Seventh-day Adventists trace their beginnings to the preacher William Miller (1782–1849), who expounded the idea that the second coming of Christ would occur between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. His followers, called Adventists, had to rethink their convictions when that event did not occur. Some believed that Miller's dates designated the beginning of God's examination of the Book of Life, which would soon culminate in the final judgment and Christ's reign on earth. In 1863 they established the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, appointing Saturday (the seventh day) for worship and rest. Seventh-day Adventists practice vegetarianism and avoid alcohol and caffeine. They accept the Bible as the word of God and await the second coming. Among their leaders, Ellen Harmon White (1827–1915) was particularly influential; some consider her writings prophetic. Other Adventist groups hold to somewhat different views.
See also Encyclopedia: Adventists.
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