Q: What is our stand as God’s people on the issue of life insurance, according to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy? I read in “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 1, pages 549-551, that Ellen White counsels against it. I want to understand this issue because not only do I have life insurance, but I’ve been offered a job at a financial institution that includes selling life insurance products. —Jonas, from Canada
A: Jonas, this is a question that has arisen from time to time among Adventists, especially in light of the counsel published in the first volume of “Testimonies for the Church.” While at first glance at this counsel it would seem that Adventists should have nothing to do with life insurance, it is important to keep several things in mind.
For example, what were the insurance practices of the 19th century and are they the same as today? What were the specific reasons that Ellen White gave for opposing life insurance? How does what she wrote about life insurance balance with what she (and the Bible) say about the Christian’s responsibility to protect and provide for one’s loved ones in time of need?
The best resource we have that answers these questions and more is an excellent document titled, “Seventh-day Adventists and Life Insurance.” This document was prepared by the General Conference officers and presented to the Annual Council in 1985. I would strongly encourage you, and others interested in this topic, to read this important 8-page document available on the White Estate website.