In 1852 Ellen G. White’s youngest son, Edson, three years of age, fell victim to the third global cholera pandemic erupting across the United States, 1846-1860. The White family, at the time, lived across the street from the Erie Canal in Rochester, New York. The first of the seven cholera pandemics flared up in India, near Calcutta, 1817-1824. From there, the contagion moved in all directions, often carried by migrating British Troops. The third pandemic crossed the Atlantic, arriving in Quebec, then continued through the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries in Eastern Canada into the State of New York in the 1850s. In a rented house on Hope Street, as the pandemic spread across Upstate New York, Ellen White penned, “The cholera visited the city, and while it raged, all night long the carriages bearing the dead were heard rumbling through the streets to Mount Hope Cemetery.”
Exciting Stories to EGW was in the form of books or articles of a “fictitious character,” which she liken it to “the use of tea—while it stimulates and excites the mind, it gives no real vigor to the mind.” Reading works of fiction or romance makes them “mental dyspeptics, and consequently are unfitted for a responsible position anywhere.” Furthermore many “will never recovered from the effects of intemperate reading… Many have never recovered their original vigor of mind. All attempts to become practical Christians end with the desire. They cannot be truly Christlike, and continue to feed the mind upon this class of literature.” An example EGW used was "Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which she called an “intensely exciting story.”
To follow such advice most SDA’s would have to disconnect from popular moves, works of fiction and computer games.
We train our appetites. Years ago, I used to watch movies on TV. These days, I don’t waste my time on them; they bore me. Novels have no appeal. I prefer biography and real-life accounts.
This article has given me a renewed respect for EGW. She might not have been right about everything, but she showed a desire to learn and supported a commonsense approach. We should do no less.
Current Adventist Administration has had to cope with instantaneous news around the world. In general, it has not helped them because they cannot “curate” the info like they used to do in their own periodicals. There is a lot of media 24/7 and too many tech savvy people.
Cults do form now but it would be hard to pull off the SDA church in today’s climate. Can you imagine the LDS church getting started now??
I often think of what it would have been like if in the 80s we had the internet, when Des Ford lifted the lid… I remember translating Smuts van Rooyen’s and Ford’s articles, and typing them, them making some 500 copies, and mailing them. In Brazil at that time.
If I only had had the internet… I would have been excommunicated much faster… LOL @gford1@Boksburg
Isn’t it interesting that even during a pandemic in the year 2020, EGW still needs to be included in the conversation? The entanglement is just astonishing. My parents were already alive during the 1918 pandemic (they were 13 and 8). It never occurred to me to ask, “How did you cope with it?” And what difference would it make anyway?
(Can’t ask them now, there is no Internet provider serving the area where they are now… )
George, look at Des’s FB page. It tells you if you scroll down how to get onto Peter Dixon’s Q and A page. Peter who is a musician is doing interviews with people about Glacier View. Bill Johnsson was the first. John Godfrey and then Norm Young. Very interesting. You should be on the page. You have to join the page, answer three questions and Peter will accept you.
I think anyone from the 19th century would have significant problems coping if they magically found themselves in 2020. Language barrier aside, he or she would adapted far better (or at least faster) to 1st century Rome than she would 21st century Southern CA.
i think you’re right…out-houses were the norm in both the 19th and 1st century, and probably no-one used deodorant…we’re all cooking with push-button microwaves, communicating through push-button screens, and driving great distances in push-button machines we call cars (to say nothing of flying thousands of feet in sit-down machines we call planes over entire oceans until recently)…the last hundred yrs have totally transformed the way people live…
but i don’t think there’d really be an adaptation problem for anyone from any time stepping into the 21st century…anybody can flush a toilet, microwave a meal, and relax in a jacuzzi at the push of a button…the real coping problem would be taking someone from 21 century CA and putting him into 1st century rome, or even 19th century CA…i can see major stress, and maybe even mental breakdowns, happening…
“Even fiction which contains no suggestion of impurity, and which may be intended to teach excellent principles, is harmful. It encourages the habit of hasty and superficial reading, merely for the story. Thus it tends to destroy the power of connected and vigorous thought; it unfits the soul to contemplate the great problems of duty and destiny.” EGW
“The readers of fiction are indulging an evil that destroys spirituality, eclipsing the beauty of the sacred page. It creates an unhealthy excitement, fevers the imagination, unfits the mind for usefulness, weans the soul from prayer, and disqualifies it for any spiritual exercise.” EGW
I trust no SDA pastor or church leader reads or watches works of fiction.