Ellen White’s BurialNovember 12, 2006
The anti-Ellen White site http://www.ellenwhite.org/ has a post titled “The White Obelisk” which goes to some length to show that the grave marker (pictured above) on the grave of Ellen and James White is a satanic symbol. I’m not going to bother commenting about that issue, suffice to say that while it may be “quite unsettling” for the site’s authors “that a symbol of the Egyptian Sun god appears on the burial site of James and Ellen White”, it doesn’t worry me in the slightest.However, in the first footnote to that page, the authors make the following statement:
Mrs. White’s funeral was on July 24, 1915, the same date that the photograph was taken. However, according to the White Estate, she was not interred until 33 days later. On March 22, 1999, William Fagal of the Ellen G. White Estate Branch Office at Andrews University, emailed D. Fischer: “Her funeral took place on Sabbath, July 24, 1915. She was not actually interred, however, until Thursday, August 26.”
This claim intrigues me.
The Events Surrounding White’s Death & Burial:
On March 3, 1915, White had her last vision. Her words focussed on the young people of the church: “I do not expect to live long. My work is nearly done. Tell our young people that I want my words to encourage them in that manner of life that will be most attractive to the heavenly intelligences, and that their influence upon others may be most enobling.”
At 3.40pm on July 16, 1915 she passed away. Her son, Willie White later described the experience: “It was like the burning out of a candle, so quiet.”
A funeral service was held at her home: Elmshaven in California on July 18.
White’s body then travelled by train to Richmond where a camp-meeting was taking place, and a second service held.
Again travelling by train, White’s body was taken to Battle Creek, Michigan, where, on Sabbath morning, July 24, White lay in state in the Battle Creek Tabernacle for two hours from eight til ten. About 2,000 people filed past as an honour guard of six ministers alternated in pairs every twenty minutes and stood, one at the head of the casket and one at the foot.
White’s third and final funeral service was held in the Battle Creek Tabernacle on July 24 with about 4,500 people in attendance–1,000 more than Battle Creek Tabernacle could hold.
Following the Tabernacle service White’s body was buried next to her husband James in Oak Hill cemetery.
There seems to be no evidence to support the suggestion that White’s interment (burial) took place other than on the same day as her funeral. Furthermore, there seems to be no reason for such a situation to occur.
- Does this email from William Fagel actually exist? (If it does not, will the authors of the ellenwhite.org site remove the offending staement?–Or offer alternative evidence to support their claim?)
- If it does, was Fagel correct in his statement that White was not actually “interred” until August 26?
- If White’s interment did not actually take place until August 26, what were the reasons?
- Finally, while I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, (assuming the above is true) has the Ellen White Estate engaged in some sort of cover-up about the events surrounding the burial of Ellen White?
Herbert E. Douglass, Messenger of the Lord, Boise: Pacific Press, 1998.
Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: The Later Elmshaven Years 1905-1915, Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1982.