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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    IN some cases, the poison produced by certain germs destroys the germs themselves, as the carbonic acid gas produced by a fire will put out fire. Then there are certain kinds of germs that destroy other germs. There are also minute animal forms in water, infusoria, that destroy germs.GCB February 17, 1895, page 183.9

    Sunlight is another enemy of germs. Some deadly germs exposed to direct rays of sunlight will be killed in a few minutes. That is one reason why a house should have plenty of sunshine. Even diffused light is to some degree destructive of germs. Germs grow and thrive in the darkness. I think the ideal house would be of glass, so the sunlight could get into every corner and kill the germs. The ideal clothing would be white, so the sun could shine through to the skin, and even into the body. The sunlight is an excellent germ destroyer.GCB February 17, 1895, page 183.10

    But the most important of all the means of protection which we have against germs is the protection afforded by our own bodies. Nature has given us ample protection against this destructive army which is ever ready to invade our bodies. In the first place, the skin is impervious to germs. There is no germ, not even the most deadly, that can of itself get through the skin. They can be rubbed through, however; and as they are always present upon the skin they often get rubbed through, and that is what produces boils. The stiff collar rubs the neck, and if the germs get through the skin, and are not destroyed, a boil is the result.GCB February 17, 1895, page 183.11

    The mucous membrane is also to some degree impervious to germs, but not so perfectly so as the skin. If we take a little cold, the germs attack the mucous membrane of the nose and throat, and we have trouble at once. Or if we have a bad tooth, for instance, the germs get into it, and get down into the glands, and we have an enlargement of the glands. The mucus from the mucous membrane is an antiseptic, and kills germs.GCB February 17, 1895, page 183.12

    The alimentary canal and the lungs are supplied with cells which destroy germs. Were this not the case, the germs which we are all the time taking into the mouth and nose would soon destroy us. The white corpuscles of the blood capture the germs that get into the blood. In the tissues themselves are living cells which act as germ destroyers. The liver destroys germ poisons; and the spleen is a sort of “limbo” where germs are imprisoned and destroyed.GCB February 17, 1895, page 183.13

    These facts in regard to germs are exceedingly important. Many of them have only been known a short time; and are invaluable to those who would preserve their health at this time when the very atmosphere is filled with disease.GCB February 17, 1895, page 183.14

    Since nature has given us so much protection against germs, some may be ready to say, “Well, then what harm in eating a few germs? What is the use of taking such care as to germs?” Such questions are easily answered. When we take the utmost precautions, there is still as much work for the system as it can well do in this line. When a man is running as fast as he can run, it is useless to ask him to run any faster; or if he is carrying as large a load as he can carry, if you put upon him a load as large again, he breaks down, and cannot carry any. The capabilities of the body to destroy germs are limited; and when that limit is passed, we fall a prey to disease. Now if we persist in taking in food and drink that are filled with germs, such as meat and cheese and unsterilized milk and butter may we not expect that when a severe strain is brought upon us, or when some contagious disease is prevalent, the body will be so overtaxed that we shall not be able to resist an attack? If the antiseptic powers of our bodies are taxed all the time to their utmost capacity, we are entirely unprepared for an emergency. The body can offer little or no resistance to disease.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.1

    The resistance of the body against germs is lessened by starvation. Experiments have been performed upon the pigeon. Under normal conditions, the pigeon will not take certain kinds of disease. But a pigeon kept without food for a week, then inoculated with the same germs, will die in a very short time of the disease.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.2

    Abstinence from food reduces the power of resistance against disease germs. Most of you know that it is not best to go where there is a contagious disease when you have an empty stomach. Indigestion likewise lessens the resistance of the body to disease for the same reason that lack of food does. Loss of sleep and loss of blood lessen the capabilities of the body to resist germs. You may have noticed that one is pale from loss of sleep. The blood corpuscles that destroy the germs are not active, but are “loafing,” we might say, in the interior of the body. The pale, thin blood is a prey to germs.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.3

    Overeating and the eating of bad food decreases resistance to germs. The use of meat, cheese, oysters, and other food that is swarming with germs, of course reduces resistance against germs, by clogging the system.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.4

    Now I wish to mention some things that will promote resistance against germs. The first thing, we must have pure air. In breathing impure air we saturate the body with impurities so it cannot destroy the germs that come in. Deep breathing and pure air are indispensable.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.5

    Another most important thing to promote resistance against disease germs is a pure, simple diet, in moderate quantity, well masticated, and well digested.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.6

    Abundance of exercise in the open air is an excellent thing in aiding the system in resisting disease. A light shower or sponge bath of cold water, daily, by those in health, stimulates the circulation of the blood, and increases the activities of the germ-destroying cells.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.7

    I wish to give a few special suggestions.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.8

    1. Avoid exposure to contagious diseases when possible. Some people say, in a spirit of bravado, “I am not afraid of anything! I never take anything!” But to needlessly expose yourself to any contagious disease, — measles, small-pox, whooping cough, scarlet fever, or any other contagious disease — is a thing you have no right to do. Even if you do not take it, you may carry it in your clothing to some one who will.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.9

    2. If exposure is necessary, then go, and trust that if you use proper precautions, the Lord will protect you. Avoid exposure when hungry or sleepy. Take a vigorous run in the open air before exposure.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.10

    3. If one is exposed to dust or air liable to be filled with germs, a handkerchief placed over the mouth and nose, makes a very good germ filter.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.11

    4. The sick room should be thoroughly disinfected. I think it is a minister’s duty to see that proper antiseptic precautions have been taken to protect the public at funerals. In cases of typhoid or scarlet fever the sick room should be thoroughly disinfected with sulphur. Four pounds of sulphur for every one thousand cubic feet of air in the room should be burned to disinfect the room. Take a kettle, place it upon some bricks in a tub containing an inch of water; put into it a good lot of charcoal, which can be made from burning a little wood and quenching with water. Paste thick paper over every crack, window, and door, except the one through which you must pass. Then mix the sulphur with the charcoal in the kettle, and set fire to it, and get out of the room as quickly as possible, seal up the door, and leave the sulphur to burn out, and do not open the room for twenty-four hours. Then open it and let it air a day before you use it. A thorough disinfection such as this will destroy all dangerous germs.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.12

    5. The excreta of fever patients should always be thoroughly disinfected; which can be done with three times the amount of boiling water. Boiling water will kill any dangerous germs.GCB February 17, 1895, page 184.13

    6. Consumptives should burn every particle of sputa ejected. Expectorate upon paper or in a paper box, and burn it. The carelessness of one person in this respect may cause the death of one hundred others.GCB February 17, 1895, page 185.1


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    AT the council meeting on Wednesday afternoon the time was occupied by Elder O. A. Olsen who spoke instead of Elder Allen Moon, President of the Religious Liberty Association, the latter being unable to appear. The subject chosen by Elder Olsen was the necessity of increased efficiency in the matter of carrying forward the work of the denomination. He introduced his subject by speaking of the growth of the work since the last General Conference, and in connection with that thought mentioned among other items, that sixty-two ministers had been ordained, and ninety-seven churches erected within the last two years. He then proceeded to speak of the General Conference Districts, the office of district superintendent, and the necessity of still further perfecting the organization of these districts. Some of these divisions now contain more members, more laborers, and more institutions than our General Conference contained a few years ago, and hence the importance of properly caring for, and nourishing all these interests. As our work increases in magnitude and our enterprises enlarge, it will be very natural for us to pay close attention to some things and neglect others. This should not be.GCB February 17, 1895, page 185.2

    The plan of organization which was introduced into our work at the beginning was of God, and should be preserved in every particular. The speaker remarked that his mind had been particularly directed to the words of the Lord to Moses when he was about to make the Tabernacle: “For see,” said he “that thou make it according to the pattern that was shown thee in the mount.” God has a pattern in his mind according to which he desires his work shall be organized and directed, and it is incumbent upon us to study the divine pattern and closely to imitate it; and this means thorough organization in all our work. The plan that suggested itself to his mind was that the presidents of the Conferences composing the districts, together with the superintendents should form a sort of a district Conference Committee or Council, and that many matters pertaining to the work in the district, and to the mutual interest of the various Conferences, be considered by this council, such as the interchange of laborers, the appointment of camp-meetings, and many other subjects of mutual interest. This is becoming more desirable and necessary now that the General Conference is held but once in two years. We could not think of going back to the old plan of holding these large meetings annually. But there is need of brethren often counseling together, with reference to the work for our mutual benefit, and for the best interest of the cause. During 1893-94, Conferences here held in all but one of the districts, and in every case was productive of much good.GCB February 17, 1895, page 185.3

    For twenty-five years much has been said in the Testimonies upon the point of dividing the responsibilities and avoiding giving the work a one-man mold. The idea that a few men should compose the large body of all our committees and boards is not as the Lord would have it. More men should share these burdens and by experience gain a fitting up for greater responsibilities. The speaker believed that we should make more of our district conferences. Some lines of work must always be left to the General Conference, for here every interest of the cause unites, but much of the detail work that has heretofore been done by our General Conference can now be taken up by the district conferences to better advantage. While the dividing up of these responsibilities will be a salutary movement. We must be careful to avoid confusion, and we must exercise great care to observe the plan which the Lord has given for his people.GCB February 17, 1895, page 185.4

    After the sanctuary had been prepared and its materials brought together and everything was in shape, there was still one thing lacking, and that was the vital thing. It would have been but an empty shell without the presence of God. So it is with our work. No arrangement could possibly make up for the lack of God’s presence. No remodeling of the sanctuary, moving of furniture, or readjustment of the curtains would bring back the presence of God. And yet we sometimes make the mistake that when we are conscious of the lack of God’s presence we think the matter may be remedied by remodeling and reshaping the work; whereas the vital trouble is that God is not with us, and no readjustment will do us any good unless we humble our hearts and obtain God’s presence and his blessing with us.GCB February 17, 1895, page 185.5

    It would seem that the perfecting of the organization of these districts would be to follow on in the same lines which have been marked out by the Testimonies of the Spirit of God in the beginning of our work. Its effect will be to unify and strengthen the work, and to bring all parts into harmonious action. By forming the councils which have already been mentioned, composed of the presidents of the conferences with the district superintendent as chairman, the responsibility will be divided, and there will be less liability to mistake. The word has often come to us that we should counsel together; and “in a multitude of counselors there is safety.” By thus bringing the united judgment and experience of these brethren together, the work will become more firmly established and will not bear the mold of any individual.GCB February 17, 1895, page 185.6

    Having spoken at some length upon this point, the speaker then turned his attention to the organization of conferences and churches, carrying out the fact that organization at proper times and under proper circumstances is a means of strength, but that premature organization is a source of weakness. A conference or a church organized before its elements are educated and capable of bearing responsibilities and carrying on their own work is destined always to be a weak and tottering fabric. Mistakes are often made in this way in the organization of churches. A minister may bring out a company of people upon the truth, baptize them, and administer the ordinances of the Lord’s house, but church organization should not be perfected till they have reached a point in their education where they are thoroughly grounded in the truth and are able to do efficient work for the Master.GCB February 17, 1895, page 186.1

    Following the discussion of this point, other matters of church polity and discipline were brought up. Questions were raised by different ones in the congregation and an interesting and instructive discussion of various points of interest filled the remainder of the hour.GCB February 17, 1895, page 186.2

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