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This material regarding the writings of Ellen G. White is part of a Field Guide profile on
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The following quotations from the writings of Seventh-day Adventist Prophetess Ellen G. White are excerpted from a collection at



 (Red highlighting has been added to call attention to some points.)


"During the night I was sorely distressed. A great burden rested upon me. I had been pleading with God to work in behalf of his people. My attention was called to the money which they had invested in photographs. I was taken from house to house, through the homes of our people, and as I went from room to room, my Instructor said, 'Behold the idols which have accumulated!'" Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Sep. 10, 1901


"This making and exchanging of photographs is a species of Idolatry. Satan is doing all he can to eclipse heaven from our view. Let us not help him by making picture-idols. We need to reach a higher standard than these human faces suggest. The Lord says, 'Thou shall have no other Gods before me.'" Messages to Young People, p. 316


"After going from home to home, and seeing the many photographs, I was instructed to warn our people against this evil. This much we can do for God. We can put these picture-idols out of sight. They have no power for good, but interpose between God and the soul." Messages to Young People, p. 318


"Every true child of God will be sifted as wheat, and in the sifting process every cherished pleasure which diverts the mind from God must be sacrificed. In many families the mantel-shelves, stands, and tables are filled with ornaments and pictures. Albums, filled with photographs of the family and the photographs of their friends, are placed where they will attract the attention of visitors. ... Is this not a species of idolatry?" Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, Jan. 14, 1901


"As I visit the homes of our people and our schools, I see that all the available space on tables, what-nots, and mantlepieces is filled up with photographs. On the right hand and on the left are seen the pictures of human faces. God desires this order of things to be changed. Were Christ on earth, He would say, 'Take these things hence.' I have been instructed that these pictures are so many idols, taking up the time and thought which should sacredly devoted to God." Messages to Young People, p. 316


"We have for years been waging war with spiritual idolatry. ..... I am pained to see the photographs multiplied and hanging everywhere." The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 887


"In the vision given me in Rochester, Dec. 25, 1865, I was shown that picture-taking had been carried to too great lengths by Sabbath-keeping Adventists; and that much means had been spent in multiplying copies which was worse than lost. This means should have been invested in the cause of God. I was shown that we had done wrong in expending means in picture-taking." Review, Mar. 26, 1867


"Again I plead that instead of spending money for pictures of yourself and your friends, you should turn it into another channel. Let the money that has been devoted to the gratification of self, flow into the Lord's treasury to sustain those who are working to save perishing souls. " Home Missionary, June 1, 1893


"These photographs cost money. Is it consistent for us, knowing the work that is to be done at this time, to spend God's money in producing pictures of our own faces and the faces of our friends? Should not every dollar that we can spare be used in the upbuilding of the cause of God? These pictures take money that should be sacredly devoted to God's service; and they divert the mind from the truths of God's word." Review, Sep. 9, 1901



This position is admittedly strange, given the number of photographs available even to this day on the Net of Ellen G White and her friends and family from various periods in Adventist history.


Such as this one of Ellen, from 1899, taken between the 1893 plea and 1901 plea above. Evidently Ellen had a few dollars to spare to produce a picture of her own face.
























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The Evils of Photography

According to Ellen G. White