Ellen G. White Writings

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Counsels on Diet and Foods, Page 495

Appendix 2

A Statement by James White Relating to the Teaching of Health Reform

[In reporting the Kansas camp meeting of 1870, Elder James White made the following statement regarding the progressive light that had been received on health reform, the dangers of injudicious methods of teaching the subjects, and Mrs. White's relation to certain extreme positions that were then being advocated by some. As a historical statement it illuminates some of her teaching recorded at that time.—Compilers.]

Mrs. White has spoken on the health question in a manner to give entire satisfaction. Her remarks were clear and forcible, yet prudent, so that she carried the feelings of the entire congregation with her. On this subject she always avoids extremes, and is careful to take only those positions where she is quite sure not to excite prejudices.

The people are easily excited and prejudiced upon the subject of health reform, if those who handle it are unfortunate in the selection of the occasion, or in the style in which they present it, especially if they stand before the people in the light of extremists. Some delicate questions, such as “solitary vice,” should seldom, if ever, be discussed, only in suitable publications upon the subject. There is not one in ten of our preachers who are suitably informed, and properly guarded, to handle the health question in its several branches before the people. And the amount of harm done to the cause of present truth by the injudicious course of those who have introduced the subject of health reform at the wrong time and place, and in a wrong manner, can hardly be estimated.

“I have yet many things to say unto you,” said Jesus, “but ye cannot bear them now.” Jesus knew how to lead along the minds of His disciples. The Lord also knew how to introduce to His waiting people the great subject of health reform, step by step, as they could bear it, and make a good use of it, without souring the public mind. It was twenty two years ago the present autumn, that our minds were called to the injurious effects of tobacco, tea, and coffee,

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