Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 231, 1905

Kress, Brother and Sister [D. H.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

July 11, 1905

Portions of this letter are published in CD 292-293; 2MCP 682-683; 3MR 331, 368. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Kress,—

I have received your letters and will now answer some of the points contained in them. 20LtMs, Lt 231, 1905, par. 1

Dr. Margaret Evans asked me if, under any circumstances, I would advise the drinking of chicken broth if one were sick and could not take anything else into the stomach. I said, “There are persons dying of consumption who, if they ask for chicken broth, should have it. But I would be very careful.” The example should not injure a sanitarium or make excuse for others to think their case required the same diet. I asked Dr. Margaret if she had such a case at the sanitarium. She said, “No; but I have a sister in the sanitarium at Wahroonga who is very weak. She has weak, sinking spells, but cooked chicken she can eat.” I said, “It would be best to remove her from the sanitarium.” She answered, “Her husband is in the sanitarium, filling the position of physician.” 20LtMs, Lt 231, 1905, par. 2

So it came about in this way, and later I received a letter from you, concerning the matter. I have not seen Dr. Margaret since I returned from the camp-meeting at San Jose, about a week ago. 20LtMs, Lt 231, 1905, par. 3

I found Dr. Hare’s wife in Washington in the same condition that Dr. Margaret’s sister is in. They said she was unable to eat anything but meat and that her blood was turning to water. But the light given me was: her impression that she must live on meat was not correct. I was instructed that she was placing herself mentally in a position in which she should not be. If she would discard the use of meat for one year, the unfavorable position in which she now is would be changed, and there would be an opportunity for healthy action to take place in her system. She could, if she overcame her meat eating, be in a much better condition and live to glorify God. 20LtMs, Lt 231, 1905, par. 4

In your letter you refer to what was said concerning the recovery of Mrs. Stuttaford’s mother at the time of her last illness. It was this way: We had a season of prayer in her behalf, and I tried to encourage faith in the sick mother. I told her that there was no power in us to do the work of healing, but that it was her privilege to say, I shall not die, but live; and that she could keep in her mind the promise, He is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. I tried to talk on the faith side of the question and encourage her to believe that living or dying we are the Lord’s, and we shall live with Him in His kingdom. “For the trumpet shall sound, and all that are in their graves shall come forth”—those who have served Him, to live in His kingdom. [1 Corinthians 15:52; John 5:28, 29.] 20LtMs, Lt 231, 1905, par. 5

Some years before this we had a season of prayer for her mother at a camp-meeting. I heard that she was on a bed of sickness and that she wished to see me. I prayed the Lord that He might rebuke the affliction that was upon her, if it could be His will. She praised the Lord and got up from her bed of sickness. At Pasadena I hoped that she might again be raised up from the bed of sickness, so I acted my part as I have related. 20LtMs, Lt 231, 1905, par. 6

The light given me is that if the sister you mention would brace up and cultivate her taste for wholesome food, all these sinking spells would pass away. She has cultivated her imagination; the enemy has taken advantage of her weakness of body, and her mind is not braced to bear up against the hardships of everyday life. It is good, sanctified mind cure she needs, an increase of faith and active service for Christ. She needs also the exercise of her muscles in outside practical labor. Physical exercise will be to her one of the greatest blessings of her life. She need not be an invalid, but a wholesome-minded, healthy woman, prepared to act her part nobly and well. 20LtMs, Lt 231, 1905, par. 7

All the treatment that may be given to this sister will be of little advantage unless she acts her part. She needs to strengthen muscle and nerve by physical labor. She need not be an invalid, but can do good, earnest labor. Like many others, she has a diseased imagination. But she can overcome and be a healthy woman. I have had this message to give to many, and with the best results. 20LtMs, Lt 231, 1905, par. 8

Once I was called to see a young woman with whom I was well acquainted. She was sick and was running down fast. Her mother wished me to pray for her. The mother stood there weeping and saying, “Poor child; she cannot live long.” I felt her pulse. I prayed with her and then addressed her, “My sister, if you get up and dress and go to your usual work in the office, all this invalidism will pass away.” “Do you think this would pass away?” she said. “Certainly,” I said. “You have nearly smothered the life forces by invalidism.” I turned to the mother and told her that her daughter would have died of a diseased imagination if they had not been convinced of their error. She had been educating herself to invalidism. Now this is a very poor school. But I said to her, “Change this order; arise and dress.” She was obedient and is alive today. 20LtMs, Lt 231, 1905, par. 9

There are some people who are too energetic. They have so much zeal that their physical strength is overtaxed. It is a mistake to overdo and wear out the strength by constant labor without taking periods of rest. If the whole machinery is used too constantly, and the necessity of resting periods and of varied exercise are overlooked, evil results will follow. The human machinery is created with all its varied nerves, muscles, and sinews to be kept in healthy action. If they are unused, they will become weak and feel the neglect. If overtaxed, they will wear out prematurely. I am now nearing the completion of my seventy-eighth year, and I am able to do much study and writing. I am sometimes up writing hours before breakfast. I did not sleep after one o’clock this morning. 20LtMs, Lt 231, 1905, par. 10