Ellen White writing



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The Ellen White Research Project: Exposing the Subtle Attack on the Bible's Authority
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Eldest Son Henry White
White Estate
Family Planning: a "Hypocritical Liar"?

This accusation comes to us from Doctrines of Demons, a 1999 booklet by former Adventist and retired physician Jack Gent, who was born in 1922.


Ellen White encouraged couples to enlarge their families no more quickly than they had the time, means, and ability to properly clothe, feed, and educate the little ones. Most people would have no problem with such advice.

To these considerations Ellen White also added an evangelistic one: certain individuals blessed with the capabilities and talents needed for engaging in soul winning work should try to not multiply their home responsibilities to the point that they take themselves out of the Lord's work. Again, many would find this counsel reasonable.

But Dr. Gent does not. Moreover, he believes that he has discovered that she has been hypocritical in this matter of family planning. To his criticism of her counsel he adds the following observation:

In view of Paul's statement that these teachings came through hypocritical liars, I find an editorial comment in the compiler of their material from Limboline to be on track:

Also interesting is to note that DF97-C applies ever so aptly to Ellen herself. She -- claiming to be the prophet for earth's final days -- yet went ahead, and in rapid succession, had four children.—bold added.

Edson and Willie White
White Estate

We wish we could say that Dr. Gent was being facetious, but he appears to be serious. Yet consider the following facts that he forgot to mention:

  • James and Ellen White were married on August 30, 1846.
  • Their eldest son Henry was born on August 26, 1847, and died in December 1863.
  • Their second son Edson was born on July 28, 1849.
  • Their third son Willie was born on August 29, 1854.
  • Their fourth son John was born on September 20, 1860, and died that December.

Thus James and Ellen White had four sons in 14+ years of marriage. Did Dr. Gent think that they should have had their four sons spaced out over 30 years instead?

Incidentally, while evangelism was pretty dead in 1847 and 1849, it definitely was not after about 1851. Perhaps it is merely coincidental, but James and Ellen's third and fourth sons are spaced out more, which certainly could have allowed her to concentrate more on evangelistic pursuits than if they had been born closer together.

Thus their children were spaced out, and caring for them did not pull her out of the Lord's work for years and years.

Give Us Your Opinion

Was Ellen White hypocritical regarding family planning?
Jack Gent should apologize for falsely calling her a "hypocritical liar." 74.5%
Nothing hypocritical here. 16.4%
She shouldn't have been telling anyone that it's best not to have more kids than what they can afford to raise. 6.4%
Her having four kids in 14 years was definitely hypocritical. That certainly was "rapid succession." 2.7%
Total Votes: 110
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