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Ellen White consults with her dead husband ....

"A few days since, I was pleading with the Lord for light in regard to my duty. In the night I dreamed I was in the carriage, driving, sitting at the right hand. Father was in the carriage, seated at my left hand. He was very pale, but calm and composed. "Why Father," I exclaimed, "I am so happy to have you by my side once more! I have felt that half of me was gone. Father, I saw you die; I saw you buried. Has the Lord pitied me and let you come back to me again, and we work together as we used to?"
He looked very sad. He said, "The Lord knows what is best for you and for me. My work was very dear to me. We have made a mistake. We have responded to urgent invitations of our brethren to attend important meetings. We had not the heart to refuse. These meetings have worn us both more than we were aware. Our good brethren were gratified, but they did not realize that in these meetings we took upon us greater burdens than at our age we could safely carry. They will never know the result of this long-continued strain upon us. God would have had them bear the burdens we have carried for years. Our nervous energies have been continuously taxed, and then our brethren misjudging our motives and not realizing our burdens have weakened the action of the heart. I have made mistakes, the greatest of which was in allowing my sympathies for the people of God to lead me to take work upon me which others should have borne.
"Now, Ellen, calls will be made as they have been, desiring you to attend important meetings, as has been the case in the past. But lay this matter before God and make no response to the most earnest invitations. Your life hangs as it were upon a thread. You must have quiet rest, freedom from all excitement and from all disagreeable cares. We might have done a great deal for years with our pens, on subjects the people need that we have had light upon and can present before them, which others do not have. Thus you can work when your strength returns, as it will, and you can do far more with your pen than with your voice."
He looked at me appealingly and said, "You will not neglect these cautions, will you, Ellen? Our people will never know under what infirmities we have labored to serve them because our lives were interwoven with the progress of the work, but God knows it all. I regret that I have felt so deeply and labored unreasonably in emergencies, regardless of the laws of life and health. The Lord did not require us to carry so heavy burdens and many of our brethren so few. We ought to have gone to the Pacific Coast before, and devoted our time and energies to writing. Will you do this now? Will you, as your strength returns, take your pen and write out these things we have so long anticipated, and make haste slowly? There is important matter which the people need. Make this your first business. You will have to speak some to the people, but shun the responsibilities which have borne us down."
"Well," said I, "James, you are always to stay with me now and we will work together." Said he, "I stayed in Battle Creek too long. I ought to have gone to California more than one year ago. But I wanted to help the work and institutions at Battle Creek. I have made a mistake. Your heart is tender. You will be inclined to make the same mistakes I have made. Your life can be of use to the cause of God. Oh, those precious subjects the Lord would have had me bring before the people, precious jewels of light!"
I awoke. But this dream seemed so real. Now you can see and understand why I feel no duty to go to Battle Creek for the purpose of shouldering the responsibilities in General Conference. I have no duty to stand in General Conference. The Lord forbids me. That is enough. "-- Letter 17, 1881. RY 161-3

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This is not Ellen consulting with the dead. This is Ellen having a dream. Big difference.
"I awoke. But this dream seemed so real. Now you can see and understand why I feel no duty to go to Battle Creek for the purpose of shouldering the responsibilities in General Conference. I have no duty to stand in General Conference. The Lord forbids me. That is enough"

Obviously the dead know not anything. There is no way she could consult with the dead. She thought she was though and took the advise of the dream and of her dead husband in the dream and went forward accordingly. She did consult with him even if she was confused about it just being a dream.
Firstly, I see no confusion - she says plainly that it was a dream.

Secondly, she did not actively consult... unless you are saying that she decided what she should dream. The word, "consult" is not a passive verb, in itself it implies actively doing something.

Ellen did not "consult", she slept. As with all of us, sometimes you know that you are dreaming, many times, I would suggest most of the time, you don't. Ellen reacted to her dream and apparently made a decision on the basis of that dream.

However, there is absolutely nothing to suggest that she had any intention of consulting with the dead.
Ellen White dreamed that she was with her husband who had just died. She said that it seemed so real. But this is much different than actually talking with him-which would have been talking with an evil spirit. She understood fully that the dead know not anything. She makes this very clear in RY pg. 159 Par. 1 and RY 156 pg. 2 when she says that her husband is gone-no longer with her but that Christ is with her and so she is not alone. She states clearly that he is resting in the sleep of death. See also GC. chapter "Spiritualism" CC pg.90, and GC. chapter "Satan's Last Day Deception". We must not give ourselves to false idea's. Let us hold fast to the Bible's truth. Eccl. 9:5.
I agree with you all. True, she acted on the contents of the dream, but that was not because she thought that her husband had spoken to her. It was because she felt that God has spoken to her, by allowing her to have that dream.

It is normal for grieving persons to dream of their loved ones. I lost both of my parents in this during the past six years, so I understand somewhat, what she experienced.

Please do not promulgate the suggestion that she consulted with the dead. She did not, and it is dangerous to place these kinds of doubts in people's minds. Thank you for writing the entire quote for us to read for ourselves. I was very concerned for a while there.
She wasn't confused. She didn't think it was James. She knew it was a dream. She said, "This dream seemed so real." Obviously she knew it wasn't real. At the same that she wrote this, she was writing The Great Controversy in which she wrote against the idea that the dead can contact the living. She wrote many times that the dead do not know anything, and she often wrote about the dangers of being ignorant of this fact.

Consulting with the dead would occur only if one chose to seek out the dead for the purpose of communicating with them. Ellen White did not choose to have a dream. You can't choose to dream about someone. She didn't think James was alive and able to talk to her. Therefore, it is untrue to say that Ellen G. White consulted with the dead.
4 Him, there is nothing wrong with posting this dream of Ellen White's, of course, but it is wrong to give people the impression that Ellen White "consulted with the dead." That is not what happened here.
Cosulting with the dead is exactly what this dream was all about. It was the purpose of the dream.
The dream was to give instructions that her dead husband would have given to her. And so she took the advice that he gave in this dream. And in fact she said "we will work together". Then as soon as she awoke from the dream ... she declared that she was following the advice that James had given to her in this dream.

You can split hairs however you like ... but this was all about consulting with the dead via a dream and then following that advice. At no time did she say "this is wrong" and stop the dream. If I had had this dream ... I would have said "get behind me Satan". I would not desire to get advice from my dead husband whether it was from a dream or not from a dream.

But that may just be my personal hang up. If others are comfortable with this behaviour ... than that is fine for them. To each his own.
I just wanted to add one more point. Ellen even claimed that this was from God and that that was why she was following what her dead husband had said..
No. I would not have you believe anything. I said to each his own. But to me it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this dream was ALL about consulting with the dead. Period. She said the Lord was behind the dream and instructed her to follow it.

I don't feel comfortable with the dream because I feel it is contrary to Biblical doctrine. But, like I said ... to each his own. I am expressing my misgivings about it. These are personal. I am not trying to tell you how to feel about it. Just sharing my thoughts.

Feel free to disagree ....
4Him, seriously, you need to look up the word "consulting". It is not something that you can have done to you, you have to actively seek it.

So, "consulting the dead" means going to "the dead" to enquire of them. It is patently obvious that this is *not* what Ellen White did.

What is interesting is that she recognised the dream as being from God. She has been praying for guidance as to what she should do in response to the call for her to go to General Conference. She has been consulting God and now she receives God's response in her dream.

I understand your discomfort because I find it strange that God would use the image of her dead husband... but who am I to try and second-guess God?

Please, don't blame Ellen, she is the passive one in this. According to her, God sent the dream. If He didn't then the image of her dead husband was created by her grieving mind as she slept, Her conscious mind had nothing to do with it..
Precisely so, JohnB. Nowhere is "consulting the dead" an involuntary act, a passive dream. Consulting the dead is something people plan to do, and it always relates to someone they believe is alive. But it is perfectly obvious that Ellen White did not believe James White was alive. She knew he was dead and could not communicate with her. She knew it was not real but a mere dream.

Thus is it absolutely impossible to rightly describe what she did as "consulting the dead."

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