Thank you for contacting the Ellen G. White Estate. I don't think you will find the Bible addressing this question directly. Over the years the White Estate has received a number of inquiries about unbaptized children participating in the communion service. There are several items that we have sent to others which I will be glad to share with you as well. Here they are:
March 1, 1904
Dear Brother and Sister,--
Your letter of February 21 to Sister White was received in due time, and while Sister White can not write you personally, she has asked me to send you a line for her.
She regards the matter of which you speak in this way: If the children have been baptized and are members of the church, there is no reason why they should not partake of this ordinance. But she says that it has never been made a practice that children who have not united with the church by baptism should partake of the ordinance any more than should grown people who have never united with the church. From what she said I am led to believe that she thinks the proper course to pursue would be for the children, when they are old enough to understand the meaning of the steps which they are taking, to unite with the church, and then there would be no chance for questions of this kind.
Trusting that these few words will be a satisfactory answer to your questions, and trusting that the Lord will guide you in this and every duty and that you may have the joy of seeing your family all saved in the kingdom of God, I am
Yours in the Master's service,
Sec. Mrs. E. G. White
From SDA Church Manual (2000), p. 76:
Who May Participate--The Seventh-day Adventist Church practices open communion. All who have committed their lives to the Saviour may participate. Children learn the significance of the service by observing others participate. After receiving formal instruction in baptismal classes and making their commitment to Jesus in baptism, they are thereby prepared to partake in the service themselves.
Comments by Elder Francis D. Nichol, former editor of the "Adventist Review," in his book "Questions People Have Asked Me," (1959), pp. 73, 74:
I have never before heard of the unbaptized children of our church members being invited to participate in the communion service, either in the foot washing or in the partaking of the bread and wine. Inquiry of several of my ministerial brethren reveals that they all hold that participation in this special service should not begin for our children until they are baptized and thus become members of the church. One of the purposes of the communion service is to make evident the fellowship of the family of believers. Now, while it is true, in a sense, that young, unbaptized children may believe, the full meaning of belief calls for baptism and entry into the church. See Mark 16:16.
Unless we hold that there is a great and real significance to church membership, we undermine the whole idea of the need of joining the church. If unbaptized children may partake of Communion, we are preparing the way for them to continue to participate on through the years even though they are never baptized and so never join the church. Thus we destroy some of the prime symbolic value of the Communion and make it a common thing in which any may join without an open avowal of Christ and a dedication of life to Him.
It is true that the Adventist Church practices what is known as open Communion, and hence does not require that everyone who participates be a member of our particular religious body. But we do ask that those who visit us from another communion shall examine their own hearts, and if they have accepted Christ and are walking in fellowship with Him in their church, they may feel free to partake with us. However, this principle of open Communion does not cover the question under consideration.
[end of quoted items]
I hope this will help. Thank you for writing, and God bless!
Ellen G. White Estate
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600 U.S.A.
Phone: 301 680-6550
FAX: 301 680-6559