Some stalwart souls who later became pillars in the church were initially hesitant about accepting the visions of Ellen Harmon. Outstanding among these was Joseph Bates.
Bates had been troubled with serious doubts as to the visions, but the evidence in the experience at Topsham, Maine was such that he accepted them wholeheartedly from that time forth. While in vision, Ellen began to talk about the stars and gave a perfect description of planets, only astronomers know. This convinced the sea-captain-turned-minister.