James White: A Natural Urge to Stand in the Lead


When James and Ellen White went to Texas, their general long-range plans were to remain there for the winter, then in early May travel to Colorado, where they might spend a few weeks (RH, Nov. 21, 1878). But their plans fluctuated. Ever in search of a place where he could lay off the stress of leadership and write without interruptions, and where there could be an improvement of health, James White turned first in one direction and then in another. Forgetful of good resolutions to temper his schedule, he would get caught up in the stimulus of the work of the church, which he had nurtured since its inception. He had a clear long-range vision, shared by only a few, of the great days the church was entering upon, and had a natural urge to stand in the lead.

He was the president of the General Conference and was one of those who served on the General Conference Committee. He also was president of several auxiliary organizationsópublishing, medical, and educationalóand was chief editor of both the Review and Herald and the Signs of the Times. While such responsibility was exhilarating, it also was enervating. Repeatedly he saw that in the interests of his own survival he must withdraw from the forefront of the battle.

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