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Life Sketches of Ellen G. White

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    Chapter 54—In Southern California

    “All our medical institutions are established as Seventh-day Adventist institutions, to represent the various features of gospel medical missionary work, and thus to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord,” (Testimonies for the Church 7:107) wrote Mrs. White in 1903, when the development of medical missionary work in southern California was under consideration.LS 399.1

    “If we are to go to the expense of building sanitariums in order that we may work for the salvation of the sick and afflicted, we must plan our work in such a way that those we desire to help will receive the help they need. We are to do all in our power for the healing of the body; but we are to make the healing of the soul of far greater importance. Those who come to our sanitariums as patients are to be shown the way of salvation, that they may repent, and hear the words, Thy sins are forgiven thee; go in peace and sin no more.” Testimonies for the Church 7:96.LS 399.2

    It was because of extraordinary opportunities presenting themselves for the winning of souls, that Mrs. White bore a decided testimony in favor of establishing a group of medical institutions in southern California. “From the light given me when I was in Australia, and renewed since I came to America,” she wrote in 1902, “I know that our work in southern California must advance more rapidly. The people flocking to that place in search of health must hear the last message of mercy....LS 399.3

    “From many places in southern California the light is to shine forth to the multitudes. Present truth is to be as a city set on a hill, which cannot be hid.LS 399.4

    “In southern California there are many properties for sale on which buildings suitable for sanitarium work are already erected. Some of these properties should be purchased, and medical missionary work carried forward on sensible, rational lines. Several small sanitariums are to be established in southern California for the benefit of the multitudes drawn there in the hope of finding health. Instruction has been given me that now is our opportunity to reach the invalids flocking to the health resorts of southern California, and that a work may be done also in behalf of their attendants....LS 400.1

    “Instead of investing in one medical institution all the means obtainable, we ought to establish smaller sanitariums in many places. Soon the reputation of the health resorts in southern California will stand even higher than it stands at present. Now is our time to enter that field for the purpose of carrying forward medical missionary work.” Ms. as Published in the Medical Evangelist, Vol. 1 No. 2.LS 400.2

    During the years when such counsels as these were being given, Mrs. White visited southern California on several occasions, in the hope of encouraging the brethren to persevere in their search for properties suitable for use as medical institutions. At times, in visions of the night there were given her flash-light pictures of sanitariums in running order. These representations she endeavored to write out and pass on to the brethren in responsibility. At other times there was brought vividly before her mind instruction given in past years as to the aim and object of medical missionary work, and as to the pattern that should be followed in establishing and maintaining sanitarium enterprises in different parts of the world.LS 400.3

    While the eyes of some of the brethren were turned toward the cities, Mrs. White called attention to the advantages of country locations, and the benefits that would come to patients far removed from the distracting influences of modern city life. Considerable portions of this instruction were published in “Testimonies for the Church,” Volume 7. [See Section Entitled “Our Sanitarium Work,” pp. 57-109, in “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 7.] Among the presentations set forth were the following:LS 401.1

    “In the night season I was given a view of a sanitarium in the country. The institution was not large, but it was complete. It was surrounded by beautiful trees and shrubbery, beyond which were orchards and groves. Connected with the place were gardens, in which the lady patients, when they chose, could cultivate flowers of every description, each patient selecting a special plot for which to care. Outdoor exercise in these gardens was prescribed as a part of the regular treatment.LS 401.2

    “Scene after scene passed before me. In one scene a number of suffering patients had just come to one of our country sanitariums. In another I saw the same company, but, oh, how transformed their appearance! Disease had gone, the skin was clear, the countenance joyful; body and mind seemed animated with new life....LS 401.3

    “Many of the sick and suffering will turn from the cities of the country, refusing to conform to the habits, customs, and fashions of city life; they will seek to regain health in some one of our country sanitariums. Thus, though we are removed from the cities twenty or thirty miles, we shall be able to reach the people, and those who desire health will have opportunity to regain it under conditions most favorable.LS 401.4

    “God will work wonders for us if we will in faith cooperate with Him. Let us, then, pursue a sensible course, that our efforts may be blessed of heaven and crowned with success.” Testimonies for the Church 7:78, 79.LS 402.1

    The counsels regarding the extension of medical missionary work were not limited to any one favored section. “God has qualified His people to enlighten the world.” Mrs. White wrote while her mind was especially exercised concerning the opportunities before Seventh-day Adventists in southern California. “He has entrusted them with faculties by which they are to extend His work until it shall encircle the globe. In all parts of the earth, they are to establish sanitariums, schools, publishing houses, and kindred facilities for the accomplishment of His work.... In many lands medical missions are to be established, to act as God's helping hand in ministering to the afflicted.LS 402.2

    “Christ cooperates with those who engage in medical missionary work. Men and women who unselfishly do what they can to establish sanitariums and treatment rooms in many lands will be richly rewarded. Those who visit these institutions will be benefited physically, mentally, and spiritually—the weary will be refreshed, the sick restored to health, the sin-burdened relieved. In far-off countries, from those whose hearts are by these agencies turned from the service of sin unto righteousness, will be heard thanksgiving and the voice of melody. By their songs of grateful praise a testimony will be borne that will win others to allegiance to and fellowship with Christ.” Testimonies for the Church 7:51, 52.LS 402.3

    At the time of the dedication of the Loma Linda Sanitarium, April 15, 1906, Mrs. White reviewed some of the remarkable providences that had attended the efforts of the brethren to secure sanitarium properties in southern California. She also outlined briefly the divine purpose that is to be wrought out through such agencies. In the course of her remarks, she declared:LS 403.1

    “Solemn is the responsibility resting upon medical missionaries. They are to be missionaries in the true sense of the term. The sick and the suffering who entrust themselves to the care of the helpers in our medical institutions, must not be disappointed. They are to be taught how to live in harmony with heaven. As they learn to obey God's law, they will be richly blessed in body and in spirit.LS 403.2

    “The advantage of outdoor life must never be lost sight of. How thankful we should be that God has given us beautiful sanitarium properties at Paradise Valley and Glendale and Loma Linda! ‘Out of the cities! out of the cities!’—this has been my message for years. We cannot expect the sick to recover rapidly when they are shut in within four walls, in some city, with no outside view but houses, houses, houses,—nothing to animate, nothing to enliven. And yet how slow some are to realize that the crowded cities are not favorable places for sanitarium work!LS 403.3

    “Even in southern California, not many years ago, there were some who favored the erection of a large sanitarium building in the heart of Los Angeles. In the light of the instruction God had given, we could not consent to the carrying out of any such plan. In the visions of the night the Lord had shown me unoccupied properties in the country, suitable for sanitarium purposes, and for sale at a price far below the original cost.LS 403.4

    “It was some time before we found these places. First we secured the Paradise Valley Sanitarium, near San Diego. A few months later, in the good providence of God, the Glendale property came to the notice of our people, and was purchased and fitted up for service. But light came that our work of establishing sanitariums in southern California was not complete; and on several different occasions testimonies were given that medical missionary work must be done somewhere in the vicinity of Redlands.LS 404.1

    “In an article published in the Review of April 6, 1905, I wrote:LS 404.2

    “‘On our way back to Redlands, as our train passed through miles of orange groves, I thought of the efforts that should be made in this beautiful valley to proclaim the truth for this time. I recognized this section of southern California as one of the places that had been presented to me with the word that it should have a fully equipped sanitarium.LS 404.3

    “‘Why have such fields as Redlands and Riverside been left almost unworked? ... The Lord would have brave, earnest men and women take up His work in these places. The cause of God is to make more rapid advancement in southern California than it has in the past. Every year thousands of people visit southern California in search of health, and by various methods we should seek to reach them with the truth. They must hear the warning to prepare for the great day of the Lord, which is right upon us.... Workers who can speak to the multitudes are to be located where they can meet the people, and give them the warning message.... Let them be quick to seize opportunities to place present truth before those who know it not. Let them give the message with clearness and power, that those who have ears to hear may hear.’LS 404.4

    “These words were written before I had learned anything about the property at Loma Linda. Still the burden of establishing another sanitarium rested upon me. In the fall of 1903 I had a vision of a sanitarium in the midst of beautiful grounds, somewhere in southern California, and no property I had visited answered to the presentation given in this vision. At the time, I wrote about this vision to our brethren and sisters assembled at the Los Angeles camp meeting early in September, 1903.LS 405.1

    “While attending the General Conference of 1905, at Washington, D. C., I received a letter from Elder J. A. Burden, describing a property he had found four miles west of Redlands, five and one half miles southeast of San Bernardino, and eight miles northeast of Riverside. As I read his letter, I was impressed that this was one of the places I had seen in visionLS 405.2

    “Later, when I visited this property, I recognized it as one of the places I had seen nearly two years before in vision. How thankful I am to the Lord our God for this place, which is all prepared for us to use to the honor and glory of His name!” The Review and Herald, June 21, 1906.LS 405.3

    To the delegates assembled at the 1909 General Conference, Mrs. White outlined some of the experiences connected with the establishment of medical missionary work on a solid basis in southern California, and referred particularly to the prospering hand of God in providing facilities for the training of many medical missionary evangelists for world-wide service. In this connection she said:LS 405.4

    “One of the chief advantages of Loma Linda is the pleasing variety of charming scenery on every side. The extensive view of valley and mountain is magnificent. But more important than magnificent scenery and beautiful buildings and spacious grounds is the close proximity of this institution to a densely populated district, and the opportunity thus afforded of communicating to many, many people a knowledge of the third angel's message. We are to have clear spiritual discernment, else we shall fail of discerning the opening providences of God that are preparing the way for us to enlighten the world.LS 405.5

    “With the possession of this place comes the weighty responsibility of making the work of the institution educational in character. Loma Linda is to be not only a sanitarium, but an educational center. A school is to be established here for the training of gospel medical missionary evangelists....LS 406.1

    “In Loma Linda we have an advantageous center for the carrying on of various missionary enterprises. We can see that it was in the providence of God that this sanitarium was placed in the possession of our people. We should appreciate Loma Linda as a place which the Lord foresaw we should need and which He gave us. There is a very precious work to be done in connection with the interests of the sanitarium and the school at Loma Linda, and this will be done, when we all work to that end, moving unitedly in God's order.” The Review and Herald, June 21, 1906, 173, 174, 176, 177.LS 406.2

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