The Call of a Prophet
The Call of a Prophet
Over the years, God has sought to communicate with His people face to face, through patriarchs, urim and thummim, and of course through prophets. Unfortunately, there were several prophets who were reluctant to carry out the will and plans of God. Such included, Moses, Jeremiah and Jonah. Despite their reluctance, God provided the gift of prophecy to ensure that His message would be carried to all peoples. Therefore, for this Ministerial Weekly, I seek to highlight the calling of Ellen Harmon White.
The Call of Ellen Harmon
Ellen Harmon was called to the prophetic office as a young lady (17 years old), following the rejection of the prophetic call by William Foy and Hazen Foss. Admittedly, she, like some of the prophets of old, was very reluctant to accept the call as noted in Selected Messages, book 1, p. 32: “When this work was first given me, I begged the Lord to lay the burden on someone else. The work was so large and broad and deep, I feared I could not do it.” Additionally, Ellen wrote, “If I could have my choice and please God as well, I would rather die than have a vision, for every vision places me under great responsibility to bear test of reproof and warning, which has ever been against my feelings, causing me affliction of soul that is inexpressible. Never have I coveted my position, and yet I dare not resist the Spirit of God and seek an easy position” (Selected Messages, book 3, pp. 36, 37).
The Scope of the Call
It is of interest to note that the prophetic call included the responsibilities of being a medical missionary worker, caring for orphans; speaking on temperance; being a writer; interceding for those who are wronged and urging conferences to care for aged ministers. One can read about these in Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 33 and 34. As prophetess, she was required to give the message accurately as presented to her from God.
The Contents of Her Messages
Ellen White explains, “The suggestions which I make to you in my letters are not to be taken as reproach, but as light that has shone on my pathway…. therefore, do not, I beseech you, take these things as reproach but as a word of instruction from the Lord, sent to be a blessing, not to cause you discouragement” (Letter 73, 1905). Of course, these words of hers are in keeping with Revelation 3:19, (NKJV): “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent.” Additionally, she cautioned, “Take reproof as from God, take counsel and advice given in love” (Letters to Young Lovers, p. 54). So seriously did Ellen G. White take her work that she penned, “I have no special wisdom in myself, I am only an instrument in the Lord’s hands to do the work He has set for me to do.” “The instructions that I have given by pen or voice have been an expression of the light that God has given me” (Testimonies to the Church, vol. 5, p. 691).