ellen white research

I need you to write a research about ELLEN WHITE, anything about her. I need 8 pages please make sure you do it good its %45 of my grade. I have 15 chapters about Ellen Harmon white I have attached the chapters I need one page for each chapter. Please finish it on time and if you need something let me know
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A Portrait
Ellen Gould harMon White (1827–1915) mentioned Queen Victoria only once. In a sermon she
preached in Washington, D.C. in 1889, she bemoaned the buzz for the monarch on the occasion
of her visit to the nation’s capital two years earlier in the golden jubilee of her reign. “During
the jubilee, the queen’s name was on every lip,” the prophet complained. “How I desired that
Jesus might be as highly honored, and his name be spoken with as much praise.” 1 White’s
allusion to Victoria suggested that more than an ocean separated the American prophet from
the British queen. Yet despite obvious and vast differences between them, the charismatic
leader of a global church and the queen of the British Commonwealth were women whose lives
paralleled each other in remarkable ways. Both enjoyed the gift of longevity. Queen Victoria
(1819–1901) lived to be eighty-one years old, Ellen White to eighty-seven. Victoria ascended
the throne in 1837, Ellen’s tenth year, but White lived fourteen years beyond the queen’s
death. Victoria had inherited the throne by bloodline, the old-fashioned way, as the last
monarch in the House of Hanover, while White had become the leading figure within her
Victorian religious subculture by the even older “divine right” of a prophetic calling. At eighteen
years of age, Victoria had become England’s queen as the daughter of Prince Edward Augustus,
Duke of Kent, and the granddaughter of King George III. At seventeen, Ellen Harmon, a hatmaker’s daughter from New England, had “risen higher and higher above the earth” by way of a
first vision that would exalt her to a kind of religious royalty. While one owed her status to
Britain’s aristocratic tradition, the other was a product of America’s Jacksonian democracy.
. Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet (Page 1). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
ellen harMon White: aMerican ProPhet In their own distinctly different ways, however, these
two contemporaries became magisterial figures. The prophet’s Seventh-day Adventist Church
was never more than an obscure enclave of Victoria’s world, unknown to Victoria and most of
her subjects. Yet White, preaching in her nation’s capital, seemed unimpressed by Victoria’s
celebrity. Indeed, inspired by the millennial impulse of her American Protestantism, the
prophet regretted the “bustle of preparation for the coming of England’s queen” in
Washington, D.C.; she urged people instead to prepare for “the coming of Christ.” For those
with the ears to hear her sermon, Jesus would be the royal that mattered, not Victoria. White’s
American context also differed from Queen Victoria’s British setting. In England, somewhat
ironically, the Queen’s most Victorian of subjects lived at the margins of genteel society and
political influence. In White’s America, on the contrary, Victorians came to dominate their
social, economic, and political world. For this reason, Daniel Walker Howe has suggested that
Victorian culture may have been “experienced more intensely in the United States than in
Victoria’s homeland.” 2 Though White throughout her life remained at the margins of
mainstream American culture, it might also be argued that she became more Victorian in a
sense than Queen Victoria herself. Indeed, she emerged as another of those homegrown
American religious figures whose life and career blurred the distinction between marginal and
mainstream. 3 And by any measure, she belongs in the company of other notable nineteenth-
century American women. The American Victorian era emerged in the 1830s, during Ellen
Harmon’s childhood, from the furor and ferment of the greatest evangelical revival in American
history. And Victorianism can be understood as a taming and ordering of Second Awakening
religious, cultural, and social impulses, much as White’s prophetic career proved to be a more
stable and durable outgrowth of her early trance experiences. From the mid to late nineteenth
century, evangelical Protestantism came to sustain a culture-shaping role in America, especially
in the way that it sought and succeeded in imposing its Protestant values on society; and White
alternated as outsider and insider relative to this value system. Throughout her life, White, like
all her contemporaries, witnessed an era of profound and pervasive change in the United
States, probably the single most transformative period in the nation’s history. Americans like
White were no longer content with a vertically structured Calvinist cosmos, and they exchanged
it for a horizontally oriented world marked
. Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet (Page 2). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
A Portrait 3 by romantic values and intense experience. Despite the fundamental changes in her
life and those of other Americans, however, these nineteenth-century Protestants were just as
sure of themselves as their grandparents had ever been of God. White was hardly alone when
she asserted that “we have the truth.” The changes had led to no loss of certitude. 4 To
describe these self-assured, even smug, Victorians is therefore to set the stage for White’s life
and career and to understand her at the deepest level. “In ancient times God spoke to men by
the mouth of the prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the testimonies of
His Spirit,” White wrote, referring to her own messages. 5 Just as the classic Hebrew prophets
had been called to speak to an ancient world, and the Apostles had been chosen to spread firstcentury Christianity in the Pax Romana, White had been selected as “the Lord’s messenger” to
declare God’s “last-day” message to the Victorian world. There was no mistaking her sense of
mission, for White saw herself as a prophet who was blessed—gifted—in two unique ways. She
had seen in vision the most complete understanding of Christianity yet revealed. And her era
provided an ideal “fullness of time” in which to preach and write that message. Like so many
prominent women of her time, White found her quintessential calling as a writer (see Chapter
5). In pursuing a prolific publishing career, she took full advantage of the dramatic expansion of
print communication and the great increase of literacy among her contemporaries. But she did
more than disseminate the word; she spread her people. In this she benefitted by being a New
Englander who followed the migratory path of others in her subcultural zone, traveling from
Maine to upstate New York to Michigan heralding her message. And this geographic diaspora,
which strung Seventh-day Adventists from the Northeast to the Midwest, was held together
less by a sense of common space than uncommon time. In this White insisted that their faith
was all in the name “Seventh-day Adventist.” In her preoccupation with time—both the time
for worship and the time of the end—White’s seventh-day sabbatarianism resonated with the
contemporary importance of weekly Sabbath observance, but worshipping on Saturday rather
than Sunday set Adventists apart from—and above— her generation. Her Adventism drew on
the historical consciousness of her age as well, in that she saw all ages prior to hers as
incomplete stages on the way to her own. Her world mattered like none before it because her
world marked the end of the world.
. Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet (Page 3). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
ellen harMon White: aMerican ProPhet To prepare for this imminent end meant to build
character. And as character builders, Adventists would appear very much like other nineteenthcentury Protestants but would make an ardent effort to surpass them. Every page White wrote
and every sermon she delivered urged Adventists to the highest possible moral ground in
readiness for Christ’s coming. And as was typical of the period, she did this by embracing morals
with more ardor than theology, the experiential over the ideological. She wrote impromptu
letters or “testimonies” (eventually published as Testimonies for the Church) rather than
systematic theological tomes. And in her crucial Conflict of the Ages series she cast Adventism
as an epic story rather than as a set of ideas. As a prophet and literary figure, she was most
herself when flooding Adventist homes with advice literature on child nurture and education,
diet and health, self-improvement and sanctification, personal etiquette and social ethics. 6 In
order to stand morally spotless before their heavenly Judge, Adventists must listen to their
“mother.” For White had become the spiritual mother of this latter-day Israel and had
transformed her community into a cult of domesticity. Though always known warmly and
respectfully as “Sister White,” she was, without any doubt, the one and only founding mother
of her church. Her domestic agenda for Adventists turned them into a home, a family, over
which she reigned as the spiritual queen. All the while, however, her charismatic status within
Adventism would remain a paradox. She gave the “brethren” their due. She knew “her place” as
a demure and submissive figure relative to the founding fathers of her church. But her
insistence that she was merely a “lesser light,” both to the brethren and to the Bible, would
prove the means by which she assumed a singular and unsurpassed importance within her
community. In the course of her stellar and ever-ascendant ecclesiastical career, she parlayed
her position within the conventional “woman’s sphere” into something more; she mounted a
public stage of considerable influence and power. Within Seventh-day Adventism and beyond,
she served as another illustration, if unintentionally, of the triumph of a domestic feminism (see
Chapter 15). 7 To encapsulate her life within her nineteenth-century context is both modest
and ambitious. It is easy enough to sketch her story in the form of an insular narrative, but to
begin to interpret her life calls for the more complex demands of cultural biography. To view
the Adventist prophet as a Victorian woman can be a way of understanding and appreciating
her achievement without unduly celebrating or derogating it. White’s portrait
. Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet (Page 4). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
A Portrait 5 belongs in the Victorian room of an American art museum, so to speak, but neither
as a bland derivative work nor as a burlesque piece. The Prophet in Her Place From her petit
bourgeois background, Ellen Harmon was in a sense adopted into Victorian culture, not born a
Victorian. She therefore came to embrace aspects of the new culture with all the ardor of the
“born again.” At about nine years of age, however, it looked like Harmon would not live to see
most of the nineteenth century when, as she later wrote, “an accident happened to me which
was to affect my whole life.” A classmate, “angry at some trifle,” struck her on the nose with a
stone that spread its ruin throughout her face, at least for a time. Her mother later told her
that, after the injury, “Ellen noticed nothing, but lay in a stupid state for three weeks.” Her
father, on returning from business in Georgia, found his bedridden daughter so physically
disfigured by the trauma that he could not recognize her. This childhood “misfortune” left her
with a host of physical disorders and put an end to her formal schooling, which would always
distress her. Throughout the remainder of her paradoxically long life, she considered herself a
“great sufferer from disease.” In her diaries, letters, and autobiographical writings, she would
chronically complain of a whole panoply of physical and psychological problems: weakness and
fainting, breathing difficulties and lung pains, “heart disease,” loss of sight and loss of
consciousness, “inflammation of the brain,” paralysis and lameness, stomach trouble, dropsy,
and rheumatism, as well as melancholy and severe depression. Clearly she was deeply
ensconced in the cult of frailty, but her maladies probably had less to do with her call to
prophesy than did her religious background. 8 The “Shouting” Methodism of Harmon’s
childhood and adolescence sustained the spirit of a Second Great Awakening that paved the
way to Victorian America (see Chapter 2). It also laid the spiritual groundwork for White’s
career as a prophet. In the Chestnut Street Church where her father served as a Methodist
exhorter, the Harmon family favored the “Shouters” in the backless benches of the church’s
gallery, not the quieter members in the pews below. Though Ellen Harmon, along with several
in her family, later forsook Methodism for Millerism and ultimately became mother of her own
church, in many respects the Adventist prophet would remain a child of Methodism her entire
life. Long after the “Shouters”
. Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet (Page 5). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
of her childhood church had been muted, White would be exclaiming “Glory, Glory, Glory,” as
she vaulted into vision among the Seventh-day Adventists. 9 Without leaving Methodism for
Millerism, however, Harmon might never have embraced Jesus or heard the call to prophesy.
First came her conversion to an evangelical Jesus. Like so many in her day, especially young
women experiencing revival fervor, Harmon abandoned the “old rules” of the CalvinistFederalist era, which for her meant discarding God as a sovereign for God as a beneficent
Father. In a conversion narrative typical of her times, Harmon provided all the gloomy and
glorious details of her personal transformation. Vacillating in her mid teens between faith in
one kind of God and faith in another, she ultimately eschewed allegiance to a remote, harsh,
and arbitrary deity and embraced an immanent, personal, and loving Jesus. Indeed, her new
God may have been more like her mother and less like any father she knew. 10 Harmon found
this more maternal Jesus, ironically, after hearing a man named William Miller—known
affectionately as old “Father” Miller—speak in her hometown of Portland, Maine in 1840. And
by way of Millerism, Harmon not only came to Jesus, she found her calling. To pass as she did
from the receding shadows of Colonial Puritanism’s “old rules” to the “new rules” that
enveloped mid-nineteenth-century American Victorianism involved traversing the “no rules” of
Romantic revivalism and “freedom’s ferment.” The Millerite movement, inspired by Miller’s
own rules of prophetic interpretation, plunged Harmon into a millenarian vortex of “no rules”
that proved an ideal milieu for the birth of a prophet. When the world did not end “about
1843,” as Miller had predicted, Harmon gravitated to a younger, less educated, and more
“radical” movement within the larger movement that looked for Jesus to come on October 22,
1844. After the failure of that date, known to heartsick Millerites as the Great Disappointment,
Harmon’s first vision in December of 1844 explained the delay. Two months later, her second
vision implored a frail, introverted, seventeen-year-old girl to pursue prophesying among
disheartened Millerites. 11 Looking back on that time, she would declare it “the happiest year
of my life.” God had imparted the “gift of prophecy” on her, and she had been rescued from the
miseries of this world by envisioning a new heaven and new earth. Her life without prospects
had become the life of a visionary. In the reckless excitement of that moment, however,
Harmon could not have
. Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet (Page 6). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
imagined the new order that a Protestant culture would soon impose or the significant role she
would play in that culture. However extraordinary her prophetic gifts, she could not have
predicted that her life or her world would last some seventy more years. 12 Harmon was the
fragile trance figure of a motley group of ephemeral millenarians. She would be transformed
into the full-fledged, incredibly forceful prophet of a viable and durable church. A
comprehensive explanation for her success story should no doubt include a variety of factors
rooted in her life and her times, but none of them was more important than her marriage to
James White. If Harmon might never have budded into a millenarian visionary without hearing
William Miller preach, she most certainly would never have flowered into her church’s prophet
without marrying White. Their critics had faulted the unmarried couple for traveling together
unchaperoned to preach Adventism and share Harmon’s visions. But they chastised them even
more for their marriage in 1846, as it implied that the world’s end was not so imminent after
all. By way of marriage, however, the Whites drew a bold line between themselves and what
they had come to see as the excesses and fanaticism of millenarianism. They had snubbed
“promiscuous” (mixed) foot washing and “holy kisses,” as well as scandalous “spiritual wifery,”
for the institution of a bourgeois and respectable marriage. And their marital institution would
prove paradigmatic for the institutional church they would found together. 13 Theirs would be
the marriage of two religious traditions as well. A nineteen-year-old “Shouting” Methodist,
whose upbringing had predisposed her to charismatic phenomena, had married a twenty-fiveyear-old Christian Connexion school teacher and minister who, by background, was generally
resistant to visionaries. For the Whites as a couple, their marriage had been “arranged” by
religious circumstances and would assume a fairly distinct social division of labor along gender
lines. In her husband, the visionary had taken on a promoter, the artist had retained an agent,
and, ultimately, the writer had acquired an editor and publisher. Throughout their marriage, in
one way or another, James White supported his wife’s visions but her visions exclusively; he
would promote one visionary at the most. 14 In her home state of Maine, Harmon’s initial
visions seemed indistinguishable, in phenomenological terms, from those of numerous female
visionaries; yet she transcended this sorority of seers and asserted herself as a singular figure,
while the others would swoon and fall facedown in obscurity. 15 She would later account for
her success and their failure in
. Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet (Page 7). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
starkly supernatural terms: she spoke for God; they were pawns of Satan. But the more
mundane explanation lay in the fact that she married James White and the others did not. The
Ellen White the world would see would be a refracted glimmer in her husband’s eye. And he
refused to endorse a romantic medium given to outlandish displays of emotion. He idealized
instead his visionary wife as the sentimental woman of the 1840s, slim, pale, and spiritually
transparent, whose visions unveiled another world as surely as her demure clothing revealed
character. 16 For James White, to describe his young wife in trance was to depict the then
fashionable sentimental woman, a prototype of the Victorian woman: In passing into vision…
she seems to drop down like a person in a swoon, or one having lost [her] strength; she then
seems to be instantly filled with superhuman strength, sometimes rising at once to her feet and
walking around the room. There are frequent movements of her hands and arms, pointing to
the right or left as her head turns. All these movements are made in a graceful manner. In
whatever position the hand or arm may be placed, it is impossible for anyone to move it. Her
eyes are always open, but she does not wink; her head is raised, and she is looking upward, not
with a vacant stare, but with a pleasant expression. 17 In James White’s irenic portrait of a lone
visionary, there was …
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