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Listed below are seven ways LeRoy Froom worked to bring the Trinity doctrine into acceptance in the Seventh-day Adventist church.

1. He compiled the book “Evangelism” (1946)

BOOK “EVANGELISM” PLAYS VITAL PART.—”Later, when I connected with the Ministerial Association of the General Conference, I did considerable research in the Spirit of Prophecy writings on this subject, and found much more. When we were asked to help in compiling the book Evangelism these and many other counsels became a vital part of that book. Note the section ‘The Message and Its Presentation’ (pp. 168-216).
LeRoy Froom, Movement of Destiny p.621

One of the most popular books that Adventists use to prove that Ellen White believed the Trinity doctrine is the compilation known as “Evangelism.” Froom was influential in the compilation.

“Side headings in bold type have been supplied by the compilers.” (Preface from the book Evangelism)

Example of side headings: “The Eternal Dignitaries of the Trinity” Evangelism p.616

For more information visit:
The Deception of LeRoy Froom and his book Evangelism

2. He wrote the pro-trinitarian book entitled “Coming of the Comforter – Studies on the Coming and Work of the Third Person of the Godhead” (1928)

In 1960, Froom sent a letter to Otto Christensen in which he gives us evidence that it was his (Froom’s) personal efforts that helped to bring about this change in beliefs about the Holy Spirit within Seventh-day Adventism. It shows us clearly too that the pioneers did not accept that the Holy Spirit is a person like God and Christ, also that there was decided resistance to this change.

This is when Froom said in his letter

“May I state that my book, THE COMING OF THE COMFORTER was the result of a series of studies that I gave in 1927 – 1928, to ministerial institutes throughout North America. You cannot imagine how I was pummelled by some of the old-timers because I pressed on the personality of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Godhead.” (L. Froom, letter to Otto Christenson, 27th October 1960)

He then adds

“Some men denied that – still deny it. But the book has come to be generally accepted as standard.” (Ibid)

Froom is saying here that whilst some still deny that the Holy Spirit is a personal being (like God and Christ), this concept, as found in his book ‘The Coming of the Comforter’ had by 1960 become the standard (norm) within Seventh-day Adventism but when he had introduced this thought in the late 1920’s (1927-1928) he said that he was “pummelled by some of the old-timers”. Obviously, these “old timers” were those who believed in the theology of Seventh-day Adventists whilst Ellen White was alive. This was when the Holy Spirit was not deemed to be a person like God and Christ but was the omnipresence of them both when they (God and Christ) were not physically (bodily) present.
Terry Hill, http://theprophetstillspeaks.co.uk/DetHis%5CzrDHS44.htm

3. He encouraged Seventh-day Adventists to look to outside sources for information regarding the Holy Spirit

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IN STUDY AND PRESENTATION.—May I here make a frank personal confession? When, back between 1926 and 1928, I was asked by our leaders to give a series of studies on the Holy Spirit, covering the North American union ministerial institutes of 1928, I found that, aside from priceless leads found in the Spirit of Prophecy, there was practically nothing in our literature setting forth a sound Biblical exposition in this tremendous field of study. There were no previous pathfinding books on the question in our literature. I was compelled to search out a score of valuable books written by men outside of our faith—those previously noted—for initial clues and suggestions, and to open up beckoning vistas to intensive personal study. Having these, I went on from there. But they were decided early helps. And scores, if not hundreds, could confirm the same sobering conviction that some of these other men frequently had a deeper insight into the spiritual things of God than many of our own men  had on the Holy Spirit and the triumphant life. It was still a largely obscure theme.
LeRoy Froom, Movement of Destiny, p.322

4. He taught Seventh-day Adventists to embrace and listen to evangelical pastors on the doctrine of the Trinity

WHOLE GALAXY OF WRITERS APPEAR.—AS to individual contributions in these special fields, some fifty men could easily be listed in the closing decades of the nineteenth and the opening decades of the twentieth centuries—men like Murray, Simpson, Gordon, Holden, Meyer, McNeill, Moody, Waugh, McConkey, Scroggie, Howden, Smith, McKensie, McIntosh, Brooks, Dixon, Kyle, Morgan, Needham, Pierson, Seiss, Thomas, West, and a score of others—all giving this general emphasis. Untold numbers have known and been blessed by their writings. And this includes many of our own men. Those men did not understand our specific message. But they did know God, and His Word, on these imperative spiritual themes. They were clearly among God’s “reserves,” His “other” shepherds, His augmenting voices, sounding a challenging note when “some.” of our own men hesitated, paralleling and giving similar emphasis in the great spiritual awakening outside our own Movement. They were obviously designed to supplement and augment, and to stimulate all. They made their contribution.
LeRoy Froom, Movement of Destiny, p.320

LeRoy Froom categorizes the following men as “God’s reserves” and “other shepherds.”

The light of truth which God designs shall come to the people of the world at this time is not that which the world’s men of learning are seeking to impart, for these men in their research often arrive at erroneous conclusions and in their study of many authors become enthused with theories that are of satanic origin. Satan, clothed in the garb of an angel of light, presents for the study of the human mind subjects which seem very interesting and which are full of scientific mystery. In the investigation of these subjects, men are led to accept erroneous conclusions and to unite with seducing spirits in the work of propounding new theories which lead away from the truth. {9T 67.3}

There is danger that the false sentiments expressed in the books that they have been reading will sometimes be interwoven by our ministers, teachers, and editors with their arguments, discourses, and publications, under the belief that they are the same in principle as the teachings of the Spirit of truth. The book Living Temple is an illustration of this work, the writer of which declared in its support that its teachings were the same as those found in the writings of Mrs. White. Again and again we shall be called to meet the influence of men who are studying sciences of satanic origin, through which Satan is working to make a nonentity of God and of Christ. Ellen White, Testimonies Volume 9 p.68.1 (1909)

For more information on how the Trinity is making a nonentity of God and of Christ read the free e-book: Christ and the Trinity.

 

5. He was a member of the General Conference Committee who voted to go forward in revising Uriah Smith’s book “Daniel and the Revelation” because rather than aligning with the doctrine of the Trinity, it expressed a decidedly anti-trinitarian understanding of God and Christ.

Listed below are the General Conference meeting minutes regarding the revision of the book “Daniel and Revelation” by Uriah Smith. Click on each picture to download the original meeting minutes in PDF format for your own reference.

Autumn Council of the General Conference Committee

St. Paul, Minnesota, October 15 – 23, 1940
Also Meetings of the Committee, October 1, 3,  7, 8, 13 and 23, 1940

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Seventy-First Meeting General Conference Committee

January 1, 1942

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Seventy-Eighth Meeting General Conference Committee

January 19, 1942

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Autumn Council of the General Conference Committee

Cincinnati, Ohio, October 20 – 28, 1942

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A committee of eleven was set up to revise Uriah Smith’s Daniel and the Revelation volume. The committee was comprised of:

  1. W. E. Howell
  2. F. M. Wilcox
  3. H. M. Blunden
  4. A. W. Cormack
  5. W. E. Read
  6. W. P. Elliott
  7. H. G. Childs
  8. G. A. Huse
  9. M. R. Thurber
  10. Merlin Neff
  11. James Schultz

Listed below is the subcommittee of seven that did the final work on editing the book:

  1. W. E. Read
  2. A. W. Cormack
  3. H. M. Blunden
  4. W. E. Howell
  5. James Shultz
  6. M. R. Thurber
  7. Merlin Neff

Three Hundred Twentieth Meeting General Conference Committee

September 2, 1943

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Autumn Council of the General Conference Committee

Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 13 – 20, 1945

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Here are LeRoy Froom’s own words from his book entitled “Movement of Destiny” regarding the revision of “Daniel and the Revelation” by Uriah Smith.

II. Revision of Daniel and the Revelation Inevitable
1. CORRECTION OF CERTAIN BOOKS NECESSARY.—The next logical and inevitable step in the implementing of our unified “Fundamental Beliefs” involved revision of certain standard works so as to eliminate statements that taught, and thus perpetuated, erroneous views on the Godhead. Such sentiments were now sharply at variance with the accepted “Fundamental Beliefs” set forth in the Church Manual, and with the uniform “Baptismal Covenant” and “Vow” based thereon, which, in certificate form, was now used for all candidates seeking admission to membership in the church. More than that, the unequivocal Spirit of Prophecy declarations on the eternal pre-existence and complete Deity of Christ were actually being contradicted through retention of conflicting statements in such standard books. These productions must therefore be brought into harmony with the now declared Faith of the Church. The first and most conspicuous of these involved certain erroneous theological concepts that had long appeared in Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith, who had died in 1903. This treatise, esteemed as a whole, first appeared, as we learned, in the late 1860’s and early 1870’s. It had therefore been in print for more than seventy years, and had been accorded an honored place throughout those years—and still is. Moreover, its unique place was recognized by Ellen White. (Ms 174, 1899.) But she also said that errors in our older literature “call for careful study and correction” (E. G. White, Ms 11, 1910; 1SM, p. 165). That was now applied.

LeRoy Froom, Movement of Destiny p.422

Note: The complete paragraph of 1SM p.165 reads quite differently than Froom’s six word extraction from the writings of Ellen White:

“In some of our important books that have been in print for years, and which have brought many to a knowledge of the truth, there may be found matters of minor importance that call for careful study and correction. Let such matters be considered by those regularly appointed to have the oversight of our publications. Let not these brethren, nor our canvassers, nor our ministers magnify these matters in such a way as to lessen the influence of these good soul-saving books. Should we take up the work of discrediting our literature, we would place weapons in the hands of those who have departed from the faith and confuse the minds of those who have newly embraced the message. The less that is done unnecessarily to change our publications, the better it will be. {Ellen White, 1SM 165.2}

From the tenor of his book does it sound like LeRoy Froom thought the Godhead was of minor importance?

2. UNWARRANTED TRADITION HAD DEVELOPED.—Such an undertaking meant treading on delicate ground. To some—still of personal semi-Arian persuasion—Daniel and the Revelation was holy ground, as it were. Some, particularly in one geographical area, sincerely felt that this book was virtually “inspired.” According to the memory of A. C. BOURDEAU,* Mrs. White was reported to have declared, many years before, that an angel stood by Smith’s side and guided his hand as he penned its pages. This far-back recollection had developed into an almost sacred tradition with this group. But it was, in fact, only a remembrance—written many years after the stated episode. It was never, however, an E. G. White testimony. So in 1944—soon after the adoption of the uniform Baptismal Covenant, Vow, and Certificate of 1941—the revision of “D&R” (as it was familiarly known), was undertaken. A representative committee was set up that included the book editors of the three main North American publishing houses. W. E. Howell,-f- secretary to the president of the General Conference—with extensive service background—was named chairman. Merwin R. Thurber, book editor of the Review and Herald Publishing Association, served as secretary, from whose records the full facts have been secured.

3. SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF REVISION.—The fundamental assignment of the committee was to bring the facts, statistics, and quotations of D&R up to date, without materially altering the prophetic exposition of the author of the volume. When the committee’s work was completed, the committee made its final report to the Spring Council of 1944, held in New York City. W. H. Branson, general vice-president of the General Conference at the time, was asked to make a covering statement in behalf of the committee. This was because any revision of D&R was still a highly sensitive matter, with a relatively small group still personally holding the semi-Arian view. This writer was present at the council in New York, and personally heard the report, and observed what followed. Branson’s remarks were to the effect that the book Daniel and the Revelation would of course retain Uriah Smith’s name as author. The revision committee could not therefore rightly change any distinctive Uriah Smith interpretation of prophecy—such as on the “daily,” the “king of the north,” or the Huns as one of the ten divisions of Rome. Smith’s interpretative views must be respected and retained in his own book. But where the author’s variant personal theological views on certain points appeared—such as his Arian concept of the nature of Christ—these had been eliminated because they were (1) not an interpretation of prophecy, and (2) were in conflict with our accepted statement of “Fundamental Beliefs” of 1931, and its extension in the uniform Baptism Certificate of 1941. But most serious of all, they were (3) still in direct conflict with numerous statements in the Spirit of Prophecy writings that were clearly on record in periodical article and book form. These statements were all written in the decades following the writing of Smith’s book—and especially in the decade after his death. He was therefore not acquainted with them.

4. STRONG REACTION OF SMITH ADHERENTS.—The reaction of the minority who still held personally to the Arian view—and who regarded D&R as virtually inspired and therefore not to be touched or in any way altered was rather vehement. Reference was made to the aforementioned floating A. C. Bourdeau statement to the effect that Mrs. White had said that an angel had guided his pen in the writing of D&R. Such protestors likewise cited the E. G. White statement pronouncing a “woe” upon those who moved a peg or stirred a pin of our foundations (EW 258, 259)—but which statement actually had reference to the historical sequence of the First, Second, and Third Messages.

The Council proceeded to approve the report of the Committee. And the several Arian statements in Daniel and Revelation were accordingly eliminated. Thus the volume was brought into theological harmony with our “Fundamental Beliefs” statement in the Yearbook and Church Manual, the Baptismal Covenant and Vow, as well as the declarations of the Spirit of Prophecy on these points. The revised Daniel and Revelation continues to be circulated in this form.

LeRoy Froom, Movement of Destiny p.422-425

6. He met with Walter Martin and Donald Barnhouse. From these meetings with Mr. Froom and associates, Walter Martin became convinced we were a trinitarian church and were worthy of being in the category entitled “Evangelical Christianity.”

According to Martin, the four leading charges commonly brought against Adventism, dealt with in his article, were:
“(1) that the atonement of Christ was not completed upon the cross;
(2) that salvation is the result of grace plus the works of the law;
(3) that the Lord Jesus Christ was a created being, not from all eternity;
(4) and that He partook of man’s sinful fallen nature at the incarnation.” (Our Hope, November, 1956, p.275.)

This, Martin said, sums up the four major misconceptions concerning Adventism, held in scholarly religious circles.
LeRoy Froom, Movement of Destiny p.473

ADVENTISTS ARE “MOST DECIDEDLY” CHRISTIANS.—Martin mentioned Canright, and other “professional detractors or previous defectors” (p. 276), who are out to— “prove that Seventh-day Adventists are not Christians—which they most decidedly are, as any honest perusal of their literature on the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith will quickly reveal.” (P. 276.)

Martin then lists, as evidence, our fundamental Christian beliefs, which accord with “historic orthodox Christianity”: “Seventh-day Adventists believe without reservation, and in the context of historic orthodox Christianity, the following doctrines:
(1) the complete authority of the Bible as the sole rule of faith and practice and the inerrant Word of God;
(2) the virgin birth of Christ;
(3) the eternal Trinity and Deity of Christ;
(4) the personality of the Holy Spirit;
(5) the perfect sinless human nature of Christ;
(6) the sinless life and vicarious atoning death of our. Lord;
(7) the physical resurrection and ascension of Christ;
(8) His intercessory ministry for man before the Father;
(9) the second personal premillennial coming of Christ;
(10) the everlasting bliss of the saints;
(11) the physical resurrection of the body;
(12) justification by faith alone;
(13) the new creation;
(14) the unity of the Body of Christ;
(15) salvation by grace apart from the works of the law through faith in Jesus Christ.” (P. 276.)

These points he obtained from our conferences and our literature, noted in the succeeding chapter.

6. OUTSPOKEN BELIEF IN OUR “CHRISTIANITY.”—Then follows this strong Martin declaration:
“If adherence in the, orthodox sense to the previously enumerated doctrines of the Bible does not place one in the category of evangelical Christianity, then this writer fails to see what would.” (Ibid.)
LeRoy Froom, Movement of Destiny p.473-474

7. He co-authored the book “Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions On Doctrine” which promoted a trinitarian viewpoint

Although no authors are listed on the title of the book (credit is given to “a representative group” of Adventist “leaders, Bible teachers and editors”), the primary contributors to the book were Le Roy Edwin Froom, Walter E. Read, and Roy Allan Anderson (sometimes referred to as “FREDA”).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Questions_on_Doctrine

1. That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a personal, spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite in wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, through whom all things were created and through whom the salvation of the redeemed hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating power in the work of redemption (Matt. 28:19). Questions on Doctrine, p.11

2. That the Godhead, the Trinity, comprises God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
3. That the Scriptures are the inspired revelation of God to men; and that the Bible is the sole rule of faith and practice.
4. That Jesus Christ is very God, and that He has existed with the Father from all eternity.
5. That the Holy Spirit is a personal being, sharing the attributes of deity with the Father and the Son.
Questions on Doctrine, p.22

Question 4
It is frequently charged that Seventh-day Adventists deny the actual deity and eternal preexistence of Christ, the Eternal Word. Is this contention true? Do you believe in the Trinity? Please give the Biblical basis for your beliefs.

I. Believers in Deity of Christ and Trinity

Our belief in the deity and eternal pre-existence of Christ, the second person of the Godhead, is on record in our “Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists,” appearing annually in our official Yearbook and in our authoritative Church Manual (1951 ed.,pp. 29-36). Moreover, those who are baptized into the Adventist Church subscribe to the “Summary of Doctrinal Beliefs” appearing on our standard Baptismal Certificate, article 2 of which reads:

Jesus Christ, the second person of the Godhead, and the eternal Son of God, is the only Saviour from sin; and man’s salvation is by grace through faith in Him.

The candidate signs this statement, in affirmation of belief, before baptism. And in Appendix A, on pp. 641-645, appears a compilation of statements on the deity and eternal pre-existence of Christ and His position in the Godhead from one of our most representative writers, Ellen G. White.

As to Christ’s place in the Godhead, we believe Him to be the second person in the heavenly Trinity —comprised of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who are united not only in the Godhead but in the provisions of redemption. A series of succinct statements on the Trinity also appears in Appendix A, “Christ’s Place in the Godhead,” clearly presenting (1) that Christ is one with the Eternal Father—one in nature, equal in power and authority, God in the highest sense, eternal and self-existent, with life original, unborrowed, underived; and (2) that Christ existed from all eternity, distinct from, but united with, the Father, possessing the same glory, and all the divine attributes. Seventh-day Adventists base their belief in the Trinity on the statements of Holy Scripture rather than on a historic creed. Article 2 of the statement on Fundamental Beliefs, is explicit:

That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a personal, spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite in wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, through whom all things were created and through whom the salvation of the redeemed hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating power in the work of redemption. Matt. 28:19.
Questions on Doctrine, p.35-36

Below is a paper from Andrews University about the book Questions on Doctrine and how LeRoy Froom cherry-picked statements from Ellen White.

Even the portion of Questions on Doctrine which L. E. Froom in the end insisted marked its greatest contribution —Appendices A, B, and C—has come under scrutiny. Appendix B had to be significantly modified after its publication, and the present author has under preparation a significant review of Appendix C: The Atonement, which will demonstrate that Froom’s tendency to cherry-pick the statements selected for it renders it an unreliable guide to Ellen White’s view of the atonement.
Larry Kirkpatrick, A Wind of Doctrine Blows Through the Church: The Alternate Hamartiology of Questions of Doctrine, p.7

Questions on Doctrine was annontated in 2003 and this is what George Knight had to say:

The authors at times push the facts a bit too far on such issues as Adventism’s historic understanding of the Trinity and they even present their data in a way that creates a false impression on the human nature of Christ. But given the desire to please and the importance of the answers, the volume overall is a remarkably courageous statement of traditional Adventist doctrinal understanding.
George Knight, Questions on Doctrine, Annotated Edition, 2003, p. xxx.

What is the purpose of this research material?

The purpose of this research is to bring awareness to the fact that there has been a focused effort on the part of leaders in the Seventh-day Adventist church to bring about a change to our doctrine of God.

Listed below are a few reasons, from the quoted references listed above, why I personally question the Trinity doctrine that is now in the Seventh-day Adventist church:

  • Froom took select words of Ellen White, that seem to show the Trinity doctrine, but when read in context mean the opposite. He then placed those quotes into a compiled book with subheadings to lead the reader to a new doctrine.
  • Froom represented a non-SDA understanding of the Holy Spirit. He studied men outside of our distinct faith to learn about the Holy Spirit, and promoted these views.
  • The “old-timers” (those who knew the foundation of our church) were upset when LeRoy Froom began teaching what he had learned from evangelical teachers about the Holy Spirit.
  • Froom completely revised a book from an author who is dead, while keeping the author’s name on the revised edition. After reading both the original and revised editions of “Daniel and the Revelation” by Uriah Smith, I was startled to see how different the book now reads. It is not the same book in my opinion. It does not read the same. The revised book has a different spirit to it. The revised book reads more “clinical” while the original has “heart.”  Not only have the teachings about God and Christ been removed from the book, but the personality of Uriah Smith, who was a gifted writer and a poet, has been removed and replaced with a lifeless rendition of facts.
  • I believe the book “Questions on Doctrine” was designed for the purpose of proving that our church was in line with the main points of Christian orthodoxy. I don’t believe this is a Biblical way to write a book nor a correct way to establish truth in our church.

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Stand in the gate of the LORD’S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Jeremiah 7:1-8