The year following the Whites' return from Dansville was a "year of captivity." Ellen's attention was given almost wholly to James's care. Although there had been temporary gains, James had remained an invalid in spite of her efforts. But remembering the assurance given her in the vision at Rochester, Ellen White could not dismiss the picture in her mind of her and her husband working together to build up the cause. She feared, however, that James had been too much impressed with the counsel of the physicians at Dansville, who urged entire rest, both of body and mind, for those who had been prostrated by overwork.
Having become fully satisfied that James would not recover from his protracted sickness while remaining inactive, Ellen decided to "venture a tour in northern Michigan" with James "in his extremely feeble condition, in the severest cold of winter" (1T, p. 570).
It required no small degree of moral courage and faith in God to bring my mind to the decision to risk so much, especially as I stood alone. . . . But I knew I had a work to do, and it seemed to me that Satanwas determined to keep me from it. I had waited long for our captivity to be turned and feared that precious souls would be lost if I remained longer from the work. To remain longer from the field seemed to me worse than death, and should we move out we could but perish (ibid.).
In recounting the experience several years later, Ellen stated:
We had the assurance that God could raise him up, and we believed he would yet be able to work in the cause of God. I thought my husband should have some change, and we took our team, faithful Jack and Jim, and ventured a journey to Wright, Michigan.
In this matter I was obliged to move contrary to the judgment of my brethren and sisters in Battle Creek. They all felt that I was sacrificing my life in shouldering this burden; that for the sake of my children, for the cause of God, I should do all in my power to preserve my life (MS 1, 1867).