Ellen G. White was a God gifted woman who inspired millions through her religious writings. She was born on 26th November 1827 to farmer and hat maker Robert and Eunice Harmon in the village of Gorham, Maine. She was one of the twins with six other siblings. Ellen was brought close to religion due to head injury she suffered when she was nine years old. The injury left her seriously injured and unconscious for weeks. She is quoted as saying: “This misfortune, which for a time seemed so bitter and was so hard to bear, has proved to be a blessing in disguise. The cruel blow which blighted the joys of earth was the means of turning my eyes to heaven. I might never have known Jesus, had not the sorrow that clouded my early years led me to seek comfort in him.” Review and Herald, Nov. 25, 1884.
After spending nights in guilt of her sins and sorrow she requested to be baptized in the ocean to remove her sins. In 1842, at the age of twelve Ellen visited a Methodist camp with her family and this was where she decided to follow the path to Jesus. She started attending the Adventist meetings in Portland and believed that the return of Christ was eminent on 22nd October 1844.
During her expedition to Orrington, she met James White who was an Adventist preacher. While working together a strong bond formed between the two of them which turned to marriage in 1846. The early years of their union were poverty filled and stressful but Ellen continued to struggle in her preaching along with trying to manage her family life.
Her first work was published as few articles in ‘The Present Truth’ which was a compilation of an eight page semimonthly paper. It contained Ellen’s prophetic views on the church’s future. Ellen G white’s first book ‘A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G White’ was published in 1851. Other books written by Ellen include ‘Supplement’ (1954), ‘Review and Herald’ and ‘Youths Instructor’.
The 1860s were spent mostly in raising her children travelling, writing and personal struggle. Its end marked the bringing together of ‘General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists’. After Ellen received a vision which related physical well being to religion, she started working towards the formation of health reforms, an aspect previously ignored. As a contribution to this, Ellen wrote ‘Health or How to Live’ in 1863 which stressed upon the value of good health. Ellen had lost both her sons so she was very vigorous in this campaign. It was Ellen G white who was an inspiration John Harvey Kellogg who later started the company ‘Kellogg Company’ and the creation of corn flakes breakfast cereal.
Ellen also insisted on a strictly Christian system of education and mentioned her point of view in her works named ‘Christian Education’ (1893-94) and ‘Education’ (1903). Other notable writings by Ellen are ‘Steps to Christ’ (1892), ‘Christ’s Object Lessons’ (1900), ‘Thoughts from the Mount of Blessin’ (1896) and ‘The Ministry of Healing’ (1905).
After having contributed immensely to English religious literature and founding of the ‘Seventh day Adventist Church’ Ellen G white died on 16th July 1915 at the age of 87. She witnessed the growth of the Adventist believer from a few hundred to millions. Ellen died a satisfied woman with the confidence that she had fulfilled the duty entrusted to her by God.