In December of 1844, Seventeen year old Ellen Harmon received the prophetic gift from God. Just two short months later in February of 1845, she was taken in vision to the heavenly sanctuary where she was both to behold and converse with Christ.
What a fantastic gift from God granted to mortal!! Can you imagine what the reality of that vision was like?
There is much to be learnt from this vision if we can only ask the right question(s) in regard to it. Let us look here however at a question that Ms. Harmon asked Jesus in regard to His Father right near the beginning of the vision :
I saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus' countenance and admired His lovely person. The Father's person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered Him. I asked Jesus if His Father had a form like Himself. He said He had, but I could not behold it, for said He, "If you should once behold the glory of His person, you would cease to exist.” EW 54
Now let us ask our own question: Why did Ellen Harmon ask Jesus if His Father had a form like Himself? Answer:
“No.1 Of Faith in the Holy Trinity. There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; the Maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” Book of Common Prayer. Thirty Nine Articles of Religion. p376. (Anglican)
She asked Jesus this question because God the Father and His only begotten Son were being spiritualized away. That is, the Christian Creeds had declared through the centuries that God was a Trinity without body, parts, or passions. Or in other words, without a form!!!
Ellen Harmon was really asking Jesus here if God was a trinity to which Jesus answered her in the negative by declaring that He indeed had a form like Himself though she could not behold it.
Furthermore, Arthur L. White (grandson of Ellen Harmon White) tells us succinctly the purpose of this vision and its effect to the emerging church:
“The spiritualization of heaven, God, Christ, and the coming of Christ lay at the foundation of much of the fanatical teachings that 17-year-old Ellen Harmon was called upon by God to meet in those formative days. The visions firmly established the personality of God and Christ, the reality of heaven and the reward to the faithful, and the resurrection. This sound guidance saved the emerging church.” 1BIO 81
The vision was given (in part) to declare that the Father and Son were two individual Divine Beings and not three persons in one God without body, parts, or passions! Eleven months later, Ellen’s husband to be, James S. White, wrote the following in the publication titled “The Day Star”:
"The way spiritualizers have disposed of or denied the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ, is first using the old unscriptural Trinitarian creed, viz that Jesus Christ is the eternal God though they have not one passage of scripture to support it, while we have plain scripture testimony in abundance that He is the Son of the eternal God" James White, January 24, 1846 - the Day Star
Make no mistake about it, the early pioneers including James and Ellen White were taught directly through the scriptures and by Jesus Himself that God was not a trinity and that such a trinitarian belief was in fact a denial of both our Father in heaven and His only begotten Son. This vision was given specifically by God to set forth His true identity and that of His Son, Jesus Christ.
“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” 1 Corinthians 8:6.
Anyone who has ears to hear, let him hear!