"Truth about Ellen White Writings"

Mother’s Influence Upon Her Children

1. Mother’s intemperate habits are inherited by her child

Ellen White (1827-1915): “Parents who use wine and liquor leave to their children the legacy of a feeble constitution, mental and moral debility…” (The Health Reformer, August 1, 1878).

Ellen White: “Very explicit was the command prohibiting the use of wine by the mother. Every drop of strong drink taken by her to gratify appetite endangers the physical, mental, and moral health of her child” (CD, p. 217, 1938).

Ellen White: “Thus many children have received as a birthright almost unconquerable tendencies to evil” (CD, p. 217, 1938).

Rev. Justin Edwards (1787-1853): He had stated the following in 1833: “Though the appetite for ardent spirit is not natural, and would never exist were it not formed by the use of it, it has been formed, not only in the cradle, but in many cases has been coeval almost with life itself. Even the mother, when her infant was unwell and she did not wish during the night to be kept awake with it, drank poison [alcohol] herself, and the helpless babe slept like a drunkard, and for a similar reason, and the drunkard’s appetite was formed there…” (A Sketch of the Rev. Justin Edwards by Rev. William Hallock, 1855, pp. 356-357).

Note: Rev. Justin Edwards was a strong promoter of the Bible, the Sabbath [he believed the Sunday Sabbath to have replaced the Creation Sabbath]; total abstinence [temperance reform, 1829], colporteur evangelism- with a greater emphasis on distribution of the Bible, rather than mere works [writings] of men and systematic benevolence including the tithing [in 1834], well before the Adventist Church commenced their work in these areas. At his death, the editor of a widely circulated journal said “A great man is fallen in Israel”. Ellen White too, was regarded in the same way by her contemporaries, as a “mother in Israel”.

2. Pregnant mother’s appetites are to be gratified

Ellen White (1827-1915): “He [the husband] should take pains to make her happy and cheerful: and see that every appetite which comes up is, if possible, forthwith, gratified. If the appetite should be for strong drink, it had better be gratified to the full, rather than that she give, by the continued longing, an indelible imprint of that kind upon her offspring” (How to Live, p. 65, 1865).

L. B. Coles (1803-1856): “He should take pains to make her happy and cheerful; and see that every appetite which comes up is, if possible, forthwith gratified. If that appetite should be for strong drink, it had better be gratified to the full, rather than that she give, by that continual longing, an indelible imprint of that kind upon her offspring” (The Philosophy of Health, pp. 59-60, 1848).

Forty years later, she changed her earlier counsel and has this to say: “Many advisers urge that every wish of the mother should be gratified; that if she should desire any article of food, however harmful, she should freely indulge her appetite. Such advise is false and mischievous” (CD, p. 217, 1938; MH, p. 373, 1905).

3. Mother’s temperaments affects her unborn child

Ellen White (1827-1915): “The thoughts and feelings of the mother will have powerful influence upon the legacy she gives her child. If she allows her mind to dwell upon her own feelings, if she indulges in selfishness, if she is peevish and exacting, – the disposition of her child will testify to the fact. Thus many have received as birthright almost unconquerable tendencies to evil” (Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, March 1, 1887; Signs of the Times, Sep 13, 1910; Te, p.171, 1949).

L. B. Coles (1803-1856): “Parents have a responsibility in regard to their offspring originating prior to their birth…If a mother’s system has been weakened by violation of law, her children, prior to birth, will be obliged to participate with her in suffering the penalty. And having received the inheritance of disease or debility before birth, they must, more or less, be the partakers of it through life” (The Philosophy of health, p. 58, 1848).

L. B. Coles (1803-1856): “A child, after birth, and more or less through life, will give a living illustration of the feelings and immediate character of his mother during the period of her pregnancy. If the mother during that period, especially latter part of it, indulges a gloomy, evil-foreboding state of mind, her child will give proof of it in after life. If she indulges a peevish, or fretful, or crying disposition, her child, will give her ample testimony to the fact after birth” (The Philosophy of Health, pp. 58-59, 1848).

John Smith (1798-1888): “…children born of flesh-eating parents, and nursed by flesh eating mothers, and are (from the hour of their birth) to the savour and the odour of animal food, – in the nourishment which they derived from the mother’s breast,…become depraved in their natutal instincts” (Fruits and Farinacea the proper food of man, p. 107, 1845).

J. C. Gunn (1800-1863): “The devastation or the evil influence of the female mind on her own reproductive system,at the time of impregnation, is remarkable. Grief, fear, excitemrnt, nervous affections, anger, melancholy, jealousy, and indeed, any unusual excitement, will have in most instances, have a decided influence upon her offspring” (New Domestic Physician, p. 598, 1857).