As James White, at the beginning of the year 1876, looked ahead it was with courage. His heart was in the publishing of the Signs of the Times. Addressing the readers of the journal, he declared:
With the new year the Signs starts in to make its weekly visits to its patrons, and to all who may become such during the year. Its prospects of success are cheering. . . .
We commence the series of articles setting forth the reasons of our faith and hope in this number, with the article on another page upon the millennium. These articles will continue in proper order quite through the year. Sketches of the life of Mrs. White will also continue, and will be very important to those who should know the facts of her remarkable experience.
And we shall very soon commence a series of articles under the caption "The Matter Reversed, or Christ in the Old Testament and the Sabbath in the New." We design to thoroughly ventilate the question (ST, Jan. 6, 1876).
As White was editor of both the Signs of the Times and the Review and Herald, both journals had been replete with his editorials and articles through 1875. Ellen had made large contributions also: 14 major articles in the Review and 29 in the Signs. Both James and Ellen were enjoying good health and seemed to be at the apex of vigor and vitality. The new year held great promise.