Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen White: Woman of Vision, Page 120

Chapter 8—James: Learning The Hard Way

When James married Ellen at age 25 he possessed unusual physical strength and ability. He had grown strong and tall working on his father's farm. During the years immediately following the Disappointment his zeal for the cause propelled him along a course that made increasing demands on his time and strength.

By 1865 he was president of the General Conference; head of the General Conference Committee; president of the SDA Publishing Association; active in writing, publishing, traveling, and filling appointments. In addition he had been intimately involved in publishing the first of a series of Ellen's pamphlets, Health; or How to Live.

On Friday, August 18, at age 44, he suffered a stroke of paralysis. Here is what led up to this:

[The next three sentences have been updated (2018) for historical accuracy.] After the General Conference in May, James and Ellen met up with Elder Loughborough who was visiting various churches, when they got wind of a critical situation developing in Marion, Iowa. Providentially, they had just rescheduled the annual state conference and had planned to go together to Pilot Grove for that conference. As a result of most earnest labor there, the trouble was seemingly resolved, and the visiting workers were again on their way.

But it took a heavy toll on James. James and Ellen had looked forward to a little period of rest on returning from Iowa but were denied this, as they were called upon to contend with criticism and falsehoods. Then they faced an appointment with the church in Memphis, Michigan, across the state, just north of Detroit. A debt hung over the meetinghouse, and the members were discouraged. James White's presence was urged. Ellen White described the journey:

When the time came to attend our appointment in Memphis, we needed rest of body and mind. A constant strain had been upon us for months.... Yet we urged up our exhausted energies, arose at midnight, walked about a mile to the depot, and stepped on board the train which was to take us to Detroit.... The meetings in Memphis were those of labor. My husband here performed the amount of labor which was sufficient for two

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