Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 106, 1901

Managers of the St. Helena Sanitarium

St. Helena, California

August 6, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in AH 285; 2MCP 665. +Note

To the Managers of the St. Helena Sanitarium,—

I am impressed that the time has come to say something in regard to the Sanitarium at St. Helena. There is need of the vivifying power of the Holy Spirit being felt throughout the institution. Much has been presented to me during the last fifteen years in regard to this institution, and this I have written out plainly and clearly in many communications. But all that was written to warn, to help, and to encourage Dr. Maxson during his connection with the St. Helena Sanitarium he chose to set aside, following his own judgment and refusing to control his inclinations on the point of appetite. On account of this, he and his wife separated from the Sanitarium. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 1

The Lord has instructed me that all that was presented to Dr. Maxson was for his present and eternal good. But he turned from light and took his case into his own hands. He will receive according to his works. Cause will be followed by effect. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 2

At one time the St. Helena Sanitarium was brought too largely under the control of one family. The members of this family, according to the counsels of divine wisdom, needed to make decided changes. But notwithstanding the light sent by God, Dr. Maxson chose to explain away and make of none effect the instruction given. Had he walked in the light which God sent, it would have been for his physical and spiritual good. And in connection with the Sanitarium at St. Helena, under the guidance of the Lord, he could have been blessed with physical and spiritual power. But he chose to think that Sister White did not understand his case, and his misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the messages of counsel have been the means of influencing others besides himself. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 3

The question is a live one: What is essential to be done for the institution upon the hillside? Its history has been presented to me, and I have written to Dr. Sanderson in reference to his management. He has not shown wisdom in feeling that it is his place to control the management. While he may not acknowledge it, yet he has virtually been manager. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 4

Dr. Sanderson has imbibed Dr. Maxson’s ideas in regard to physicians having the management of a sanitarium. But Dr. Sanderson has not the talent of management. If he would give himself fully to the duties of a physician, he would have better success. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 5

He acknowledges that things at the Sanitarium ought to be different, but he has not the executive ability to set matters in order. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 6

If after the light came to Dr. Maxson and Dr. Sanderson, they had received the instruction and had been willing to entrust the business to a capable manager, they would have opened the way for God to work, and the Sanitarium would be much further advanced than it now is. If the plan had been heartily adopted of placing a capable manager in charge of the business of the institution,—a man of understanding with the qualifications of a manager, a man who could take general oversight inside and outside,—had such a man been placed in charge of the Sanitarium, meeting with the support of the physicians, thousands of dollars would have been saved and the institution would have been furnished with conveniences which it does not now possess. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 7

Dr. Sanderson has always been opposed to this plan; he has desired to have a manager who would manage under his control. In this the Lord has not been honored. His name has not been glorified. The Sanitarium has always needed an able and responsible manager. Then Dr. Sanderson could have devoted more time to his patients. They have needed more attention than they have received. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 8

The spiritual atmosphere of the Sanitarium has not been of a character to leave the best impression on the patrons. In a sanitarium, of all other places, a heavenly influence should be exerted, that the patients may see that God’s presence is in the institution. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 9

All connected with this institution should realize the important responsibilities resting upon them. They should ever remember the purpose for which the institution was established,—that the light of reform might shine forth clearly and distinctly. A healing, spiritual influence should be felt through every department of the institution. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 10

Bible lessons should be given in a way that will leave the very best impression on human minds. The patients should realize that God’s presence is in the institution. This instruction should not be given tamely, as though an essay were being read, but in a bright, earnest manner, in such a way that the hearers will be convinced that the teacher has a store-house of precious treasures from which to draw, and is presenting from the Word of God jewels of the highest value. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 11

The work of training nurses should not be undertaken unless it can be carried forward without failure. A mistake has been made in admitting young people to the Sanitarium to receive a nurse’s training when the institution did not possess talent to do this work properly. The youth in the Sanitarium must receive a more thorough education and training. The teachers need to feel the deep moving of the Holy Spirit. Those in charge of the institution should know whether the young men and young women taking the nurses’ course are growing in grace, obtaining a fitness to do a work which will save souls ready to perish. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 12

The helpers in our sanitariums must be men and women of substantial characters. Loud talking and laughing is not to be heard in the Sanitarium, else the patients will testify that it is more like a house of pleasure than an institution for the care of the sick. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 13

Youthful workers are not to be accepted in the Sanitarium merely because they present themselves. We must inquire, Are they fitted for the work? Are there those in the Sanitarium who can give them proper instruction, teaching them to guard against all frivolity, so that their conduct will not have an unfavorable impression on the patients? 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 14

It is no honor to our sanitariums to admit young people who will not develop into nurses that can be recommended as competent and faithful, understanding how to treat the sick. Rattle-brained, frivolous young people who know not how to dress properly or how to behave properly are a detriment to an institution. Will it pay for the Sanitarium to educate such young people? Could it conscientiously send them forth to represent the truth? This subject should receive careful study. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 15

Frivolous persons should be advised to return to their homes and take up the practical duties of home life. Their parents should awaken to the fact that the most important lesson for their children to learn is that they must act their part in bearing the burdens of the home. If parents desire the future happiness and usefulness of their children, they should teach them how to dress healthfully and how to use brain, bone, and muscle in a way that will make them useful. Parents should teach their children to take a common-sense view of life, to realize that they are to be useful in the world. In the home, under the supervision of a wise mother, boys and girls should receive their first instruction in bearing the burdens of life. Then, when of suitable age, they should be placed where they can receive special training for some branch of the work. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 16

The young physicians in a sanitarium need the very best instruction. This they are to receive from those in charge of the institution. These men should be sincere followers of Christ. They should constantly seek the Lord for wisdom. They should be all-round physicians. Half-and-half work will spoil the pattern. Those connected with the Sanitarium are to work in such a way that blessing will come to those with whom they associate, and glory be given to God. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 17

The Board should work wisely and intelligently to provide helpers for the Sanitarium. Neither physician-in-chief nor manager should feel at liberty to select helpers to fill responsible positions without counsel from their fellow laborers. Neither should the instruction of younger workers be entirely under one man’s control. If it is, their progress in usefulness will be retarded. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 18

Those in our sanitariums should be closely connected with God. Dr. Jones is young. He needs all the wisdom that he can obtain from wise instructors, that he may climb the ladder of progress round by round, ascending to the throne of God. I will say that Dr. Jones should be situated where the influences are making sanctifying impressions on the soul. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 19

Brother Bowen needs a different experience from that which he has obtained in connection with the Sanitarium. There has been a lack of executive ability, a waiting to see done that which needed to be done. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 20

God has committed to each one of us sacred trusts for which He holds us accountable. When we see that something needs to be done, let us do it, whether it comes under our special line or not. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 21

The mind is a trust from God. The powers of the mind are to be cultivated. They are to be so wisely used that they will increase in strength. Each one is to use his entrusted talents in a way that the greatest good will be done. The mind is to be so educated that the best energies of the soul will be brought out and every faculty be developed. We must not be content with a low standard. We are to move onward from one advanced line of work to another. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 22

A resolution was passed by the Sanitarium Board to invite Dr. Mary Sanderson to connect with the Sanitarium. She did not accept this invitation. From the light God has given me, Dr. Mary Sanderson is not in a proper condition spiritually to connect with the Sanitarium. I wish she were converted. If her heart were humble, if she were living the truth, she could be a blessing. But her heart is in a state of rebellion. God has a controversy with her. When she was in the Sanitarium, she was not a blessing to it. Her spirit was not humble and gentle. She did not feel the sanctifying power of the grace of God. I sincerely hope that her heart may be changed. But at present the domineering, overbearing spirit that has control of her mind, the pride that works in the children of disobedience, disqualifies her for a position in the Sanitarium. Doctors and nurses who are not under the influence of the Spirit of God must not be connected with the Sanitarium. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 23

Dr. Brighouse is one who loves and fears God. But she must not keep herself attached to one who will not help her to do the very things she ought to do and could do. This is taking the life and courage from Dr. Brighouse. She has a responsible work to do in the Sanitarium, but there is one who is as a weight to keep her burdened. There should be some other provision made whereby Sister Brighouse shall be relieved from this burden. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 24

If placed under different circumstances, Dr. Sanderson could accomplish much good, working more successfully and satisfactorily than he has during the years that he has been connected with the St. Helena Sanitarium. It would be for the best interest of Dr. Sanderson to be placed in connection with physicians of a different cast of mind. But he ought not to be placed at the head of another institution. If he will unite with others, if he will be anxious to improve, he will learn the lessons that he needs to learn. The light given for him is that if he will associate with Christian physicians, he will learn lessons altogether more beneficial than those learned from his brother-in-law, Dr. Maxson. The less connection Dr. Sanderson has with Dr. Maxson, the better it will be for his eternal welfare. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 25

Associated with other physicians, Dr. Sanderson can learn many lessons which he needs to learn, and he can be a channel through which God will impart blessings to His people. But if he stands alone, relying upon his own judgment and wisdom, he will lose much. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 26

God leaves with His people the light He sends. If they will to understand, they can understand. If they refuse to accept the light, darkness comes upon them; and how great is that darkness! 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 27

The perils of the last days are thickening around us. Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. Upon every one rests the responsibility of saving, not only his own soul, but the souls of others. God calls for wide-awake men and women to come to the front. Enoch walked with God when the earth was so fearfully corrupt that God declared that if man did not repent, He would utterly destroy him off the face of the earth. If Enoch walked with God in that polluted age, we can walk with God today. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 28

Dr. Sanderson, do not look upon me as your enemy. Let me tell you that Satan will make every effort to lead you astray. I can not speak words other than those given me to speak to you, but I have nothing but love for your soul in my heart. If years ago you had acted in accordance with the light given you, you would have been placed on vantage ground. You would have learned many precious lessons from the great Teacher. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 29

Jesus loves you. He has shown me beneath the surface, and I tell you in the name of the Lord, that you have had too much connection with Dr. Maxson. I am sorry for him and his family. He and his wife are reaping the result of their actions in walking in the imagination of their own hearts. “Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” [Isaiah 50:11.] 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 30

The Lord has shown me the precious experience that Brother and Sister Maxson could have obtained had they followed the Lord’s instruction. But Dr. Maxson was stubbornly determined to walk after the imagination of his own heart, and he cut off the testimony the Lord in mercy and love would have given him; and I am sorry that his wife has followed his leading. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 31

I send these words to you until I shall have time to take up the case more fully, presenting it in a more extended form. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 32

In love. 16LtMs, Lt 106, 1901, par. 33