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Counsels on Health

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    Equity in the Matter of Wages

    [Special Testimonies, Series B 19:32, 33 (1902).]

    Dear Brother,

    I did not suppose that it would be so long before I fulfilled my promise to write to you. I have been thinking of the question that was agitating your mind in regard to wages. You suggest that if we paid higher wages, we could secure men of ability to fill important positions of trust. This might be so, but I should very much regret to see our workers held to our work by the wages they receive. There are needed in the cause of God workers who will make a covenant with Him by sacrifice, who will labor for the love of souls, not for the wages they receive.CH 302.1

    Your sentiment regarding wages, my much-respected brother, is the language of the world. Service is service, and one kind of work is as essential as the other. To every man is given his work. There is stern, taxing labor to be performed, labor involving disagreeable taxation and requiring skill and tact. In the work of God, the physical as well as the mental powers are drawn upon, and both are essential. One is as necessary as the other. Should we attempt to draw a line between mental and physical work, we would place ourselves in very difficult positions.CH 302.2

    The experiment of giving men high wages has been tried in the publishing institutions. Some men have grasped high wages, while others, doing work just as severe and taxing, have had barely enough to sustain their families. Yet their taxation was just as great, and often men have been overworked and overwearied, while others, bearing not half the burdens, received double the wages. The Lord sees all these things, and He will surely call men to account; for He is a God of justice and equity.CH 302.3

    Those who have a knowledge of the truth for this time should be pure and clean and noble in all their business transactions. None among God's servants should hunger and thirst for the highest place as director or manager. Such positions are fraught with great temptation.CH 303.1

    Our nurses are encouraged to pledge themselves to work for certain parties for a certain sum. They bind themselves to serve thus and so, and afterward they are dissatisfied. It is necessary that more equality be shown in dealing with our nurses. There are among us intelligent, conscientious nurses, who work faithfully and at all times. It is nurses such as these that we need, and they should receive better wages, so that should they fall sick, they would have money enough laid by to enable them to have a rest and a change. Then again, often the parents of these nurses practice great self-denial to make it possible for their children to take the nurses’ course. It is only right that when these children have received their education, they should be given sufficient remuneration to enable them to help their parents, should they need help.CH 303.2

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