Chapter 8—Seventh-day Adventists Spiritual Leaders

Preserve Mental Vigor and Give Power of Endurance—There is a solemn responsibility upon all, especially upon ministers who teach the truth, to overcome on the point of appetite. The usefulness of ministers of Christ would be much greater if they had control of their appetites and passions; and their mental and moral powers would be stronger if they should combine physical labor with mental exertion. They could, with strictly temperate habits, with mental and physical labor combined, accomplish a far greater amount of labor and preserve clearness of mind. If they should pursue such a course their thoughts and words would flow more freely, their religious exercises would be more energized, and the impressions made upon their hearers would be more marked. Te 166.2

Intemperance in eating, even of food of the right quality, will have a prostrating influence upon the system, and will blunt the keener and holier emotions. Strict temperance in eating and drinking is highly essential for the healthy preservation and vigorous exercise of all the functions of the body. Strictly temperate habits, combined with the exertion of the muscles as well as the exercise of the mind, will preserve both mental and physical vigor, and give power of endurance to those engaged in the ministry, to editors, and to all others whose habits are sedentary.—The Health Reformer, August, 1875. Te 167.1

Follow Christ's Example—Ministers of Christ, professing to be His representatives, should follow His example, and above all others should form habits of strictest temperance. They should keep the life and example of Christ before the people by their own lives of self-denial, self-sacrifice, and active benevolence. Christ overcame appetite in man's behalf, and in His stead they are to set others an example worthy of imitation. Those who do not feel the necessity of engaging in the work of overcoming upon the point of appetite will fail to secure precious victories which they might have gained and will become slaves to appetite and lust, which are filling the cup of iniquity of those who dwell upon the earth.”—Testimonies for the Church 3:490. Te 167.2

Spiritual Vision Impaired—I am instructed to say to my brethren in the ministry: By intemperance in eating you disqualify yourselves for seeing clearly the difference between sacred and common fire. And by this intemperance you also reveal your disregard for the warnings that the Lord has given you. His word to you is: “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of Mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” Isaiah 50:10, 11.—Testimonies for the Church 7:258. Te 167.3

An Aid to Clear Thinking—We have no right to overtax either the mental or the physical powers so that we are easily excited and led to speak words which dishonor God. The Lord desires us to be always calm and forbearing. Whatever others may do, we are to represent Christ doing as He would do under similar circumstances. Te 168.1

Every day one in a position of trust has decisions to make on which depend results of great importance. He has often to think rapidly, and this can be done successfully only by those who practice strict temperance. The mind strengthens under the correct treatment of the physical and the mental powers. If the strain is not too great, it acquires new vigor with every taxation.—Testimonies for the Church 7:199. Te 168.2

Qualifications for Men Chosen for Responsible Positions—It means much to be true to God. He has claims upon all who are engaged in His service. He desires that mind and body be preserved in the best condition of health, every power and endowment under the divine control, and as vigorous as careful, strictly temperate habits can make them. We are under obligation to God to make an unreserved consecration of ourselves to Him, body and soul, with all the faculties appreciated as His entrusted gifts, to be employed in His service. All our energies and capabilities are to be constantly strengthened and improved during this probationary period. Only those who appreciate these principles, and have been trained to care for their bodies intelligently and in the fear of God, should be chosen to take responsibilities in this work. Those who have been long in the truth, yet who cannot distinguish between the pure principles of righteousness and the principles of evil, whose understanding in regard to justice, mercy, and the love of God is clouded, should be relieved of responsibilities. Every church needs a clear, sharp testimony, giving the trumpet a certain sound.—The Signs of the Times, October 2, 1907. Te 168.3

Health Workers to Be Temperate—He [the physician] sees that those who are taking the nurses’ course should be given a thorough education in the principles of health reform, that they should be taught to be strictly temperate in all things, because carelessness in regard to the laws of health is inexcusable in those set apart to teach others how to live.—Testimonies for the Church 7:74. Te 169.1

Educate, Educate, Educate—Because the principles of health and temperance are so important, and are so often misunderstood, neglected, or unknown, we should educate ourselves, that we may not only bring our own lives into harmony with these principles, but teach them to others. The people need to be educated, line upon line, precept upon precept. The matter must be kept fresh before them. Nearly every family needs to be stirred up. The mind must be enlightened and the conscience aroused to the duty of practicing the principles of true reform. Te 169.2

Ministers especially should become intelligent on this question. As shepherds of the flock, they will be held accountable for willing ignorance and disregard of nature's laws. Let them find out what constitutes true hygienic reform, and teach its principles, both by precept, and by a quiet, consistent example. They should not ignore their duty in this matter, not be turned aside because some may call them extremists. At conventions, institutes, and other large and important meetings, instruction should be given upon health and temperance. Bring into service all the talent at command, and follow up the work with publications on the subject. “Educate, educate, educate,” should be the watchword.—Manuscript 59, 1890. Te 169.3