In 1840 and 1842 Ellen, with other members of the family, attended Adventist meetings in Portland, accepted the views presented by William Miller and his associates, and confidently looked for Christ's imminent return. Ellen was an earnest missionary worker, seeking to win her youthful friends and doing her part in heralding the Advent Message.
The keenness of the Great Disappointment that Jesus did not return to earth on October 22, 1844 was not lessened by Ellen's youth, and she, with others, studied the Bible and prayed earnestly for light and guidance in the succeeding days of perplexity. When many were wavering or were abandoning their Adventist experience, Ellen Harmon, one morning late in December, joined four other women in family worship at the home of a fellow believer in South Portland. Heaven seemed near to the praying group, and as the power of God rested on Ellen she witnessed in vision the travels of the Advent people to the city of God. (Early Writings, pp. 13-20.)
As the 17-year-old girl reluctantly and tremblingly related this visionto the Adventist group in Portland, they accepted it as light from GOD. In response to a later vision, Ellen traveled with friends and relatives from place to place to relate to the scattered companies of Adventists that which had been revealed to her in the first and in succeeding revelations.
Those were not easy days for the Adventists who had been disappointed. Not only did they meet scoffing and ridicule from the world at large, but among themselves they were not united, and fanaticism of every sort arose in their ranks. But GOD, through revelation, opened up to Ellen Harmon the outcome of some of these fanatical moves, and she was charged with the responsibility of reproving wrong and pointing out error. This work she found difficult to perform.