Section 10—Preventive Measures

Chapter 1—Education in Temperance

What We Can Do—What can be done to press back the inflowing tide of evil? Let laws be enacted and rigidly enforced prohibiting the sale and the use of ardent spirits as a beverage. Let every effort be made to encourage the inebriate's return to temperance and virtue. But even more than this is needed to banish the curse of inebriety from our land. Let the appetite for intoxicating liquors be removed, and their use and sale is at an end.—Gospel Workers, 388. Te 194.1

The Rich Harvest From Educational Efforts—Men of different vocations and different stations in life have been overcome by the pollutions of the world, by the use of strong drink, by indulgence in the lusts of the flesh, and have fallen under temptation. While these fallen ones excite our pity and demand our help, should not some attention be given also to those who have not yet descended to these depths, but who are setting their feet in the same path?—Testimonies for the Church 6:256. Te 194.2

If half the efforts that are put forth to stay this giant evil were directed toward enlightening parents as to their responsibility in forming the habits and characters of their children, a thousandfold more good might result than from the present course of combating only the full-grown evil. The unnatural appetite for spirituous liquors is created at home, in many cases at the very tables of those who are most zealous to lead out in the temperance campaigns. We bid all workers in the good cause, Godspeed; but we invite them to look deeper into the causes of the evil they war against, and labor more thoroughly and consistently in the work of reform,”—The Signs of the Times, November 17, 1890. Te 194.3

What to Teach—It must be kept before the people that the right balance of the mental and moral powers depends in a great degree on the right condition of the physical system. All narcotics and unnatural stimulants that enfeeble and degrade the physical nature tend to lower the tone of the intellect and morals.... Te 195.1

Temperance reformers have a work to do in educating the people in these lines. Teach them that health, character, and even life, are endangered by the use of stimulants, which excite the exhausted energies to unnatural, spasmodic action.—The Ministry of Healing, 335. Te 195.2

Be Brave and Overcome—The physical life is to be carefully educated, cultivated, and developed, that through men and women the divine nature may be revealed in its fullness. God expects men to use the intellect He has given them. He expects them to use every reasoning power for Him. They are to give the conscience the place of supremacy that has been assigned it. The mental and physical powers, with the affections, are to be so cultivated that they can reach the highest efficiency.... Te 195.3

Is God pleased to see any of the organs and faculties He has given to man neglected, misused, or deprived of the health and efficiency it is possible for them to acquire through exercise? Then cultivate the gift of faith. Be brave, and overcome every practice which mars the soul-temple. We are wholly dependent on God, and our faith is strengthened by still believing, though we cannot see God's purpose in His dealing with us, or the consequence of this dealing. Faith points forward and upward to things to come, laying hold of the only power that can make us complete in Him. “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me,” God declares, “and he shall make peace with Me.”—Manuscript 130, 1899. Te 195.4

No Subject of Greater Interest—God has sent His warning message to arouse men and women to their danger and peril. But thousands, yes, millions, are disregarding the word which points out their danger. They eat food which is ruinous to health. They refuse to see that by eating improper food, and drinking intoxicating liquor, they are binding themselves in slavery. They violate the laws of life and health until appetite holds them in its chains.... Te 196.1

No subject which is presented to the inhabitants of our cities should command so large an interest as that which concerns physical health. True temperance calls for total abstinence from strong drink. It calls also for reform in dietetic habits, in dressing, in sleeping. Those who indulge appetite are not pleased to hear that it rests with them to decide whether they will be invalids. They need to wake up and reason from cause to effect. They need to realize that they are disease producers because of their ignorance upon the subject of proper eating, drinking, and dressing.—Manuscript 155, 1899. Te 196.2

The Secret of a Permanent Work—We have seen that the victories gained by the “Temperance Crusade” are not often permanent. In those places where the excitement ran highest and apparently the most was accomplished in closing liquor saloons and reclaiming inebriates, after the lapse of a few months, intemperance prevailed to a greater extent than before the effort to suppress it was made. Te 196.3

The reason of this is evident. The work is not deep and thorough. The ax is not laid at the root of the tree. The roots of intemperance lie deeper than mere liquor drinking. In order to make the temperance movement a success, the work of reform must begin at our tables.—The Signs of the Times, January 6, 1876. Te 196.4

Presented in Strength and Clarity—Let the people be shown what a blessing the practice of health principles will be to them. Let them see what God designed men and women to become. Point to the great sacrifice made for the uplifting and ennobling of the human race. With the Bible in hand, present the requirements of God. Tell the hearers that He expects them to use the powers of mind and body in a way that will honor Him. Show them how the enemy is trying to drag human beings down by leading them to indulge perverted appetite. Te 197.1

Clearly, plainly, earnestly, tell them how thousands of men and women are using God's money to corrupt themselves and to make this world a hell. Millions of dollars are spent for that which makes men mad. Present this matter so clearly that its force cannot but be seen. Then tell your hearers of the Saviour, who came to this world to save men and women from all sinful practices. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Te 197.2

Ask those who attend the meetings to help you in the work that you are trying to do. Show them how evil habits result in diseased bodies and diseased minds—in wretchedness that no pen can describe. The use of intoxicating liquor is robbing thousands of their reason. And yet the sale of this liquor is legalized. Tell them that they have a heaven to win and a hell to shun. Ask them to sign the pledge. The commission of the great I AM is to be your authority. Have the pledges prepared, and present them at the close of the meeting.—Evangelism, 530. Te 197.3