As part of its ongoing campaign to make Ellen White’s writings more accessible to Adventist church members, the White Estate has created a new publication – Ellen White: Visionary for Kids. Written in a webzine style with numerous pictures of Ellen White and other Adventist heroes from the past, this publication is designed to make the prophet’s writings more accessible to young Adventists who previously would have been unable to read them. According to the White Estate website, the publication fills the need to “enhance [children’s] spiritual walk with Jesus”. In the first issue, a carefully-cultivated picture of Ellen White is presented, often written from a child’s perspective. For example, in a section entitled “Did You Know?”, a story of Ellen White’s experience in Australia is recounted, framing her ministry as being at the center of Satan’s attacks: “[At] Australia’s first camp meeting in 1894 the devil was angry and determined to interfere with Mrs. White’s powerful preaching. I think Satan was especially angry about her subjects: Jesus, The Ten Commandments, Sabbathkeeping, The Second Coming of Christ, and The Signs of the Times.” Also included are “Ellen’s Top Ten Mission Tips”, an Ellen White crossword puzzle, and an Adventist pioneer word scramble, complete with kid-friendly colorized pictures. Also featured is an editorial piece by 16-year old author Evan Knott, who disparages the lack of knowledge among his peers for Ellen White’s work, reminding them of her place in the Adventist fundamental beliefs. “Far too often people don’t pay attention to the conclusion their church has reached about Ellen White. Others are sometimes confused and conclude that what Ellen White wrote goes against the Bible because of what they have heard their friends say.” Drawing parallels with Jeremiah and Noah, Knott exhorts his young readers to pay attention to Mrs. White: “As we come closer and closer to the end of this world we are becoming more asleep to the prophet of our time, and many of us will be caught off guard.” Certainly at the age of 16 and perhaps knowing nothing but Adventism, the author can be excused for equating preparedness for the second coming with reading Ellen White’s writings. But the adults who edited this material should know better. Where is the gospel in this publication? Where is “Christ and Him crucified?” Instead of teaching children about Jesus from the Bible, the kids are given an additional source to consider, implying that knowing Ellen White is the key to knowing Jesus and in the process, his true identity is further obscured.
For further reading, see Re-inventing Ellen White for Kids, part 2.