Ellen (Harmon) White's First "Temple" Dream
Ellen experienced this dream in 1842 during a time of despondency and despair. She wrote of this time on page 11 of "Early Writings". The dream itself she relates on page 78 of "Early Writings".
"I dreamed of seeing a temple to which a lot of people were flocking. Only those who took refuge in this temple would be saved when the time should close. All who remained outside would be forever lost."
"The multitudes without, who were going their various ways, were deriding and ridiculing those who were entering the temple, and told them that this plan of safety was a cunning deception, that, in fact, there was no danger whatever to avoid. They even laid hold of some to prevent them from hastening within the walls."
"Fearing to be laughed at and ridiculed, I thought best to wait until the multitude was dispersed, or until I could enter unobserved by them. But the numbers increased instead of diminishing, and fearful of being too late, I hastily left my home and pressed through the crowd. In my anxiety to reach the temple I did not notice or care for the throng that surrounded me."
"On entering the building, I saw that the vast temple was supported by one immense pillar, and to this was tied a Lamb all mangled and bleeding."
"We who were present seemed to know that this Lamb had been torn and bruised on our account. All who entered the temple must come before it and confess their sins."
"Just before the Lamb were elevated seats upon which sat a company of people looking very happy. The light of heaven seemed to shine upon their faces, and they praised God and sang songs of glad thanksgiving that seemed to be like the music of the angels. These were they who had come before the Lamb, confessed their sins, been pardoned, and were now waiting in glad expectation of some joyful event."
"Even after having entered the building a fear came over me and a sense of shame that I must humiliate myself before these people. But I seemed compelled to move forward, and was slowly making my way around the pillar in order to face the Lamb, when a trumpet sounded, the temple shook, shouts of triumph arose from the assembled saints, an awful brightness illuminated the building, then all was intense blackness.
"The happy people had all disappeared with the brightness, and I was left alone in the silent horror of night."
"I awoke in agony of mind and could hardly convince myself that I had been dreaming. It seemed to me that my doom was fixed, that the Spirit of the Lord had left me, never to return. My despondency deepened, if that were possible."
Ellen, in her mid-teens when she had these first dreams, continues on page 12: "After that I opened my mind to my devoted mother. She told me that I was not lost and advised me to go and see Brother Stockman, who then preached to the Advent people in Portland. I had great confidence in him, for he was a devoted and beloved servant of Christ. His words affected me and led me to hope. I returned home and again went before the Lord, and promised that I would do and suffer anything if I could have the smiles of Jesus. The same duty was presented. There was to be a prayer meeting that evening, which I attended, and when others knelt to pray, I bowed with them trembling, and after two or three had prayed, I opened my mouth in prayer before I was aware of it, and the promises of God looked to me like so many precious pearls that were to be received by only asking for them. As I prayed, the burden and agony of soul that I had so long felt left me, and the blessing of God came upon me like the gentle dew. I gave glory to God for what I felt, but I longed for more. I could not be satisfied till I was filled with the fullness of God. Inexpressible love for Jesus filled my soul. Wave after wave of glory rolled over me, until my body grew stiff. Everything was shut out from me but Jesus and glory, and I knew nothing of what was passing around me."
I read about this dream for many years before I really noticed that it was one of TWO DREAMS that were dreamed one after the other IN SEQUENCE. Ellen White was not "converted" because of this dream, but as a result of dreaming BOTH dreams. Once we really understand the combined message of BOTH dreams, we realize that neither Ellen White, nor we who read these dreams today, 168 years later, have been