A Word To The Reader
The publication in 1958 of Selected Messages, Books 1 and 2, provided the opportunity to bring to the church counsels that had become particularly significant since Ellen White issued Volume 9 of the Testimonies in the year 1909. The content of books 1 and 2 included materials appearing in the Review and Herald, the Youth's Instructor, and Signs of the Times articles, in out-of-print pamphlets, and in E. G. White manuscripts and letters. These were reproduced in whole or in part, depending on the relevance of their contribution to a particular field of counsel. Subjects such as inspiration, the nature of Christ, and righteousness by faith were supplemented by a number of miscellaneous and general counsels that, through the passage of time, had become particularly pertinent, such as fanaticism, subversive movements, and the use of medicinal agencies. These volumes have come to be major source books supplementing the Testimonies and books of specialized counsels.
During the past two decades the Ellen G. White Review and Herald and Signs of the Times articles have been reprinted in facsimile form, thus providing a wealth of valuable materials that hitherto were not generally available. In these two decades routine research in the Ellen G. White manuscript and letter files has brought to the front some unusually helpful materials. Some of these have been published as articles in the Adventist Review, while others have become a part of study documents assembled for committees investigating certain doctrines or questions involving church policy.
Research conducted by graduate students has called attention to a number of choice statements, from E. G. White manuscript sources, that seemed to make a contribution over and above that which was already in print. A careful scrutiny of material concerning last-day events has also contributed to a better understanding, of certain aspects of that topic, that Seventh-Day Adventist will treasure. An intensified concern in recent years on the question of inspiration, and interest in the manner in which the E. G. White books were prepared, has led to the assembling of pertinent statements, of which some are new and some are familiar.
It is these combined sources of inspired counsels that have provided the materials for Selected Messages, Book 3. The making of such books is in harmony with Ellen White's expectation that through the years subsequent to her death, her literary resources, published and unpublished, would yield materials that would serve the needs of the growing church. Until 1938 these materials were housed in the manuscript vault connected with the Elmshaven office, close to her California home. Since that time they have been kept in the White Estate vault at the general conference headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was Ellen White's expectation that her manuscripts and letters of counsel would provide a widening range of service to the church. Of this she wrote in 1905:
"i am endeavoring by the help of God to write letters that
will be a help, not merely to those to whom they are
addressed, but to many others who need them."--Letter 79, 1905.
The manuscript for this volume has been compiled under the authorization and by the direction of the Board of Trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate, in the offices of the White Estate in Washington, D.C., By the regularly employed staff.
The reader will notice that there is a difference in format from section to section, and at times within sections. In each instance the format thought best to present the material has been followed. This procedure is similar to that followed in the two earlier volumes of this series. The source of each item is given at the close of the selection. In most instances this includes the date of writing or of first publication.
The staff members who have prepared this compilation have endeavored, wherever possible, to include materials from the documents quoted to provide the reader with adequate context. There are some statements for which more of a setting would seem desirable, yet the original context contains nothing more that is relevant or that would be useful if added. This is a feature of Ellen White's writings well known to the White Trustees and staff. Truth, however, is truth, and in many instances it must stand alone without supporting context.
In a score or more of instances, items selected carried in the original text the name of the individual concerned. In a few cases where no confidence would be betrayed, the name has been left in the text. In most cases, initials have been employed in place of names, beginning with the letter a in the first instance and running consecutively through most of the alphabet. No relation exists between the initial used and the name of the individual concerned.
That this volume, presenting as it does important information and counsels in many lines, may be a source of particular usefulness, blessing, and encouragement to the church is the sincere wish of the
Board of Trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate, Inc.