Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 62, 1903

Burden, Brother and Sister [J. A.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

April 21, 1903

Portions of this letter are published in CD 490-491; 8MR 399-400.

Dear Brother and Sister Burden,—

I have a deep interest in you and in your family, and I pray for the prosperity of your work. I have words to write to you cautioning you about employing Sister Tuxford in a position where she might unconsciously exert an influence to lower the standard and introduce rich, unhealthful dishes and expensive provisions into your vegetarian restaurant. When I first heard that Sister Tuxford was connected with you in your work in the restaurant, I was glad. In the past she had given as an excuse for not being a thorough-going health reformer the reason that she could not cook, as she otherwise would, on account of her mother’s being unable, because of her age and feebleness, to make a change in her diet. This reason no longer exists, and I hoped that Sister Tuxford would make a thorough change in her way of cooking and eating. 18LtMs, Lt 62, 1903, par. 1

Should her advice be followed as to the food that should be provided for those who patronize the restaurant, there is danger that the restaurant will become a consumer instead of a producer. When it is seen that an enterprise is running behind, a change should be made so that money enough will be brought in to cover expenses. If this cannot be done, it would be better for the enterprise to be closed. 18LtMs, Lt 62, 1903, par. 2

Be very careful that unhealthful, rich preparations of food are not presented as a sample of health-reform cooking. 18LtMs, Lt 62, 1903, par. 3

You have said that you are a dyspeptic. I see no reason why you should be thus, if your preparations of food are wholesome and if you eat at the right hours. I ask you to look carefully into these matters. I appreciate you most highly, my dear brother and sister. But I must tell you that you have lessons to learn in regard to your eating that you have not yet learned. I advise you to study closely into these things, and then give the stomach the best of care. For thirty-five years I have made it a practice to eat only two meals a day. Occasionally when travelling, I have eaten irregular meals, when I have been thrown out of line by not being able to get my meals at the regular time. I am seventy-five years old; but I do as much writing as I ever did. My digestion is good, and my brain is clear. 18LtMs, Lt 62, 1903, par. 4

Our fare is simple and wholesome. We have on our table no butter, no meat, no cheese, no greasy mixtures of food. For some months a young man who was an unbeliever, and who had eaten meat all his life, boarded with us. We made no change in our diet on his account; and while he stayed with us he gained about twenty pounds. The food which we provided was far better for him than that to which he had been accustomed. All who sit at my table express themselves as being well satisfied with the food provided. 18LtMs, Lt 62, 1903, par. 5

Both you and Sister Burden need to be careful. God will help you to do the work He has given you. But the starting and conducting [of] restaurants to provide food for the public is not your special work. You have a work of soul-saving to do. In your work in connection with the restaurant, have you been able to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth? God would have you stationed where the influence of every one in your family will be exerted on the side of soul-saving. I do not want your earnest efforts to be lost. I do not want you to be weighed in the balances and found wanting. I entreat you and the other members of your family not to follow the example of any one who in Christian experience is a short pattern. In no case are you to measure yourselves by the world or by the opinions of men. Neither are you to place yourselves where you are so tied up that you can not give yourselves to the work of saving the souls ready to perish. It has been my thought that you could do a good and acceptable work in connection with the Sanitarium at Wahroonga. 18LtMs, Lt 62, 1903, par. 6

In regard to the health food work, I will say that I have received no light that would warrant the establishment of a health food factory in or near Sydney. 18LtMs, Lt 62, 1903, par. 7