At the age of 23 Alonzo T. Jones, an officer in the United States Army, became a Seventh-day Adventist. An earnest, studious, self-made man, he qualified himself for the ministry, which he entered in 1885. He soon distinguished himself as an associate editor of the church’s periodical, The Signs of the Times. He was joined in this work by a physician-turned-minister, Dr. Ellet J. Waggoner. At the General Conference Session of 1888, the two men led out in the presentation on righteousness by faith. They carried the strong support of Ellen White as advocate for this precious truth. When she could, she traveled and worked with them for two years following the session, carrying the message to churches, ministerial institutes, institutions, and camp meetings.
The messages on righteousness by faith which A.T. Jones and E.J. Waggoner presented at the 1888 General Conference Session, held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, started a revival among many in the church who had slipped into the dead works of legalism. Ellen White sat in the meetings day after day. Later, when asked about the messages that Elders Jones and Waggoner were presenting her comment was: "When Brother Waggoner brought out these ideas in Minneapolis, it was the first clear teaching on this subject from any human lips I had heard, excepting the conversations between myself and my husband... And when another presented it, every fiber of my heart said, Amen." - 1888 Materials, p. 348.
Again, years later, she made this comment: "I have been instructed to use those discourses of yours [A.T. Jones] printed in the General Conference Bulletins of 1893 and 1897...I was shone that many would be helped by these articles, and especially those newly come to the faith who have not been made acquainted with our history as a people." - Manuscript Releases, Volume Nine, p. 278.
Elder Jones presented these teachings on righteousness by faith many times following 1888, and repeated it again at subsequent General Conference Sessions. We have reprinted in facsimile edition all of A.T. Jones’ 1893 General Conference sermons here for your enlightenment, and we pray that through these you may have a clear understanding of the full import of the 1888 message.