Denominational leaders were venturing into a new field that offered unique opportunities but was fraught with many perils. Ellen White shortly placed before them this caution:
The health reform is a branch of the special work of God for the benefit of His people. I saw that in an institution established among us the greatest danger would be of its managers' departing from the spirit of present truth and from that simplicity which should ever characterize the disciples of Christ (1T, p. 560).
It would have been well if the health of James White had been such that he could have used his cautious managerial experience, and Ellen could have been in a position to give closer attention to the project. In the absence of this, men in all sincerity but with limited experience moved ahead, sometimes inadvisably.