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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Lt 135, 1902

    Brethren and Sisters of the Iowa Conference

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    August 28, 1902 [typed]

    Portions of this letter are published in MM 261-262, 273-274; Ev 262; CD 39-40, 58. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Dear Brethren and Sisters of the Iowa Conference,—

    Seventh-day Adventists are handling momentous truths. On the subject of temperance they should be in advance of all other people.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 1

    The question of how to preserve the health is one of primary importance. When we study this question in the fear of God, we shall learn that it is best, both for our physical health and for our spiritual advancement, to observe simplicity in diet. Let us patiently study this question. We need knowledge and judgment in order to move wisely in this matter. Nature’s laws are not to be resisted, but obeyed.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 2

    Only when we are intelligent in regard to the principles of health reform can we be fully aroused to see the evils resulting from an improper diet. Those who, after seeing their mistakes, have courage to change their habits will find that the reformatory process requires a struggle and much perseverance. But when correct tastes are formed, they will realize that the use of food, which they have formerly regarded as harmless, was slowly but surely laying the foundation for dyspepsia and other diseases.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 3

    Some of our people conscientiously abstain from eating improper food and at the same time neglect to eat food that would supply the elements necessary for the proper sustenance of the body. Let us never bear a testimony against health reform by failing to use wholesome, palatable food in the place of harmful articles of diet that we have discarded. Much tact and discretion should be employed in preparing nourishing food to take the place of that which has constituted the diet of many families. This effort requires faith in God, earnestness of purpose, and a willingness to help one another. A diet lacking in the proper elements of nutrition brings reproach upon the cause of health reform. We are mortal and must supply ourselves with food that will give proper sustenance to the body.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 4

    Those who do not know how to cook hygienically should learn to combine wholesome, nourishing articles of food in such a way as to make appetizing dishes. Let those who desire to gain knowledge in this line subscribe for our health journals. They will find information on this point in them, especially in the Good Health.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 5

    Without continually exercising ingenuity, no one can excel in healthful cookery; but those whose hearts are open to impressions and suggestions from the Great Teacher will learn many things and will be able also to teach others, for He will give them skill and understanding.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 6

    Careful attention should be given to the proper use of nut foods. Some kinds of nuts are not so wholesome as others. Do not reduce the bill of fare to a few articles composed largely of nut foods. These foods should not be used too freely. If they were used more sparingly by some, the results would be more satisfactory. As combined in large proportions with other articles in some of the recipes given, they make the food so rich that the system cannot properly assimilate it.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 7

    Let us make intelligent advancement in simplifying our diet. In the providence of God, every country produces articles of food containing the nourishment necessary for the upbuilding of the system. These may be made into healthful, appetizing dishes.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 8

    Let those who advocate health reform strive earnestly to make it all that they claim it is. Let them discard everything detrimental to health. Use simple, wholesome food. Fruit is excellent and saves much cooking. Discard rich pastries, cakes, desserts, and the other dishes prepared to tempt the appetite. Eat fewer kinds of food at one meal, and eat with thanksgiving.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 9

    Concerning flesh meat we can all say, Let it alone. And all should bear a clear testimony against tea and coffee, never using them. They are narcotics, injurious alike to the brain and to the other organs of the body. The time has not yet come when I can say that the use of milk and of eggs should be wholly discontinued. Milk and eggs should not be classed with flesh meat. In some ailments the use of eggs is very beneficial.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 10

    Let the members of our churches deny every selfish appetite. Every penny expended for tea, coffee, and flesh meat is worse than wasted; for these things hinder the best development of the physical, mental, and spiritual powers.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 11


    How to Present the Principles of Health Reform

    The Lord desires every minister, every physician, every church member, to be careful not to urge those who are ignorant of our faith to make sudden changes in diet, thus bringing them to a premature test. Hold up the principles of health reform, and let the Lord lead the honest in heart. They will hear and believe. The Lord does not require His messengers to present the beautiful truths of health reform in a way that will prejudice the minds of others. Let no one place stumbling blocks before those who are walking in the dark paths of ignorance. Even in praising a good thing, it is well not to be too enthusiastic, lest you turn out of the way those who come to hear. Present the principles of temperance in their most attractive form.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 12

    We must not move presumptuously. The laborers who enter new territory to raise up churches must not create difficulties by attempting to make prominent the question of diet. They should be careful not to draw the lines too closely. Impediments would thus be thrown on the pathway of others. Do not drive the people. Lead them. Preach the Word as it is in Christ Jesus. The health journal will help you to learn not only how to prepare healthful food and how to give treatment to the sick, but also how to instruct others in these lines. Workers must put forth resolute, persevering effort, remembering that everything cannot be learned at once. They must have a fixed determination patiently to teach the people.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 13

    Wherever the truth is carried, the people should be given instruction in regard to the preparation of healthful foods. God desires that in every place the people should be taught by skilful teachers how to utilize wisely the products that they can raise or readily obtain in their section of the country. Thus the poor, as well as those in better circumstances, can be taught to live healthfully.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 14

    All the way along from the beginning, we have found it necessary to educate, educate, educate. God desires us to continue to educate the people. We are not to neglect this work because of the effect we may fear it will have on the sale of goods manufactured in our health food factories. This is not the most important matter. Our work is to show the people how they can obtain and prepare wholesome food, how they can co-operate with God in restoring in themselves His image.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 15

    My dear brethren and sisters in Iowa, many have been rebelling against health reform. Many have been warring against Dr. Kellogg, as if he were the one who originated the principles of health reform. To such ones I would say, In treating these principles as something that you should resist, have you not acted foolishly? In rejecting health reform, you have not been rejecting Dr. Kellogg, but rather the One who in mercy has given you these principles. <For about forty years> the Lord Himself has been sending you instruction, line upon line, precept upon precept. You need to practice health reform just as conscientiously as does Dr. Kellogg. It will lead to the restoration of both physical and spiritual health. When you place yourselves in right relation to God, you will accept the medical missionary work as a work to which you have been appointed by the great Master-Worker.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 16

    Those who live in the last days of this earth’s history need to be fully established in the principles of health reform. They need to recognize that the medical missionary work is ordained of God. Because the avenues of the soul have been sealed by the tyrant “prejudice,” many are painfully ignorant of the principles of healthful living. In their religious life they have become sour and uncongenial. May God forgive them.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 17

    God approves of the work that has been done in behalf of suffering humanity. Those who have stood opposed to the principles of health reform have stood where the Lord could not fulfil His purpose to work for them or through them. God says, “That servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” [Luke 12:47.] It is intemperance in eating that causes so much invalidism and robs the Lord of the glory due to Him. Because of a failure to deny self, many of God’s people are unable to reach the high standard of spirituality He has set for them; and though they repent and are converted, all eternity will testify to the loss they have sustained by yielding to selfishness.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 18

    The Lord calls for volunteers to enter His army. Sickly men and sickly women need to become health reformers. God will co-operate with His children in preserving their health, if they eat with care, refusing to put unnecessary burdens on the stomach. He has graciously made the path of nature sure and safe, wide enough for all who will walk in it. He has given for our sustenance the wholesome and health-giving productions of the earth.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 19

    He who does not heed the instruction God has given in His Word and in His works, he who does not obey the divine commands has a defective experience. He is a sickly Christian. His spiritual life is feeble. He lives, but his life is devoid of fragrance. He fritters away the precious moments of grace.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 20

    Many have done the body much injury by a disregard of the laws of life, and they may never recover from the effects of their neglect; but even now they may repent and be converted. Man has tried to be wiser than God. He has become a law unto himself. God calls upon us to give attention to His requirements, no longer to dishonor Him by dwarfing the physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities. Premature decay and death are the result of walking away from God to follow the ways of the world. He who indulges self must bear the penalty. In the Judgment we shall see how seriously God regards the violation of the laws of health. Then, as we take a retrospective view of our course of action, we shall see what knowledge of God we might have gained, what noble characters we might have formed, if we had taken the Bible as our counselor.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 21

    The Lord is waiting for His people to become wise in understanding. As we see the wretchedness, deformity, and disease that have come into the world as the result of ignorance in regard to the proper care of the body, how can we refrain from giving the warning? Christ has declared that as it was in the days of Noah, when the earth was filled with violence and corrupted by crime, so shall it be when the Son of man is revealed. God has given us great light, and if we walk in this light, we shall see His salvation.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 22

    There is need of decided changes. It is time for us to humble our proud, self-willed hearts and seek the Lord while He may be found. As a people we need to humble our hearts before God; for the scars of inconsistency are on our practice.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 23

    The Lord is calling upon us to come into line. The day is far spent. The night is at hand. The judgments of God are already seen, both on land and sea. No second probation will be granted us. This is no time for making false moves. Let every one thank God that we still have opportunity to form characters for the future, eternal life.17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 24

    God calls upon His people to be converted. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Isaiah 55:7-9.]17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 25

    “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” [Revelation 22:12.] “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountains; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.” [Isaiah 40:9, 10.]17LtMs, Lt 135, 1902, par. 26

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