The denomination also has a number of distinctive teachings which differentiate it from other Christian churches (although some of these beliefs are also held in other churches). Most notably, Adventists believe in an “investigative judgment” that commenced in 1844, an atoning ministry of Jesus Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, conditional immortality, and the perpetuity of the Ten Commandments. Furthermore, a traditionally historicist approach to prophecy has led Adventists to develop a unique system of eschatological beliefs which incorporates a commandment-keeping "remnant", a universal end-time crisis revolving around the law of God, and the visible return of Jesus Christ prior to a millennial reign of believers in heaven.
James Springer White, pioneer of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
James Springer White (August 4, 1821, Palmyra, Maine - August 6, 1881, Battle Creek, Michigan), also known as Elder White was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and husband of Ellen G. White. White's contributions to the denomination were rather notable, in 1849 he started the first Sabbatarian Adventist periodical entitled "The Present Truth" (now the Adventist Review) in 1855 he relocated the fledgling center of the movement to Battle Creek, Michigan, and in 1863 played a pivotal role in the formal organization of the denomination. He later played a pivotal role in the development of the Adventist educational structure beginning in 1874 with the formation of Battle Creek College (which is now Andrews University).
James White was born on August 4, 1821 in the township of Palmyra in Maine. The fifth of nine children, James was a sickly child who suffered fits or seizures. Poor eyesight prevented him from obtaining much of an education and he was required to work on the family farm. At age 19 his eyesight improved and he enrolled at a local academy. He earned a teaching certificate and briefly taught at an elementary school. He was baptized into the Christian Connexion at age 16. He learned of the Millerite message from his parents and after hearing powerful preaching at an advent camp meeting in Exeter, Maine, White decided to leave teaching and become a preacher. Consequently, he was ordained a minister of the Christian Connexion in 1843. White was a powerful preacher and it is recorded that during the winter of 1843, 1000 people were accepted the Millerite message owing to his preaching. At times however, White was met with angry mobs who hurled snowballs at him. During these early travels he met Ellen G. Harmon whom he married on August 30, 1846. James and Ellen had four boys, Henry Nichols (b. 26 Aug 1847, d. 8 Dec 1863), James Edson (b. 28 Jul 1849, d. 3 Jun 1928), William Clarence (b. 29 Aug 1854, d. 31 Aug 1937) and John Herbert (b. 20 Sep 1860, d. 14 Dec 1860).