Larger font
Smaller font

Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    Ms 50, 1902

    On Various Phases of Medical Missionary Work

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    April 13, 1902

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 2SM 306-308; 5MR 177. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Report of a council meeting held in the interests of health food and restaurant work, at “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California, 10 a.m., April 13, 1902.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 1

    Present: Mrs. E. G. White, W. C. White, N. C. McClure, M. E. Cady, Brethren Loper, Boeker, Fulton, Bowen, Haynes, Morian, and others.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 2

    W. C. White: I esteem it a great privilege to meet together for counsel in regard to the Food Company. I know that Mother is weary, and yet I hope that the Lord will bless us. Here are Brethren Fulton and Haynes, from San Francisco; Brethren Cady, McClure, and Lashier, from Healdsburg; Brother Loper, from the Sanitarium; and Brethren Boeker, Bowen, and others, from the Food Company. In a very short time we shall enter meetings in which we ought to present to our people plans and ideals in regard to the work. Although we hope to learn from each other during our council, I believe it is our privilege also to ask and receive counsel and enlightenment from God. I feel like presenting an earnest petition that He will guide us, giving us instruction and wisdom.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 3

    (Prayer by Brethren McClure and W. C. White.)17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 4

    W. C. White: Some of the matters that will come up this afternoon, brethren, we thought we might discuss to advantage this morning. Several of us have known that Mother has had light on some of these questions. She has spoken on them at our camp-meeting and has written briefly concerning them; and so we have asked the privilege of having a council in her presence, so that she can give us any word of caution or encouragement or counsel that she feels free to give. Now shall we proceed to lay before her, or discuss among ourselves, the various propositions that are uppermost in the minds of the managers of the Food Company?17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 5

    If I understand the matter correctly, we have come to believe that the Lord would be pleased to have us make the health food business a great missionary agency, a means of reaching the people with the truths and reforms of this generation. To do this, we must reach out and establish the business in as many localities as we can. A matter more important still, and perhaps of first importance, is to bring the right principles of dealing into our home work, so that our employees will be trained aright and be enabled to develop Christian character, so that when they go out, they will correctly represent a Christian enterprise.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 6

    In the development of plans, the managers of the Food Company have been studying how to place the foods in the hands of our people at prices that they can afford to pay—how to free the business from those high prices which are necessary when we give a large salary to the man who travels to sell the goods, and a good commission to the groceryman who sells them. To accomplish that, it has been proposed that we organize a business connected with the College, operating under the name of the Healdsburg College Food Company, or some similar name, and that instead of dealing with agents or grocerymen, we sell to our people direct at a net rate. We have discussed more or less the question of how the Food Company should connect with the College—whether we should ask the College to conduct this business upon plans that we could approve, or whether the Food Company should conduct the business on plans that the College could approve, or whether the two should unite hand in hand in a partnership.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 7

    Have you those propositions, Brother Boeker, that we were considering?17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 8

    A. Boeker: They will be brought over as soon as they are prepared.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 9

    W. C. White: Perhaps Mother may have something to say while we are waiting.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 10

    Mrs. E. G. White: I have before me a manuscript dated March 17, 1902, from which I shall read:17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 11

    (Read portion of MS.)17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 12

    W. C. White: One of the questions, Mother, that we have been considering is, What is our duty in the matter of establishing restaurants? We have heard you say in private and in public, and have read in what you have written, something with reference to the advantages to the cause in establishing vegetarian restaurants. Recently there have seemed to be some good openings. The difficulty that we have been considering is the expense. To establish a restaurant according to the plan on which they are usually conducted means an investment of from seven hundred to a thousand dollars.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 13

    When Dr. Kellogg was here last, he was much interested in our food stores. In the East they have not succeeded in that line so well as we have. I think the number of food stores in California is greater than the told number in the rest of the United States. The Doctor suggested that we consider the advisability of establishing restaurants in an inexpensive way in connection with our food stores. We have thought that such beginnings could be made for an outlay of two or three hundred dollars in a place. What would you think, Mother, of that plan?17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 14

    Mrs. E. G. White: That would be a very small outlay, would it not? You could not limit the expenditure to that amount, could you? I should think that you would have to expend a little more than that.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 15

    W. C. White: If the restaurants succeed at all, they would grow and require more. That is the case with our children—as they grow larger, and as we see them develop, we are ready to spend more time on them. The question is, whether it would be a right movement now to make the Food Company a little more independent, a little more self-reliant, than it has been in the past, and then encourage it to take up the restaurant business, and introduce restaurants in connection with its stores? Heretofore our restaurants have all been individual enterprises—one person here, one person there, or two persons in some place, or an agent of an association sent out to do this kind of work. Each one has had to work out all the problems by himself. In the establishment of food stores, one man has gone out and opened the stores, and all have been managed on a uniform plan. We have been thinking of letting the same Company undertake to establish small restaurants. They could have a number of them. If they grow too large to be accommodated in food stores, then another place could be found. But I have thought, Mother, that since you said that we should begin small and let things grow, perhaps it would be in harmony with right principles to follow the same plan in the establishment of restaurants.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 16

    Hygienic Restaurants

    Mrs. E. G. White: I have much to say in regard to hygienic restaurants, sanitariums, and health foods. I am perplexed to know where to begin.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 17

    The light given me is that instead of presenting the subject of health reform abruptly to a congregation of unbelievers, our laborers should first reach their hearts by presenting Christ and Him crucified. Many unbelievers know no more of health reform than do babies. True, the laborers must dwell on reforms; but let them first endeavor to touch and make tender the hearts of the people and lead them to be converted. After conversion, men and women will be ready to receive instruction in regard to further reforms and will permit their teachers to lead them along step by step into the full light of present truth.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 18

    While in New York City last winter, I received light in regard to hygienic restaurants. Night after night the course that our brethren should pursue in that city passed before me. They were to go forward in the establishment of other hygienic restaurants. Instead of resting satisfied with having only the one that had been opened, they were to open other restaurants in various sections of the city. The people living in one part of Greater New York do not usually know what is going on in other parts of the city; therefore it is necessary to establish many restaurants. As men and women eat at these places, they will become conscious of an improvement in health. Their confidence once gained, they are more ready to accept God’s special message of truth.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 19

    Wherever there is a school, there should be some sort of hygienic restaurant. This would lift many burdens from the school management; for the results to the students would be beneficial. Students who eat wholesome food are able to study and advance, retaining that which they learn.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 20

    When in Los Angeles, I was shown that not only in various sections of that city, but in San Diego and in other smaller tourist resorts in Southern California, health restaurants and treatment rooms should be established.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 21

    If any one desires to ask questions, be free to speak.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 22

    N. C. McClure: Did that include the seaside resorts?17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 23

    Mrs. E. G. White: Yes.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 24

    Boarding Houses

    H. H. Haynes: Was that something after the order of a health boarding house, where people could board by the week, and perhaps room?17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 25

    Mrs. E. G. White: The health boarding house?—I do not know that I could specify just how the work should be conducted. It would depend upon the circumstances.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 26

    H. H. Haynes: I do not mean from a financial standpoint.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 27

    Mrs. E. G. White: But I mean with reference to the public. That is what you mean?17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 28

    H. H. Haynes: Here is a question that has been asked me by a great many of our people within the last year. They say, “We could open a health boarding house; but would it be right do to this, and serve guests on the Sabbath, and have them around on that day as we should in an ordinary boarding house?”17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 29

    Mrs. E. G. White: I have had no special light in regard to its being the duty of our people to conduct boarding houses something after the order of hotels. Years ago the brethren began to work in that line at Battle Creek, but the Lord forbade them to continue.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 30

    W. C. White: When was that, Mother? Where did it begin?17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 31

    Mrs. E. G. White: It began in the Sanitarium, before Dr. Kellogg came into the institution. Persons who came there to board and room brought in chess playing and many other amusements. This was not right, and the Lord rebuked the management. Our sanitariums are not to cater to the perverted tastes of worldly people. The same evils have existed in the Sanitarium here on the hillside. A few years ago, when Dr. Maxson was here, the managers made it more of a hotel than an institution for the healing of the sick. In the rooms of the guests could be seen the wine bottles that they had brought with them. The boarders indulged appetite for many harmful things. God was not at all pleased with the course pursued by the management in allowing such indulgence; for His purpose in the establishment of the institution was not being carried out. He sent light in regard to it, and the result was that Dr. Maxson withdrew. He would not remain because of the views he held in regard to the use of meat. He said, “If we refuse to serve meat, we cannot hold the patrons.” But whether patronage increases or decreases, right principles must be upheld in the Lord’s institutions. Patronage has nothing to do with duty to God.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 32

    We are not building our sanitariums for hotels. Receive into sanitariums only those persons who desire to conform to right principles. Let them use the foods that we place before them. If we should allow them to have intoxicating liquors in their rooms, or should serve them with meat, how can we give them the help that they should receive in coming to our sanitariums? We must let them know that we have principle enough to keep such articles out of the institution. The same is true of our hygienic restaurants. I know that Brother Fulton and Brother Moran have on their restaurant tables as good food as the people need to have; for I have tasted it myself. We must be as true to right principles as the needle is to the pole. We have no time to dally. Do we not have a desire to see our fellow beings freed from disease and infirmity and in the enjoyment of health and strength?17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 33

    Hygienic Restaurants in Connection With Treatment Rooms

    To return to the question concerning boarding houses: I have not seen, and cannot now see, any light in opening a boarding house for the purpose of taking in every tourist that desires merely food and lodging. I have had light, however, that in many cities it is advisable for a restaurant to be connected with a small sanitarium. The two can work in harmony and uphold right principles.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 34

    W. C. White: I should like to ask a question, so as to be sure that we understand you. Our sanitariums are complete. They do not need any restaurant. They have their own regular dining arrangements.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 35

    Mrs. E. G. White: Yes.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 36

    W. C. White: But in some of your presentations of work in our cities, you have spoken about our having a restaurant and a bath house in connection.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 37

    Mrs. E. G. White: Well, that is a sanitarium, you may say; I call it a sanitarium.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 38

    W. C. White: Yes; but it is a little confusing, if you use that term, because you tell us that our sanitariums should not be in the cities, but in the country.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 39

    Mrs. E. G. White: In the cities it is sometimes advisable to have places where we can take in the sick that have been living there. We are not to erect an immense building in which to care for the sick, because God does not want them to remain in the cities.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 40

    Dr. A. N. Loper: Such places as you refer to would be branches, would they not?17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 41

    Sanitariums to be Established Outside the Cities

    Mrs. E. G. White: According to the light that the Lord has given me, in a little while from now the great cities will be shaken down. No matter how large or strong a building may be, no matter how many safeguards against fire and storm have been taken, if God touches it, in a few moments or in a few hours it is in ruins. In the calamities that are now befalling immense buildings and large portions of cities, He is showing us what will soon come upon the whole earth. He has told us, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it (the coming of the Son of man) is near, even at the doors.” [Matthew 24:32, 33.] The intemperance in eating and drinking, the extravagance in dress, the increase of crime, the many accidents and disasters of daily occurrence—all these are indications of the soon coming of the Son of man.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 42

    If a sanitarium is established in a city, the patients are, as it were, prisoners in their rooms. They are shut up within four walls; and if, perchance, they are able to look out of a window, they can see little else but houses, houses, houses. My husband frequently said that when he passed by a beautiful maple tree, he wanted to take off his hat in respect; but that when he saw a large house, he wanted to pass by as quickly as possible. Not the fine houses, but the beauties of nature, appeal to the soul.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 43

    An invalid confined within four walls is liable to brood over his physical condition. He becomes tired and sick of looking at nothing but the walls of his room. Often he is poisoned to death by his own breath. These are some of the reasons why I have no faith in establishing great medical institutions in the midst of large cities. There may be small establishments in some of our great cities to serve as “feeders,” so to speak, to larger institutions in the country. In these small branches, patients could remain a day or two and then go on to the sanitarium. Usually if they are physically able to go to a sanitarium in a city, they are able to go a little further to a sanitarium in the country.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 44

    In the location of sanitariums, our physicians have missed the mark. They have not taken the advantage of nature that God desires them to take. God intends that the sick shall be placed in the midst of the beautiful objects of nature, where they will have opportunity to be in the warm sunshine and the pure air. Living out-of-doors most of the day, invalids will be in no danger of poisoning themselves to death by their breath, as they often do when confined in close rooms.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 45

    Let the places chosen for sanitarium work be beautiful. I regard this valley as a good location; but better places than this can be found. Let the patients be surrounded with everything that delights the senses. Nature is God’s physician. Outdoor life is the only medicine that many invalids need. Pure air, sunshine, beautiful flowers and trees, orchards and vineyards, outdoor exercise—these, combined, are a health-giving restorative, and elixir of life.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 46

    Placed in the mist of conditions so favorable, patients will not require half the care that they would if confined in a sanitarium in the city, <and closely watched by nurses>. Nor will they <in the country> be half so inclined to be discontented and to repine. They will be ready to learn lessons in regard to the God of nature—ready to acknowledge that the God who cares for nature so wonderfully is surely willing to care for the creatures formed in His own image. Thus opportunity is giving physicians and helpers to reach souls, uplifting the God of nature before all who are seeking restoration of health.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 47

    In the night season a view of a sanitarium was shown me. The institution was not so very large, but it was complete. It was surrounded by beautiful ornamental trees, and beyond these were orange groves. Connected with the place were gardens, in which the women patients, if they chose, could cultivate flowers of every description.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 48

    Outdoor exercise in these gardens was prescribed as a part of the regular treatment.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 49

    Thus I was instructed by the Lord. Scene after scene passed before me. In one scene I could see a number of patients who had just come to one of our sanitariums established in the country. In another scene I saw the same company, but oh, how transformed! They were walking about and talking and appeared happy. Disease had gone, the skin was clear, the countenance joyful, the body full of health.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 50

    Never did I prize the value of outdoor life as a means of restoring the sick to health, as I prized it after these scenes passed before me. I had always taught these principles, but never before had I so clearly seen the life-giving power in nature. Since these views were given me, I have felt intensely over the matter and have earnestly desired to give the light to all who are engaged in medical missionary work.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 51

    I was also instructed that as those who have been sick are restored to health in our sanitariums in the country and return to their homes, many will be favorably impressed by the transformation that has taken place in them. Those who have been benefited will be, as it were, living object lessons. Many of the sick and suffering will turn from the cities to the country. Refusing to conform to the habits and the customs, the fashions and the allurements, of city life, they will seek to regain health in one of our medical institutions in the country. Thus even if we are removed from the crowded cities, we shall be able to reach the people. Those who desire health will have opportunity to regain it under conditions the most favorable.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 52


    Personal Experiences in the Treatment of Disease

    I know by experience the value of an outdoor life to those who are sick. Years ago, when living in Battle Creek, it was thought that I was dying. My friends said to my husband, “Brother White, your wife will not live long.” “Yes,” he answered one day, “she would not live long if she remained here; but she is going away with me today.” Accompanied by my son Willie, we started in a phaeton for Greenville eighty miles north. As I could not sit up during the journey, I knelt on two cushions placed on the bottom of the phaeton, leaning my head on my husband’s knees.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 53

    After reaching Greenville, my husband took me out to a strawberry bed and allowed me to work in the soil. He arranged everything for my convenience and brought out an easy chair. I was to set out the strawberry plants. This exercise in the open air seemed to take the poison out of my system. For some time I had coughed constantly—day and night. It seemed as if it were impossible to cease coughing. I could sleep but little. But after beginning to work in the soil, my cough left me. Although this outdoor exercise was the only medicine I took, I was rapidly restored to health.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 54

    Many years ago, while my husband was bearing heavy responsibilities in Battle Creek, the strain began to tell on him. His health failed rapidly. Finally he broke down in mind and body and was unable to do anything. My friends said to me, “Mrs. White, your husband cannot live.” I determined to remove him to a place more favorable for his recovery. His mother said, “Ellen, you must remain and take care of your family.” “Mother,” I replied, “I will never allow that masterly brain to fail entirely. I will work with God, and God will work with me, to save my husband’s brain.”17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 55

    In order to obtain means for our journey, I pulled up my rag carpets and sold them. Years before, when I was making these carpets, Father used to come in and begin to sing, “There’ll be no rag carpets over there.” But afterward, when the time came that I sold these carpets to get money to take him into the country, I told him that it was these very rag carpets that made it possible for me to take him to a place where he could recover. With the money secured by the sale of the carpets, I bought a covered wagon and prepared for the journey, placing in the wagon a mattress for Father to lie on. Accompanied by Willie, a mere lad eleven years of age, we started for Wright, Michigan.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 56

    While on the journey, Willie tried to put the bits into the mouth of one of the horses but found that he could not. I said to my husband, “Put your hand on my shoulder, and come and put the bits in.” He said that he did not see how he could. “Yes, you can,” I replied. “Get right up and come.” He did so and succeeded in putting the bits in. Then he knew that he would have to do it the next time, too. Constantly I kept my husband working at such little things. I would not allow him to remain quiet but tried to keep him active. This is the plan that physicians and helpers in our sanitariums should pursue. Lead the patients along step by step, step by step, keeping their minds so busily occupied that they have no time to brood over their own condition.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 57

    Often brethren came to us for counsel. My husband wanted to see no one. He must preferred to go into another room when company came. But usually before he could realize that any one had come, I brought the visitor before him and would say, “Husband, here is a brother who has come to ask a question, and as you can answer it much better than I can, I have brought him to you.” Of course he could not help himself then. He had to remain in the room and answer the question. In this way, and in many other ways, I made him exercise his mind. If he had not been made to use his mind, in a little while it would have completely failed.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 58

    Daily my husband went out for a walk. In the winter a terrible snowstorm came, and Father thought he could not go out in the storm and snow. I went to Brother Root and said, “Brother Root, have you a <spare> pair of boots?” “Yes,” he answered. “I should be glad to borrow them this morning,” I said. Putting on the boots and starting out, I tracked a quarter of a mile in the deep snow. On my return, I asked my husband to take a walk. He said he could not go out in such weather. “O yes, you can,” I replied. “Surely you can step in my tracks.” He was a man who had great respect for women; and when he saw my tracks, he thought that if a woman could walk in that snow, he could. That morning he took his usual walk.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 59

    In the spring there were fruit trees to be set out and garden to be made. “Willie,” I said, “please buy three hoes and three rakes. Be sure to buy three of each.” When he brought them to me, I told him to take one of the hoes and Father another. Father objected, but took one. Taking one myself, we began work; and although I blistered my hands, I led them in the hoeing. Father could not do much, but he went through the motions.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 60

    It was by such methods as these that I tried to co-operate with God in restoring my husband to health. And oh, how the Lord blessed us! I always took my husband with me when I went out driving. And I took him with me when I went to preach at any place. I had a regular circuit of meetings. I could not persuade him to go into the desk while I preached. Finally, after many, many months, I said to him, “Now, my husband, you are going into the desk today.” He did not want to go, but I would not yield. I took him up into the desk with me. That day he spoke to the people. Although the meeting house was filled with unbelievers, for half an hour I could not refrain from weeping. My heart was overflowing with joy and gratitude. I knew that the victory had been gained.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 61

    After eighteen months of constant co-operation with God in the effort to restore my husband to health, I took him home again. Presenting him to his parents, I said, “Father, Mother, here is your son.” “Ellen,” said his Mother, “you have no one but God and yourself to thank for this wonderful restoration. Your energies have accomplished it.” After his recovery, my husband lived for a number of years, during which time he did the best work of his life. Did not those added years of usefulness repay me manyfold for the eighteen months of painstaking care? I have given you this brief recital of personal experience in order to show you that I know something about the use of natural means for the restoration of the sick. God will work wonders for every one of us, if we work in faith, acting as we believe, that when we co-operate with Him, He is ready to do His part. I desire to do everything I can to lead my brethren to pursue a sensible course, in order that their efforts may be the most successful. Many who have gone down into the grave might today be living, if they had co-operated with God. Let us be sensible men and women in regard to these matters.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 62


    The Sanitarium Work in Southern California

    For many months I carried on my soul the burden of the medical missionary work in Southern California. Recently light has been given me in regard to the manner in which God desires us to conduct sanitarium work. We are to encourage the patients to spend much of their time out-of-doors. I have been instructed to tell our brethren to keep on the lookout for cheap, desirable properties in healthful places suitable for sanitarium purposes. We are not to put all our means into one great, expensive medical institution. To do this would be to act selfishly toward other places where similar institutions should be established. True, some have a desire to secure as much means as possible in order to erect an immense building; but this is not a wise plan. When planning for a medical institution in one place, we should keep in mind the needs of other places. Let economy be practiced, so that it will be possible to give the people in other sections of the country similar advantages.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 63

    I have been instructed that the present is an opportune time to advance the sanitarium work in Southern California. In the vicinity of such tourist resorts as Los Angeles, San Diego, and Pasadena, we should become informed in regard to desirable properties that may be secured at low prices. Instead of investing in one medical institution all the means obtainable, we could establish smaller sanitariums in many places. Soon the reputation of the health resorts in Southern California will stand much higher than it now stands. The present NOW is our time to enter that field for the purpose of carrying forward medical missionary work.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 64

    (Discussion of openings in San Diego and Monrovia.)17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 65


    Instruction on the Health-Food Question

    In the early days of health reform, a few of our sisters in Battle Creek went every year to the fairground—the grove in which Dr. Kellogg’s house now stands—to show the people how to prepare hygienic food. Setting up their stoves, they cooked and baked in the presence of visitors and served the food free. This required an expenditure of both time and means; but the result was well worth the effort. Many people sampled the foods and were pleased. “Everything tastes so good,” they said. Then they would ask us how we prepared the various dishes. Their questions gave us opportunity to teach them. Thus began a work that has since grown to great proportions—the work of manufacturing health foods and of teaching the people how to prepare and use them.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 66

    Wherever the truth goes, the people should be given instruction in the making of health foods. God desires that in every place people shall be taught to use the products that can be readily obtained. Skilful teachers should show them how to prepare into healthful foods the products that they can raise or secure in their section of country. Thus the poor, as well as those in better circumstances, can learn to live healthfully.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 67

    For several years after the principles of health reform were revealed to us as a people, we used graham gems. Constantly we were teaching people how to make them. Often some perplexed sister has said to me, “Sister White, I tried to make gems, but they were not good. What was the difficulty?” I asked her how she made them, and she told me. Usually I found that she had not followed the directions in every detail. She did not put the gems into the oven at the right time, or she neglected to do something else just right, and consequently her gems were unfit for use. All the way along from the beginning we have found it necessary to educate, educate, educate.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 68

    God desires us to continue the work of educating the people. We are not to neglect this work because of the effect that we may fear it will have on the sales of the goods prepared in the health food factories. That is not the question. Our work is to show the people how they can obtain and prepare wholesome food, how they can co-operate with God in restoring His image in themselves. In the effort to help them, difficulties will arise. Some have written to me about the recipes for using nut preparations, saying that the foods as prepared do not agree with some, and that they have written to the Sanitarium and to others, but have not learned the cause of the difficulty. In replying to such inquiries, I have suggested that only one-fifth part of the nut preparations called for in the recipes be used. In every instance of which I have knowledge, following this suggestion has removed the difficulty.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 69

    In the use of foods we should exercise good judgment and sound sense. When we find that something does not agree with us, we need not write letters of inquiry to learn the cause of the disturbance. We are to use our reason. Change the diet; use less of some of the foods; try other preparations. Soon we shall know what effect certain combinations have on us.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 70

    During my husband’s illness I had experience in the proper use of food. He said to me, “I am a sick man, and sometimes in choosing my diet I have no judgment. When I stop to consider the matter calmly, I know what food is best for me. I want you to bring me certain kinds of food, in certain quantities. Sometimes I may protest; sometimes I may ask for more. I know you will feel sorry because you cannot comply with my requests; but no matter how much you pity me or desire to comply, do not relent in the least. Pay no attention to my complaints or pleadings.” I did as he directed. Although it was very hard for me to refuse him, yet I allowed him to have nothing that in his better judgment I knew he would have refrained from eating.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 71

    There are persons who would be more benefited by abstinence from food for a day or two every week, than by any amount of medicine or treatment that they could take. To fast one day a week would be of incalculable benefit to them. It is foolish for one to keep on eating day after day, and yet wonder why he is in so much distress. Let such an one relieve himself from distress by changing his diet or by eating less. If he will to do so, he can soon obtain relief.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 72

    I realize the necessity of the people’s having healthful foods; and I know that God knows all about this matter. I have been shown that there is to be no binding about of the food question. Let no one say, “You must do this,” or, “You must not do that.” God never intended that the manufacture of health foods should be committed to any one man or set of men. Knowledge in regard to the preparation of healthful foods is not entrusted to a few men only, to be kept to themselves. God communicates to man in order that man may communicate to his fellow men. In saying this, I do not refer to the special preparations that it has taken Dr. Kellogg and others long study and much expense to perfect. I refer more especially to the simple preparations that all can make for themselves, instruction in regard to which should be given to those who desire to learn how to live healthfully.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 73

    There is one thing that some of our brethren have done, which has wrought great injury to the work. God has given us knowledge in the manufacture of foods as a means of helping to sustain the cause; yet there are those who have been so indiscreet as to disclose to worldly men secrets in regard to the preparation of health foods. Thus they have abused their God-given trust. They ought to have kept their own counsel and allowed the Lord to lead.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 74

    It is the Lord’s design that in every place men and women shall have the privilege of developing their talents by preparing healthful foods from the natural products of their section of country. If the look to God, exercising their skill and ingenuity under the guidance of His Spirit, they will learn how to prepare natural products into healthful foods. Thus they will learn how to teach the poor to prepare foods that will take the place of flesh meats. Those thus helped can in turn show others how to use the products of their section of country. Such a work will yet be done. If it had been done before, there would today be many more people in the truth than there are, and we should have had many more who could give them instruction than we have. Let us learn what our duty is, and then do it.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 75

    In reform movements, too often our leaders do not take the people with them. My husband was very particular in regard to this point. He tried to move no faster than he could lead the people. He regarded it as beneficial to the cause to counsel with his brethren and sisters as we have met for counsel today. After laying his plans before the council, he would say, “We must now place these things before the people. The people support the work in the field, and we must bring these matters to their attention.”17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 76

    In connection with the food question, the Southern field was opened before me in a special manner. In some sections of the South the people will find it necessary to obtain some of the health foods from places outside of that field. But many of the products raised in the South may be utilized in making wholesome foods. In some parts of that field there is a good supply of fruit.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 77

    I cannot enter into the minutiae in regard to the preparation and use of health foods. The details must be worked out by others, and these must be men and women of consecration and common sense. Many ask, “What would you do in such and such a case?” My brethren and sisters, find out what to do after you come to the perplexity. You cannot learn everything at once. You must learn as you advance. Constantly there should be a gradual development. Learn from one another. Pray for divine enlightenment. God has skill and understanding for His people. He who gave manna to the Israelites for forty years, who kept their shoes and clothing from waxing old and worn, still has a care for His children. If we place ourselves in right relation to Him, and daily commune with Him, we shall be taught of Him and shall receive His blessing.17LtMs, Ms 50, 1902, par. 78

    Larger font
    Smaller font