The Desire of Ages,
"Soldiers were at once sent to Bethlehem, with orders to put to death all the children of two years and under. The quiet homes of the city of David witnessed those scenes of horror that, six hundred years before, had been opened to the prophet. "In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not."
This calamity the Jews had brought upon themselves. If they had been walking in faithfulness and humility before God, He would in a signal manner have made the wrath of the king harmless to them. But they had separated themselves from God by their sins, and had rejected the Holy Spirit, which was their only shield. They had not studied the Scriptures with a desire to conform to the will of God. "
What a lovely thought, really makes you feel the love, know what I mean? I think this is when I gave up my goal of reading every word she stole wrote. It was almost too close to call between this and her account of her baptism where she was inwardly sneering at a fellow baptisee who was wearing jewelry, somewhere in the Testimonies I believe. Lovely woman.
To think I doubted my own goodness and sanity because I couldn't see the "beauty" and "inspiration" in this disgusting nonsense.
I would have to go with her illiterate and bigoted explanation for both human and non-human animal diversity:
Every species of animal which God had created were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the Flood. Since the Flood there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men. 3SG75
So which races would God deem worthy of destruction today?
Yes, that's a classic.
How in the world do we choose from such a nefarious number of quotes? I'm going to go with the following, as I am a strong supporter of science and evidence-based medicine:
"A physician who has the moral courage to peril his reputation in enlightening the understanding by plain facts, in showing the nature of disease and how to prevent it, and the dangerous practice of resorting to drugs, will have an up-hill business, but he will live and let live. He will not use his powerful drug medication, because of the knowledge he has acquired by studying books. ... Drugs are too often promised to restore health, and the poor sick are so thoroughly drugged with quinine, morphine, or some strong health-and life-destroying (word illegible), that nature may never make sufficient protest, but give up the struggle; and they may continue their wrong habits with hopeful impunity."4 (Ellen G. White, from EGW Exposed)
Dustin, very interesting question, especially as we just wrapped up Black History month. One of the church leaders, Uriah Smith, speculated in 1868 that such an amalgamation included "the wild Bushmen of Africa, some tribes of the Hottentots, and perhaps the Digger Indians.." Apparently James White endorsed the book quite heartily and he and Ellen sold or passed out these tract that very year (Ellen G. White Exposed, Amalgamation).
Matthew-I will tell you the truth, I didn't finish all of my required reading for either Pathfinders or my baptism, so I missed slogging through them all! I suppose if I had gotten all the way up to Master Guide, the way I intended, I would have had more to draw from.
Can we start a 'dumbest sayings from Ellen G. White' thread?
Can we start a 'dumbest sayings from Ellen G. White' thread?
Tiffany, are you trying to break the internet?:)
I never got very far either. I did read the whole Great Controversy. The sheer outrageousness of it transfixed me. My effort to read the Testimonies sputtered out early in vol. 2, after many shocks and insults in vol. 1. I actually enjoyed large parts of vol. 1, and found the stories of her perseverance through various hardships genuinely inspiring at the time.
Really long, but, TSB, page 68 on. Most of it is dancing around words, not wanting to actually say what happened, but it's clear enough between the lines. A pastor abusing young girls in his church. I'll bold the things that jumped out at me the first time I read it:
18. Child Abuse
Dear Brother: I have just read your letter dated April 26. May the Lord help me to write you the very words that will be for your restoration and not for your destruction.
I feel sorry, very sorry, for you. Sin, my brother, is sin; it is the transgression of the law, and should I try to lessen that sin before you I would not be doing you any good. You as a Christian receive harm to your own soul. Your whole religious experience is cheapened, and you cannot have faith and trust in God while you have unclean thoughts and defiled hands. The work needs to begin at the soul, and then it will work out in the character. Your mind and heart are polluted, else all such actions would be loathsome. It is a great sin, especially for one who professes to be preaching the gospel of Christ.
I have had this class of sins presented to me as producing moral defilement. What can the impression be upon those youth whose bodies you degrade by your actions? How can you be a shepherd of the sheep and lambs while corrupting their minds, and tainting and polluting their moral sense? Would you consider this matter as lightly as you have done should a minister of the gospel, as Elder W, do such things to your sisters or to your children? This is a crime in the sight of God and I cannot cover it over as a light matter. It is a Sodomitish sin. It is tainting and polluting in all its tendencies, and an abomination in the sight of a holy God. It is practicing iniquity. (125.1)
Any youth who would submit her body to be handled by a man is in no way fit for the kingdom of heaven. All this vile practice and commonness is what is ruining our youth. Would you practice this upon the body of your own child? Would you not consider it incest, discovering her nakedness? All who do such things are leading young women into abominable practices. I know what these things lead to. To lewdness, lustful practices. Consider how you must dishonor and degrade the truth. Oh, God hates all such sins. How could you do this and at the same time be preaching the Word to sinners--yourself a sinner?
I know how God regards these sins. A married man, a minister of the gospel, leading the lambs of the flock into Sodomitish practices. Now for Christ's sake do not again practice this wicked work and destroy your own soul and the souls of others. It is well that you have not been permitted to continue this awful polluting practice. It is no light sin. The effect upon the mind of the one who submits herself to your touch cannot be measured. Human beings are the Lord's property, and to do any action to corrupt them is a terrible insult to Jesus Christ, who gave His life for these precious souls, that they should not perish in their sins, but have everlasting life, and such actions may ruin the souls for whom Christ has died. Will you continue this work to ruin souls?
Looking unto Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of your faith, you will be of good courage in the Lord. We cannot but know that the end of all things is at hand. I come to you as a physician of souls; I tell you that it is not possible for you to act as a minister. What are you doing? Leading young women to the tree of knowledge of evil practices and teaching them to pluck the fruit which is only evil. This is doing Satan's work most effectually. It is poisoning minds and filling them with unholy
These are the very sins which corrupted Sodom. Their evil practices did not come all at once. First one man and woman stupefied themselves by unholy, polluted habits. Then as inhabitants settled in Sodom, they did as you are doing, educating others in a line that is forbidden of God. And so as the inhabitants continued to multiply, these ministers of sin continued in educating them in their own defiling practices until if any person came into their midst their first thoughts were to educate them in their evil work, until Sodom became renowned for its pollutions. Their sins reached unto heaven, and the Lord would bear with them no longer. He destroyed them and all that was beautiful, that made it as a second Eden, for the earth was defiled under the inhabitants thereof.
These bodies that you tamper with are the purchased property of Jesus Christ. I knew this was your sin, but I knew also that if the truth was enthroned in your heart it would make this sin appear to you in its true enormity, for truth brought into the soul temple will expel lust and defilement from the heart. . . .
You say you did not commit adultery. God charges adultery against everyone who doeth these things, and all who will communicate these vile practices to another are polluting that soul with vile imaginations. Can you not see, can you not understand by your own experience, that you are leading youth into this habit of self abuse? You have given them the fruit of the tree of knowledge [of good and evil], and every evil communicated is causing them to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge [of good and evil], which God has forbidden to be eaten. . . .(127.1)
How can I frame words to express the enormity of this awful sin? How can I present it in such a manner that you will no longer look upon it, as you have done, as no great wrong? I have granddaughters, the children of my son, W. C. White. If I were forced to choose whether these children should be exposed to these temptations, educated in these evil practices, or be cut down by death, I would say, Let them die in their innocency. Let them not be corrupted by eating the apples of Sodom. . . .
If you will take hold of Christ by living faith, and humble your soul before Him, He will undertake your case and angels will guard you. But you must resist the devil. You must educate yourself to a different train of thought. Put no confidence in yourself. Never seek the companionship of women or girls. Keep away from them. Your moral taste is so perverted that you will ruin yourself and ruin many souls if you do not turn square about. Educate your mind to study the Word of God. Study it with your whole heart and pray much. Everlasting life is worth a lifelong, persevering, untiring effort. Educate that mind which you have misused and directed in wrong channels of thought. Educate it to dwell on the life, the character, and the lessons of Christ. . . .
Do not feel that the worst thing for you is to lose your credentials. You are not worthy to be entrusted with the care of the flock. You must know this without my
telling you. A little time of probation is still granted you; make the most of it in searching the Word. Every lost blessing is a great loss to you, but if you come into a right position before God you may now receive forgiveness for the past, but do not let your future life have the dark blot of the past. . . .(128.1)
You ask me if you shall make a public confession. I say, No. Do not dishonor the Master by making public the fact that one ministering in the Word could be guilty of such sin as you have committed. It would be a disgrace to the ministry. Do not give publicity to this matter by any means. It would do injustice to the whole cause of God. It would create impure thoughts in the minds of many even to hear these things repeated. Defile not the lips even by communicating this to your wife, to make her ashamed and bow her head in sorrow. Go to God and to the brethren who know this terrible chapter in your experience and say what you have to say, then let prayer be offered to God in your behalf. Cultivate sobriety. Walk carefully and prayerfully before God. Acquire moral stamina by saying, "I will not dishonor my Redeemer."--Letter 106a, 1896.
Transmitting Messages of Reproof. I am sorry that you feel injured because I let Brother A have a copy of the letter I sent to you. I did not do this to injure you in any way. You had yourself written me that you had made matters known to him concerning yourself and he thought you should confess the whole matter to the church. I thought that letter would prevent any such movement and keep the matter as private as possible.
I do not in any way favor his reading the matter to your mother. She has an abundance of sorrows to carry. I did not sanction any public exposure. I thought that the letter, which condemned the sin, also encouraged you to hope and trust in God. I supposed that it would help Brother A to help you. If it has added to your affliction, making matters any worse for you, I am sincerely sorry. (129.1)
Whenever I have written a message of reproof, I have always sent one copy to the minister who is officiating in the church, that he may have wisdom to recover such ones as are in danger through temptation, giving them such advice as they need. I also knew, under existing circumstances, that it would not be possible to give you credentials as a shepherd, recommending you to the confidence of the people, because knowing your course of action, if you should in any way be overcome, the Lord would make the conference guilty of the sin of which you are guilty.--Letter 120, 1897.
Wow, that sounds like something that could have been written by Pope Benedict.
I think we all can agree Jemand is the winner(?) What a dreadful, deplorable, despicable human being. Words simply fail me...I am horrified.
this may be where the church/white estate is more to blame than the author, i think. the "thoughts on sexual behavior" (if i remember right, otherwise please correct me) isn't something she published but something that the white estate compiled/published. if so, they turned a private letter-something that shows she was no better (perhaps no worse?) than the prevailing morality of her time, and something that wasn't intended to be public--into supposed godly advice for the general public.
don't get me wrong--what she wrote was horrible! but even more horrible is the white estate holding up shameful secret advice as inspired moral counsel for all time and everybody.
Yes... but I'm kind of, in a weird way, glad they did... until I saw this I was trying to keep her on the pedestal and make excuses and try to avoid the horrible implications of her advice.
To be honest, I looked this up while with a friend trying to find counsel for dealing with childhood sexual abuse in her past... the idea that she was fit for hell because she "submitted," the idea she would have been better off dead, and the idea that above all, whatever happened should be covered up and no justice found-- that hit hard. As was the basic idea that it was wrong because a "temptation," not a violation, that there was absolutely nothing different in this than masturbation, in fact it seems that the "temptation" to masturbate after this experience was perhaps of more concern to Ellen White when thinking of the victims than the violation at the hands of a trusted pastor. It was wrong because it was extra-marital sexual behavior, primarily, NOT because it was an abuse of power.
Well that was the end of my friend or I believing in Ellen White's "inspiration."
I don't know about the rest of society in the late 1890's, whether this was par for the course or not.
I don't know, though, why this letter doesn't have wider currency. All sorts of websites online (usually other evangelical fundamentalists) go on and on about whatever "unbiblical" stuff Ellen White said, the amalgamation quote is relatively commonly known, but even when I was searching online for the exact wording of the quote I remembered, nowhere that I found was talking about how bad this was, the only mention of it I found at all was in an online copy of, I think it's "Testimonies on Sexual Behavior" actually, but that's the only place the quote came up.
The Ellen White estate has had quite a time with the cases of plagiarism, etc. This is one example of Ellen White's views that is, like you say not necessarily meant as inspired, but shows a window into a morality that is abhorrent. And yet as far as I know, they've never been called to account or to explain it away, or anything. Or even justify, like you say, collating it into a published work (I haven't confirmed when or who compiled TSB or how much Ellen White approved of such compilations). Like I said, I found it by accident while trying to find guidance for dealing with sexual abuse... wonder how many others did.
It is indeed instructive to note how EGW consistently ends up on the wrong side of every question of the last 150 years or so. Not to mention reason, compassion, and simple ethics. Slavery is the one exception I can think of, and even then...
TSB is a twisted book, and as you note, not even her fault. The White Estate took a bunch of quotes out of context and applied them to things that EGW was quite ignorant of, even more than usual. What concept of homosexuality could she have had, for example? And yet that doesn't stop the White Estate from using her as a ventriloquist's dummy to pontificate on this late 20th/early 21st century hot button issue.
yeah. To be fair, she also spoke out against animal cruelty... so that and slavery, but for someone who supposedly spoke to god, for those to be both justified by bullshit health reasons (vitalism, phrenology, for the animal case, I doubt she'd have given it a thought if not for the vegetarianism thing), or contaminated by other racist bullshit (amalgamation), well, not really looking inspired afterall.