It’s official. Seventh-day Adventists in general believe the book Desire of Ages proves that Ellen White believed in the doctrine of the Trinity. LeRoy Froom had this to say:
1. Two BOOKS IN IRRECONCILABLE CONFLICT.—It is not without significance that Ellen White’s The Desire of Ages and Uriah Smith’s Looking Unto Jesus were both published in the same year, 1898—ten years after Minneapolis—one in the West, the other in the East. The contrast, and the variance, between the positions of these two books—as concerns the eternal pre-existence and complete Deity of Christ, the Trinity of the Godhead, and the Personality of the Holy Spirit—was incisive and epoch-making. The Desire of Ages, of course, presented an inspired depiction, and was consequently destined to become the denominationally accepted position.
LeRoy Froom, Movement of Destiny p.323
Professor Howell connects Desire of Ages with the trinitarian teaching of Jesus being coeternal with the Father:
Since his day, later books of the Spirit of Prophecy, such as Desire of Ages, came out in the nineties and later on, making clear with the support of the Scriptures that Christ is coeternal with the Father.
Professor Howell, The Ministry, May, 1945, p. 4.
Many of my personal friends in the Seventh-day Adventist church believe the book ‘Desire of Ages’ clearly teaches the Trinity doctrine and therefore rest peacefully with the trinitarian understanding of God. I decided to begin reading the first chapter of the book and see for myself if the book lends itself to this three-in-one and one-in-three doctrine. Interestingly the chapter is entitled “God With Us.” The title sounds like it could be trinitarian. As I went through the first chapter I highlighted in yellow every time Ellen White was talking about the Father. Green highlights were used to reference the Son of God, and blue highlights were used to reference how Jesus is “God with us”. Do you think I found the Trinity doctrine in chapter one?
After reading and highlighting all of the first chapter, Desire of Ages helped me to see “God with us” referenced in Matthew 1:23 does not prove the Trinity doctrine at all.
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23
“God with us” simply means Jesus Christ is revealing and manifesting the glory of the Father’s love. God is the Father, and we have Him “with us” because Jesus Christ the Son of God reveals and manifests the character of the Father.
Download the first chapter of Desire of Ages with highlights to see for yourself.
Chapter 1 – “God With Us” with Highlights, Ellen White, Desire of Ages (219KB PDF)
For a more detailed article about Ellen White and the Desire of Ages visit:
Ellen White, non-trinitarianism and ‘The Desire of Ages’