| Ellen G. White Estate

Haven't some of Ellen White's writings been suppressed?

All of Ellen White's published works (including those alleged to be suppressed) are included on the White Estate's CD-ROM, The Complete Published Writings of Ellen G. White. All of her unpublished works (letters and manuscripts) are available for study at the 22 Ellen G. White-SDA Research Centers located around the world. None of her writings are suppressed.

Critics point to certain deletions in early publications as an evidence that James and Ellen White (or church leaders) attempted to suppress statements supporting erroneous beliefs. It is a fact that some of the early writings that have been reprinted through the years have had sentences and even paragraphs deleted from them and other revisions made. The question really is twofold: a) May a true prophet revise or delete or perhaps even not preserve his God-given messages? b) What were Ellen White's motivations in the changes that were made in her writings?

The Bible reveals that God's messengers exhibited a degree of freedom in deciding what to write and how best to present it. Many prophets delivered messages orally, and thus no written account was preserved at all. In addition, God did not see fit even to preserve the messages of some prophets who had written out their messages (see, for example, 1 Chron. 29:29). Jeremiah tells us that when he re-wrote his message for king Jehoiakim he "added besides unto them many like words" (Jer. 36:32), implying that he was not confined to the use of only his original words in expressing his message.

In responding to the charge of suppression in 1883, Ellen White wrote, "So far from desiring to withhold anything that I have ever published, I would feel great satisfaction in giving to the public every line of my writings that has ever been printed" (Selected Messages, 1:60). Such a statement would hardly be made by one whose motivation for changes in her writings was to suppress embarrassing statements. At the same time, an author has the right (some would say, duty) to make sure that his or her ideas are expressed as clearly as possible--even if this should mean deleting and/or revising passages liable to be misinterpreted by readers. An examination of Ellen White's alleged "suppressions" is found in F. D. Nichol's Ellen G. White and Her Critics, pp. 267-285 and 619-643.

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