Ellen G. White Writings

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Selected Messages Book 2, Page 276

Section 7—The Use of Medicinal Agencies

Introduction

Shortly after the organization of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in May, 1863, at a time when the church numbered 3,500 members, Ellen G. White received a vision calling the attention of Adventists to the importance of good health and the close relationship between physical well-being and spiritual experience. The light given touched a number of important phases of living, including diet, value of fresh air, the use of water, healthful attire, exercise, rest, et cetera. Prominent in this important revelation of June 6, 1863, was light concerning the harmful effects of the poisonous drugs that physicians so freely prescribed.

In the subsequent years the great basic health-reform vision was followed by many visions opening up in more detail the principles and the application of principles that should guide in matters of retaining good health and the care of the sick, the call for medical institutions and the manner in which Seventh-day Adventists should conduct such institutions.

On these matters Mrs. White wrote much. Her first comprehensive presentation appeared in 1864 in Spiritual Gifts,[Currently available in facsimile reprint.] Volume 4, pages 120 to 151 in an article entitled “Health.” Mrs. White then expanded this thirty-page statement into six separate articles for publication under the general title of “Disease and its Causes.” In 1865 these were embodied in the six numbered pamphlets compiled by Elder and Mrs. White, entitled Health or How to Live, one E. G. White article appearing in each number. [The six articles in their entirety appear as an appendix to this volume, see pp. 409-479.] From time to time over the next several decades the various journals of the denomination carried articles by Mrs. White on the subject of health. In 1890 she presented a comprehensive picture of the health message in the first half of the book Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene. In 1905 she published The Ministry of Healing, her climaxing volume on the subject. This she intended for very wide distribution in America and overseas.

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