Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Lt 127, 1904

Irwin, Brother and Sister [G. A.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

April 11, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in CD 288-289, 491.

Dear Brother and Sister Irwin,—

I have received and read your letters. Thank you for writing. I have much to say in regard to Dr. Caro, but will be able to say only a little in this mail. Dr. Caro’s experience in connection with the work in Australia has clearly shown that he is not to be placed in the responsible positions that he once held, until he has fully proven that he has learned his lesson at the foot of the cross. I am sending you a copy of a letter that I have written to Dr. Caro and Brother Sharp. The night before your letter came, I seemed to be in several places, speaking in regard to the solemn, important work to be done by the Wahroonga Sanitarium. I said that should Dr. Caro and Brother Sharp unite in conducting a sanitarium, that institution would not be successful; for it would not be conducted in the Lord’s way. They would devise many plans for carrying forward the work of the institution, but the Holy Spirit would not be honored, and God would not be glorified. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 1

It is time that Dr. Kress had a helper, a physician who is soundly converted and who could unite with him in making the institution what God designs it shall be—a place where the weary and heavy laden shall find rest. With two gentlemen physicians in the institution, one could spend part of his time attending the general meetings held, calling the attention of our people to the work and needs of the Sanitarium. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 2

The danger of going to extremes in diet must be guarded against in the Sanitarium. We cannot expect worldlings to accept at once that which our people have been years in learning. Even now there are many of our ministers who do not practice health reform, notwithstanding the light they have had. We cannot expect those who do not realize the need of abstemiousness in diet, who have had no practical experience on this subject, to take at once the wide step between self-indulgence in eating and the most strenuous diet of health reform. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 3

Those who come to the Sanitarium must be provided with wholesome food prepared in the most palatable way consistent with right principles. We cannot expect them to live just as we live. The change would be too great. And there are very few throughout our ranks who live so abstemiously as Dr. Kress has thought it wise to live. Changes must not be made abruptly, when the patients are not prepared for them. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 4

The food placed before the patients should be such as to make a favorable impression on them. Eggs can be prepared in a variety of ways. Lemon pie should not be forbidden. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 5

Too little thought and painstaking effort have been given to making the food tasty and nourishing. We do not want that the Sanitarium shall be destitute of patients. We cannot convert men and women from the error of their ways unless we treat them wisely. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 6

Get the best cook possible, and do not limit the food to that which would suit the taste of some who are rigid health reformers. Were the patients given this food only, they would become disgusted, because it would taste so insipid. It is not thus that souls are to be won to the truth in our sanitariums. Let the cautions that the Lord has given Brother and Sister Kress in regard to extremes in diet be heeded. I was instructed that Dr. Kress must change his diet and eat more nourishing food. It is possible to avoid rich cooking, and yet make the food palatable. I know that every extreme in diet that is brought into the Sanitarium will hurt the reputation of the institution. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 7

On my way home from the General Conference held in Battle Creek, I visited the College View Sanitarium. The meal that I took there was not such as I would have chosen to set before patients. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 8

There is a way of combining and preparing food that will make it both wholesome and nourishing. Those in charge of the cooking in our sanitariums should understand how to do this. The matter should be treated from a Bible standpoint. There is such a thing as robbing the body of nutrition. The preparation of food in the best manner possible is to become a science. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 9

I eat the most simple food, prepared in the most simple way. For months my principal diet has been vermicelli and canned tomatoes cooked together. This I eat with zwieback. Then I have also stewed fruit of some kind and sometimes lemon pie. Dried corn, cooked with milk or a little cream, is another dish that I sometimes use. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 10

But the other members of my family do not eat the same things that I do. I do not hold myself up as a criterion for them. I leave each one to follow his own ideas as to what is best for him. I bind no one else’s conscience by my own. One person cannot be a criterion for another in the matter of eating. It is impossible to make one rule for all to follow. There are those in family who are very fond of beans, while to me beans are poison. Butter is never placed on my table, but if the members of my family choose to use a little butter away from the table, they are at liberty to do so. Our table is set twice a day, but if there are those who desire something to eat in the evening, there is no rule that forbids them from getting it. No one complains or goes from our table dissatisfied. A variety of food that is simple, wholesome, and palatable is always provided. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 11

I do not think, Brother Irwin, that Brother and Sister Starr should leave for England at the present time. I was glad when they connected with the Sanitarium; for their influence was needed, and it is needed still. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 12

I am praying that the Lord will help and bless and strengthen the workers in the Wahroonga Sanitarium. I am heart and soul with you all in the work. Do not stumble over the things that I have written. I hope that wise, experienced helpers will be found to unite with you. 19LtMs, Lt 127, 1904, par. 13