Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19

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Lt 331, 1904

Kress, Brother and Sister [D. H.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

December 21, 1904

This letter is published in entirety in 14MR 244-249.

Dear Brother and Sister Kress,—

Several times since leaving home I began letters to you, but before these letters were finished, I was called to attend council meetings or to speak to the people in public, and so my letters were never completed. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 1

I greatly desire to see among our people that general arousing that there should be in every church. I am grateful to our heavenly Father that the Wahroonga Sanitarium is doing good work. May the Lord bestow His most precious blessing upon this institution. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 2

I will try to send you copies of letters that may be of interest to you. In the night season I was talking with you both. I had some things to say to you on the diet question. I was talking freely with you, telling you that you would have to make changes in your ideas in regard to the diet to be given those who come to the sanitarium from the world. These people have lived improperly, on rich food. They are suffering as a result of indulgence of appetite. A reform in their habits of eating and drinking is needed. But this reform cannot be made all at once. The change must be made gradually. The health foods set before them must be appetizing. All their lives, perhaps, they have had three meals a day and have eaten rich food. It is an important matter to reach these people with the truths of health reform. But in order to lead them to adopt a sensible diet, you must set before them an abundant supply of wholesome, appetizing food. Changes must not be made so abruptly that they will be turned from health reform, instead of being led to it. The food served to them must be nicely prepared, and it must be richer than either you or I would eat. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 3

I write this because something needs to be done to set forth the principles of true health reform. Have you a cook who can prepare dishes that the patients cannot help but see an improvement on the diet to which they have been accustomed? The one who does the cooking in a sanitarium should be able to make wholesome, appetizing food combinations, and these food combinations must necessarily be somewhat richer than you or I would I would eat. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 4

I write this because I am sure that the Lord means you to have tact in meeting the people where they are, in their darkness and self-indulgence. As far as I am concerned personally, I am decidedly in favor of a plain, simple diet. But it will not be best to put worldly, self-indulgent patients on a diet so strict that they will be turned from health reform. This will not convince them of the need of a change in their habits of eating and drinking. Tell them the facts. Educate them to see the need of a plain, simple diet, and make the change gradually. Give them time to respond to the treatment and the instruction given them. Work and pray, and lead them along as gently as possible. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 5

I remember once at Summer Hill, when at the sanitarium there, I was urged to sit at the table with the patients, and eat with them, that we might become acquainted. I saw then that a decided mistake was being made in the preparation of the food. It was put together in such a way that it was tasteless, and there was not more than two-thirds enough. I found it impossible to make a meal that would satisfy my appetite. I tried to bring about a different order of things, and I think that matters were helped. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 6

In dealing with the patients in our sanitariums, we must reason from cause to effect. We must remember that the habits and practices of a lifetime cannot be changed in a moment. With an intelligent cook, and an abundant supply of wholesome food, reforms can be brought about that will work well. But it may take time to bring them about. A strenuous effort should not be made unless it is actually demanded. We must remember that food which would be appetizing to a health reformer might be very insipid to those who have been accustomed to highly seasoned food. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 7

Lectures should be given explaining why reforms in diet are essential, and showing that the use of highly seasoned food causes inflammation of the delicate lining of the digestive organs. Let it be shown why we as a people have changed our habits of eating and drinking. Show why we discard tobacco and all intoxicating liquor. Lay down the principles of health reform clearly and plainly, and with this let there be placed on the table an abundance of wholesome food, tastefully prepared; and the Lord will help you to make impressive the urgency of reform and will lead them to see that this reform is for their highest good. They will miss the highly seasoned food to which they have been accustomed, but an effort must be made to give them food that is so wholesome and so appetizing that they will cease to miss the unwholesome dishes. Show them that the treatment given them will not benefit them unless they make the needed change in their habits of eating and drinking. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 8

The principles of health reform are of the greatest importance and should be sacredly cherished by us as a people. It pains me to see that there are among us ministers who, though supposed to be health reformed, are such only in name. Often worldlings are found to be more ready to reform than are many of the members of our churches. If those who have had the light for so many years are not willing to walk in this light, how can we expect those who have had no experience in the truth to make an entire change at once in their habits of living? 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 9

I write you this that you may make it as easy as possible for those who come to the sanitarium knowing nothing of health reform from a Bible standpoint. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 10

Again, we must remember that there are a great many different minds in the world, and we cannot expect every one to see exactly as we do in regard to all questions of diet. Minds do not run in exactly the same channel. I do not eat butter, but there are members of my family who do. It is not placed on my table; but I make no disturbance because some members of my family choose to eat it occasionally. Many of our conscientious brethren have butter on their tables, and I feel under no obligation to force them to do otherwise. These things should never be allowed to cause disturbance among brethren. I cannot see the need of butter, where there is an abundance of fruit and of sterilized cream. Those who love and serve God should be allowed to follow their own convictions. We may not feel justified in doing as they do, but we should not allow differences of opinion to create disunion. May the Lord help us to be as firm as a rock to the principles of the law spoken from Sinai, and may He help us not to allow differences of opinion to be a barrier between us and our brethren. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 11

From a copy of a letter that I am sending you, you will see what is being done in Southern California in regard to opening up the Glendale Sanitarium and the Paradise Valley Sanitarium. We feel very grateful to God that these two new institutions can be placed in operation. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 12

I spent three weeks at the Paradise Valley Sanitarium, but was sick all the time. I contracted a severe cold on my way down there. In order that the others in the building might not be exposed, I kept very closely to my own room. The day before I left, Brother and Sister Richardson insisted on seeing me, that they might tell me of the many advantages that Jamaica possesses for sanitarium work. I certainly hope that this field may be entered by earnest laborers. I shall not attempt to tell you what Brother and Sister Richardson told me; for I was sick at the time and could not hear all they said. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 13

You will be glad to know that we have obtained an ample supply of water for the Paradise Valley Sanitarium. The scarcity of water was the one thing against the place. Sometime ago workmen began digging a well on the lower part of the sanitarium land. They went down eighty feet, and one evening Brother Palmer came to my room to tell me that a stream of water as large as his hand was running into the well. The next morning early he and Willie came to my room to tell me that there was fourteen feet of water in the well. The water is soft and pure. This well is a treasure more valuable than gold or silver or precious stones. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 14

Now that water has been secured, the sanitarium will, with the blessing of God, prove a success. There will be water enough for domestic and irrigating purposes. There are a number of olive trees on the place, and these can now be saved. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 15

The work is going forward in Los Angeles. As the result of the labors of Brother W. W. Simpson, one hundred and twenty-five have embraced the truth. Brother Simpson explains the prophecies very clearly, showing plainly that the end is near. Several Catholics have been converted to the faith. The contributions taken have covered all expenses. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 16

The Lord certainly works with Brother Simpson. I wish there were a hundred such workers in the field, giving the last warning message to the world and winning souls to Christ. 19LtMs, Lt 331, 1904, par. 17