In the summer of 1842 Ellen and her parents attended the Methodist camp meeting at Buxton, Maine. One sermon in particular led her to an understanding of justification by faith. Later she wrote:
In his remarks the speaker referred to those who were wavering between hope and fear, longing to be saved from their sins and receive the pardoning love of Christ, yet held in doubt and bondage by timidity and fear of failure. He counseled such ones to surrender themselves to God and venture upon His mercy without delay (1LS, p. 140).