Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18

433/524

Ms 115, 1903

Diary/Instruction Regarding Sanitarium Work

NP

September 4, 1902

Portions of this manuscript are published in MM 306; CG 486; 3BC 1148; 10MR 164-165; PC 38-40; SpM 256, pp. -259.

I have been calling upon God to heal my eyes and to give me clearness of mind, that I may be able to express in proper language, some subjects that I have dreaded to write out, fearing that I would be unable to do justice to the subject. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 1

In our sanitarium work plants should be made in many places. In the sanitariums established a decided influence for temperance and for all points of truth should be exerted. The workers should seek to help one another. Those who possess the true missionary spirit will esteem all for whom Christ has died. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 2

God has declared that sanitariums and hygienic restaurants should be established for the purpose of making known to the world His law. The closing of our restaurants on the Sabbath is to be a witness that there is a people who will not, for worldly gain or to please people, disregard God’s holy rest day. These restaurants are to be established in our cities to bring the truth before many who are engrossed in the business and pleasure of this world. Many of these are professed Christians, but are “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” [2 Timothy 3:4.] These are to know that God has a people who fear Him and keep His commandments. They are to be taught how to choose and prepare the simple food that is best suited to nourish the body and preserve the health. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 3

Regarding Long Courses of Study

Questions have arisen in regard to the management of sanitariums and in regard to the plans to be followed in the education of physicians and nurses. We are asked whether few or many should take a five years’ course. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 4

All are to be left perfectly free to follow the dictates of an enlightened conscience. There are those who with a few months’ instruction would be prepared to go out and do acceptable medical missionary work. Some cannot feel that it is their duty to give years to one line of study. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 5

Nurses Not to be Restricted

After the nurses have served the term agreed upon, and have given their services in return for their education, they should be at liberty to take up work where they wish and to earn what they can. Some many not have been able to give any money while getting their education. Their board and clothing, with the gifts they have made to the cause of God, may have taken all their earnings. Then if they are taken sick, they have no money to fall back on, and they are helped by the sanitarium as cases of charity. This is a species of slavery to which some will conscientiously submit, while others will backslide from the truth. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 6

The young men and young women who take their medical course or the nurses’ course should not be taught that after their graduation they will ever after be amenable to the association under which they received their education. When nurses go to patients not in the sanitarium, they should not be required to return to the sanitarium all that they earn, except just enough to cover the cost of food and clothing. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 7

There is much to be considered in regard to this matter. From the light that I have, I know that these things are not properly adjusted. The nurses give their services in return for the education that they receive. They are not always to be required to pay a portion of their wages to the sanitarium. This is not just. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 8

And when their term of service has expired, the nurses should be left free to work where they please, and to recognize that they are accountable only to God for the use they make of the money they earn. They are not to be required to pay to the sanitarium at which they received their training a certain part of their earnings. They are to be left free as those who have settled their indebtedness, and are now at liberty to use their earnings as God directs. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 9

Perhaps they have brothers and sisters who need an education in our schools. Perhaps their parents need what they can spare of their earnings. Their duty to their parents comes first. There has been suffering in families for want of the means that nurses have given in donations to our sanitariums. This very money was needed by their parents. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 10

A reformation is needed on this point, for justice has not always been done. A hold is not to be retained on the nurses educated in our sanitariums, as if they had sold themselves to the institution for life. This matter has been presented to me as something that needs to be set right. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 11

How much depression and anxiety has been the result of this unwise business arrangement will never be known until the cases of all are seen as they really are. Many of the arrangements made in the name of medical missionary work need adjusting by the wisdom of a Physician that is above all human physicians. Men need to understand that equity and justice and mercy are the attributes of the Most High. In no case will the Lord be pleased with a course such as has been followed in dealing with those who are anxious to obtain a knowledge in the treatment of the sick. These nurses and helpers have rendered faithful service, but have not received an equivalent. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 12

Practical Instruction to be Given

Great care should be exercised in the training of young people for the medical missionary work; for the mind is molded by that which it receives and retains. Too much incomplete work has been done in the education given. The most useful education is that found in practical work. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 13

Our institutions are not to be so overgrown that the most important points in education do not receive the proper consideration. Instruction should be given in medical missionary work. The teaching given in medical lines should be blended with a study of the Bible. And physical training should not be neglected. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 14

Great care should be exercised in regard to the influences that prevail in the institution. The influences under which the nurses are placed will mold their character for eternity. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 15

The home is the child’s first school. Here it should receive its first training in regard to right principles. In childhood the mind is readily impressed and molded, and it is then that boys and girls should be taught to love and honor God. In sympathy and love parents should teach them line upon line, precept upon precept, the lessons of His Word. Neither the church school nor the college afford the opportunities for establishing a child’s character building upon the right foundation as are afforded in the home. In the school there are not the strong ties of love that there are in the home. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 16

The youth in their waywardness and inexperience need to associate with teachers who feel an intense interest in the work of educating and training the members of the Lord’s family. The teachers are to have no favorites among their students. They are not to give the most attention to the bright, quick students. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 17

First impressions are not to be trusted. It is those who apparently are the most unpromising, who need the most tact and kindly words that will bind their hearts to the heart of the teacher. Angels of God come to every schoolroom. If their presence is welcomed they will keep the minds of the students fresh with the love of God. And they will help the teacher to preserve order and discipline. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 18

Students who at first may seem to be dull and slow, may in the end make greater progress than those who are naturally quicker. If they are thorough and systematic in their work, they will gain much that others will fail to gain. Those who form habits of patient, persevering industry will accomplish more than those of quick, vivacious, brilliant minds, who, though grasping a point quickly, lose it just as readily. The patient ones, though slower to learn, will stand ahead of those who learn so quickly that they do not need to study. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 19

Sanitariums to be in the Country

I have received much instruction regarding the location of sanitariums. They should be a few miles distant from the large cities, and land should be secured in connection with them. Fruit and vegetables should be cultivated, and the patients should be encouraged to take up outdoor work. Many who are suffering from pulmonary disease might be cured if they would live in a climate where they could be out of doors most of the year. Many who have died of consumption might have lived if they had breathed more pure air. Fresh outdoor air is as healing as medicine and leaves no injurious after effects. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 20

To the young and strong the bustle of the city is sometimes more agreeable than the quiet of the country, but the sick long for the quiet of the country. As these things are presented before me, and as I think of how much is lost by an indoor life, I can scarcely endure the thought of our sanitariums being situated where the patients must endure the rigor of cold winters, where during the winter months they must remain inside most of the time, the rooms heated with steam coils, and the air impure. In every place there are in winter some things that are disadvantageous to the sick, but some places have fewer disadvantages than others. There are localities where all the year round fruit-bearing trees may be seen, and where but little fire is needed for purposes of warmth. In sanitariums established in such places the patients can have the advantages of the outdoor air at all seasons of the year. When fires are required, there should, if possible, be open fireplaces in which wood can be burned. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 21

Why do not our physicians see and understand that patients should be treated out of and away from the cities? And not the patients only, but physicians and nurses need a cheerful, sunshiny atmosphere. Is it surprising that under gloomy surroundings, workers should be downhearted and depressed, leading unbelievers to think that their religion makes them gloomy? Let there be light and love and cheerful song in the place of gloom, and what a change would take place! 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 22

Our schools also should be established away from the cities, where the influences will be favorable for receiving the instruction that is to be given in Bible lines. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [Psalm 111:10.] Both the students in our schools and the patients in our sanitariums may receive great advantages by having before their eyes the open book of nature instead of the walls of a room, the air of which is often laden with the poisonous exhalations of the lungs. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 23

Cultivate Cheerfulness

Would it not be well to cultivate gratitude and to offer grateful songs of thanksgiving to God? As Christians we ought to praise God more than we do. We ought to bring more of the brightness of His love into our lives. As by faith we look to Jesus, His joy and peace are reflected from the countenances. How earnestly we should seek so to relate ourselves to God that our faces may reflect the sunshine of His love! When our own souls are vivified by the Holy Spirit, we shall exert an uplifting influence upon others who know not the joy of Christ’s presence. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 24

Said David, “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul.” [Psalm 66:16.] 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 25

Nebuchadnezzar because of his pride was humiliated, his reason was taken away, and for seven years he was as one of the beasts of the field. At the end of that time he praised God. “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored Him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?” [Daniel 4:34, 35.] 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 26

In the open air, the patients, some in wheel chairs, will feel songs of joy coming from their hearts, and some will receive Christ by faith. Many more might be brought to a knowledge of the truth if their surroundings were of a softening and subduing nature. As they behold the beauties of nature, their minds will be led to think of the glories of the home that Christ has gone to prepare for His people. They will realize that the Bible has been given to point out the way to this home and to prepare the soul for the region of bliss. Joy unspeakable will fill their minds. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 27

“In that day shall it be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.” [Zephaniah 3:16, 17.] 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 28

Simplicity in Diet and Treatments

It would have been better if, from the first, all drugs had been kept out of our sanitariums and use had been made of such simple remedies as are found in pure water, pure air, sunlight, and some of the simple herbs growing in the field. These would be just as efficacious as the drugs used under mysterious names and concocted by human science. And they would leave no injurious effects in the system. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 29

Thousands who are afflicted might recover their health if, instead of depending upon the drugstore for their life, they would discard all drugs and live simply, without using tea, coffee, liquor, or spices, which irritate the stomach and leave it weak, unable to digest even simple food without stimulation. The Lord is willing to let His light shine forth in clear, distinct rays to all who are weak and feeble. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 30

Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs. The eating of flesh is unnatural. We are to return to God’s original purpose in the creation of man. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 31

*****

There is a great work to be done. And all are to undertake this work, not for self-exaltation, but wholly for the glory of God. They are instruments, chosen by God to co-operate with Him. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 32

*****

There is blessing in the association of old and young. The young may bring sunshine into the hearts and minds of the aged. Those of hoary heads need the vitality and action of the young. And the young need the wisdom and mature experience of older persons. There is to be a blending of the two. Wisdom and patience will do a great work for the weak and sickly. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 33

*****

The Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the earth. They are no longer of benefit to the world in advancing truth and righteousness. They are about to be gathered in bundles, ready to be burned. They are as faggots ready to be cast into the fire. 18LtMs, Ms 115, 1903, par. 34