| Ellen G. White Estate

Did God give Ellen White the very words He wanted her to write?

I don’t know of a compilation that does this, but the primary statement from Mrs. White that addresses this question is her description of how inspiration worked in her own experience. This is from the Review and Herald of October 8, 1867; it comes in the midst of a discussion of healthful dress for women:

A third class passed before me with cheerful countenances, and free, elastic step. Their dress was the length I have described as proper, modest and healthful. It cleared the filth of the street and side-walk a few inches under all circumstances, such as ascending and descending steps, et cetera.

As I have before stated, the length was not given me in inches, and I was not shown a lady’s boot. And here I would state that although I am as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in writing my views as I am in receiving them, yet the words I employ in describing what I have seen are my own, unless they be those spoken to me by an angel, which I always enclose in marks of quotation. As I wrote upon the subject of dress the view of those three companies revived in my mind as plain as when I was viewing them in vision; but I was left to describe the length of the proper dress in my own language the best I could, which I have done by stating that the bottom of the dress should reach near the top of a lady’s boot, which would be necessary in order to clear the filth of the streets under the circumstances before named.

To get a feel for the whole discussion and what prompted this response, read the paragraphs that precede this one.

Two places where Mrs. White discusses inspiration as a topic are Selected Messages, book 1, in the first forty pages or so, and in the introduction to The Great Controversy. Paying close attention to what she was saying in these passages will go a long way toward giving us a better concept of inspiration than the verbal one.

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