Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 72, 1896

Maxson, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, Australia

November 5, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in CD 113, 232-233, 259, 319, 386-387, 396, 437; MM 276-278; PC 45-48; 1MR 66; SpM 45-48. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Maxson:

I have had the letter of August 12 written to you for some time, but I decided to first sent that which I have already sent you, withholding that which I now send. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 1

You cannot understand how much more effectual your services in the religious interest would be, and how much more satisfactory to yourself, if you would follow the light which has been given you. But it is a phase of your character to strenuously hold to your own ideas, and, if possible, carry them. Every soul of us is in danger, and if we refuse light, darkness will come upon all. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 2

We never proposed to establish sanitariums to have them run in nearly the same grooves as other institutions. If we do not have a sanitarium which is, in many things, decidedly contrary to other institutions, we can see nothing gained. Shall your appetites, habits, and practices be of that order that you will educate those who are connected with you to make excuses similar to those that you have made for the indulgence of eating the flesh of dead animals? 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 3

The Lord intends to bring His people back to live upon simple fruits, vegetables, and grains. He led the children of Israel into the wilderness, where they could not get a flesh diet; and He gave them the bread of heaven. “Man did eat angels’ food.” [Psalm 78:25.] But they craved the fleshpots of Egypt, and mourned and cried for flesh, notwithstanding that the Lord had promised them that if they would submit to His will, He would carry them into the land of Canaan, and establish them there, a pure, holy, happy people, and there should not be a feeble one in all their tribes, for He would take away all sickness from among them. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 4

But although they had a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” they mourned, and wept, and murmured and complained, until the Lord was wroth with them. Because they were so determined to have the flesh of dead animals, He gave them the very diet He had withheld from them. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 5

“And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp, and the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched. And he called the name of the place Taberah; because the fire of the Lord burnt among them. And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting; and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat. We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic. But now our soul is dried away; there is nothing at all, besides this manna, before our eyes.” [Numbers 11:1-6.] 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 6

The Lord would have given them flesh had it been essential for their health, but He who created and redeemed them, led them the long journey in the wilderness to educate, discipline, and train them in correct habits. The Lord understood what the influence of flesh eating has upon the human system. He would have a people that would, in their physical appearance, bear the divine credentials, notwithstanding their long journey. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 7

When I read your letter, I was forcibly reminded of the complaining of the children of Israel because they were not favored with a meat diet. The diet of the animals is vegetables and grains. Must the vegetables be animalized, must they be incorporated into the system of animals before we get them? Must we obtain our vegetable diet by eating the flesh of dead creatures? God provided fruit in its natural state for our first parents. He gave to Adam charge of the garden, to dress it, and to care for it, saying, To you it shall be for meat. One animal was not to destroy another animal for food. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 8

After the fall, the eating of flesh was suffered, in order to shorten the period of existence of the long-lived race. It was allowed because of the hardness of the hearts of men. One of the great errors that many insist upon is that muscular strength is dependent upon animal food. But the simple grains, fruits of the trees, and vegetables have all the nutritive properties necessary to make good blood. This a flesh diet cannot do. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 9

A striking case came to my notice in Colorado. A party of eight passed over the range, and pitched their tents in Middle Park, close by Sulphur Springs. We cut down the wild oats to make our beds. One day, while cutting the oats, we were startled by seeing four enormous bear’s feet. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 10

On the encampment grounds near our tent were miners. The men devoted their spare time to fishing and hunting. Our time was spent in writing and horseback riding in search of raspberries. We found an abundance of fruit. We secured a block of wood, which we used as a table, and found a bottle, which we used for a rolling pin. Mrs. Hall prepared and baked in our camp stove oven some very nice raspberry pies. These we divided with the campers, and in return, they brought us mountain trout. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 11

One morning we saw a fine, tall, athletic young man, about thirty years old, starting out on his hunting excursion. We remarked upon his appearance. That day he was taken with a chill. My husband and myself were called into the hotel cabin to see if we knew what was the matter with him. A merchant from Denver seemed perplexed. He said there was a black spot upon the bottom of his foot. It flashed upon my mind at once that this man was mortifying. Himself and comrade had killed a grizzly bear, and had eaten its flesh. But before it was all consumed, the flesh became corrupt; and he was dying from the poison. The next day he vomited green matter, which confirmed our impressions. He died at about eleven o’clock in the morning. This death was caused by the abundant eating of meat which at the last was tainted. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 12

My husband was selected to make some remarks at the funeral. This he did. There was quite a congregation of miners. We sang appropriate hymns. The miners showed the tenderest sympathy for their comrade. They wrapped him in his blanket, and placing him in a lumber wagon, took him to the spot selected for burial. We were surprised to see the grave made of stones closely packed on the bottom, and about one foot and a half up the sides. It was a very neat job. Slabs were taken from the trunks of pine trees, and after placing the body in the grave prepared for it, and covering the face with the blanket, these slabs were closely packed over it, and the earth was shoveled upon the grave. All this was done with the greatest manifestation of sympathy, and with decorum and solemnity. We left the grave of the first white man’s funeral that was ever known to have been held in Middle Park, Colorado. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 13

We have had other cases brought to our notice of a similar character. Mortification of the palm of the hand has set in, but immediate attention was given to it; the mortified parts were sloughed off, and the hand was restored. No cause could be assigned for it, save meat-eating corrupting the blood. We decided that little meat would be consumed by us. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 14

When a limb is broken, physicians recommend their patients not to eat meat, as there would be danger of inflammation setting in. Condiments and spices used in the preparation of food for the table aid in the digestion in the same way that tea, coffee, and liquor are supposed to help a laboring man to perform his tasks. After the immediate effects are gone, they drop as correspondingly below par as they were elevated above par by these stimulating substances. The system is weakened, the blood contaminated, and inflammation is the sure result. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 15

The less that condiments and desserts are placed upon our table, the better it will be for all who partake of the food. All mixed and complicated foods are injurious to the health of human beings. Dumb animals would never eat such a mixture as is often placed in the human stomach. Hot bread and biscuit, fresh from the oven, is not healthful. The heated gases need to evaporate. Hot soda biscuits are often spread with butter, and eaten as a choice diet. But the enfeebled digestive organs cannot but feel the abuse placed upon them. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 16

Unhealthful habits of eating are killing their thousands and tens of thousands. Food should be thoroughly cooked, nicely prepared, and appetizing. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 17

My brother, after all the light that has been given on the diet question, your lamentations because you cannot exercise freedom in meat-eating is apparently similar to the complaining, lamentation, and weeping of the children of Israel in the ears of the Lord. I tell you that from the light the Lord has been pleased to give me there is a continual taxing of the human stomach with a wrong quality of food, also with too large a quantity. The stomach is overloaded and worn out, when it should be capable of performing good work. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 18

The large amount of cooking done is not at all necessary. Neither should there by any poverty-stricken diet, either in quality or quantity. But the richness of food, and complicated mixtures [of food] are health destroying. Highly seasoned meats, followed by rich pastry, is wearing out the vital organs of the digestion of children. Were they accustomed to plain, wholesome food, their appetites would not crave unnatural luxuries and mixed preparations. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 19

Education, habits, and customs make it difficult to reconstruct the family arrangements. Meat given to children is not the best things to ensure success. Make fruit the article of diet to be placed on your table, which shall constitute the bill of fare. The juices of fruit, mingled with bread, will be highly enjoyed. Good, ripe, undecayed fruit is a thing we should thank the Lord for, because it is beneficial to health. Try it. To educate your children to subsist on a meat diet would be harmful to them. It is much easier to create an unnatural appetite than to correct and reform the taste after it has become second nature. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 20

Our sanitariums should never be conducted after the fashion of a hotel. I am sorry that it is such a difficult matter for you to deny your appetite, and reform your habits of eating and drinking. A meat diet changes the disposition, and strengthens animalism. We are composed of what we eat, and eating much flesh will diminish intellectual activity. Students would accomplish much more in their studies if they never tasted meat. When the animal part of the human agent is strengthened by meat-eating, the intellectual powers diminish proportionately. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 21

A religious life can be more successfully gained and maintained if meat is discarded; for this diet stimulates into intense activity, lustful propensities, and enfeebles the moral and spiritual nature. The flesh warreth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 22

We greatly need to encourage and cultivate pure, chaste thoughts, and to strengthen the moral powers, rather than the lower and carnal powers. God help us to awake from our self-indulgent appetites. The idea of eating dead flesh is abhorrent to me. One living animal eating the flesh of another dead animal is shocking. There is no call for it. All your excuses made in regard to faintness is an argument why you should eat no more meat. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 23

Cancers, tumors, and all inflammatory diseases are largely caused by meat-eating. From the light which God has given me, the prevalence of cancers and tumors is largely due to gross living on dead flesh. I sincerely and prayerfully hope that as a physician you will not forever be blind on this subject, for blindness is mingled with a want of moral courage to deny your appetite, to lift the cross, which means to take up the very duties that cut across the natural appetites and passions. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 24

Feeding on flesh, the juices and fluids of what we eat passes into the circulation of our blood, and as we are composed of what we eat, we become animalized. Thus a feverish condition is created, because the animals are diseased, and by partaking of their flesh, we plant the seeds of disease in our own tissue and blood. Then, when exposed to the changes in a malarious atmosphere, these are more sensibly felt. Also when we are exposed to contagious epidemics and contagious diseases, the system is not in a condition to resist the disease. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 25

I have [had] the subject presented to me in different aspects. The mortality caused by meat-eating is not discerned. If it were, we would hear no more arguments and excuses in favor of the indulgence of the appetite for dead flesh. We have plenty of good things to satisfy hunger without bringing corpses upon our table to compose our bill of fare. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 26

I might go to any length upon this subject, but I forbear. I do hope that you, as a physician, will come to your senses, and will not, by precept and example, counter-work that which the Lord has given me to enlighten minds and bring in thorough reforms. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 27

I am working earnestly on these lines, and shall never cease to work against the practice of meat eating. I have had opened before me the stumbling block which this diet question has been to your own spiritual advancement, and what a stumbling block you have placed in the pathway of others; and all because your own sensibilities were blunted through selfish gratification of appetite. For Christ’s sake, look deeper; study deeper, and act in accordance with the light God has been pleased to give you and others on this subject. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 28

I forbear writing more. I love your souls, and I want you both to accept every ray of light that the Lord has been pleased to give; and then co-operate with the great Teacher by giving that light to others. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 29

In love. 11LtMs, Lt 72, 1896, par. 30