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Marion C. S. Truesdail Statement

This witness statement was written in 1875 by Marion C. S. Truesdail (an early Adventist acquainted with Ellen Harmon in 1845 who later became a Seventh-day Adventist) and signed by her and five other witnesses.

It is a response to the Lucinda Burdick witness statement published in a track by Miles Grant (1874; 2nd edition 1877), Advent Christian leader and critic of Ellen White. This 1874 statement by Burdick presently circulates with a 1908 statement by her on the anti-Ellen White websites.

Truesdail’s response to Burdick is published here in its entirety for the first time. It is important to underscore that Mrs. Truesdail and the other five signers were eyewitnesses to Ellen’s visions during the years 1845-1850. This statement with its greater weight of testimonial evidence presents a completely different picture of the young Ellen Harmon than the Burdick statements.

A Statement Regarding the Charges of Mrs. L. S. Burdick
By Marion C. S. Truesdail

Warren, Ill.
Aug. 17, 1875

I have borrowed and finished reading Eld. Miles Grant’s 20 ct. tract entitled “The True Sabbath, Which Day & c., an examination of Mrs. Ellen White’s Visions.”

It is not because the Eld. has classed Mrs. W’s visions in with “Joanna Southcott, Ann Lee, Joseph Smith, Swedenborg, or those coming from spiritualist’s mediums of the present time, “ that I have picked up my pen. No indeed: This is his privilege if he can discern no difference. It does not follow, however, that such terrible misstatements as those given on pages 72 & 3 by Mrs. L. S. Burdick of San Fransico should be permitted to go uncorrected.

I could obtain more than fifty names among my own acquaintances (if necessary) in the State of Maine who have known Mrs. White’s decided opposition from the first, to every form of the wild fanaticism with which Mrs. L. S. B. has accused her, “such as creeping”, “sitting on the floor”. &c.

Miss Harmon (now Mrs. White) came to Paris during the summer of 1845, to relate what had been shown her of the fanaticism. She stated: That the angel told her “That the High and Lofty One had required none of these things. It was all the work of Satan, to lead astray honest, conscientious souls. Those that Satan could not prevent from coming up to all God required of them in His Word, he drove beyond.” One of the leaders left the meeting; calling at my father’s he denounced Miss Harmon’s visions, said there would be a split in the church & c.; knowing my opposition to the fanaticism, he feared the influence of her visions over me. He continued to follow his silly impressions, went insane & finally hung himself.

Mrs. B. claims that Miss Harmon saw that the Lord would come in June, 1845, & then after the passing of June, Sept. was claimed as the correct time. If this be true, it is very strange Miss Harmon neglected to mention so important a revelation; and besides, she had a vision during her stay or visit at my father’s (which was in either July or Aug. 1845) and the subject of any specified time, in either that year, or any other, was unmentioned.

Furthermore, Mrs. B’s statement is that Miss H. (now Mrs. White) confessed that she could not only throw herself into vision when she chose, but that James White could control them, and bring her out when he pleased, has the tinge with me (after an acquaintance of over thirty years) of sublime nonsense.

I corresponded with both of them from my first acquaintance up to 1850, & have visited in their home stopping at one time nearly two months, seen her in vision nearly a score of times, and never have I or any of my father’s family, ever heard them suggest such an idea but exactly the opposite.

Mrs. B. says on page 74, “If the first ‘visions’ were of God, the door of mercy was closed in 1844, and woe to the poor sinners this side of there.” During Miss Harmon’s visit in Paris, Maine, in the summer of ‘45, I stated to her the particulars of a dear friend of mine whose father had deprived her from attending our meetings; consequently, she had not rejected light. She smilingly replied, “God never has shown me that there is no salvation for such persons. It is those only who have had the light of truth presented to them and knowingly rejected it.” Miss Harmon’s reply coincided with my ideas of a shut door and in justice no other could be derived from it.

It might be well for those who have so much fault to find to read the decisive answer given by Jesus against those “that were bidden, Come;” that refused. Luke 14:24.

One point more in regard to Mrs. B’s statement: She says: “Their traveling together before marriage brought a great scandal upon the cause.” Why should it, when they were so careful as to always take with them Miss Harmon’s sister or some other person? Why has not Mrs. B. mentioned the above fact, and thus shield (whether it be friend or enemy) from the tongue of slander- this talking about their “working West, where they were not much known” & c.?

Those of their friends here who knew them intimately in Maine from 1844 up to 1850, will readily add their names to the truthful statement given above.

Marion C. S. Truesdail
L. O. Stowell
W. A. Barton
C. C. Chase
P. F. Chase
L. B. Stowell

(Document File 266, White Estate)