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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
Autobiographical Sketch of Ellen G. White

Chapter 8: Call to Travel

Her Hesitancy

I now entreated that if I must go and relate what the Lord had shown me, I should be preserved from undue exaltation. Said the angel: "Your prayers are heard and shall be answered. If this evil that you dread threatens you, the hand of God will be stretched out to save you; by affliction He will draw you to Himself and preserve your humility. Deliver the message faithfully. Endure unto the end, and you shall eat the fruit of the tree of life and drink of the water of life."

After recovering consciousness of earthly things, I committed myself to the Lord, ready to do His bidding whatever that might be. Providentially, the way opened for me to go with my brother-in-law to my sisters in Poland, thirty miles from my home. I there had an opportunity to bear my testimony.

For three months my throat and lungs had been so diseased that I could talk but little, and that in a low and husky tone. On this occasion I stood up in meeting and commenced speaking in a whisper. I continued thus for about five minutes, when the soreness and obstruction left my throat and lungs, my voice became clear and strong, and I spoke with perfect ease and freedom for nearly two hours. When my message was ended, my voice was gone until I again stood before the people, when the same singular restoration was repeated. I felt a constant assurance that I was doing the will of God, and saw marked results attending my efforts.

The way providentially opened for me to go to the eastern part of Maine. Brother William Jordan was going on business to Orrington, accompanied by his sister, and I was urged to go with them. As I had promised the Lord to walk in the path He opened before me, I dared not refuse. At Orrington I met Elder James White. He was acquainted with my friends, and was himself engaged in the work of salvation.

The Spirit of God attended the message I bore; hearts were made glad in the truth, and the desponding ones were cheered and encouraged to renew their faith. At Garland a large number collected from different quarters to hear my message. But my heart was very heavy; I had just received a letter from my mother begging me to return home, for false reports were circulating concerning me. This was an unexpected blow. My name had always been free from the shadow of reproach, and my reputation was very dear to me. I also felt grieved that my mother should suffer on my account; her heart was bound up in her children, and she was very sensitive in regard to them. If there had been an opportunity, I should have set out for home immediately; but this was impossible.

My sorrow was so great that I felt too depressed to speak that night. My friends urged me to trust in the Lord; and at length the brethren engaged in prayer for me. The blessing of the Lord soon rested upon me, and I bore my testimony that evening with great freedom. There seemed to be an angel standing by my side to strengthen me. Shouts of glory and victory went up from that house, and the presence of Jesus was felt among us.

In my labors I was called to oppose the course of some who by their fanaticism were bringing reproach upon the cause of God. These fanatical ones seemed to think that religion consisted in great excitement and noise. They would talk in a manner that would irritate unbelievers, and cause them to hate them and the doctrines they taught; then they would rejoice that they suffered persecution. Unbelievers could see no consistency in their course. The brethren in some places were prevented from assembling for meetings. The innocent suffered with the guilty. I carried a sad and heavy heart much of the time. It seemed cruel that the cause of Christ should be injured by the course of these injudicious men. They were not only ruining their own souls, but placing upon the cause a stigma not easily removed. And Satan loved to have it so. It suited him well to see the truth handled by unsanctified men; to have it mixed with error, and then all together trampled in the dust. He looked with triumph upon the confused, scattered state of God's children.

One of these fanatical persons labored with some success to turn my friends and even my relatives against me. Because I had faithfully related that which was shown me respecting his unchristian course, he circulated falsehoods to destroy my influence and to justify himself. My lot seemed hard. Discouragements pressed heavily upon me; and the condition of God's people so filled me with anguish that for two weeks I was prostrated with sickness. My friends thought I could not live; but brethren and sisters who sympathized with me in this affliction met to pray for me. I soon realized that earnest, effectual prayer was offered in my behalf. Prayer prevailed. The power of the strong foe was broken, and I was released, and immediately taken off in vision. In this view I saw that if I felt a human influence affecting my testimony, no matter where I might be, I had only to cry to God, and an angel would be sent to my rescue. I already had one guardian angel attending me continually, but when necessary, the Lord would send another to raise me above the power of every earthly influence.

(Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 65-67)

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