Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1


Chapter 101—Work and Amusements

Dear Brother F,

My mind has been considerably exercised upon one or two points. When I get where I am writing letters to you night after night in my sleep, I then think it time to carry out my convictions of duty. When I was shown that Dr. E erred in some things in regard to the instructions he gave his patients, I saw that you had received the same ideas in many things and that the time would come when you would see correctly in regard to the matter. These are concerning work and amusements. I was shown that it would prove more beneficial to most patients to allow light work, and even to urge it upon them, than to urge them to remain inactive and idle. If the power of the will be kept active to arouse the dormant faculties, it will be the greatest help to recover health. Remove all labor from those who have been overtaxed all their lives and in nine cases out of ten the change will be an injury. This has proved true in the case of my husband. I was shown that physical, outdoor exercise is far preferable to indoor; but if this cannot be secured, light indoor employment would occupy and divert the mind, and prevent it from dwelling upon symptoms and little ailments, and would also prevent homesickness. 1T 567.1

This do-nothing system, I saw, had been the greatest curse to your wife and my husband. God gave employment to the first pair in Eden because He knew they would be happier when employed. From what has been shown me, this do-nothing system is a curse to soul and body. Light employment will not excite or tax the mind or strength any more than amusements. The sick often get where they look at their poor feelings and think themselves utterly unable to do anything, when, if they would arouse the will and compel themselves to do an amount of physical labor every day, they would be far happier and improve much faster. I shall write more fully upon this point hereafter. 1T 568.1


I understand from a recent Rochester paper that card playing is no longer practiced as an amusement at the institution in ——. 1T 568.2

E.G.W., note to first edition.