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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Ms 85, 1902

    Report of Council About Medical Missionary Work, I

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    April 13, 1902

    Portions of this manuscript are drawn from Ms 50, 1902, and it is published in entirety in KC 140-146.

    The Health Food Work

    Present: Mrs. E. G. White, W. C. White, N. C. McClure, M. E. Cady, Brethren Loper, Boeker, Fulton, Bowen, Haynes, Morian, and others.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 1

    W. C. White: I esteem it a great privilege that we may meet together for counsel in regard to the work of the Food Company. I know that Mother is weary, and yet I trust that the Lord will bless us with instruction that has been given to her. Here are Brethren Fulton and Haynes from San Francisco; Brethren Cady, McClure, and Lashier from Healdsburg; Brother Loper from the Sanitarium; and Brethren Boeker, Bowen, and others from the Food Company. In a very short time we shall enter meetings in which we ought to present to our people plans and ideals in regard to the work. It is certainly our privilege to ask and receive counsel and enlightenment from God.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 2

    (Prayer by Brethren McClure and W. C. White.)17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 3

    W. C. White: If I understand the matter correctly, we have come to believe that the Lord would be pleased to have us make the health food business a great missionary agency, a means of reaching the people with the truths and reforms of this generation. To do this, we must reach out and establish the business in as many localities as we can. A matter of first importance is to bring right principles of dealing into our home work, so that our employees shall be trained aright and be enabled to develop Christian character, so that when they go out they may correctly represent a Christian enterprise.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 4

    In the development of plans, the managers of the Food Company have been studying how to place the foods in the hands of our people at prices which they can afford to pay—how to free the foods consumed by our people from those high prices which are necessary when we give a liberal salary to the man who travels to sell the goods, and a commission to the groceryman who retails them. To accomplish this, it has been proposed that we organize a business connected with the College, operating under the name of the Healdsburg College Food Company, or some similar name, and that instead of dealing with agents or grocerymen, we sell to our people direct at a net rate. We have discussed more or less the question of how the Food Company should connect with the College—whether we should ask the College to conduct this business upon plans which we could approve, or whether the Food Company should conduct the business on plans which the College could approve; or whether the two should unite hand in hand in a partnership.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 5

    Here are the propositions prepared for consideration:17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 6

    First: That we organize a department of the food business for the direct supply of the manufactured health foods, also fruits, nuts, legumes, health appliances, literature, etc., to all members of the California Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association, stockholders of Healdsburg College and Pacific Press, and the members of the Adventist Church generally.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 7

    Second: That for this work we organize under the name of the “Healdsburg College Food Company,” said Company to be an equal partnership of the St. Helena Food Company and the Healdsburg College.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 8

    Third: (a) That we encourage the St. Helena Sanitarium Food Company to incorporate under the supervision of the Pacific Medical Missionary Association. (b) That we encourage the Food Company to undertake the establishment of vegetarian restaurants in connection with its food stores and in other places as may seem advisable. (c) That we encourage the Food Company to establish food stores in the principal cities on the Coast.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 9

    Fourth: That we establish in San Francisco a purchasing and supply agency for the assistance and convenience of our various missionary enterprises, food stores, restaurants, etc.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 10

    In the afternoon meeting these plans were discussed and approved.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 11

    W. C. White: Another question, Mother, that we have been considering is, What is our duty in the matter of establishing restaurants? We have heard you say in private and in public, and have read in what you have written, something with reference to the advantages to the cause of establishing vegetarian restaurants. Recently there have seemed to be some good openings. The difficulty that we have been considering is the expense. To establish a restaurant according to the plan on which they are usually conducted means an investment of from seven hundred to a thousand dollars.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 12

    When Dr. Kellogg was here last, he was much interested in our food stores, and the Doctor suggested that we consider the advisability of establishing restaurants in an inexpensive way in connection with these stores. We have thought that such beginnings could be made with an outlay of two or three hundred dollars in a place. What would you think of that plan?17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 13

    Mrs. E. G. White: That would be a very small outlay, would it not? Could you limit the expenditure to that amount? I should think that you would have to expend a little more than that.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 14

    W. C. White: If the restaurants succeed at all, they would grow and require more. That is the case with our children—as they grow larger, and we see them develop, we are ready to spend more on them.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 15

    There is a question in our minds as to whether it would be right to make the Food Company more independent, more self-reliant, than it has been in the past, and then encourage it to take up the restaurant business and introduce restaurants in connection with its stores.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 16

    Heretofore our restaurants have been separate enterprises—often established by individuals—one person here, one person there, or two persons in some place, or by an agent of an association sent out to do this kind of work. Each restaurant had to work out most of the problems for itself.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 17

    In the establishment of food stores, one man has gone out and opened the stores, and all have been managed on a uniform plan. We have been thinking of letting the same company undertake the establishment of small restaurants. It could have a number of them. If they grew too large to be operated to advantage in connection with the food stores, then another place could be found. We have thought that as you said we should begin small and let things grow, perhaps it would be in harmony with right principles to follow this plan in the establishment of restaurants.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 18

    Hygienic Restaurants

    Mrs. E. G. White: I have much to say in regard to hygienic restaurants, sanitariums, and the health foods. I am perplexed to know where to begin.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 19

    The light given me is, that instead of presenting the subject of health reform abruptly to a congregation of unbelievers, our laborers should first reach the hearts by presenting Christ and Him crucified. Many unbelievers know no more of health reform than do babies. True, the laborers must dwell on reforms; but let them first endeavor to touch and tender the hearts of the people and lead them to be converted. After conversion, men and women will be ready to receive instruction in regard to further reforms and will permit their teachers to lead them along step by step into the full light of the present truth.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 20

    While in New York last winter, I received light in regard to hygienic restaurants. Night after night the course that our brethren should pursue in that city passed before me. They have a vegetarian restaurant in Brooklyn. They should go forward in the establishment of other hygienic restaurants. Instead of resting satisfied with having only the one that has been opened, they are to open other restaurants in various sections of the city. The people living in one part of Greater New York do not usually know what is going on in the other parts of that great city; therefore it is necessary to establish many restaurants. As men and women eat at these places, they will become conscious of an improvement in health. Their confidence once gained, they are more ready to accept God’s special message of truth.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 21

    Whenever in our large cities there is a strong educational missionary work being carried forward, there should be some sort of hygienic restaurant established, which shall demonstrate to the people right methods in the selection and preparation of food.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 22

    When in Los Angeles, I was shown that not only in various sections of that city, but in San Diego and in smaller tourist resorts of Southern California, health restaurants and treatment rooms should be established. Our efforts should include the great seaside resorts.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 23

    H. H. Haynes: Here is a question that has been asked me by a great many of our people within the last year. They say, “We could open a health boarding-house; but would it be right to do this and serve guests on the Sabbath, and have them around on that day as we should in an ordinary boarding house?”17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 24

    Mrs. E. G. White: I have had no special light in regard to its being the duty of our people to conduct boarding houses something after the order of hotels. Years ago the brethren began to work in that line in Battle Creek, but the Lord forbade them to continue.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 25

    It began in the Sanitarium before Dr. Kellogg came into the institution. Persons who came there to board and room brought in chess playing and many other amusements. This was not right, and the Lord rebuked the management. Our sanitariums are not to cater to the perverted tastes of worldly people. The same evils have existed in the Sanitarium on the hillside. A few years ago the managers made it more of a hotel than an institution for healing the sick. In the rooms of the guests could be seen the wine bottles that they had brought with them. The boarders indulged appetite for many harmful things. God was not at all pleased with the course pursued by the management in allowing such indulgence; for His purpose in the establishment of the institution was not being carried out. He sent light in regard to it, and the result was that some in leading positions withdrew. They said, “If we refuse to serve meat, we cannot hold the patrons.” But whether patronage increases or decreases, right principles must be upheld in the Lord’s institutions. In all our work we are to show the advantage of a health-reform diet. Between us and the world there is to be a distinct line of demarcation.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 26

    We are not building sanitariums for hotels. Receive into sanitariums only those persons who desire to conform to right principles. Let them use the foods that we place before them. If we should allow them to have intoxicating liquors in their rooms, or should serve them with meat, how can we give them the help they should receive in coming to our sanitariums? We must let them know that we have principle enough to keep such articles out of the institution. The same is true in the hygienic restaurants. We must be as true to principle as the needle to the pole. We have no time to dally. Do we not have a desire to see our fellow beings freed from disease and infirmity and in the enjoyment of health and strength?17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 27

    Hygienic Restaurants in Connection With Treatment Rooms

    To return to the question concerning boarding houses: I have not seen, and cannot now see, any light in opening a boarding house for the purpose of taking in every tourist that desires merely food and lodging. I have had light, however, that in many cities it is advisable for a restaurant to be connected with treatment rooms. The two can work in harmony and uphold right principles. In connection with our treatment rooms and restaurants in the cities, it is sometimes advisable to have rooms where we can provide lodgings for the sick. But we are not to erect in the cities immense buildings in which to care for the sick, because God does not want them to remain in the cities.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 28

    Instruction on the Health Food Question

    In the early days of health reform among our people, some of our sisters were on the alert for opportunities to show the people how to prepare hygienic foods. On the occasion of large gatherings, some in Battle Creek, thirty years ago, went to the fairground—the very place where Dr. Kellogg’s house now stands—and, setting up their stoves, they baked and cooked in the presence of the people and served the food free of charge. This cost time and money, but the result was well worth the effort. Many sampled the foods, pronounced them good, and asked how they were prepared. Gladly they were taught how to prepare the various dishes.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 29

    Wherever the truth goes, the people should be given instruction in the preparation of healthful foods. God desires that in every place the people shall be taught to use the products that can be readily obtained. Skilful teachers should show the people how to prepare the products that they can raise or secure in their section of the country. Thus the poor, as well as those in better circumstances, can learn to live healthfully.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 30

    All the way along from the beginning, we have found it necessary to educate, educate, educate. God desires us to continue the work of educating the people. We are not to neglect this work because of the effect we may fear it will have on the sales of the goods prepared in the health food factories. That 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 His moral image in themselves. In the effort to help them, difficulties will arise. Some have written to me about the recipes for using the nut preparations, saying that the foods as prepared do not agree with them and that they have written to the Sanitarium and to others, but have not learned the cause of the difficulty. In replying to such inquiries, I have suggested that they use only one-fifth part of the nut preparations called for in the recipes. This is the instruction given me. It would be a blessing if our cook books were pruned of some of the recipes appearing in them.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 31

    In the use of foods we should exercise good judgment and sound sense. When we find that something does not agree with us, we need not write letters of inquiry to learn the cause of the disturbance. We are to use our reason. Change the diet; use less of some of the foods; try other preparations. Soon we shall know the effect that certain combinations have on us. We are not machines; we are intelligent human beings; and we are to exercise our common sense. We can experiment with different combinations of foods.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 32

    There are persons who would be more benefited by abstinence from food for a day or two every week than by any amount of medicine or treatment or medical advice. To fast one day a week would be of incalculable benefit to them. It is foolish for one to keep on eating day after day and yet wonder why he is in distress. Let such an one relieve himself from distress by changing his diet or by eating less. If he wills to do so, he can soon obtain relief.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 33

    God never intended that the manufacture of health foods should be committed to any one man or set of men. Knowledge in regard to the preparation of health foods is God’s property and has not been entrusted to a few men only to be kept to themselves. God communicates to man in order that man may communicate to his fellow men. In saying this, I do not refer to the special preparations that it has taken Dr. Kellogg and others long study and much expense to perfect. I refer especially to the simple preparations that all can make for themselves, instruction in regard to which should be given to those who desire to live healthfully, and especially to the poor.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 34

    There is one thing that our brethren have done which has wrought great injury to the work. God has given us knowledge in the manufacture of foods as a means of helping to sustain the cause; yet there are some who have been so indiscreet as to disclose to worldly men secrets in regard to the preparation of health foods. Thus they have abused their God-given trust. They ought to have kept their own counsel, and allowed the Lord to lead.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 35

    It is the Lord’s design that in every place men and women shall have the privilege of developing their talents by preparing healthful foods from the natural products of their section of the country. No man is to forbid them. If they look to God, exercising their skill and ingenuity under the guidance of His Spirit, they will learn how to prepare natural products into healthful foods. Thus they will be able to teach the poor how to prepare foods that will take the place of flesh meat. Those thus helped can in turn instruct others. Such a work will yet be done. If it had been done before, here would today be many more people in the truth than there are, and we should have had many more who could give instruction than we have. Let us learn what our duty is and then do it. We are not to be dependent and helpless, trusting in human beings.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 36

    In reform movements, too often our leaders do not take the people with them. My husband was very particular in regard to this point. He tried to move no faster than he could lead the people. He regarded it as beneficial to the cause of truth to counsel with his brethren and sisters, as we have met for counsel today. After laying his plans before the council, he would say, “If you all agree to these plans, we will place them before our people. They support the work in the field, and we must bring these things to their attention, that we may all move understandingly, working to one point.”17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 37

    In connection with the food question, the Southern field was opened before me in a special manner. In some sections of the South the people will find it necessary to obtain some of the health foods from places outside of that field. But many of the products raised in the South may be utilized in making wholesome foods. In some parts of that field there is a good supply of fruit.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 38

    I cannot enter into the minutiae in regard to the health food business. The details must be worked out by others, and these must be men and women of consecration and common sense. Many ask, “What would you do in such and such a case?” My brethren and sisters, find out what to do when you come to the perplexity. You cannot learn everything at once. You must learn as you advance. Constantly advance. There should be a gradual development. Learn from one another. Pray for divine enlightenment. God has skill and understanding for His people. He who gave manna to the Israelites for forty years, who kept their shoes and clothing from waxing old and worn, still has a care for His children. If we place ourselves in right relation to Him, and daily commune with Him, we shall be taught of Him, and shall receive His blessing.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 39

    “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. ... If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” [John 15:8, 10, 11.] Into every department of God’s work there is to be brought hope and courage and joy—the joy of Christ. Then spiritual things will be spiritually discerned. The joy of the Lord is as far above every other joy as holiness is above unholiness. It gives strength to the physical, mental, and spiritual powers.17LtMs, Ms 85, 1902, par. 40

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