Ellen G. White Writings

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Counsels on Health, Page 469

Why Conduct Sanitariums?

[The New England Sanitarium, 9, 10 (1905).]

In letters received from our brethren, the questions are asked, “Why do we expend so much effort in establishing sanitariums? Why do we not pray for the healing of the sick, instead of having sanitariums?”

There is more to these questions that is at first apparent. In the early history of our work, many were healed by prayer. And some, after they were healed, pursued the same course in the indulgence of appetite that they had followed in the past. They did not live and work in such a way as to avoid sickness. They did not show that they appreciated the Lord's goodness to them. Again and again they were brought to suffering through their own careless, thoughtless course of action. How could the Lord be glorified in bestowing on them the gift of health?

When the light came that we should begin sanitarium work, the reasons were plainly given. There were many who needed to be educated in regard to healthful living. As the work developed, we were instructed that suitable places were to be provided, to which we could bring the sick and suffering who knew nothing of our people and scarcely anything of the Bible, and there teach them how to regain health by rational methods of treatment without having recourse to poisonous drugs, and at the same time surround them with uplifting spiritual influences. As a part of the treatment, lectures were to be given on right habits of eating and drinking and dressing. Instruction was to be given regarding the choice and the preparation of food, showing that food may be prepared so as to be wholesome and nourishing and at the same time appetizing and palatable.

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