Ellen G. White Letter to Joseph Bates 1847

History of the Bates' 1847 letter:

This letter was hid from the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and only part of the letter was used by Adventist leaders that would suit their purpose which was not to let the members know that Ellen believed in the shut door after 1845. The damaging parts of the letter that showed that Ellen G. White believed in the "Shut Door" after 1845, was never released to the public or members of the SDA Church till 1980. Adventist Presidents and leaders had access to this letter and cannot plead ignorance to its existence. An 1847 hand letter written by Ellen G. White, would be a letter they could not refuse to read or ignore, especially since Ellen was being accused of believing in the shut door by vision after 1845. This letter proves Ellen did not get her visions from God. The door of mercy was never closed to the world as taught by William Miller and confirmed by Ellen's vision.

Examples of deception; from the book, Ellen G. White and Her Critics, by Francis D. Nichol, p.621 in a footnote that states, "This date is established by a letter from Mrs. White to Joseph Bates, written from Gorham, Maine, July 13, 1847." Why didn't Nichol's print this letter? His attempts to defend Ellen G. White visions against the charge they taught Shut Door Doctrines, totally ignored the fact that Ellen did believe in the shut door as revealed in the 1847 Bates' letter. At this point in time the Shut Door meant that the door of mercy was closed to the world as taught and renounced by William Miller.

Another example of deception; from Life Sketches, published in 1915, p, 104, where the publishers show a photograph of page one in Ellen's handwriting of the Bates' letter. The White Estate had full knowledge of the fact that Ellen believed in the shut door from her visions. This letter was put back in the White Estate Vault after 1915 and never saw the light of day till it was uncovered by Skip Baker in 1980, and latter published in Adventist Currents, in July 1984.

Robert Olson, of the White Estate; placed the blame on Ellen G. White; "Ellen misinterpreted this vision…But she incorrectly concluded that no one could accept Christ after October 22, that only the little flock remaining in the household of faith would be saved, and that everyone else would be lost." One Hundred and One Questions, 1980, p. 58. The Robert Olsen confession only came when the Bates' letter was uncovered. From 1847 till 1980 is 133 years of deception. Does this remind anyone of the 1919 Bible Conference records that were hid 55 years till 1974, found by Donald Yost. This has been the history of Adventism, to hid, lie and cover up the truth of Adventist history. To uncover the truth has never been approved of by Adventist leaders, look at Rae, Ford, Veltman, Ron Numbers and the list goes on.

The last pages of the letter are missing? What happened to the last pages of the letter? Were they so bad that they had to be discarded and they overlooked the shut door portion?

The Secret Letter

by Skip Baker From, Adventists Currents, July 1984

"I believe it was just around the new year of 1979-80. 1 was a photographer at the Review and Herald Publishing Association. A number of us were in the art department discussing the transcript of a letter written by Ellen G. White which someone had sent me the week before. The book editor, Tom Davis, had just joined our conversation; and with some warmth he was insisting that the transcript was not genuine, since it indicated that Ellen White believed in the shut-door three and a half years after the great disappointment. This was the meaning of the term "shut door," held by the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism until 1851: that only those who had believed William Miller's mistaken message could be saved. All others were lost since the bridegroom had come and "shut the door" of probation.

Elder Davis asked if I had seen the original letter; and when I admitted that I had not, he said that I shouldn't talk about something that I could not prove and knew very little about. I agreed completely and realized how easy it would be for someone to fabricate the letter in an attempt to discredit Sister White. I resolved then and there not to talk about the letter until I could read the original in the Ellen G. White Estate vault, if it existed at all.

In the photo studio at that time I had a large oil painting attached to the wall waiting to be copied on 8xI0 sheet film for reproduction. The White Estate had commissioned the artist, Elfred Lee, to render a beautiful depiction of the Fall of man, his redemption, and the Second Coming of Christ; and they wanted to sell copies at the upcoming General Conference session in Dallas. Ron Graybill called from the White Estate to say how desperately they needed the transparency to meet their printing deadline, and suddenly I had a flash: "Tell you what, Ron," I said, "bring me Ellen White's July 13, 1847, letter to Joseph Bates; and I will drop everything and photograph your painting today."

"Has that letter been released?" he asked. And I told him that Arthur White had released a transcript to the scholars in 1971. This satisfied him, and later he arrived in my office with the letter, anxious to get the painting shot and to the printers. When he left I took the letter into the studio, thinking that if I worked fast there might be just enough time to photograph it before he returned. My hand trembled as I laid the 133-year-old letter on the copy table, adjusted the polarizing lights, put a red filter on my 6x7 Pentax, and filled the viewfinder with the letter. Due to the cross-polarized lights and red filter, the enlarged photographs were easier to read than the original; and when I compared it to the typed transcript, I discovered that the two were nearly identical.

The White Estate typescript is corrected for spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. Punctuation and capitalization are all but missing from Ellen White's handwritten original, and the White Estate has supplied paragraphing where there is none in the original. The letter ends abruptly because its closing page or pages apparently are not in the possession of the White Estate."

Adventists Currents, p. 12 July 1984

Skip Baker can be contacted at: skipb@widomaker.com

Ellen White to Joseph Bates


Gorham, Maine, July 13, 1847

Dear Brother Bates:

As James is at work and sisters are from home thought I would employ myself in writing a line to you. My health is quite good for me. My faith is still strong that that very same Jesus that ascended up into heaven will so come in like manner as He went up, and that very, very soon. I have had many trials of late; discouragement at times has laid so fast hold upon me it seemed impossible to shake it off. But thank God, Satan has not got the victory over me yet, and by the grace of God he never shall. I know and feel my weakness, but I have laid hold upon the strong arm of Jehovah, and I can say today I know that my Redeemer liveth, and if He lives I shall live also. Oh how good it would be to meet with a few of like precious faith to exhort and comfort one another with words of holy cheer from the word of God. The sheep are now scattered, but thank God, they are about to be gathered to a good pasture.

Oh how sweet it will be to meet all the blood-washed throng in the city of our God. 'Tis then we'll sing the song of Moses and the Lamb as we march through the gates into the city, bearing the palms of victory and wearing the crowns of glory.

Brother Bates, you write in a letter to James something about the Bridegroom's coming, as stated in the first published visions. By the letter you would like to know whether I had light on the Bridegroom's coming before I saw it in vision. I can readily answer, No. The Lord showed me the travail of the Advent band and midnight cry in December, but He did not show me the Bridegroom's coming until February following. Perhaps you would like to have me give a statement in relation to both visions. At the time I had the vision of the midnight cry I had given it up in the past and thought it future, as also most of the band had. I know not what time J. Turner got out his paper. I knew he had one out and one was in the house, but I knew not what was in it, for I did not read a word in it. I had been, and still was very sick, I took no interest in reading, for it injured my head and made me nervous. After I had the vision and God gave me light, He bade me deliver it to the band, but I shrank from it. I was young, and I thought they would not receive it from me. I disobeyed the Lord, and instead of remaining at home, where the meeting was to be that night, I got in a sleigh in the morning and rode three or four miles and there I found J. T. He merely inquired how I was and if I was in the way of my duty. I said nothing, for I knew I was not. I passed up chamber and did not see him again for two hours, when he came up, asked if I was to be at meeting that night. I told him, No. He said he wanted to hear my vision and thought it duty for me to go home. I told him I should not. He said no more, but went away. I thought, and told those around me, if I went I should have to come out against his views, thinking he believed with the rest. I had not told any of them what God had shown me, and I did not tell them in what I should cut across his track.

All that day I suffered much in body and mind. It seemed that God had forsaken me entirely. I prayed the Lord if he would give me strength to ride home that night, the first opportunity I would deliver the message He had given me. He did give me strength and I rode home that night. Meeting had been done some time, and not a word was said by any of the family about the meeting.

Very early next morning J. T. called, said he was in haste going out of the city in a short time, and wanted I should tell him all that God had shown me in vision. It was with fear and trembling I told him all. After I had got through he said he had told out the same last evening. I was rejoiced, for I expected he was coming out against me, for all the while I had not heard any one say what he believed. He said the Lord had sent him to hear me talk the evening before, but as I would not, he meant his children should have the light in some way, so he took him. There were but few out when he talked, so the next meeting I told my vision, and the band, believing my visions from God, received what God bade me to deliver to them.

The view about the Bridegroom's coming I had about the middle of February, 1845.

While in Exeter, Maine in meeting with Israel Dammon, James, and many others, many of them did not believe in a shut door. I suffered much at the commencement of the meeting. Unbelief seemed to be on every hand. There was one sister there that was called very spiritual. She had traveled and been a powerful preacher the most of the time for twenty years. She had been truly a mother in Israel. But a division had risen in the band on the shut door. She had great sympathy, and could not believe the door was shut. (I had known nothing of their differences.) Sister Durben got up to talk. I felt very, very sad. At length my soul seemed to be in an agony, and while she was talking I fell from my chair to the floor. It was then I had a view of Jesus rising from His mediatorial throne and going to the holiest as Bridegroom to receive His kingdom. They were all deeply interested in the view. They all said it was entirely new to them. The Lord worked in mighty power setting the truth home to their hearts. Sister Durben knew what the power of the Lord was, for she had felt it many times; and a short time after I fell she was struck down, and fell to the floor, crying to God to have mercy on her. When I came out of vision, my ears were saluted with Sister Durben's singing and shouting with a loud voice. Most of them received the vision, and were settled upon the shut door. Previous to this I had no light on the coming of the Bridegroom, but had expected him to this earth to deliver His people on the tenth day of the seventh month. I did not hear a lecture or a word in any way relating to the Bridegroom's going to the holiest.

I had but very few privileges in 1842, 3 & 4. My sisters both went to the camp meetings in New Hampshire and Maine, while my health prevented me from going to but one, in Maine. I know the light I received came from God, it was not taught me by man. I knew not how to write so that others could read it till God gave me my visions. I went to school but very little on account of my health. I do not think I went to school a day after I was twelve years old, and did not go then but a few days at a time, when sickness would cause me to take my bed for weeks and sometimes for months. The first I wrote anything that could be called writing was after I had been sick the prayer of faith was put up for me, and healing [here the sheet ends, and the reminder of the letter is gone.]

E. G. White-Letter 3, 1847

Manuscript Release #281—4


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