Sojourner, what a beautiful post.
Incidentally, he did not teach his discoveries. He was asked by the Adventist Forum to summarize the problems on this subject that keep popping up every generation or two and he acquiesced. Then Neal Wilson insisted that he present the material at a special conclave and assured him that his employment was not in jeopardy. His colleagues warned him not to trust him, but he went.
I agreed perfectly with what you say–at the time. But I noticed that the “Fordites” that I talked to knew what the Bible said between the proof texts we’re all so familiar with. In the aftermath, there was a quarterly devoted to Daniel and another to Hebrews. As a Sabbath School teacher, I studied beyond the proof texts, and slowly realized Dr. Ford was right!
With respect to reliance on your acquaintances, I have a question you might ask them.
Daniel 8 says, "__Then one of the holy angels asked another, 'When will the daily sacrifices be offered again? …The other answered, “It will be two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings before the temple is dedicated and in use again?” (Dan :8: 13,14)
Ask those same friends what sacrifices resumed in 1844 (and where!) And while you’ve got their attention, tell them that Ellen White wrote that nobody’s names and records have been permitted into the heavenly sanctuary since 1844.
Do you think that their responses will leave you convinced that what they believe/know is a fair test of truth?