On March 3, 1915, Ellen G. White had her final vision. She died on July 16, 1915—just four and a half months later.
Before her death she wrote of this vision in The Review and Herald, April 15, 1915. The description of that vision was simply and aptly titled: “A Message for Our Young People.” Below is the entirety of Ellen White’s message—a passionate plea to spiritually uplift our church’s youth.
There are books that are of vital importance that are not looked at by our young people. They are neglected because they are not so interesting to them as some lighter reading.
We should advise the young to take hold of such reading matter as recommends itself for the upbuilding of Christian character. The most essential points of our faith should be stamped upon the memory of the young. They have had a glimpse of these truths, but not such an acquaintance as would lead them to look upon their study with favor. Our youth should read that which will have a healthful, sanctifying effect upon the mind. This they need in order to be able to discern what is true religion. There is much good reading that is not sanctifying.
Now is our time and opportunity to labor for the young people. Tell them that we are now in a perilous crisis, and we want to know how to discern true godliness. Our young people need to be helped, uplifted, and encouraged, but in the right manner; not, perhaps, as they would desire it, but in a way that will help them to have sanctified minds. They need good, sanctifying religion more than anything else.
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 ennobling.
In the night season I was selecting and laying aside books that are of no advantage to the young. We should select for them books that will encourage them to sincerity of life, and lead them to the opening of the Word. This has been presented to me in the past, and I thought I would get it before you and make it secure. We cannot afford to give to young people valueless reading. Books that are a blessing to mind and soul are needed. These things are too lightly regarded; therefore our people should become acquainted with what I am saying.
I do not think I shall have more Testimonies for our people. Our men of solid minds know what is good for the uplifting and upbuilding of the work. But with the love of God in their hearts, they need to go deeper and deeper into the study of the things of God. I am very anxious that our young people shall have the proper class of reading; then the old people will get it also. We must keep our eyes on the religious attraction of the truth. We are to keep mind and brain open to the truths of God’s Word. Satan comes when men are unaware. We are not to be satisfied because the message of warning has been once presented. We must present it again and again.
We could begin a course of reading so intensely interesting that it would attract and influence many minds. If I am spared for further labor, I should gladly help to prepare books for the young.
There is a work to be done for the young by which their minds will be impressed and molded by the sanctifying truth of God. It is my sincere wish for our young people that they find the true meaning of justification by faith, and the perfection of character that will prepare them for eternal life. I do not expect to live long, and I leave this message for the young, that the aim which they make shall not miscarry.
I exhort my brethren to encourage the young ever to keep the preciousness and grace of God highly exalted. Work and pray constantly for a sense of the preciousness of true religion. Bring in the blessedness and the attractiveness of holiness and the grace of God. I have felt a burden regarding this because I know it is neglected.
Questions for Further Discussion:
Do you feel that, as a church, we’ve been true to Ellen White’s final vision?
How do you think the church can make her vision more of a reality? What needs to happen?
I have no assurance that my life will last long, but I feel that I am accepted of the Lord. He knows how much I have suffered as I have witnessed the low standards of living adopted by so-called Christians. I have felt that it was imperative that the truth should be seen in my life, and that my testimony should go to the people. I want that you should do all you can to have my writings placed in the hands of the people in foreign lands.
Tell the young that they have had many spiritual advantages. God wants them to make earnest efforts to get the truth before the people. I am impressed that it is my special duty to say these things.