Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 142, 1900

McClure, N. C.

St. Helena, California

November 2, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in CD 102, 112, 317, 334-335, 339; 2MCP 392-393.

Dear Brother [McClure]:

I have had words given me to speak to you. I do not want you to remain as you are. You must not let yourself down to become a chronic invalid. You say that you should take particular pains to avoid the difficulty against which he had to contend. I advise you to make your diet abstemious. Be sure that as a rational Christian sentinel you guard the door of your stomach, allowing nothing to pass your lips that will be an enemy to your health and life. God holds you responsible to obey the light he has given you on health reform. The rush of blood to the head must be overcome. There are large blood vessels in the limbs for the purpose of distributing the life-giving current to all parts of the body. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 1

The fire you kindle in your stomach is making your brain like a heated furnace. Eat much more sparingly, and eat simple food, which does not require heavy seasoning. Your animal passions should be starved, not pampered and fed. The congestion of blood in the brain is strengthening the animal instincts and weakening spiritual powers. It need not be thus. You should, with the help your wife can give you in the preparation of food, change your diet materially. You should not eat such a variety of food; for this makes a cesspool of your stomach. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 2

You have permitted yourself to indulge too largely in a variety of food, and both you and your wife are in a condition of health unfavorable to spirituality. My brother, you cannot do the work of a minister of Jesus Christ unless you take yourself in hand, and treat yourself much better than you have done. You do not keep a faithful watch over your tastes, your passions, your inclinations; and because of this you are bringing yourself into a state of invalidism. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 3

You should take more physical exercise than you do. The machinery of your body is rusting from inaction. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 4

Do not allow the enemy to enter through the door of the mouth to take possession of the rooms of your house. This building belongs to God. You must take every precaution lest Satan shall steal a march upon you. I entreat of you now to pay the closest attention to your diet. Improve in practical godliness. The Holy Spirit will not come to you as a Comforter unless you discipline yourself. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 5

Your wife should not be afraid that you will injure yourself by abstaining from food. Sister M. needs to become a practical health reformer. You have both had to suffer because of your lack of wisdom in not taking proper care of the house you live in. Eating largely of hot food is unhealthful and debilitating. Exercise common sense in regard to your diet, discarding those foods which are stimulating and weakening, and which bring premature decay. Condiments, so frequently used by those who are of the world, are ruinous to the digestion. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 6

It is not necessary that the diet should be distasteful because of its sameness. Simple, wholesome food can, with tact and ingenuity, be served for one meal in one way, and prepared in a different way for the next meal. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 7

You have both had spiritual advantages, and God desires you to advance, not to retrograde. What you need is less temporal food and much more spiritual food, more of the bread of life. The simpler your diet, the better it will be for you. Puddings, custards, sweet cake, and vegetables, all served at the same meal, will cause a disturbance in the stomach. Eating fruit and vegetables at the same meal, if the digestion is weak, will cause suffering. Bread which is two or three days old is more healthful than new bread. Bread dried in the oven is one of the most wholesome articles of diet. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 8

If food is simple yet nutritious, prepared without stimulating ingredients, yet made palatable and inviting, it is health-giving, health-restoring. The food of health reformers is often poor because so many have never learned to prepare food simple yet palatably. They should learn this at once. Sister M. would be able to conduct cooking schools if she would educate herself to do this. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 9

If food is poorly prepared, the stomach will loathe it. Because we are health reformers, our diet is not to be poverty-stricken. Many have failed in health reform because they had not the necessary education in regard to the preparation of wholesome food. They attempted to cut off the objectionable part of their diet without supplying its place with something better. In their efforts to simplify, they did not bring in tact and skill to recommend their simplicity. This has made what should have been health reform, health deform, and has cast a stigma upon the name of health reform. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 10

Let health reformers remember that they may do harm by publishing recipes which do not recommend health reform. Great care is to be shown in furnishing recipes for custards and pastry. If the dessert sweet cake is eaten with milk or cream, fermentation will be created in the stomach, and then the weak points of the human organism will tell the story. The brain will be affected by the disturbance in the stomach. This may be easily cured if people will study from cause to effect, cutting out of their diet that which injures the digestive organs and causes pain in the head. By unwise eating men and women are unfitted for the work they might do without injury to themselves if they would eat simply. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 11

If some would lessen by one half the food they eat, they would have less trouble, even though the preparation of the food were not exactly what it should be. This subject demands attention. Our flesh and blood and bones are composed of that which we eat. We should not subsist entirely upon food containing the largest amount of nutrition. Food of this nature should be mixed with food not so nutritious. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 12

It is of great importance not to drink at the meal. Eat food as dry as possible. Then digestion will commence in the mouth. Sufficient time is seldom given to the period of eating. The slower the process the better will be the digestion. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 13

When people will live naturally, upon the good things God has given them, they will have better health. When people began to eat artificially, their health began to fail. Two-thirds of women’s work would be saved if all would agree to live as naturally as possible. If the highly seasoned meats and the rich pastries were cut away from the diet, if more bread and fruit in their natural state were eaten, there would be a great change for the better healthwise. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 14

It is impossible to prescribe by weight the quantity of food which should be eaten. It is not advisable to follow this process, for by so doing the mind becomes self-centered. Eating and drinking become altogether too much a matter of thought. Those who do not make a god of the stomach will carefully guard the appetite. They will eat plain, nourishing food, eating only twice a day, and then not in too large quantities, and tasting nothing between meals. They will eat slowly and will masticate their food thoroughly. After eating they will take proper exercise in the open air. Such need never trouble themselves to measure out precise quantities. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 15

There are many who have carried a heavy weight of responsibility as to the quantity and quality of food best adapted to nourish the system. Some, especially dyspeptics, have worried so much in regard to their bill of fare that they have not taken sufficient food to nourish the system. They have done great injury to the house they live in and, we fear, have spoiled themselves for this life. They have gone to an extreme when they were unprepared to endure such a marked change. By a poverty-stricken diet they have reduced their health and strength unnecessarily. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 16

Some such people say, I have tried health reform, and it did me an injury. Why? Because they were not wise enough to be temperate in all things. Do not go to extremes, and when this fails, discard health principles, and live as you did before your experiment commenced. Let those who have become convinced of the true foundation of health reform impart what knowledge they have, and patiently help those who are in need of help over the difficult places. 15LtMs, Lt 142, 1900, par. 17