Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 17, 1885

Andrews, Edith


February 10, 1885

Previously unpublished.

My dear Sister Edith: 4LtMs, Lt 17, 1885, par. 1

There are some things I wish to present before you. I have questioned whether it could be my duty to write to you in regard to some things. You are in danger of making the same mistake your uncle made—of having a one-sided education. He loved books and reading which proved to him a snare because he would devote himself to this kind of employment. He would frame every excuse for this kind of work, and it was most taxing and exhausting. 4LtMs, Lt 17, 1885, par. 2

You have weak lungs. Many who were placed as you are would overcome this difficulty, but I must tell you I have but little hope that you will do this because your habits are of that character that you will not see the evil tendency of these habits until it is too late. Your brain has now the taxation, while your muscles are almost totally inactive. There is not a healthful circulation of blood. You sit in a room where you are seldom sufficiently warm and seek to heat your feet by artificial means, but do not consult reason or religion in the matter. An interdict should be placed upon you, forbidding all such sedentary employment. Those who have pursued the course you are doing have paid the forfeit with their lives. Had they used the reason God has given them, they need not have died, but lived. 4LtMs, Lt 17, 1885, par. 3

With your intelligence you ought to know how to use limbs, brain, and muscle wisely that if possible the condition of things now existing might change. You know better than to treat yourself as you have done. But you have a very determined purpose, and it is difficult to make you see the importance of a change of habits. While God has given you reason, and you do not obey the dictates of reason, but are guided and controlled by impulse, God will not work a miracle to preserve that life that you daily needlessly imperil. 4LtMs, Lt 17, 1885, par. 4

It is the law of life that physical exercise is necessary for health. If one set of muscles is used to the neglect of others, there is a debility that must come to the unused organs. There is a want of harmonious action. Brain and muscle must be worked in order to have each equally taxed. If the muscles are used in active exercise, the circulation of the blood is quickened in its passage through the system. The heart receives blood faster, propelling it to the lungs, then the lungs work more healthfully to furnish the oxygen required by the larger amount of blood. The heart does its work more thoroughly, propelling the blood through the whole body. Healthful exercise gives new life and strength to every part of the body. The nerves ... [unfinished]. 4LtMs, Lt 17, 1885, par. 5