Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 232, 1902

Remarks/Report of a Council Meeting Regarding Medical Missionary Work

Fernando, California

October 1, 1902

Previously unpublished. +Note

Report of a Short Council Meeting Regarding Medical Missionary Work in Southern California

(Fernando, California, 5:45 P.M., October 1, 1902.) 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 1

Present: Mrs. E. G. White, Elder W. C. White, Dr. T. J. Evans, Professors E. S. Ballenger and H. E. Giddings, and Mrs. Belle Baker. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 2

W. C. White:I thought that perhaps we might spend a little time profitably in talking over sanitarium work. Brother Santee cannot meet with us; but he is going to Fresno, and can talk over these matters with Mother later. I am confident, Mother, that it would be a source of satisfaction to those present to hear from us in regard to our San Diego trip, and what we found there. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 3

(Elder White sketched an outline map of San Diego, showing the location of the city treatment rooms, vegetarian restaurant, health food store, and Dr. Johnson’s residence; also National City, Paradise Valley, Potts’ Sanitarium building, and Ocean Beach school property. He pointed out the location of available sites for sanitarium work, and described in detail the advantages and disadvantages of the Potts’ Sanitarium property. He stated that about 20 years ago Mrs. Potts erected a building for sanitarium purposes; that within a few weeks after its opening it was closed, and has practically never been used; that the furniture was sold two years ago, and since that time the property has not been kept up very well. The building is well planned and very thoroughly constructed. The plastering is especially good. Only a few places are cracked, and these are caused mainly by shrinkage of a few immense beams. At very small cost the plastering could be repaired and the entire interior be made as presentable as the interior of a new structure. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 4

When reshingled, painted on the outside, and calcimined in places on the inside, the building will be in excellent condition. Although closed for so long a time, no musty smell can be detected. The cellar is clean and sweet. The building is well supplied with bathrooms, lavatories, and toilet rooms. In every sleeping room, of which there are about 40, is a permanent marbletop washstand and bowl, and hot and cold water faucets. The building is thoroughly plumbed throughout, piped for gas, and wired for electricity. In every room are electric call-bells, connecting with an office indicator on the first floor. The parlors, offices, diningroom, kitchen, and halls are commodious, and well adapted to sanitarium work, for which purpose they were originally planned.) 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 5

E. G. White: I never saw a house built with more exactitude and thoroughness than this one. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 6

W. C. White: Much time and means have been expended in laying out and beautifying the grounds around the building. The entire 20 acres connected with the property was once under cultivation; but for lack of water the orange grove and the fruit orchard have died. On one side of the building, on terraced walks, are seven rows of olive trees—perhaps 100 trees in all. These are in fair condition and can be made to thrive again. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 7

On the place is a well that has never gone dry, and which once supplied all the water necessary. The windmill pump is still in running order. Whether sufficient water for treatments and for irrigating the land can be secured by sinking other wells remains an unsettled question. It is expected that in about two years a company that has already expended three million dollars in developing a water system for the supply of San Diego and all the surrounding country, will have finished the system, at which time water in Paradise Valley will be abundant and cheap. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 8

E. G. White: There is a good barn on the place. It is too near the sanitarium building, but is constructed in such a way that it can be moved farther away, or converted into a dwelling for helpers. There is also a seven-room cottage on the property. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 9

W. C. White: We also visited the Pacific Beach property. But the fact that the wind from the sea is often strong and somewhat cold and harsh at this place makes it unadvisable to consider favorably the establishment of a health institution at this point. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 10

E. G. White: I think that Elder Healey rather favored the idea of establishing both a school and a sanitarium at Pacific Beach. We examined the school property offered at this place, which the brethren thought might be used for these purposes. The building originally erected for a dormitory is quite well adapted to sanitarium work. A fireplace and two closets are in every sleeping room. The unfinished school building, standing close beside the dormitory, is amply large for a good school. But I have been instructed that to establish a sanitarium in such close proximity to a school would be one of the worst arrangements that could be made. Schoolchildren must have their liberty. When out-of-doors, they should have opportunity to use their voices. Their expressions of happiness—often hearty laughter—are not to be repressed. They should not be made to feel bound about, but should have opportunity to exercise their lungs naturally. No damper is to be put upon them in these respects. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 11

When we visited the property at Pacific Beach, the two buildings which are so close together, I did not think of this objection to our conducting school and sanitarium work there. But that night the angel of the Lord revealed to me that it would be unwise to conduct a school so close to a sanitarium. The sick must not be annoyed by the noisy play of the children, and the children must not be annoyed by the presence of the sick. To establish a school and a sanitarium so near each other would be equally detrimental to the interests of both institutions. Still, so far as the two buildings at Pacific Beach are concerned, they could be utilized to fairly good advantage either for a school or for a sanitarium. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 12

W. C. White: As regards the question of reorganization, some have urged that the San Diego work and the work at Los Angeles be united. I could not advise this. So often we have seen various features of our school work and religious work delayed by one weak conference undertaking to do more than it was able to do; whereas, if some of these new fields and institutions had been treated as missionary enterprises, and had been fostered as such by the mission boards of the local conferences and by the Union and General Conference Mission Boards, today the work would be much farther advanced than it is. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 13

We thought that the Los Angeles Medical Missionary Association had in charge all that it could well handle in Los Angeles County, and that if the work now beginning in San Diego County could be fostered and encouraged by the counsel and help not only of the Los Angeles Association, but the State, the Pacific Union, and the International Associations, all four of these associations, in cooperation, could help build up something in San Diego County that the Los Angeles body, standing alone, would not have the strength to do. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 14

Later on, of course, when the San Diego work is well under way, a conference Medical Missionary Association for Southern California can be organized, thus uniting in one the medical missionary work being done throughout the conference. But at first, would it not be advisable to treat San Diego as a mission field for medical work, and let the brethren and sisters abroad largely support it until it gets upon its feet? 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 15

E. S. Ballenger: Would there be any objection to calling upon all of our people to help start the medical missionary work in San Diego? 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 16

E. G. White: To call upon our people for what? 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 17

W. C. White: Brother Ballenger asks whether there would be any inconsistency in making a public call upon our people everywhere who have means, inviting them to help pay for and build up an enterprise of this kind in San Diego? 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 18

E. G. White: Certainly not. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 19

W. C. White: You remember that reproofs have been given in regard to gathering money for medical missionary enterprises in Chicago; but is not that a different thing? 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 20

E. G. White: Those who understand what has gone on in past years in Chicago have no difficulty in understanding the Lord’s instruction in regard to the expenditure of means there. To those who do not know the real situation, I would say, Ignorance is bliss! I shall not attempt to tell that which I know in regard to the money that was at one time sunk in Chicago, with scarcely any permanent results for good. I am thankful that I can say that after repeated admonitions, the brethren there have changed their methods of labor, and are now carrying forward the work on a higher plane. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 21

W. C. White: By reading the testimonies cautioning our men in positions of responsibility against drawing upon Seventh-day Adventists for numerous enterprises for the degraded classes in the slum districts, you will find that these very testimonies say that the financial resources of our people must be husbanded, because upon us rests the burden of establishing foreign missions and of building sanitariums. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 22

E. G. White: While in San Diego, I wrote something in regard to these things. Money that is not in circulation but that ought to be in circulation, is now called for to help strengthen the work in Southern California. Now, while the tourists are coming in, we should try to reach them in various ways and by various methods. In Los Angeles some of the brethren have at times lacked spiritual discernment. They have not always been able to see what could be done by proper effort on their part. In San Diego the situation is not so perplexing, because the work is much smaller. Our medical missionary work in Los Angeles is in a far less favorable position than it should be. God never designed that such a place as Los Angeles should have so little done in it as has been done there; but I cannot speak freely on this point, for fear someone may take advantage of what I say and try to support their course by my words. Brother Moran has done a large work, but the methods followed in doing this work are such that the work done has not, as yet, brought glory to God in the saving of souls. An effort has been made to build up an immense business, but the Lord has not been allowed to lead in all these plans and devisings. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 23

I have been instructed that the greatest work that we can do in this life is to prepare ourselves, and to lead others to prepare, for the future immortal life. Determinedly we are so to arrange our business that we and all those who are connected with us shall be able to serve the Lord with all our God-given capabilities. We must allow nothing to intervene that would obscure our vision of heavenly things. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 24

I tried to make these matters plain during the Los Angeles camp meeting. For years I have borne my testimony in regard to strict obedience to God’s law. Our people have this light in the published Testimonies. Why do they not walk according to the light given them? Because “men convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.” Everything that I have published, and all that I have said and written more recently, has not prevented some men from doing just what they would have done if I had not spoken one word of caution. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 25

W. C. White: Have you any suggestions as to what we ought to do next in Los Angeles? 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 26

E. G. White: Let those who have been using their brain-power in striving to build up some great thing learn to humble themselves, and sit at the feet of Jesus, to be taught of Him. Let them learn that unless they accept the kingdom of heaven as little children, they will never enter it. Let our restaurant managers plan how to save the girls that are working in such establishments. Unless a change takes place soon in the way some of our restaurants are conducted, I shall feel under obligation to warn our people against sending their young people there as workers. How much have the managers of our restaurants done to save the young people in their employ? How much have they done to keep the helpers alive spiritually, so that their young minds would not be swayed by the worldly spirit that they constantly meet? The worldly patrons bring into such places a worldly atmosphere. The angels of God do not accompany many who patronize these institutions, because some men and women do not desire the companionship of the good angels. As I viewed the girls and young women in the Los Angeles restaurant, my heart ached. They need a shepherd. Every one of them needs to be sheltered by home influences. Let an effort be made to change the present lax order of things. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 27

E. S. Ballenger: In San Francisco there is a restaurant close by our restaurant, that closes on Sunday, and they have their morning and evening worship as regularly as they have their meals. The services are conducted in the restaurant building. In the past, some of our helpers in the San Francisco restaurant have been under even less restraint than the helpers in Los Angeles. I think the young people in the San Francisco restaurant are now in a far better spiritual condition than formerly. More of our own young people are employed as waiters. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 28

E. G. White: Before leaving Los Angeles, I had an opportunity to talk with Mrs. Moran in regard to some of these matters. She asked me about the advisability of keeping the vegetarian restaurant open for a limited number on the Sabbath. I told her that they could break the Sabbath and the principles of God’s law by serving a limited number, as by serving a larger number. To serve either a few or many shows that they are lax in principle; and thus a wrong impression is made upon the minds of all their helpers. The young girls acting as waiters are servants. True, the helpers take turns about in waiting on the tables on the Sabbath, some working one Sabbath, and others the next Sabbath; but this does not remedy the evil. All the helpers are indoctrinated with the idea that the Sabbath commandment does not mean what the Lord says it means. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 29

God wants us to come to our senses. A great work is yet to be done in Los Angeles. If we ever expect to do this work, we must do it with the righteousness of Christ going before us and the glory of God forming our rearguard. If we cannot conduct our city restaurants to God’s glory, by strengthening religious influences it would be well for us to close up every one of these establishments, and use the talents of our youth in a way to multiply them in the service of God, humble ourselves before the Lord, and earnestly seek Him in prayer, for forgiveness for transgressing the law of God, until we learn how to walk in the light of His counsel. We are losing ground spiritually. He means exactly what He says. We are to accept His word, and carry it out in practice. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 30

We are to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Our restaurant men have been working in such a way that they cannot watch for souls. They should bring into connection with their work the very best talent to teach their employees in spiritual lines. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 31

You my ask, “Should we not enlarge our restaurants as the patronage increases?” Instead of trying to maintain one large restaurant, in each city, it will be better to establish several small ones in different parts of the city. These smaller restaurants will recommend the principles of health reform just as well as one large establishment, and will be much more easily managed. Besides, we are not commissioned to feed the world, but to educate, educate. In smaller restaurants there is not so much work to be done, and the helpers have more time to devote to the study of the Word, more time to learn how to do their work in the best possible manner, more time to answer the inquiries of the patrons who are desirous of learning about the principles of health reform. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 32

Let us give more time to the study of the Bible. We do not understand the Word. In the first few verses of Revelation we are told that we must understand what the revelation of Jesus Christ means; and when we as a people understand what the book of Revelation means to us, there will be seen among us a great revival. We do not now understand fully the lessons taught in this book, notwithstanding the injunction in the first few verses to search and to study it. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 33

In connection with our hygienic restaurants, let there be some place where the patrons can be invited to hear lectures on health and temperance questions, and where they can be taught how to keep in physical health. Let them be instructed in regard to the preparation of healthful foods. In thus teaching them how to preserve physical health, opportunity will be given to drop a variety of seeds of truth. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 34

This is the kind of work that has been presented to me that should be done by those in our restaurant work. I did not think they would have any policy other than to do all in their power to proclaim the message for this time. I can see no other reason than this for the existence of our restaurants. Because of this, I thought the brethren would see the wisdom of establishing several small restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other places, instead of striving to have one mammoth restaurant in each city. Our object in restaurant work should be the conversion of souls. If there is no ingathering of souls, if the helpers are not themselves spiritually benefitted, if the girls acting as waiters are not glorifying God in word and act, why should we open and maintain such establishments? 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 35

E. S. Ballenger: I know that some time ago there were patrons of our San Francisco restaurant who would make engagements with the girl waiters, and be out with these girls till very late at night. Not all the waiters were Adventists. At that time some of the waiters would curse and swear like gamblers. Of course these conditions do not exist at the present time. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 36

E. G. White: The patrons see the girls on the streetcars and in other places, bow to them, become acquainted, and soon begin to associate with them. Many of these girls are ignorant of the dangers of city life. They have no one to teach them; no fatherly or motherly instruction. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 37

E. S. Ballenger: I wish you might feel free to speak publicly in regard to the care that should be given to our restaurant girls. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 38

Mrs. Belle Baker: Then you do not approve of keeping the restaurant open at all on the Sabbath? 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 39

E. G. White: Not at all. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 40

Mrs. Belle Baker: The brethren have told us repeatedly that you said they ought to keep open on the Sabbath. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 41

E. G. White: I testify I have not given this counsel but decidedly the opposite. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 42

W. C. White: On our way to New Orleans nearly two years ago, en route to the General Conference, we stopped off at Los Angeles, and while there the brethren came to Mother for advice. They said, “We have to feed our patients and our helpers on the Sabbath; and some of our regular boarders come in quietly and unite with them. Shall we refuse to serve these boarders?” 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 43

It is reported that Mother said that she could not see how they could do differently than they were doing. Mother has no recollection of favoring this action. But very recently the Angel of the Lord has instructed her decidedly on this point. The time has now come when we can make a change. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 44

Mrs. Belle Baker: The brethren and sisters in the Los Angeles church feel that in keeping open the vegetarian restaurant on the Sabbath, the managers and helpers are breaking God’s commandment. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 45

E. G. White: I have been instructed that the standard is to be lifted higher and still higher. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 46

Dr. T. J. Evans: Brother Moran has just told me that when Brother Fulton was here, he showed to many of the restaurant and bakery helpers your testimony in regard to Sabbath observance, and that they are about ready to stop all work on the Sabbath. Dr. Moran said we ought to call a board meeting and take definite steps to arrange our work at once so that we could avoid breaking the Sabbath any longer. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 47

E. G. White: So long as the managers require unnecessary Sabbath work, it is the duty of every one of the helpers to say, “No; I am serving God; I keep His Sabbath holy; I will not bind myself to be the servant of anyone on the Sabbath day.” 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 48

W. C. White: It will be far better, however, for the managers to act promptly, so that the helpers will not have to take such a responsibility. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 49

T. J. Evans: I will try to arrange for a meeting next Sunday morning, when we can plan to follow the light we are now receiving. 17LtMs, Ms 232, 1902, par. 50