Ms 41, 1912


Ms 41, 1912

Extracts From the Testimonies, Relating to the Question of Caring for Tourists in Our Medical Institutions


1912 [typed]

Extracts from Lt 244, 1903 and RH 12/17/1903.

As the result of a thorough search through the writings of Mrs. E. G. White, we find that the strongest allusions to the danger of devoting too much time and energy to the work of caring for tourists in our medical institutions are found (1) in Letter No. B. 244, 1903, entitled “Words of Warning,” addressed “To Sanitarium Managers and to Parents;” and (2) in an article entitled “Lessons From the Past.—No. 2,” published in the December 17, 1903, issue of the Review and Herald. Ms41-1912.1

The passage found in the letter (copies of which are in the hands of Brethren J. H. Kellogg, A. T. Jones, and W. S. Sadler) is as follows: Ms41-1912.2

“Special light has been given me in regard to why we may accomplish much more for the Master by the establishment of many small sanitariums than by the building up of a few large institutions. In these large medical institutions there will be gathered together many who are not very sick, but who, like tourists, are seeking rest and pleasure. These will have to be waited upon by our nurses and helpers. Young men and young women who from their earliest years have been shielded from evil associations are thus brought into contact with all classes of worldlings and are influenced to a greater or less extent by what they see and hear. Many become like those with whom they associate, losing the simplicity and the modesty that Christian fathers and mothers have guarded and cherished by careful instruction and earnest prayer. Ms41-1912.3

“Among the many unbelievers who patronize our large sanitariums, a few may come to a knowledge of the truth; but there is great danger that much more will be lost than gained, because our youth, in their association with men and women who fear not God, will meet with seductive influences that are almost irresistible. Satanic agencies will make every effort possible to destroy the purity of mind and soul, and many of these youth will never free themselves from the snare of the enemy. Ms41-1912.4

“We are living amidst the perils of the last days. Something decisive must be said to warn our people against the danger of permitting their children, who need parental care and instruction, to leave the influence of home life, where they have been kept from the evil of the world, to go to places where they will be employed to act as servants to pleasure-loving and irreligious worldlings.” Ms41-1912.5


The Review and Herald article, in part, is as follows: Ms41-1912.6

“Satan works in every possible way to ensnare souls. As I consider the state of things in Battle Creek, I tremble for our youth who go there. The light given me by the Lord—that our youth should not collect in Battle Creek to receive their education—has in no particular been changed. The fact that the sanitarium has been rebuilt does not change the light. That which in the past has made Battle Creek a place unsuitable for our youth makes it unsuitable today, as far as influence is concerned. Ms41-1912.7

“When the call came to move out of Battle Creek, the plea was, ‘We are here, and all settled. It would be an impossibility to move without enormous expense.’ Ms41-1912.8

“The Lord permitted fire to consume the principal buildings of the Review and Herald and the sanitarium, and thus removed the greatest objection raised to moving out of Battle Creek. It was His design, not that one large sanitarium should be rebuilt, but that plants should be made in several places. These smaller institutions should have been established where they could have the benefit and advantage of land for agricultural purposes. It is God’s plan that agriculture shall be carried on in connection with our sanitariums and schools. Our youth need the education to be gained from this kind of work. It is well, and more than well—it is essential—that efforts be made to carry out the Lord’s plan in this respect. Ms41-1912.9

“But a larger sanitarium building, different in design, yet capable of accommodating as many patients, was erected on the same site as the old building. Since the opening of this institution, a very large number of people have come to it. Some of these are patients, but some are not really sick, but, like tourists, are seeking for rest and pleasure. The large number at the sanitarium is no evidence that it is the will of God that such a condition of things should be. Our sanitariums were not designed to be boarding places for the rich people of the world. Ms41-1912.10

“The care of the large number of guests at the sanitarium requires a large number of helpers, and those in charge of our churches have been asked to send in the names of the most promising young men and young women in the church, that these youth may be communicated with by the managers of the sanitarium and the most efficient invited to come to the sanitarium to take the nurses’ course. Ms41-1912.11

“But shall we encourage our most promising young men and young women to go to Battle Creek, to obtain their training for service where attendance at entertainments, indulgence in worldly dress, and many other evils will tempt them to go astray? The Lord has revealed to me some of the dangers that our youth will meet by evil associations. Many of the wealthy, worldly men and women who patronize the sanitarium will be a source of temptation to the helpers in this institution. Some of these helpers will become the favorites of wealthy worldlings and will be offered alluring inducements to enter their employ. Through the silent influence of the worldly display of some of the patrons who for a time have stayed at the sanitarium, the enemy has already been able to sow tares in the hearts of many of our young men and young women. This is the way that Satan is working. Ms41-1912.12

“To fathers and mothers I would say, Be careful what moves you make. Place not your children under the seductive influences and the subtle temptations that they would have to meet were they to go to Battle Creek. It is not God’s design that our youth shall be called to this place, to associate with worldly people of all grades, high and low. Ms41-1912.13

“Because the sanitarium is where it should not be, should the word of the Lord regarding the education of our youth be of no account? Shall we allow the most intelligent of our youth in the churches throughout our conferences to be called to Battle Creek to become servants to worldlings, some of them to be robbed of their simplicity by being brought in contact with men and women who have not the fear of God in their hearts? Shall those in charge of our conferences allow our youth, who in the schools for Bible workers could be fitted for the Lord’s service, to be drawn to a place from which for years the Lord has been calling upon His people to move? Ms41-1912.14

“We desire that our youth shall be so trained that they shall exert a saving influence in our churches by working for greater unity and deeper piety. Human minds may not see the necessity for the call to families to leave Battle Creek and settle in places where they can do medical missionary evangelistic work. But the Lord has spoken. Shall we question His word?” Ms41-1912.15