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    Chapter 10—Ellen G. White’s Message on Health

    To introduce the thought of this study I should like to turn to the 34th Psalm and begin reading with the 12th verse.DGRGC 129.1

    “What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. The Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants: and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.”DGRGC 129.2

    First of all I should like to pursue further the thought of the last study in connection with Ellen G. White’s own attitude toward her writings and her works. From all that we have found thus far I think we can all come to the conclusion that she was a very sensible, very humble, very good person.DGRGC 129.3

    Mrs. White was well aware of the dangers that might come to the cause through those who do not fully understand the work given her to do. Therefore, she set forth in her writings much instruction as to how we should relate ourselves to her works and use them in our daily lives. In her own relationship to her work she has given us an example of what we should be and do.DGRGC 129.4

    I have brought together six points on the wrong use of the Testimonies which I invite you to consider in connection with this topic. Now you say, “You should speak positively,” which is generally true, but sometimes we need to state things negatively. In this particular situation I would rather use the negative approach because I believe we shall put our finger on some things which are definitely wrong, and at times bring untoward, even unfavourable results, to the cause of God. Again I want to talk very plainly, very frankly, just heart-to-heart. This is not a sermon, but only a very simple study on relationships.DGRGC 129.5

    Mrs. White maintained a very sensible, well-balanced, middle-of-the-road attitude in everything she taught, and in everything she did. That may seem strange when you think of some people who have developed an attitude toward the writings of the Spirit of prophecy that is anything but sensible. The fault is not with Ellen G. White nor with her writings. The fault must be somewhere else.DGRGC 130.1

    First, the advice of Mrs. White is not to use the Testimonies as proof for unbelievers. 25White, Ellen G., “Testimonies for the Church 1:119, 120; Testimonies for the Church 5:669. In other words, when we go out to teach the truth to the people of the world, or people outside the church, she counsels that we should use the Bible and not the Testimonies. We can agree with that good counsel, for we can be sadly misunderstood when we lay the Bible aside, take the Testimonies, and teach our truths from them. Such a procedure would give a wrong impression, which she herself never gave. Her advice was to use the Bible in teaching the message to unbelievers.DGRGC 130.2

    Second, she cautioned not to use the Testimonies as a test of fellowship. 26Testimonies for the Church 1:327-329, Your belief in the visions, dreams, revelations, and writings of the Spirit of prophecy is not to be a test of fellowship. If someone has accepted the Lord Jesus as his Saviour, if he has followed along in accepting the Bible doctrines and the teachings of the Scriptures, but hesitates for more light with regard to the Spirit of prophecy, visions, dreams, and revelations, Mrs. White tells us plainly not to make that a test of church fellowship. Rather, if this individual in accepting the doctrines of the Scriptures will accept the doctrines of prophets and the teachings of the prophets of the Old and New Testament, and shall manifest a willingness to be led in the study of Ellen G. White’s work no matter how long it takes that individual to come to a conclusion, he should not be denied church membership. That is a very remarkable statement, and one which I am sure we do well to remember.DGRGC 130.3

    Third, she advised not to use the visions as a rule to measure all. 27White, Ellen G., “Testimonies for the Church 1:382, 383. Do not use the testimonies, the visions, as a rule to measure other people. That, too, is very good advice. For so frequently we use the Testimonies not to measure ourselves, but to measure some one else. She has put this thought in a very interesting paragraph in the The Review and Herald, August 27, 1889, and I think this bears rereading:DGRGC 131.1

    “There are many whose religion consists in criticizing the habits of dress and manners. They want to bring every one to their own measure. They desire to lengthen out those who seem too short for their standard, and to cut down others who seem too long. They have lost the love of God out of their hearts; but they think they have a spirit of discernment. They think it is their prerogative to criticize, and pronounce judgment; but they should repent of their error, and turn away from their sins.... Let us love one another. Let us have harmony and union throughout our ranks. Let us have our hearts sanctified to God. Let us look upon the light that abides for us in Jesus. Let us remember how forbearing and patient He was with the erring children of men. We should be in a wretched state if the God of heaven were like one of us, and treated us as we are inclined to treat one another.”DGRGC 131.2

    I think that is a rich gem, and how aptly it describes me, and maybe some of you in our tendency to judge others by ourselves.DGRGC 131.3

    It is so easy to take some of the writings of the Testimonies and say, “Now, brother, you have got to do so and so in order to bring yourself into harmony with the pattern. You are either too long or too short. There is something wrong with you.” And so we try to correct the brother. Mrs. White, on the other hand, tells us not to use the Testimonies as a rule to measure all.DGRGC 131.4

    Fourth, she counsels us not to use the Testimonies as an iron rule or a club. 28White, Ellen G., “Testimonies for the Church 1:369. And that, too, is good advice. The Testimonies were not written for the purpose that I should read or find a certain paragraph and hasten out to Brother So-and-So’s house, and say, “Brother, here it is; this is exactly what Mrs. White wrote for you. Now you listen, Brother, and I am going to give you just exactly what you need today.” Have you ever had that experience? Have you ever heard of somebody doing it that way? Oh, it is so easy to use the Testimonies as a club for someone else. God never intended it to be so. He intended that the club, if used at all, should be used on self. God is going to hew, and fashion, and mould. He has not given that task to me nor to you. And therefore, I do well to remember that the Testimonies are not given in my hand to be used as a club over someone else.DGRGC 132.1

    Fifth, she cautions us not to take the extreme meaning of what she has been shown in the visions. 29White, Ellen G., “Testimonies for the Church 1:166. That, too, is good counsel and advice. In connection with that may I present a paragraph from the book Ministry of Healing. The whole section is found on pages 318 to 324, but I shall give only one paragraph or two:DGRGC 132.2

    “Those who have but a partial understanding of the principles of reform are often the most rigid, not only in carrying out their views themselves, but in urging them on their families and their neighbours. The effect of their mistaken reforms, as seen in their own ill health, and their efforts to force their views upon others, give many a false idea of dietetic reform, and lead them to reject it altogether.DGRGC 132.3

    “Those who understand the laws of health and who are governed by principle, will shun the extremes both of indulgence and of restriction.”DGRGC 132.4

    Mrs. White never intended that we should take the extreme view on anything. She wants us to be in the middle of the road.DGRGC 132.5

    Sixth, she admonishes us not to use the Testimonies to give force to certain subjects to impress upon others. 30White, Ellen G., Manuscript 23, 1911. And how often we find it being done. Not so long ago a well-intentioned, and I think a very sincere and devout, brother sent his manuscript to me. He had gathered from the writings of Ellen G. White many, many paragraphs to set forth his idea of what he thought the church ought to be today. He made a very careful but subjective selection, carefully avoiding that which preceded and followed the sentence or paragraph he wanted to use. He selected only that which he could use to emphasize the point that he wanted to make.DGRGC 132.6

    When I finished reading his manuscript, about 150 pages, I sent it back to him. “Brother,” I wrote, “if I were you, I would never publish it! In the first place, you have not given a correct view of Mrs. White’s teachings on these topics. In the second place, you have not used the writings as Mrs. White would have us use them—on ourselves and not on others. And in the third place, your generalizations are too general and, therefore, untrue in most cases. If you want other criticisms, and I have a page of them, I shall be glad to send them along, but I think this is enough to let you know that I do not favour your publishing this manuscript, or ever having it go into print.”DGRGC 133.1

    About two weeks later, this brother wrote back and said that mine was the only adverse criticism of his very good manuscript, and therefore it is already in the hands of the printers, and will be off the press very soon. Well, I feel very sorry for that brother. His own reputation in the past is against him. His own experience in the past is absolutely contrary to the very thing he is trying to teach others. He is a poor example of what he is trying to teach.DGRGC 133.2

    I say again, the Testimonies were written for us individually and not for me to use on someone else. Most certainly we misrepresent and frequently misinterpret the writings of the Spirit of prophecy when we take a sentence here and a sentence there, a little paragraph here and a little paragraph there, and then put them together out of their context. Thus they are made to teach what the Spirit of prophecy did not have in mind at all, but what somebody wants to put over on the brethren. It is not the correct way to use the writings of Ellen G. White.DGRGC 133.3

    That brings me now to the question as to just how we ought to use them, and some of the cautions that we should take in their use. I mentioned at the beginning that some of us are prone to criticize the habits of dress, manner of eating, and everything else of the other person. That appears to be the most important part of the religion of those individuals.DGRGC 134.1

    I am especially serious about this, and I shall tell you why. Back in 1910, when the truth first came to our family, I was only a small boy, but very much interested in all that I was hearing from a good lay brother who was doing missionary work. We were coming along very nicely in the acceptance of these messages that he was giving to us from week to week, and just as we were reaching the point of decision, there came to our town a very well-intentioned Adventist lady. She was so zealous and so earnest and so sincere that everyone admired her, but she lacked tact and understanding.DGRGC 134.2

    She made it her business to come to our house just at meal time, be it dinner, breakfast or supper—not every day, but each visit was at meal time—not an hour before, not an hour after, but just in time to be invited to join the family as we sat down to eat. And, of course, being good Pennsylvania-Dutch people, we had a good table spread with the good things of southern Pennsylvania. This lady never refused to sit down, and have the meal with us.DGRGC 134.3

    When the whole family was seated around the table we thanked God for the food and asked His blessing upon it. Then she looked over the table, and very seriously said, “That should not be on the table of a good Seventh-day Adventist. No Seventh-day Adventist would eat that! This certainly is not proper. Why, Sister, if you begin to be an Adventist and eat things like that, you will never go to heaven!” Thus she spent the whole time of the meal hour criticizing everything that was on the table. My dear friends, that is not right. My mother was very anxious and much concerned during every one of those meal occasions. The result was that every member of my family turned against the truth except my mother, an older sister, and I. We have not been able to break down the prejudice that was thus created by that well-intentioned, but very unwise and untactful lady.DGRGC 134.4

    Brethren and sisters in the church, we must learn how to use the Testimonies, and we must know where to use the Testimonies. We can turn people against this truth and harden their hearts by a misuse of them. I think that is a very serious thing, for my family cannot be reached by this message even today, and that is over forty years ago. This experience turned them against this truth. I speak very seriously and very earnestly out of a very personal family experience. I accepted the truth in spite of what the sister did, not because of what she did or said. I cannot emphasize it too strongly. Ellen G. White would never use such a method. I am confident of that. Neither should we. You should learn the proper use of the Testimonies, and remember that they are written primarily for you yourself.DGRGC 135.1

    A year or so ago I was on a camp ground in the United States, and a good brother came rushing up to me one day. He said, “Elder Rebok, do you eat three meals a day?” I answered, “Yes, Brother, I eat three meals a day.” To which he replied, “You will never get into the kingdom of heaven if you eat more than two meals a day.” “Well, now,” I countered, “I am not so sure about that. Where did you ever get hold of that idea?” “Why,” he said, “it is in the Testimonies. Mrs. White wrote it.” I asked, “Could you tell me just where that is found? I would like to read it.” He hesitated and stammered, “Well, but, Brother, I can’t remember the book, nor the chapter, nor the page, but it’s there. If you eat more than two meals a day you will never be in the kingdom of heaven!”DGRGC 135.2

    “Well,” I said, “I think I can read that to you.” We were very close to the book tent, and so we went over to that big tent. I picked up a volume entitled Medical Ministry, and turned to 284. This is what I read:DGRGC 135.3

    “It is plain that two meals a day are better than three.”DGRGC 135.4

    “Why,” he shouted, “of course, that is the very thing. “Now that shows you that what I said is right, and still you eat three meals a day?” I said, “Yes, sir,” He replied somewhat triumphantly, “Brother, your name is just wiped off the page. There is no hope for you at all!” Then I looked at him, and said very calmly, “But, listen to the rest of the paragraph:”DGRGC 135.5

    “I believe and practice this, but I have no ‘Thus saith the Lord’ that it is wrong for some to eat the third meal.”DGRGC 136.1

    Now I smiled, “Brother, that means me. But that is not all. Listen to the rest of the paragraph:”DGRGC 136.2

    “We are not to be as the Pharisees, bound about by set rules and regulations.”DGRGC 136.3

    His face changed. He said, “Brother, is that in there?” and I replied, “Not only that. Let me read a little more:”DGRGC 136.4

    “God’s Word has not specified any set hours when food should be taken. We are to be careful not to make laws like the laws of the Pharisees, or to teach for doctrines the commandments of men. Let your regulations be so consistent that they will appeal to the reason of those even who have not been educated to see all things clearly.”DGRGC 136.5

    I looked at the poor man and said, “Brother, what do you get out of the whole passage?” “Well,” he shook his head, “I don’t know what to say about that. I’ve been taught that anybody who eats more than two meals a day just can’t be saved, and that the Lord is going to judge every individual as to how many meals a day he eats; if he eats two, he will be saved; if he eats more than two, he will not be saved.”DGRGC 136.6

    In pity and with a sad heart I said to him, “Brother, you are all wrong. That is not the teaching at all.” He was very much perplexed, and wanted to know more about it. “Well,” I assured him, “when I go back to the office in Washington I shall gather together all of the instruction that I can find on the two-meal-a-day question and send you a copy.”DGRGC 136.7

    I went back to the Ellen G. White Publications office and found some fourteen pages of very interesting material on that subject alone. Now I believe, brethren, that it is right and proper that we should be fair to all in dealing with such questions. We should be consistent and well-balanced in our convictions and in our promoting of such ideas. To that dear brother the number of meals eaten by each and every church member was a very serious problem, and to me it was a very serious matter when he was condemning me to the nether regions—over the third meal that I had been in the habit of eating.DGRGC 136.8

    I am of the opinion that when we deal with any topic in the Spirit of prophecy we should not be satisfied with one word, or one sentence, or one paragraph. We should bring together everything that is said on that subject, and then look at all the counsel and instruction. Until we have done that, we are not qualified to pass judgment on anybody or anything, indeed we are not qualified to bring judgment even on ourselves. This ill-advised and unfortunate way of using the writings of the Spirit of prophecy is so serious that I want to emphasize it again and again. When we talk to others about the teachings of the Spirit of prophecy, let us be sure that we know what she says and what she teaches.DGRGC 137.1

    Let me read just a few very interesting paragraphs from this collection on the number of meals Seventh-day Adventists should eat each day.DGRGC 137.2

    Education, 205:DGRGC 137.3

    In most cases, two meals a day are preferable to three.” And I know some of our very, very fine people who eat but two meals a day. It is good for them. “Supper, when taken at an early hour, interferes with the digestion of the previous meal. When taken later, it is not itself digested before bedtime. Thus the stomach fails of securing proper rest. The sleep is disturbed, the brain and nerves are wearied, the appetite for breakfast is impaired, the whole system is unrefreshed, and is unready for the day’s duties.”DGRGC 137.4

    That sounds very sensible indeed.DGRGC 137.5

    Again I read in the book The Ministry of Healing, 321,DGRGC 137.6

    “The practice of eating but two meals a day is generally found of benefit to health, yet under some circumstances, persons may require a third meal. This should, however, if taken at all, be very light, and of food most easily digested.” [Italics mine.]DGRGC 137.7

    That, too, seems to be very reasonable. I read in Counsels on Health, 156.DGRGC 138.1

    Most people enjoy better health while eating two meals a day than three; others, under their existing circumstances, may require something to eat at supper-time; but this meal should be very light. Let no one think himself a criterion for all—that everyone must do exactly as he does.DGRGC 138.2

    “Never cheat the stomach out of that which health demands, and never abuse it by placing upon it a load which it should not bear. Cultivate self-control. Restrain appetite; keep it under the control of reason.” [Italics mine.]DGRGC 138.3

    You see, the brother was going about with a mistaken idea of his duty and a wrong conception of the message. Everybody he met was asked the same question, “Do you eat three meals a day?” Of course there were others like me, and he put the same condemnation on all of them that he put on me. That, my friend, is not what Mrs. White says at all.DGRGC 138.4

    She frankly and freely counsels, “Let no one think himself a criterion for all, that everyone must do exactly as he does.” Well, I like that kind of instruction, and I have made it a practice to allow each person to settle such questions between himself and God. It is entirely up to that person. It is not any of my business how many meals a day he eats. My business is to find out what agrees best with me, and do the thing that is best for me under my own personal peculiar circumstances.DGRGC 138.5

    To make very sure of my position in this matter I approached Elder D. E. Robinson, who lived in Mrs. White’s home for many years, and I asked him, “How many meals a day did Mrs. White serve in her home?” “Two meals a day at the table, and then she frankly told each one, ‘Now if you feel the need of something light in the evening, you may feel free to go to the pantry or to the icebox and help yourself!” He added “and this I always did.” “Furthermore,” he said, “everybody else in that household did the same.”DGRGC 138.6

    Mrs. White ate only two meals, but she was old and was not engaged in heavy physical labour. She found that she did not need that extra food, so she got along very well on her two meals, but she never forbade the rest of her helpers to eat the third. She did say, “If you eat the third meal you do well to eat a light meal in the evening.” That is my own personal habit, and I find that I get along very well on it. By looking at my one hundred and ninety pounds you might conclude that I would do well to get along on two meals, at least for a while. But somehow I like the way she puts her counsels and instructions, and I shall follow the plan which seems to agree with my physical habits and meets my need to maintain good health.DGRGC 138.7

    Here is another very interesting bit of instruction which comes from Volume 4 of the Testimonies for the Church 4:501, 502. In writing these testimonies she would refer to Brother H, or Brother A, or Brother T because the instruction was directed to some particular person, and yet have its application to others in a similar situation. It is evident that the course of Brother H had not been what it should have been. Of him she says,DGRGC 139.1

    “His likes and dislikes are very strong, and he has not kept his own feelings under the control of reason. Brother H, your health is greatly injured by over-eating, and eating at improper times. This causes a determination of blood to the brain. The mind becomes confused, and you have not the proper control of yourself. You appear like a man whose mind is unbalanced. You make strong moves, are easily irritated, and view things in an exaggerated and perverted light. Plenty of exercise in the open air, and an abstemious diet, are essential to your health. You should not eat more than two meals a day. If you feel that you must eat at night, take a drink of cold water, and in the morning you will feel much better for not having eaten.”DGRGC 139.2

    You see, that was the specific instruction to an individual who needed such counsel. There may be a number of Brother H’s around the world. When I see them pile up one plate after another, I begin to wonder whether I should say anything to Brother H, but I refrain, for that is not my business. I am sure you know that one of the greatest weaknesses among Seventh-day Adventists generally is over-eating. Our women have learned how to prepare such delicious and tasty dishes that most of us tend to over-eat. But I shall not make it my business to go around and tell which one is over-eating and which one is not! God has given to you and me alike the same instruction, and you can read and interpret it as well as I.DGRGC 139.3

    I came across a very interesting letter written in 1901, under our File No. 145. In it was this paragraph:DGRGC 140.1

    “With regard to the diet question, this matter must be handled with such wisdom that no overbearing will appear. It should be shown that to eat two meals is far better for the health than to eat three. But there must be no authoritative forcing seen. No one connected with the sanitarium should be compelled to adopt the two-meal system. Persuasion is more appropriate, than force.” 31White, Ellen G., “Counsels on Diet and Foods, 177.DGRGC 140.2

    This again was written to a very specific individual, in a very specific institution, and for a very specific reason. Yet it has a caution in it which we do well to heed.DGRGC 140.3

    In 1902 she wrote a letter No. 200, in which she said:DGRGC 140.4

    “In regard to the third meal, do not make eating but two meals compulsory. Some do best healthwise when eating three light meals, and when they are restricted to two, they feel the change severely.” 32Counsels on Diet and Foods, 178.DGRGC 140.5

    I once had that experience, and I came to a conclusion that those who live on two meals a day are generally the poorest examples of real health reform among us as a people. They ate more in their two meals than the ordinary person in three moderate meals.DGRGC 140.6

    We must be consistent. We must be sensible. We must live according to reason. If Ellen G. White was anything at all, she was reasonable, sensible, and took good care of those about her.DGRGC 140.7

    We could read much more on this subject, but there are other subjects far more important. I use it only as an example of how we can become extremists in our viewpoints and misuse the writings of the servant of the Lord. None of us want to do that I am sure.DGRGC 140.8

    Mrs. White then describes another class who in their desire to set a right example go to the opposite extreme. Concerning them she says:DGRGC 140.9

    “Some are unable to obtain the most desirable foods, and instead of using such things as would best supply the lack, they adopt an impoverished diet. Their food does not supply the elements needed to make good blood. Their health suffers, their usefulness is impaired, and their example tells against rather than in favour of reform in diet.DGRGC 141.1

    “Others think that since health requires a simple diet, there need be little care in the selection or the preparation of food. Some restrict themselves to a very meagre diet, not having sufficient variety to supply the needs of the system, and they suffer in consequence.” 33White, Ellen G., “The Ministry of Healing, 318.DGRGC 141.2

    I was in a home several years ago, where they had a kind of a mixing machine. The lettuce went in at the top, the cabbage, the carrots, the tomatoes, and the potatoes all went in the top—about everything that you could imagine, and all raw. Out it came in a sort of thick liquid. The lady took a glass of that mixture, and handing it to me, said, “Here is your dinner.” I drank it along with the rest of the family. When it came time for the next meal, about the same things went in at the top, were all ground up, and out came the liquid. Again she handed me a glass and said, “Here is your supper.” Well, now, brethren, that may or may not be health reform. For me, I consider it health deform, and deeply regret the reproach which such practices bring upon the greatly needed health message.DGRGC 141.3

    Ellen G. White never used such methods in her home. The people who lived with her for years tell of the bountiful table of well selected and well prepared foods. There was always an abundance for all, carefully selected, carefully prepared, and carefully served in the most proper and right way. No, my brothers and sisters, health reform does not demand that we become extremists in anything. It expects that we shall be good, sensible people, able to reason from cause to effect, ready to choose that which is wholesome, and discard that which is harmful.DGRGC 141.4

    From the examples cited thus far it becomes apparent that we must read everything which Mrs. White has written on any given aspect of health reform before we are qualified to speak with authority as to just what she taught and advocated. This becomes more apparent as we deal with such questions as to eggs, milk, butter, cheese, flesh, and the like.DGRGC 141.5

    It is high time that we faced these problems and dealt with them frankly and fairly, so as to do justice to the one who is so frequently misquoted, misinterpreted, and misunderstood. Again I say, that on all of these questions we must take our position right by her side, giving due consideration to every statement, not going to either extreme, not running ahead of her nor falling so far behind that we are out of step with her.DGRGC 142.1

    To make sure of our position on all of these much discussed issues let us classify her instruction in three columns, or groups: First, the instruction which sets forth the ideal, that which is best, most positive, most strict—the highly desirable. Second, the instruction which recognized the exceptions, the emergencies, the conditions which do not permit of the ideal, the perfect, and which call for a second best, the best you can do under existing conditions. Third, those statements which seem to be a summarization, or a conclusion of the whole matter.DGRGC 142.2

    To my mind that is a fair, a reasonable, and a sensible approach to these questions which are now proving so troublesome and perplexing to some; and even becoming obstacles and stumbling blocks to others. When all of the instruction on any given topic is studied, Ellen G. White is found to present what must be recognized as a well-balanced, reasonable, and highly satisfactory solution or exposition.DGRGC 142.3

    My appeal to all Seventh-day Adventists everywhere is that we might use such a sane and sensible approach to all of the counsel and instruction contained in the writings of Ellen G. White. By thus taking our position by her side, we can and would be correct in our interpretation, and a harmony of thought and action would result.DGRGC 142.4

    Let us apply this principle first to the question regarding the eating of eggs. Taken from Volume 2 of the Testimonies for the Church 2:400, we read, “Eggs should not be placed upon your table.” Without giving heed to the setting of this statement it seems to be all inclusive, and has a finality which is beyond compromise. And some of our folks say, “Therefore, eat no eggs.”DGRGC 142.5

    In that second column or group of qualifying statements I find this:DGRGC 143.1

    “It is true that persons in full flesh and in whom the animal passions are strong need to avoid the use of stimulating foods. Especially in families of children who are given to sensual habits, egg should not be used.”DGRGC 143.2

    Now that is quite different from the first sentence. The first sentence said, “Eggs should not be placed upon your table.” Now let us continue:DGRGC 143.3

    “But in the case of persons whose blood-making organs are feeble—especially if other foods to supply the needed elements cannot be obtained—milk and eggs should not be wholly discarded. Great care should be taken, however, to obtain milk from healthy cows, and eggs from healthy fowls, that are well fed and well cared for.” 34White, Ellen G., “The Ministry of Healing, 320.DGRGC 143.4

    We now turn to Volume 9 of the Testimonies for the Church 9:162 for her final summarizing statement regarding eggs:DGRGC 143.5

    “While warnings have been given regarding the dangers of disease through butter, and the evil of the free use of eggs by small children, yet we should not consider it a violation of principle to use eggs from hens that are well cared for and suitably fed. Eggs contain properties that are remedial agencies in counteracting certain poisons.”DGRGC 143.6

    Now suppose we had stopped on the first sentence. Suppose we had stopped on the first two sentences. Then I would not be doing justice to the teaching of the Spirit of prophecy on this subject. It means that I must have the whole picture before me in order to understand the significance and the meaning of the instruction given.DGRGC 143.7

    Brethren, sisters, I appeal to you once again. Let us be sure that we have the whole picture, the whole body of instruction, before we pronounce a judgment upon anyone. It seems to me that we should be most careful to use the writings of the Spirit of prophecy in the way that Ellen G. White intended they should be used.DGRGC 143.8

    Frankly what was the situation which called forth the positive statement on page 400 of Volume 2? A brother and his wife were having trouble with their boys. Their boys had gotten into some habits that were not good for them, affecting their health and their mentality. They went to Mrs. White and said, “Mrs. White, we need help, we need instruction, we need counsel.” Then they explained their problem to her. She replied, “I have instruction for just such a situation as that.” Today we find that instruction is found in Volume 2 of the Testimonies. The chapter in which that particular sentence is found is entitled “Sensuality in the Young.” You will find the whole picture set forth, and the reason for that sentence, which so many of our people lift right out of its context. They use it as a basis for everybody, everywhere, and declare that the eating of eggs is wrong. You see, you must read the whole chapter, beginning on page 390 in order to get the clear picture.DGRGC 143.9

    More than that, you should read the chapter in Ministry of Healing, and also the chapter in Volume 9 of the Testimonies, in fact, read everything that has to do with eggs before you begin to tell anybody else what to do about eggs.DGRGC 144.1

    Dear old Doctor Daniel Kress, over in Australia, way back about 1900 and 1901 was a very careful health reformer, and in every sense a fine, true Christian gentleman. He had taken an extreme view of health reform and had brought upon himself a very serious case of pernicious anæmia. Doctor Kress was going down physically, very fast, and his prospects of living were becoming rather uncertain. Mrs. White, who was in California, was given a vision in which Dr. Kress’ condition was shown to her and the reasons for his impaired health were revealed to her. Of course he was not using meat nor was he using eggs, milk, butter, or cheese. In vision she was shown that he should return to the use of dairy products and he should use raw eggs in grape juice every day for it would save his life. Doctor Kress, in telling the story, told us that he was completely amazed at such a thing coming from Mrs. White. He followed the counsel, turning from his extreme interpretation of health reform and regained his health. The dear old doctor still lives and was able to give fifty years of service after the time he thought he would die.DGRGC 144.2

    Let us turn to another food problem and take a brief glance at the instruction on dairy products—milk, cream, and butter. Here, too, is a question which vexes many of our people. Again we must take our stand by the side of Ellen G. White if we would rightly understand and represent her views on this subject.DGRGC 145.1

    We begin with the positive statements:DGRGC 145.2

    “The light given me is that it will not be very long before we shall have to give up any animal food. Even milk will have to be discarded. Disease is accumulating rapidly. The curse of God is upon the earth.” 35White, Ellen G., “Australasian Union Conference Record,” July 28, 1899.DGRGC 145.3

    “Tell them that the time will soon come when there will be no safety in using eggs, milk, cream, or butter, because disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men.” 36White, Ellen G., “Testimonies for the Church 7:135.DGRGC 145.4

    Disease in the animals is the reason given for these statements. The contamination of the source, and the method of handling, would seem to justify the discontinuance of dairy products from one’s diet. Before coming to a conclusion we turn to the qualifying instruction, and we must give it due consideration because it, too, came from the pen of Mrs. White.DGRGC 145.5

    “God has furnished man with abundant means for the gratification of an unperverted appetite. He has spread before him the produce of the earth—a bountiful variety of food that is palatable to the taste and nutritious to the system. Of these our benevolent heavenly Father says we may freely eat. Fruits, grains, and vegetables, prepared in a simple way, free from spice and grease of all kinds, make, with milk or cream, the most healthful diet. They impart nourishment to the body, and give a power of endurance and a vigour of intellect that are not produced by a stimulating diet.” 37White, Ellen G., “Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 47 (Quoted in Counsels on Diet and Foods, 92). [Italics mine.]DGRGC 145.6

    Further we read:DGRGC 145.7

    “The time may come when it will not be safe to use milk. But if the cows are healthy and the milk thoroughly cooked, there is no necessity of creating a tune of trouble beforehand.” 38White, Ellen G., Letter 39, 1901; quoted in “Counsels on Diet and Foods, 357. [Italics mine.]DGRGC 145.8

    “As for myself, I have settled the butter question. I do not use it. This question should easily be settled in every place where the purest article cannot be obtained. We have two good milch cows, a Jersey and a Holstein. We use cream, and all are satisfied with this.” 39White, Ellen G., Letter 45, 1903; quoted in “Counsels on Diet and Foods, 351. [Italics mine.]DGRGC 146.1

    It was in 1909 at a General Conference Session that Ellen G. White preached a powerful sermon on health reform. This sermon now appears in Testimonies, Volume 9, and I consider it as a sort of summarization of her teachings on this important topic. Every Seventh-day Adventist would do well to read and analyze it. From it we take several paragraphs:DGRGC 146.2

    “Food should be prepared in such a way that it will be appetizing as well as nourishing.... Vegetables should be made palatable with a little milk or cream, or something equivalent.... Some, in abstaining from milk, eggs, and butter, have failed to supply the system with proper nourishment, and as a consequence have become weak and unable to work. Thus health reform is brought into disrepute....DGRGC 146.3

    “The time will come when we may have to discard some of the articles of diet we now use, such as milk and cream and eggs; but it is not necessary to bring upon ourselves perplexity by premature and extreme restrictions. Wait until the circumstances demand it, and the Lord prepares the way for it.” 40White, Ellen G., “Testimonies for the Church 9:162. [Italics mine.]DGRGC 146.4

    “Milk, eggs, and butter should not be classed with flesh meat. In some cases the use of eggs is beneficial. The time has not come to say that the use of milk and eggs should be wholly discarded. There are poor families whose diet consists largely of bread and milk. They have little fruit and cannot afford to purchase the nut foods. In teaching health reform, as in all other gospel work, we are to meet the people where they are. Until we can teach them how to prepare health reform foods that are palatable, nourishing, and yet inexpensive, we are not at liberty to present the most advanced propositions regarding health reform diet.41White, Ellen G., “Testimonies for the Church 7:135. [Italics mine.]DGRGC 146.5

    When the health message is studied in this way duty and responsibility become apparent to every one. There is no need for extreme views, for narrow bigotry, nor for pharisaical restrictions, nor for any to attempt to gain salvation by works.DGRGC 147.1

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