James & Ellen White’s Marriage | Episode 29 | Lineage

When Ellen White was 18 years old, one of the biggest problems that she faced
was the matter of transportation. She was young and in poor health,
and when she traveled she needed one or two attendants. James White was fully convinced
that her work and experience was of God and felt it his duty to travel with her. In 1845 they traveled together a lot, but apparently
neither of them had ever thought of getting married. But as they took the matter to the Lord, they were both convinced
that God had a great work for them to do together and that they could each assist the other. [music] Thus on Sunday, August the 30th, 1846,
James Springer White and Ellen Gould Harmon stood before Charles Harding, Justice of the Peace,
in Portland, Maine and were married. They were aged 26 and 19 respectively. They entered their marriage penniless,
with few friends, broken in health, but with the deep conviction that God
had a work for them to do together, and their belief in the message was unshakable. Their first place of abode would be the Harmon home
in Gorham, Maine, just outside Portland. [music] Through the course of their marriage,
they lived in Maine, New York, here in this house in Michigan, Colorado, California, Connecticut, and Iowa. They traveled thousands of miles together
by horse-drawn carriages and sleds, and later on by trains. Their whole marriage evolved around ministry, sacrificing time, means, and money for the cause. Through the many trials and obstacles that they encountered
they still managed in their marriage to survive and thrive. [music] The chances of divorce increase greatly when one
or a combination of the following factors are present: financial issues, poverty, losing a child,
when one of the partners suffers a serious illness, when one gets a promotion (especially the woman), and adultery. Apart from adultery, the Whites would experience all of these. They started out in abject poverty,
with James doing hard labour and working long hours. The printing press was sometimes in debt,
but they would continue on. They lost John Herbert, their child, in his infancy
at a very young age, and Henry died at the age of 16. James suffered a few strokes
that brought about a personality change, but through all of this they maintained their love for each other. [music] Despite having all these factors that would have
raised the likelihood of divorce, they pulled through. Sometimes Ellen doesn’t know what is going on, and yet the letters between the two of them
reveal a side to their marriage that is often not seen. They are filled with lots of tender love phrases
and show that they were convicted that they should be together. James was extremely driven and prone to overwork,
and Ellen herself persevered through some very hard times. And yet the union of these two would go on
to have an impact that will be seen only in eternity. [music] They had some marriage challenges as well,
but they did not just exist unhappily together. Their love for each other ran deep and kept them together
until James died at the relatively young age of 61. He died early due to overwork,
literally working himself to an early grave. After his death, some church officials visited Ellen White
and suggested they put a broken shaft over his grave, signifying that his work was cut short
and that no one else could complete his work. Ellen White responded, ‘Never! Never!
He has single-handedly done the work of three men. Never shall a broken monument be put over his grave!’ Her affection for him ran deep, and she ensured
that even in his death his legacy would be remembered well. [music] The marriage of the Whites
stands as an example of the power of God to overcome all the obstacles
that are thrown in the way when two become one. If you are facing challenges in your relationships or marriage, then know that God is powerful and able to rescue
the most helpless of cases and bring joy amidst sorrow.


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