At a conference in the home of Otis Nichols in Dorchester, Massachusetts, November 18, 1848, Ellen White was given a vision in which God made it clear that the time had come to publish. Coming out of the vision, she turned to her husband and said:
"I have a message for you. You must begin to print a little paper and send it out to the people. Let it be small at first; but as the people read, they will send you means with which to print, and it will be a success from the first. From this small beginning it was shown to me to be like streams of light that went clear round the world (3LS, p.125).
But how could he? Where would he get financial and moral support? Nonetheless, James White pondered the words spoken in the commission. He was in great doubt and perplexity. He was penniless. He had no steady income. According to him, "there were those who had means, but they chose to keep it" (1LS, p. 259).