Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 244, 1903

Sanitarium Managers/Parents


November 5, 1903 [typed]

Portions of this letter are published in 7MR 229.

Words of Warning

To Sanitarium managers and to parents,—

We are living in a time of special peril to the youth. Satan knows that the end of the world is soon to come, and he is determined to improve every opportunity for pressing young men and young women into his service. He will devise many specious temptations to lead them astray. We need now to consider the words of warning written by the apostle Paul and to preserve our youth from seeing and hearing many things that are sinful and from living in an atmosphere that is largely irreligious. 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 1

In the second epistle to the Corinthians we read: “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God: as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters.” [2 Corinthians 6:14-18.] 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 2

Special light has been given me in regard to why we may accomplish much more for the Master by the establishment of many small sanitariums then by the building up of a few large institutions. 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 3

In these large medical institutions there will be gathered together many who are not very sick, but who, like tourists, are seeking rest and pleasure. These will have to be waited on by our nurses and helpers. Young men and young women, who from their earliest years have been shielded from evil associations, are thus brought into contact with all classes of worldlings and are influenced to a greater or lesser extent by what they see and hear. They become like those with whom they associate, losing the simplicity and modesty that Christian fathers and mothers have guarded and cherished by careful instruction and earnest prayers. 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 4

Among the many unbelievers who patronize our large sanitariums, a few may come to a knowledge of the truth; but there is great danger that much more will be lost than gained, because our youth, in their association with men and women who fear not God, will meet with seductive influences that are almost irresistible. Satanic agencies will make every effort possible to destroy the purity of mind and soul, and many of these youth will never free themselves from the snare of the enemy. 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 5

We are living amidst the perils of the last days. Something decisive must be said to warn our people against the danger of permitting their children, who need parental care and instruction, to leave the influence of home life, where they have been kept from the evil of the world, to go to places where they will be employed to act as servants to pleasure-loving and irreligious worldlings. 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 6

In many homes the father and mother have allowed their children to rule. Such children are in far greater danger than are those who have learned to obey. Not having received the necessary disciplinary training, they suppose that they may do as they please. Their parents have not done diligent, faithful work in the home and have failed of imparting to them a knowledge of obedience, which would have strengthened them to resist temptation. When these undisciplined children enter an immense institution, where there are many influences that tend to destroy spirituality, they are in grave peril; and often their stay in the institution is an injury rather than a blessing. 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 7

I would say to parents, Make every reasonable effort to keep your children near you. Do not separate them from you, sending them hundreds of miles away, to places where there may be sown in their minds the seeds of unbelief and error. Send them to the schools and sanitariums nearest you. I shall not be free until I warn parents against sending their children to the Battle Creek Sanitarium or any other place where the helpers must mingle with a great company of unbelievers and where the forces of the enemy are strongly entrenched. 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 8

We do not say that there are not many worthy people among those who are guests at the Battle Creek Sanitarium; for there are. But while we know that there are a number whose hearts are true and who are benefitted spiritually by their visit to the institution, we know, too, that there are many others whose influence over inexperienced helpers will lead them into temptation. Let a decided effort be made by the managers to employ older persons for helpers in our large sanitariums. 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 9

In the visions of the night, I was in a large assembly where this matter was up for consideration. One of authority said with great solemnity, “Dare you venture to make the experiment? The salvation of the souls of your children is of more value than the education they receive in this place where they are constantly exposed to the influence of unbelievers. Many who come to this institution are unconverted. They are filled with pride and have no connection with God. Many of the young men and young women who wait on these worldlings have had but little Christian experience and easily become entangled in the snares that are laid for their feet.” 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 10

“What can be done to remedy this evil?” some one present asked. The Speaker answered: “Since you have placed yourselves in this position of peril, let Christian men and women of mature years and established character be brought into the institution to exert a counter influence for the right. The carrying out of such a plan would increase the running expenses of the Sanitarium, but it may be an effective means of guarding the fort and of shielding the youth in the institution from the contaminating influences to which they are now exposed. 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 11

“Fathers and mothers are held responsible by God for the salvation of their children. After souls become obedient to the truth, have they no need of further watchcare? How difficult it is for the believing youth to maintain their consecration to God in the midst of the worldly influences which exist at the Battle Creek Sanitarium!” 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 12

The heavenly Instructor continued: “Parents, guardians, place your children in training schools where the surrounding influences are similar to those of the home school; schools in which the teachers will carry them forward from point to point and in which the spiritual atmosphere is a savor of life unto life.” 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 13

In the days of the Israelites, the parents were directed to gather their children into their houses with them and to strike the lintel of the doorpost with blood. And in the time in which we are living, it is unsafe to break down the barriers that the truth builds as a fortress about God’s people. It is unsafe to think that our children may be permitted to associate with unbelievers as freely as with Christians. Whether or not our youth, who have received wise instruction and training from godly parents, will continue to be sanctified through the truth depends largely upon the influences that, after leaving their homes, they meet among those to whom they look for Christian instruction. 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 14

Every one is now on trial. Every one will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. Those only who in this world are fully prepared for heaven will at last be numbered with the heavenly family in the courts above. Let us think seriously upon the nature of the impressions that will be left upon the susceptible minds of the youth who are being brought into daily association with worldly, irreligious men and women. 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 15

The words of instruction and warning that I have written in regard to our youth going to Battle Creek to receive a training for service in the Lord’s cause are not idle words. Some God-fearing youth will stand the test, but it is not safe for us to leave even the most conscientious ones without our best care and protection. I am instructed to repeat to our brethren and sisters the warning and the exhortation that Paul sent to the church at Thessalonica: 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 16

“The mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he that now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming; even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish: because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they might believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth; whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of glory by our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the tradition which you have been taught, whether by word, or by our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.” [2 Thessalonians 2:7-17.] 18LtMs, Lt 244, 1903, par. 17