In November, 1848, Ellen White, young prophetess for the Adventist people, received a vision from the Lord. She instructed her husband James: “You must begin to print a little paper and send it out to the people…. From this small beginning it was shown to me to be like streams of light that went clear round the world” (Life Sketches, p. 125).
James went to work. By the following summer he had prepared the first issue of The Present Truth, which he mailed—1,000 copies—to people he thought might be interested.
That was the first endeavor of the people who later would take the name “Seventh-day Adventists”. It was the beginning of our publishing work. It was the beginning of the church paper, which soon took the name Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, and later Adventist Review.
Its purposes are the same as James White’s in 1849: to bind together the Adventist people as we wait for Jesus to come back, by sharing news and information about the church plus articles on doctrine, spiritual growth and mission.
In 2005, the magazine Adventist World was launched with the mission to uplift Jesus-Christ, uniting Seventh-day Adventists everywhere in beliefs, mission, life, and hope. Whereas Adventist Review has a readership mostly in North America, Adventist World has a truly global readership: almost 1.5 million copies per month are printed and distributed free of charge to members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 7 languages, in 8 countries, on 5 continents, to over 150 countries. Another version, Adventist World Digest is printed quarterly in Russian, Serbian, Hungarian.
From the vision in 1848 to 2012—what fulfillment! Streams of light around the world indeed! I praise God for His gracious leading.