KidsView  | The Adventist Review for kids and those who always will be kids at heart | June 2012

Meet Marian Davis

Ellen G. White’s Human Computer

By Cindy Tutsch

Imagine the world when Ellen White was alive— no cell phones, iPods, YouTube, and no computers! How did she share important messages from God? She couldn’t text, tweet, or send Facebook messages. But she did preach sermons and write books. After God sent Mrs. White messages through visions and dreams (see Num. 12:6), she wrote them down. Eventually, there were thousands of handwritten pages. Mrs. White needed help in preparing her writings to be printed. She needed someone to help organize her manuscripts, correct grammatical errors, and travel with her. Soon a cheerful, efficient young woman who was working at the Review and Herald Publishing Association, seemed like a good fit for the job.

Notepad of Marian Davis
'Scrapbooks' of articles

“Marian,” Mrs. White may have said, “I’ve watched your work. You are careful and diligent. Would you like to become my personal assistant?”

Marian Davis agreed. She was excited at the idea of working with Mrs. White, being one of the first to read God’s latest messages to the church, and doing her best to make those messages easy-toread and understand. Little did Davis realize that she would help Mrs. White this way for the next 35 years!

Davis’ first trip with Mrs. White was filled with adventure. Traveling with James and Ellen by mule train from Texas to Kansas, Davis found herself cooking for the campers, enduring massive rain in a swamped tent, encountering huge spiders, and avoiding horse thieves. But this trip was only the beginning. Davis traveled with Mrs. White to Europe, California, Australia, and finally back again to the United States.

Davis’ quick memory and organizational abilities helped Mrs. White greatly as she wrote her books. Davis saved nearly everything Mrs. White wrote in letters, articles, and pamphlets. She carefully categorized this material and pasted it into a scrapbook. Eventually Davis had dozens of scrapbooks.

Davis would dig things out of this “fabulous file” to supplement chapters of the many books Mrs. White wrote during this time. Never did Davis copy her own ideas into Mrs. White’s writings. She wanted only God’s messages to be included in these inspired books. I think Marian Davis was more than Ellen White’s “computer,” don’t you?