Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)



Ms 1, 1875

Educational, Health, and Temperance Work


October 12, 1875

Drawn from Lt 1, 1875 and Lt 34, 1875. Portions of this manuscript are published in CW 123-126.

Publications upon health reform will reach many who will not see or read anything upon important Bible subjects. The gratification of every perverted appetite is doing its work of death. Intemperance must be met. With united, intelligent effort, make known the evils of beclouding the powers that God has given with wine and strong drinks. The truth must come to the people upon health reform. This is essential in order to arrest the attention in regard to Bible truth. 2LtMs, Ms 1, 1875, par. 1

God requires that His people shall be temperate in all things. Unless they practice temperance, they will not, cannot, be sanctified through the truth. Their very thoughts and minds become depraved. 2LtMs, Ms 1, 1875, par. 2

Many of those looked upon as hopelessly depraved will, if properly instructed in regard to their unhealthful practices, be arrested with the truth. Then they may be elevated, ennobled, sanctified, fit vessels for the Master’s use. Go with your hands full of proper reading matter, and your heart full of the love of Christ for their souls, reaching them where they are. Many are being drawn by the Lord Jesus Christ who will respond. They are disgusted with the dry formalism which exists in the Christian world. Many are becoming infidels because of the absence of true piety in professed Christians. A good work could be done in preparing the way for the introduction of the truth if decided testimony were borne upon this branch of the work (health and temperance). 2LtMs, Ms 1, 1875, par. 3

Many even of those who profess to believe the truth are lamentably ignorant on this subject. They need to be educated line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, over and over again, in every yearly gathering, for this subject needs to be kept fresh before them. 2LtMs, Ms 1, 1875, par. 4

I have been shown that in giving attention to this branch of the work, you remove a large amount of prejudice from many minds that has barred the way to their receiving the truth and reading the publications setting forth the truth which we believe. This matter must not be passed over as nonessential; for nearly every family needs to be stirred up on this question and their consciences aroused to be doers of the Word of God in practicing self-denial of appetite. When you make the people intelligent on the question of health reform, you have prepared the way for them to give attention to the present truth for these last days. Said my guide, “Educate, educate, educate.” The mind must be enlightened; for the understanding is darkened just as Satan would have it to be, because he can find access through perverted appetite to debase the soul. 2LtMs, Ms 1, 1875, par. 5

One reason that there is not more sincere piety and religious fervor is because the mind is occupied with unimportant things, and there is no time to meditate, search the Scriptures, or pray. If the consciences can be aroused to see the errors in the preparation of the food, and their influence upon the moral tendencies of our nature, there would be in every family decided reforms. Intemperance in desire resulted to our first parents in the loss of Eden. We generally find, even among Seventh-day Adventists, that inclination, habit, delicate, unhealthful preparations in cooking, and unhealthful habits of dress, are weakening physical, mental, and moral efficiency, and making it impossible to overcome temptation. Now what shall we do? This subject is a sadly neglected matter. 2LtMs, Ms 1, 1875, par. 6

I am pained over the existing state of things. I am informed by my guide, “All who believe and proclaim the truth should not only practice health reform, but teach it diligently to others.” This will be a strong agency in calling the attention of the unbelieving to consider. If we are intelligent upon this subject in regard to healthful diet and practices, we would be sound on the subjects of Bible doctrine. If we backslide on this point, we lose much influence with the outside world. 2LtMs, Ms 1, 1875, par. 7

When at our large gatherings, make all the discourses highly reformative. Arouse the intellect. Bring all the talents possible into the efforts made, and then follow up the effort with tracts and pamphlets, with articles written in simple form, to make the subjects brought before them distinctly stated, that the word spoken may be repeated by the silent agent. Short, interesting articles should be arranged in cheap style and scattered everywhere. They should be at hand upon every occasion where the truth is brought before the minds of those to whom it is new and strange. 2LtMs, Ms 1, 1875, par. 8

Here is a branch of work in the Lord’s vineyard that has not received due attention. I have been shown in these very matters, where these things have been neglected, much has been lost. There should be more wise generalship manifested in doing the Lord’s work. Minds must be arrested and held to the point, else Satan will steal away the seed sown. There will be but a small number in comparison with the rejecters of truth, that will receive it; but one soul is of highest value. The value of all the world sinks into insignificance in comparison to the value of one human soul. 2LtMs, Ms 1, 1875, par. 9

One characteristic of Christ was, “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he has set judgment in the earth.” [Isaiah 42:4.] Shall we be talking of failure or discouragement when we think of the price the Lord paid to rescue man, that he should not perish, but have everlasting life? The greatest Teacher that ever blessed our world was despised and rejected of men. We are treated better than was our Lord. 2LtMs, Ms 1, 1875, par. 10