| Ellen G. White Estate

Were Ellen White’s visions the result of epilepsy?

Style can be as deceptive as content. One should be careful about granting credibility to someone because of style before ascertaining all the facts involved.

There was a doctor or two who made these claims in the 1980s; I don’t remember their names now. Neither was a specialist in temporal lobe epilepsy, the condition they concluded was the cause of her visions. At Loma Linda University, Dr. Donald I. Peterson, a professor of neurology (the appropriate specialty) and chief of neurology at Riverside General Hospital, convened a panel of qualified specialists, Adventist and non-Adventist, to look at the evidence. They concluded that her experience did not match that of people suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy. Apparently, science is on Mrs. White’s side on this one.

Dr. Peterson wrote a brief little booklet on the matter, “Visions or Seizures: Was Ellen White the Victim of Epilepsy?” It is now out of print but is available on the Ellen G. White Estate Web site.

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