Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18

47/524

Lt 45, 1903

Kress, Brother and Sister [D. H.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

March 10, 1903

This letter is published in entirety in 13MR 37-43. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Kress,—

I have just written a letter to Brother and Sister Burden, a portion of which will be sent tomorrow. This letter to them is as much for yourselves as for them. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 1

I have seen expressed in writing the idea that if you two families cannot be agreed upon some points in connection with the diet question, the only alternative is separation; for you believe that under such circumstances you could not work together. I felt sorry to see this statement. I understand the situation. God desires you to unite in working for men and women of varied minds—for infidels, and for church members of all denominations. This is a field in which you both can work to advantage; but you fear that a difference of opinion on a few minor matters is sufficient cause for you to break up your co-operative influence. If you could know how sad this makes my heart, you would begin to make a somewhat closer investigation of yourselves than you have made. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 2

There is nothing that bears comparison with the aim and purpose of Christian instrumentalities laboring for the salvation of souls. At the time of baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the will, the purpose, the inclination is pledged that the whole life—body, mind, and soul—shall be dead to the world and to all selfishness and shall become subordinate to the will of God. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 3

The apostle Paul says: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” [Colossians 3:1-3.] 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 4

Is Christ divided? Is a trifling difference of opinion of sufficient consequence to part asunder very friends, so that they cannot unite in doing a good work? Are individual opinions to be regarded as being so infallible as not to admit of any change? This is certainly spiritual weakness. Let each worker humble his heart before God. As no one’s opinion is always without a flaw, do not act as if you could not talk the matter over together and concede to one another. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 5

Brother and Sister Kress, I wish to present for your consideration a few points that have been revealed to me since first there arose the difficulties connected with the question of discarding flesh meat from the tables of our medical institutions. Other questions demand even more serious consideration, but I will now write in regard to this one. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 6

I have been plainly instructed by the Lord that flesh meat should not be placed before the patients in our sanitarium dining rooms. Light was given me that the patients could have flesh meat, if, after hearing the parlor lectures, they still urged us to give it to them; but that, in such cases, it must be eaten in their own rooms. All the helpers are to discard flesh meat. But, as stated before, if, after knowing that the flesh of animals cannot be placed on the dining-room tables, a few patients urge that they must have meat, cheerfully give it to them in their rooms. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 7

Accustomed, as many are, to the use of flesh meat, it is not surprising that they should expect to see it on the sanitarium table. You may find it unadvisable to publish the bill of fare, giving a list of the foods supplied at the table; for the absence of flesh meat from the dietary may seem a formidable obstacle to those who are thinking of becoming patrons of the institution. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 8

Let the food be palatably prepared and nicely served. More dishes will have to be prepared than would be necessary if flesh meat were served. Other things can be provided so that meats can be discarded. Milk and cream can be used by some. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 9

I make myself a criterion for no one else. There are things that I cannot eat without suffering great distress. I try to learn that which is best for me, and then, saying nothing to any one, I partake of the things that I can eat, which often are simply two or three varieties that will not create a disturbance in the stomach. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 10

Let us remember that we have had a long time to become accustomed to the health reform diet. We cannot expect anything else than that in our sanitariums it will be necessary to furnish dishes prepared somewhat differently from those prepared for our own use; for we have learned to relish plain food. It is necessary to plan more liberally for a medical institution than for a private family. Many things must be taken into consideration, and concessions must be made to meet the peculiar needs of the many classes of patients coming to our sanitariums. A straitjacket is not to be put on the appetite suddenly. When you become acquainted with these people, and understand their true condition, prescriptions can be given to meet the individual requirements. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 11

In all our sanitariums a liberal bill of fare should be arranged for the patients’ dining room. I have not seen anything very extravagant in any of our medical institutions; but I have seen some tables that were decidedly lacking in a supply of good, inviting, palatable food. Often patients at such institutions, after remaining for a while, have decided that they were paying a large sum for room, board, and treatment, without receiving much in return, and have therefore left. Of course complaints greatly to the discredit of the institution were soon in circulation. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 12

There are two extremes, both of which we should avoid. May the Lord help every one connected with our medical institutions not to advocate a meager supply of food. The men and women of the world who come to our sanitariums often have perverted appetites. Radical changes cannot be made suddenly for all these. Some cannot at once be placed on as plain a health-reform diet as would be acceptable in a private family. In a medical institution there are varied appetites to satisfy. Some require well-prepared vegetables to meet their peculiar needs. Others have not been able to use vegetables without suffering the consequence. The poor, sick dyspeptics need to be given many words of encouragement. Let the religious influence of a Christian home pervade the Sanitarium. This will be conducive to the health of the patients. All these things have to be managed carefully and prayerfully. The Lord sees the difficulties to be adjusted, and He will be your Helper. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 13

To every one who is connected with the Wahroonga Sanitarium, I would say, as Paul said to Timothy, “Take heed to thyself, and to the doctrine.” We need to heed the added injunction, too: “Continue in them; for in so doing thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” [1 Timothy 4:16.] 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 14

My brother, my sister, the Lord has greatly blessed you both. Your cheerful, happy temperament will be as a medicine. Have faith in God. Move, step by step, onward and upward. And as you associate with the patients and minister to them by imparting God’s word of comfort and hope, may the words of truth be to them as a leaf from the tree of life. Lead them on to have faith in Christ Jesus. Thus many souls will decide to count the cost of their sinful indulgence of intemperate habits and sensual propensities—indulgence that, if continued, would prove the ruin of soul as well as of body. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 15

Sister Kress, talks to mothers given by you will be all the more appreciated because you are a mother. O if we only could make those in ignorance understand that mothers—yea, fathers too—are themselves to a high degree responsible for the texture of the fabric of character that they give to their children! By their own words and actions, by the temper they manifest, they exert over their little ones a molding influence. If they would only receive the help that Jesus offers them, both fathers and mothers may be a blessing to their children, by giving studious attention to the cultivation of right habits and practices physically, intellectually, and morally. True education is thus brought into the practical life. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 16

March 11, 1903

I have just had placed in my hand the letter you sent me. Thank you. I have read it. My heart leaps with joy and hope to learn that you are so cheerful. I have not had time yet to read the pamphlets sent by Sister Irwin, but will write on these things more fully at some other time, if I can do so. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 17

Yesterday I wrote to you some things that I hope will in no wise confuse you. I may have written too much in regard to the importance of having a liberal dietary in our sanitariums. I have been in several medical institutions where the supply of food was not as liberal as it should have been. As you well know, in providing for the sick we must not follow one set regimen, but must frequently vary the bill of fare and prepare food in different ways. I believe that the Lord will give all of you good judgment in the preparation of food. I have confidence to believe that He will give you wisdom to work unitedly, and that you will not weaken your influence by failing to co-operate with one another. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 18

In our family we have breakfast at half-past six o’clock and diner at half-past one. We have no supper. We would change our times of eating a little, were it not for the fact that these are the most convenient hours for some of the members of the family. I eat but two meals a day and still follow the light given me thirty-five years ago. I use no meat. As for myself, I have settled the butter question. I do not use it. This question should easily be settled in every place where the purest article cannot be obtained. We have two good milch cows, a Jersey and a Holstein. We use cream, and all are satisfied with this. <Nevertheless, some persons cannot use cream or milk. [If] they can use a little butter, let them have it.> 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 19

The evidence you have that the blessing of God attends faithful efforts made to restore the sick by those having limited facilities are the very same that we had years ago in Battle Creek. Before our Sanitarium there was established, my husband and I went from house to house to give treatment. Under God’s blessing, we saved the lives of many who were suffering from attacks of diphtheria and bloody dysentery. Even physicians were burying their own children. Instruction was given to me by the Lord in regard to the kind of treatment I should give, and we had success. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 20

What I have written, I desire you to regard as advice given to men and women whom I believe to have good, sanctified judgment. I know that one of the greatest dangers is in eating too much, thus making the stomach do too heavy work. I am sure that when an abstemious diet is practiced judiciously, excellent results follow. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 21

I must now close, or I shall not be able to get this into the mail. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 22

With much love. 18LtMs, Lt 45, 1903, par. 23