Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 81, 1894

Intelligence in the Practice of Health Reform



Portions of this manuscript are published in ML 132; ST 09/30/1897.

There is need of reform in what are thought to be health reform ideas and practices. The wretched feelings supposed to result from eating an insufficient amount of food have often a far different cause. There is much to learn in this line. The feeling is generally due not to a lack of food, but to the fact that the food is not of the right quality or has not been properly prepared. Every person needs to become intelligent on this subject. Some have had their appetites indulged from childhood so that they think it essential to have the things that taste good to them. In many cases a perverted taste is cultivated, which makes a perverted stomach. The digestive organs are abused and overtaxed in eating that which “I love.” Very many who think they are patterns of health reform and strict propriety in eating really are not intelligent health reformers. They do not know what health reform is. They have educated the taste in a wrong direction and will have to change their practices and unlearn and learn anew what constitutes health reform. Health reform is an intelligent selection of the most healthful articles of food, prepared in the most healthful, simplest form. 9LtMs, Ms 81, 1894, par. 1

It is customary to provide at dinner a variety of vegetables and other articles, and then fashion requires a dessert in the form of pudding or custard prepared with eggs and milk and sweets combined. These, introduced into the stomach after a meal of vegetables, will create disturbance; and the recipes for concocting the endless variety of mixtures called healthful are anything but healthful. The grains, vegetables, and fruits are all that the wants of the stomach demand; and the extra dish prepared for dessert might better never have taxed time and ingenuity to invent, for it creates great difficulty in disagreement with that which has been eaten. 9LtMs, Ms 81, 1894, par. 2

What kind of health reformers are we? I think we need to consider this question more, much more, critically. We do not need a large variety of dishes on the table at the same meal. We might better dispense with the sweet puddings and concentrated jellies, jams or marmalade which set up a fermentation in the stomach. When these are banished forever from our table it will be made easier to live a Christian life, for there will be sweeter stomachs and the result will be sweeter tempers. 9LtMs, Ms 81, 1894, par. 3

It is within the power of every family to become intelligent in regard to eating and drinking and dressing, the hours of rising, the hours of retiring. In regard to all these things it is in the power of all so to educate and train themselves that they may retain health and physical strength. The Lord does not propose to work a miracle to keep our stomachs in healthful working order when, through willful ignorance and carelessness, we are treating ourselves unwisely. 9LtMs, Ms 81, 1894, par. 4

Sedentary habits for those who can exercise the physical organs God has given them is sin. Those who will not exercise their reason, but work some part of the human machinery while other organs are left to rust from inaction give to God a lame, crippled offering. The mind can do only a limited amount of work compared with that which it is capable of doing when every part of the working machinery is in good working order. 9LtMs, Ms 81, 1894, par. 5