Questions that Need Answers on Ellen White and the Trinity

1. Why didn’t Ellen White rebuke the two messengers of the 1888 Message during the 1890’s for their views on the Sonship of Christ, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Latter Rain and the Loud Cry, as they clearly differed from the Trinitarian position? Instead we find that God told her in 1905 that the works of the pioneers were to be reproduced.

2. For a prophetess who borrowed some terms, expressions and sometimes whole sentences from other writers, why was she meticulously careful never to once borrow the term trinity, or to state it in no uncertain terms?

3. Why is there no record of a vision or dream from the Lord telling Ellen White to change her views, and to correct the views of the denomination to accept the trinity doctrine? Instead we find that God told her the opposite. In 1905, which is ten years after it is claimed she had become a Trinitarian, God told her to reproduce the works of the pioneers that were anti-Trinitarian. She also said that God had not instructed her to change anything that she ever wrote since she was a girl.

4. As the prophetess to the last days remnant Church, wouldn’t she have been duty bound to go to the leaders of the Adventist denomination at the time, and explain to them their error? Why didn’t she call a meeting of the leaders and scholars of the Church at the time and do this? If Ellen White failed to rebuke such a falsehood then she would have failed miserably in her duty as a messenger of the Lord. “reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2

5. Why didn’t she write private testimonies to any of the Church leaders, clarifying the necessity to change to Trinitarianism? Was it Ellen White’s way to allow people to continue to believe and teach error, and then just publish a book, and leave it to gradually change the mind of whoever might read it, without even saying to anybody “we were wrong on this matter?”

6. Why did she choose to publish her supposed new views in an evangelistic book designed for the general public, as if she wanted the world to think the Adventist Church was Trinitarian? Would not this be deceptive on her part, and against Gospel order (Matthew 18:15-17)? The method she chose to employ on this issue opened the whole Church to public embarrassment, scandal and controversy. But nothing came of it at the time. Why is this so?

7. Why did Ellen White pen these words five years after the publication of The Desire of Ages in 1903? “In Desire of Ages, PP, The Great Controversy, and in Daniel and the Revelation, there is precious instruction. These books must be regarded as of special importance, and every effort should be made to get them before the people.” — (E.G. White, 21MR 440.4 and Letter 229, 1903). Ellen White saw no problem between Uriah Smith’s non-Trinitarian ‘Daniel and the Revelation’ and her supposedly Trinitarian ‘Desire of Ages.’ Here she recommends books that were unmistakably non-Trinitarian and a Trinitarian would never do that yet alone highly promote them. It was in 1945 that LeRoy Froom had two pages (710 words) of non-Trinitarian statements removed from the book ‘Daniel and the Revelation’ which she said was of special importance and every effort should be made to get it before the people. LeRoy Froom said that out of all the books he had edited, ‘Daniel and the Revelation’ by Uriah Smith was the worst. So either she was not a Trinitarian or she strongly promoted a false doctrine to the world, which would make her a false prophet. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20

8. Why didn’t Ellen White organize in the 17 years after the Desire of Ages was published, to re-edit her books as Froom had done, to remove the many non-Trinitarian thoughts, thus aiding the Church along the supposed path of truth? Perhaps God made a bad choice and LeRoy Froom should have been the chosen prophet since he did what she did not do.

9. It is a known fact that The Desire of Ages was largely compiled from her existing writings, put together by herself and her assistant. It was also a book which took some years to compile. There was no reaction when these so called “Trinitarian statements” were first published in the years prior to 1898. Why then in more recent years do scholars make such strong statements about the importance of the book in changing the direction of the whole denomination? And yet these statements made very little impact on the minds of leaders, scholars and teachers within the Church for many years. Why is this so?

10. If Ellen White was a Trinitarian when she finished writing the Desire Of Ages in 1895, why were the “official beliefs” of the Seventh day Adventist Church, that were printed in every Yearbook, still non-Trinitarian when she died in 1915, being 20 years after the release of this book, and 36 years before the first “fundamental beliefs” even contained the word Trinity? How can this be? The Church should have been Trinitarian before 1900. As stated many times already, Trinitarians claim that her writings changed to Trinitarian by the time she wrote the Desire Of Ages which was finished in 1895. And yet the Desire of Ages is in fact full of non-Trinitarian statements. And not forgetting that Ellen White said ten years after this book was finished that the truth never changed and new truths never contradicted the old.

In the February 1983 Ministry magazine, Adventist leadership published a statement on “The inspiration and authority of the Ellen G. White writings.” Under the heading “Denials” we read:

“3. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White function as the foundation and final authority of Christian faith as does Scripture.
4. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White may be used as the basis of doctrine.
6. We do not believe that Scripture can be understood only through the writings of Ellen White.
7. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White exhaust the meaning of Scripture.”

So it appears we are faced with something of a contradiction. It’s one thing to profess something, but if your actions deny your profession, what is the profession worth? In my experience, in every article, sermon and discussion on the trinity doctrine, when scriptural references are lacking, the weight of the argument is determined by quotations from Ellen White.

The above questions demand answers. And I am yet to find one Trinitarian who deals with this topic in a satisfactory way. The Adventist Pioneers had clear doctrinal exegesis for all of their beliefs, and yet when it comes to the trinity, a very recent addition to the Fundamentals, no one as yet has found one clear text in Scripture to prove this doctrine. By this I mean one text that shows that God is composed of three co-equal, co-eternal persons or beings that are composed of the same substance. Scholars around the world have acknowledged for years that the trinity doctrine is not found in Scripture but is a later addition. And yet people take sides, arguing theology from a few Ellen White statements, ignoring the Word of God, and the vast majority of her statements over the whole length of her lifetime that reveal she never became a Trinitarian and that the non-Trinitarian view was God given from the very beginning. The weight of evidence is overwhelming.