When Ellen G. White wrote down her visions and spiritual inspirations from God many years ago, it is unlikely that she could have fathomed the broad reach that her writings would have today. However, her writings have helped to form much of the foundation upon which the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been built. As of 2018, Ellen White’s works have been translated into 131 languages 1, and have impacted countless lives around the world.
The Global Church Member Survey (2017-18) commissioned by the General Conference examined various aspects of members’ experiences within the Adventist church. One area that was surveyed was their experiences with the writings of EGW/the Spirit of Prophecy.
When asked if they believe that Ellen White’s writings were a result of the spiritual gift of prophecy, a strong majority (92%) of survey respondents around the world agree/strongly agree that this is true. Similarly, when asked if Ellen White was a prophet, 90% of members agree/strongly agree that she was. It is encouraging to see that members world-wide embrace Ellen White’s role and her God-given gift of inspiration.
Survey participants were also asked if they are able to access the writings of Ellen White in their own, local language. As stated before, her works have been translated into some 131 languages – clearly with the hope that they will be accessible to members of every nation and tongue. The global survey also found that:
- 49% of surveyed church members are able to access all of EGW’s writing in their language.
- 18% of participants are able to access major works in their local language but are not able to access all writings.
- 17% indicated that they are only sometimes able to access Ellen White’s writings.
- 15% of respondents are not able to access EGW’s writings in their local language.
Interestingly, a small amount (2%) of respondents indicated that they are not sure who Ellen G. White is.
The Spirit of Prophecy not only forms much of the foundation of the Adventist church, but also holds timeless truths that can be applied to life today. Because of that, one might wonder how often church members hear sermons on this important topic.
This same study discovered that:
- 21% of respondents report that they hear sermons very frequently on the Spirit of Prophecy.
- 41% of members hear sermons on this topic frequently.
- 26% of survey participants seldom hear sermons on the Spirit of Prophecy.
- 5% of members worldwide report that they never hear sermons on this important topic.
If you haven’t spent time with the writings of Ellen G. White lately, perhaps it’s time to dive in. It is truly a privilege to be able to read her writings in your own language and see what truths the Lord has there for you!
Created in collaboration with the Institute of Church Ministry.