruit was glorious, which looked like gold mixed with silver.
We all went under the tree, and sat down to look at the glory of the place, when Brethren Fitch and Stockman, who had preached the gospel of the kingdom,
and whom God had laid in the grave to save them, came up to us, and asked us what we had passed through while they were sleeping. We tried to call up our
greatest trials, but they looked so small compared with the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory that surrounded us, that we could not speak them out,
and we all cried out, "Alleluia! Heaven is cheap enough," and we touched our golden harps and made heaven's arches ring.
I related this vision to the believers in Portland, who had full confidence that it was from God. The Spirit of the Lord attended the testimony, and the solemnity
of eternity rested upon us. An unspeakable awe filled me, that I, so young and feeble, should be chosen as the instrument by which God would give light to His
people. While under the power of the Lord I was filled with joy, seeming to be surrounded by holy angels in the glorious courts of heaven, where all is peace
and gladness, and it was a sad and bitter change to wake up to the realities of mortal life.
In a second vision, which soon followed the first, I was shown the trials through which I must pass, and that it was my duty to go and relate to others what God
had revealed to me. It was shown me that my labors would meet with great opposition, and that my heart would be rent with anguish, but that the grace of God
would be sufficient to sustain me through all. The teaching of this vision troubled me exceedingly, for it pointed out my duty to go out among the people and
present the truth.
(Testimonies for the Church, pp. 59-61)