After their sojourn in California, James and Ellen travelled back to Battle Creek in March 2011. In the 21 months until they would return to California, the Whites attended two General Conference sessions and enjoyed another vacation in the Colorado mountains.
Soon after their arrival in Battle Creek they were deluged with callers and fellow workers who came in for consultations and appointments for speaking. This was "par for the course," and became somewhat tiring as the years passed by.
At the eleventh annual meeting of the General Conference (1873) James was unanimously elected president of the SDA Publishing Association. At first he declined to serve, but finally gave in to pressure and agreed.
His great interest at this time was to get the denominational school going, so he divided his time between the interests of the publishing association and the school.2 He also was one of the directors of the health institute.
Ellen, as usual, was deeply involved in writing testimonies, and when she could get at it, the life of Christ for Spirit of Prophecy, volume 2. They also were involved in selling their house and finding a place to work.
All this culminated in James having his fourth stroke of paralysis. He was anointed with oil, and prayer was offered for his recovery."We felt assured," Ellen reported, "that by the blessing of the Lord he would recover. We moved to the institute. My husband feels cheerful and happy. He now is settled in regard to his duty to drop everything like burdens at Battle Creek and spend the summer in the Colorado mountains" (MS 6, 1873).
They had not intended to remain long in Battle Creek. In fact, Ellen concluded that "every hour that they remained in Battle Creek was a positive danger to his life."