Through Gates of Splendor
|Publisher||Harper & Brothers
|1957 (First Ed.)
1975 (Second Ed.)
June 3, 1981
(25th Anniv. Ed.)
1996 (40th Anniv. Ed.)
August 5, 2005
(50th Anniv. Ed.)
|Pages||208 (First Edition)
(25th Anniversary Edition) 303
Through Gates of Splendor is a 1957 best selling book written by Elisabeth Elliot. The book tells the story of Operation Auca, an attempt by five American missionaries - Jim Elliot (the author's husband), Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, Nate Saint, and Roger Youderian - to reach the Huaorani tribe of eastern Ecuador. All five of the men were killed by the tribe. The book is Elliot's first book, and arguably her most well known work.
The title of the book is derived from the fourth stanza of the hymn "We Rest on Thee". This hymn was famously sung by the missionaries before the men left for Waodaoni territory in September 1955. The lines read:
- We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender.
- Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise;
- When passing through the gates of pearly splendor,
- Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.
- Power to the strong and death to the weak
Elliot wrote the book while still a missionary in Ecuador. She wrote the book at the request and cooperation from the families of the five men. She was given copies of letters and other writings which were extensively quoted from in the book. The original edition of the book was first published in 1957, one year before the first peaceful contact with the Huaorani was made. In subsequent publications of the book, epilogues have been added to tell about what has happened to the Huaorani tribe since Operation Auca, and what has happened to the missionaries' families.
In 1967, a documentary film of the same name was produced which included much of the film footage shot by Nate Saint at "Palm Beach". Elisabeth Elliot narrated the film. It was based on Through Gates of Splendor as well as her later book, The Savage My Kinsman.