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This material regarding the writings of Ellen G. White is part of a Field Guide profile on
Seventh-day Adventism. Click here to go to the
main page of the SDA profile.


In 1864, Ellen G White (EGW) wrote the following in one of her books (red highlighting added for emphasis of key points):

But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere. Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 64

Every species of animal which God had created were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood. Since the flood there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men. Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 75


The obvious implication of these statements was that she believed there to be races of men on earth at the time she wrote that were descended from the interbreeding of humans and animals.

Even at the time, many criticized this as being scientifically ludicrous. In recent years, the SDA denomination has attempted to put a spin on her comments that would make them sound not so ludicrous. They have implied that she never intended the word "amalgamation" to refer to inter-species breeding, but merely procreation of two types within a species … and that specifically her comments about races referred not to breeding with animals, but to inter-racial procreation.

However, an examination of the history of this ludicrous issue shows that she had, indeed, at one time believed and taught that humans could breed with animals, and that certain human races were the results of such interbreeding.

Full documentation on many aspects of this sorry saga in SDA history can be seen in the online article “Amalgamation–A Denominational Embarrassment.

Here are a few excerpts from this excellent examination of the issue, pointing out the most damning evidence of Ellen's original intent:

Mrs. White said the results of amalgamation could be seen "in certain races of men." The question that has haunted the SDA Church for more than 140 years is, which races are the result of amalgamation of man and beast?

Ellen White's statement provoked instant controversy and stinging criticism of her in the 1860s forced church leaders to attempt to defend their prophet. In 1868, four years after the amalgamation statements first appeared in print, Adventist leader Uriah Smith published his defense of Ellen White. In that book he conjectured that the union of man with beast had created "such cases as the wild Bushmen of Africa, some tribes of the Hottentots, and perhaps the Digger Indians of our own country".

James White "carefully" reviewed Smith's book prior to its publication, and then recommended it in glowing terms to the readers of the church's official magazine, the Review and Herald:

"The Association has just published a pamphlet entitled, 'The Visions of Mrs. E.G. White, A Manifestation of Spiritual Gifts According to the Scriptures.' It is written by the editor of the Review. While carefully reading the manuscript, I felt grateful to God that our people could have this able defense of those views they so much love and prize, which others despise and oppose."

As noted, the prophet's husband carefully read Smith's book. It is inconceivable that the statements about the Bushmen of Africa passed by James White without notice. His endorsement of the book indicates his implicit approval of the explanation. In fact, because it supposedly established Mrs. White's claims, James and Ellen took 2,000 copies of Smith's book with them to peddle at camp meetings that year! By promoting and selling Smith's book the Whites placed their stamp of approval on his explanation of the amalgamation statement.

Without Smith's explanation, anyone reading Ellen White's statement might easily be confused as to exactly which race she was talking about. While Smith may have limited the amalgamation to the Bushmen, a few Adventists have gone further and applied the statements to the negro race.  

… The author is saddened to say, that as an SDA for 33 years, I know for a fact that behind closed doors in private conversations a few white American SDA's still believe this "inspired" statement applies to the entire black race.


The statements about amalgamation that had been published in the Spiritual Gifts book in 1864 were removed when the same material was republished under a new title as Patriarchs and Prophets in 1890. The above website continues:

Why were these "inspired" statements removed?

If the amalgamation statements were true, then why not include them in the book Patriarchs and Prophets? Why remove them from this edition? If this sin caused the flood, shouldn't people should be warned about it so that they don't repeat it? If the "bushmen of Africa" are the result of union between man and animals, doesn't the world have a right to know about it? The White Estate is always bragging about how Ellen White was "years ahead of science". Well then, why not let the world know about this amazing scientific finding of Ellen White? Shouldn't the world's leading scientists be made aware of this so that they can begin studying the bushmen? Wouldn't it be a wonderful proof of Ellen White's divine inspiration if scientists were to examine the bushmens' DNA and prove they are indeed half-animal? Why should prophetic utterances need to be deleted from later editions of a prophet's writings?

We are not the first to ask these questions. People have been asking those questions for over 100 years. The removal the amalgamation statements created such a controversy that the White Estate decided it was important for them to provide an explanation for the omissions. Her son W.C. White writes:

"Regarding the two paragraphs which are to be found in Spiritual Gifts and also in The Spirit of Prophecy regarding amalgamation and the reason why they were left out of the later books, and the question as to who took the responsibility of leaving them out, I can speak with perfect clearness and assurance. They were left out by Ellen G. White. No one connected with her work had any authority over such a question, and I never heard of anyone offering to her counsel regarding this matter.

"In all questions of this kind, you may set it down as a certainty that sister White was responsible for leaving out or adding to matters of this sort in the later editions of our books.

"Sister White not only had good judgment based upon a clear and comprehensive understanding of conditions and of the natural consequences of publishing what she wrote, but she had many times direct instruction from the angel of the Lord regarding what should be omitted and what should be added in new editions."

Now you know the reason, straight from the pen of the prophet's son.

Did Mrs. White remove the statements because they created a controversy? No!

Did she remove them because they were wrong? No!

Did she remove them because the brethren faced a predicament trying to explain them to new converts? No!

Did she remove them because they made her appear biased and uneducated? No!

Supposedly she removed them because an angel instructed her to do so. That leads us to our final question:

Why didn't the angel instruct her to omit the lines before they were published?


Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this Field Guide website
is © 2001-2011 by Pamela Starr Dewey.

Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.

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