Ms 108, 1894

Ms 108, 1894

Intemperance — Its Cause and Cure.


Circa 1894

Previously unpublished.

Man came from the hand of God perfect in every faculty, in perfect soundness, therefore in perfect health. It took more than two thousand years of indulgence of appetite and lustful passions to create such a state of things in the human organism as caused lessened vital force. Through successive generations the tendency was more swiftly downward. Indulgence of appetite and passion combined, led to excess and violence; debauchery and abominations of every kind weakened the energies, and brought upon the race disease of every type, until the vigor and glory of the first generations passed away and in the third generation from Adam began to show signs of decay. Successive generations after the flood degenerated more rapidly. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 1

All this weight of woe and accumulated passion can be traced to the indulgence of appetite and passion. Luxurious living and the use of wine corrupts the blood, inflames the passions, and produces disease of every kind. The taste for the disgusting, filthy poison, tobacco, leads to the desire for stronger stimulants, which are taken on one plea or another, for some imaginary infirmity or to prevent some possible disease. Thus an unnatural appetite is created for hurtful, exciting stimulants; and this appetite has strengthened until the increase of intemperance in the present generation is alarming. Beverage-loving, beer-drinking men may be seen everywhere. Their intellect is enfeebled, their moral powers are weakened, their sensibilities are benumbed and the claims of God and heaven are not realized. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 2

The Bible declares that no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Tobacco and liquor stupefy the user. But the evil does not end here. Intemperate parents leave maladies as a legacy to their children. As a rule every intemperate man who rears children transmits his inclination and evil tendencies to his offspring; he gives them disease from his own inflamed, corrupted blood. Licentiousness and imbecility are transmitted as an inheritance of woe from father to son, and from generation to generation. This brings anguish and suffering into the world and is no less than a repetition of the fall of man. The race is groaning under a weight of accumulated woe, because of the sins of former generations. And yet, with scarcely a thought or a care, men and women of the present generation increase intemperance by surfeiting and drunkenness, and thereby leave as a legacy for the next generation disease, enfeebled intellects, and polluted morals. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 3

Intemperance of any kind is the worst sort of selfishness. Those who truly fear God and keep his commandments will look upon these things in the light of reason and religion. How can any man or woman keep the law of God, which requires him to love his neighbor as himself, and indulge intemperate appetite? A continual transgression of nature's laws is a continual transgression of the law of God. The present weight of anguish and suffering which we see everywhere, the deformity, decrepitude, disease, imbecility now flooding the world, make it in comparison with what it might be and what God designed it should be, a lazar-house. The present generation is feeble in mental, moral, and physical power. This misery has accumulated from generation to generation because fallen man will break the law of God. Sins of the greatest magnitude are committed through the indulgence of perverted appetite. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 4

In the wilderness of temptation, Christ overcame the power of appetite on man's behalf. In the name of the Conqueror man has an opportunity to deny appetite and gain the victory for himself. This battle is his. No one can fight it for him. Others can pray for him, but the work must be wholly his own. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 5

The only safe course is to touch not, taste not, handle not, tea, coffee, wine, tobacco, opium, or alcoholic drinks. A single glass of wine may open the door of temptation which will lead to habits of drunkenness. The necessity for the men of this generation to call to their aid the power of the will, strengthened by the grace of God, in order to withstand the temptations of Satan, and resist the least indulgence of perverted appetite, is twice as great as it was several centuries ago. The present generation have less power of self-control than had those who lived then. Those who have indulged the appetite for stimulants have transmitted their depraved tastes to their children; and greater moral power is required to resist intemperance in all its forms. The only perfectly safe course to pursue is to stand firmly on the side of temperance, and not venture in the path of danger. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 6

Those who have been overcome on the point of appetite and are using tobacco and liquor freely, are debasing their mental and moral powers, bringing them into servitude to the animal passions. When the appetite for spirituous liquor is indulged, the man voluntarily places to his lips draught which places below the level of the brute him who was made in the image of God. Reason is paralyzed, the intellect is benumbed, the animal passions are excited; and then follow crimes of the most debasing character. If men would become temperate in all things, if they would touch not, taste not, handle not spirituous liquors and narcotics, reason would hold the reins of government in her hands and would control the appetites and passions. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 7

Satan comes to man as he came to Christ, with his overpowering temptation to indulge appetite. He well knows his power to overcome man on this point. Thus he overcame Adam and Eve, and they lost their blissful home. What misery and crime have filled our world in consequence of the fall of Adam. Entire cities have been blotted from the face of the earth because of the debasing crimes and revolting iniquity that made them a blot on the universe. Through appetite, Satan controlled the minds of the inhabitants. Thousands who might have lived, have prematurely passed into their graves, physical, mental, and moral wrecks. They had good powers, but they sacrificed all to the indulgence of appetite, which led them to lay the reins on the neck of lust. Our world is a vast hospital; and vicious habits are increasing. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 8

Intemperance is strengthening everywhere, notwithstanding the earnest efforts being made to say its progress. I was shown that this giant power will not be controlled by any such efforts as have been made. The work of temperance must begin in our families at our tables. Mothers have an important work to do that they may give to the world through correct discipline and education children who will be capable of filling almost any position, and who can also honor and enjoy the duties of domestic life. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 9

Many mothers who deplore the intemperance which exists everywhere do not look deeply enough to see the cause. They are daily preparing a variety of highly seasoned foods, which tempt the appetite and encourage overeating. The tables of many professed Christian women are daily set with dishes that irritate the stomach and produce a feverish condition of the system. Flesh meat constitutes the principle article of food upon the tables of some families, until the blood of the members are filled with cancerous and scrofulous humors. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 10

We repeat; intemperance commences at our tables. The appetite is indulged until indulgence becomes second nature. By the use of tea and coffee for tobacco is formed, and this encourages the appetite for liquor. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 11

Many parents to avoid the task of patiently educating their children to habits of self-denial, instead of teaching them how to make a right use of God's blessings, indulge them in eating and drinking whenever they please. Appetite, unless positively restrained, grows with the growth and strengthens with the strength. When these children commence life for themselves and take their place in society, they are powerless to resist temptation. The desire to gratify inclination has not lessened with the increase of years; and in general youth are governed by impulse and are slaves to appetite. In the glutton youth are governed by impulse and are slaves to appetite. In the glutton, the tobacco-devotee, the wine-bibber, and the inebriate, we see the evil results of defective education. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 12

When we hear the sad lamentations of Christian men and women over the terrible evils of intemperance, the question at once arises in the mind, who have educated the youth, and given them their stamp of character? Who have fostered in them the appetites they have acquired? Who have neglected the most solemn responsibility of molding their minds and forming their character for usefulness in this life and for the society of heavenly angels in the next? A large class of the human beings we everywhere meet are a living curse to the world. They live for no other purpose than to indulge appetite and passion, and to corrupt soul and body by dissolute habits. This is a terrible rebuke to mothers who are votaries of fashion, who have lives for dress and show, who have neglected to beautify their own minds, and to form their own characters after the divine Pattern, who have also neglected the sacred trust committed to them, to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 13

Will mothers of this generation feel the sacredness of their mission, and not try to vie with their wealthy neighbors, but seek to excel them in faithfully performing the work of instructing their children for the better life? If children and youth were trained and educated to habits of self-denial, if they were taught that they should eat to live instead of living to eat, there would be less disease and less moral corruption. There would be little necessity for the temperance crusades, which amount to so little, if in the youth who form and fashion society, right principles in regard to temperance could be implanted. They would then have moral worth, and integrity to resist in the strength of Jesus, the pollutions of these last days. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 14

It is a most difficult matter to unlearn the habits which have been indulged through life and which have educated the appetite. The demon of intemperance is not easily conquered. It is of giant strength and hard to overcome. But let parents begin a crusade against intemperance at their own firesides, in their own families, in the principles they teach their children to follow from their infancy; and they may hope for success. Parents, it will pay you to use the precious hours given you by God in forming, developing, and training the characters of your children, teaching them to adhere strictly to the principles of temperance in eating and drinking. 9LtMs, Ms 108, 1894, par. 15