Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 150, 1905

Talk/The Restaurant Work

St. Helena, California

September 23, 1905

This manuscript is published in entirety in 8MR 171-181. +Note

“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:16-20.] 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 1

We desire above all else to represent the truth as it is in Jesus. We cannot afford to represent that which is false. Into every department of our work we are to carry the principles of righteousness. The Lord desires to do great things for His people, but if we do nothing, and think that everything will work out as it should, we shall certainly be disappointed. If we will unite with Christ, He will co-operate with us in all our efforts to serve Him. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 2

I have been asked this morning to speak upon the subject of restaurant work. I have recently written considerable upon this subject, but it has not yet been copied, and I did not take time to find it to read at this meeting. But I hope soon to publish some things that have been presented to me in regard to our health food and restaurant work. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 3

This is a very important question, and we wish you to move understandingly. If I make some statements this morning that you do not understand, I ask you not to put your own interpretation on these statements and report them to others as being what I have said. Be very careful that you make no wrong impression upon the minds of others. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 4

In the health food and restaurant work, there is great need of a return to the first principles of health reform. The health reform is just what the name indicates it to be. It is not a term to be used merely to exalt certain restaurants by representing them to be what they are not in truth. There is too great a mixture of foods provided for those who patronize our restaurants. Soda and saleratus, rich gravies and desserts are used far too freely. We have certainly departed from the simplicity of diet. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 5

We shall soon reach a time when we must understand the meaning of a simple diet. The time is not far hence when we shall be obliged to adopt a diet very different from our present diet. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 6

As the situation has been presented before me, I have felt that there should be a thorough examination of those who are connected with our restaurants to see if they stand on the platform of genuine health reform. We should put into our stomachs only those things that will make good blood. We need to study the art of preparing in a simple manner the fruits, grains, and vegetables. We do not need these complex combinations that are provided. As the matter now stands we are in danger of making dyspeptics. I would ask, How many are standing by the old principles of health reform as they were given to us years ago? 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 7

The Lord would have the principles of health reform carried into every family. Those who cook for the family can learn how to prepare simple, wholesome food, even though they are unable to purchase the high-priced health foods that are on the market. The children should be educated in the art of cooking hygienically. You need not be dependent upon the manufacturers of health foods in order to practice health reform. Many of us lived for years without the use of meat, even before we could obtain these substitutes. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 8

We need a genuine education in the art of cooking. Instead of multiplying our restaurants, it will be better to form classes where you may teach the people how to make good bread and how to put together the ingredients to make healthful food combinations from the grains and the vegetables. Such an education will assist in creating a desire among our people to move out of the cities, to secure land in the country where they can raise their own fruit and vegetables. Then they can care for their gardens, and their food will not come to them half spoiled and decayed. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 9

The health food business, in which a few have planned certain food combinations, has been allowed to take from the family cooks much of the work they should do. I am instructed to say that there should be a reformation in the restaurants and a reformation in the homes of our people. Every cook should understand the art of preparing wholesome and palatable food. The knowledge of healthful cookery has been neglected in the home, and our people have learned to depend too much upon the expensive food preparations. Let us arouse ourselves and see what we can do individually without leaning so heavily upon the food companies. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 10

Some of the foods that have been sent out from headquarters have not been what they should be. Some things are represented to be pure foods, but do you know that they are pure? Are you sure that they are what they are represented to be? In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I warn those who prepare the health foods never to put out the false for the true. May God help us to walk honestly. Our families should be so educated that they can cook the foods that are necessary without depending so largely upon the products of the factory. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 11

The multiplication of so many restaurants and food stores is helping to cause a dearth of laborers. Many who have intellect and talent that should be employed in evangelistic work choose to labor in the restaurants rather than in the sanitariums or in other lines of work where they are really needed. We have reached a time when we have but few ministers in the field and but few well-qualified teachers. Where are our canvassers to engage in the work of distributing our literature? Some are working conscientiously in selling our books, but there should be many more such workers in the field. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 12

Why is there such a dearth of laborers in these important lines of work? Our young people choose to labor in some place where they can live without any particular exercise of their mind spiritually. The restaurants offer a free field for such individuals. As they engage in mere commercial work, there is danger that they will neglect the work of preparing for the future, immortal life and that they will lose their spirituality. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 13

Some who have become dissatisfied in our sanitariums, or in other lines of work, have found a hearty welcome from those who manage the food work. They find our restaurants ready to employ those who wish to rid themselves of the responsibility of the work of soul-saving. God has told His people to go into all the world and preach the gospel. All are to work diligently for the salvation of their own souls; and they are accountable to God to work for the salvation of those around them. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 14

There should be a reform in our diet, both in the home and in the restaurants. With many the health reform means nothing more than to live without the use of flesh meat. The so-called health reform of many might be better termed health deform. There is too much eating merely to gratify the appetite. Because the foods are health foods and are appetizing, some think it proper to eat more than they should. God desires us to restrain our appetites. We should partake of simple food and eat no more than the stomach can readily take care of. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 15

Far too much time is occupied in the preparation of the mixtures that are placed upon the table. We need to understand that even in the restaurants it is not necessary to provide such dishes as we have tried to instruct our people should not be put on the table—dessert dishes and other unwholesome articles of diet. Let us return to the position we occupied several years ago. Let every family be determined that they will bring the principles of true health reform into the home. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 16

God wants a work done in hygienic restaurants that has never yet been done. When the question of establishing restaurants was first introduced, it was clearly pointed out that the one aim and object of their work was to be the conversion of souls. It was not that you might invent the many fancy dishes to gratify the appetite and have no time left to devote to the work of creating in the minds of others an interest in the truth. Some attempts may have been made to interest souls in the truth, but they have been but feeble in comparison with what should have been done. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 17

I had thought that the restaurants might be so conducted as to bring the principles of the truth before the minds of many. I had thought that they might be an agency to help people to understand what they must do to inherit eternal life. There are many opportunities for our restaurant workers to become acquainted with those who enter, that they may be prepared to speak a word in season. Then when the workers meet the patrons outside the restaurant, they will be able to converse with them in regard to the truth. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 18

God is in earnest with us. He has not instituted these restaurants simply that we may teach the world how they can live without meat, while but little is done for the salvation of souls. You cannot afford to neglect spiritual help for those who eat their meals in your restaurants. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 19

I have been making inquiry as to how many have been converted to the truth as a result of the work done by our restaurants. A few may be converted, but the results have been very small in comparison with the talent and capability employed and the large efforts put forth in this work. Are those connected with these restaurants laboring earnestly for the souls that come in and go out every day? Do they watch for opportunities to speak a word in season? Are they diligent in distributing our literature to those with whom they are brought in contact? Do they remember that they must meet these souls in the judgment? 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 20

As God’s chosen people, our only work is to preach the gospel. But the restaurants are not doing this work, they never have done it, and they never can do it unless the workers are thoroughly converted to God. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 21

Our Redeemer is disappointed that so little has been accomplished for the salvation of souls. Will you now take hold as never before to do the work of the Master? It is not necessary to make such a great display as is done in some restaurants. The greater the display, the less is it possible to distinguish that the workers in these institutions are laborers together with God, laboring to prepare a people to stand in the last great day, when every case is to be decided for life or for death. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 22

God calls for a change in these matters. My mind has been frequently drawn to this subject, but I have disliked to speak of the situation as it is. But I must tell you that there must be a thorough reformation, a readjustment of our health food work. God has not called our people to provide food to feed worldlings who have no disposition to study the truth. He desires us to feed them with the food that is to be found in the Word of God. He will give you words to speak, that souls may be saved unto eternal life. Christ said, “Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life.” [John 6:54.] But unless you lead others to partake of Christ’s flesh and blood, of what benefit, I ask, is your work to the cause of God? You are spending your time for that which profiteth nothing. Every hour that we have in this life should be devoted to the work of enlightening the minds of those who know not the truth. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 23

If we have the Spirit of God in our hearts, our work will be successful. Unless the work of our restaurants is made educational, it amounts to nothing more than a mere worldly commercial business. Educational advantages should be provided for those who are employed in carrying on the work in our institutions. When the restaurants become so that they do not educate and fit a people to prepare for the kingdom of our Lord, I can no longer endorse their work. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 24

I do not say that all our restaurants should be closed, but as I have seen the situation, I have sometimes wished that circumstances would arise that would compel them to be closed. It seems almost an impossibility for us to place ourselves in such a position that the existing evils can be corrected. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 25

If you were to put forth in other lines of work one quarter of the effort that is being put forth in the work of the restaurants, in an earnest effort for the conversion of souls, you would see far greater results. God calls upon us to put forth the capabilities that He has given us, in the work of bringing souls to a knowledge of the truth. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 26

Our people should study carefully the prayer of Christ in the seventeenth chapter of John. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh that He should give eternal life to a many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” [Verses 1-3.] 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 27

The closing words of this chapter are especially important. Jesus said, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those that Thou gavest Me, I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” [Verse 12.] Many of us have lost the science of soul-keeping. Christ calls us to come back and to learn in His school how to keep the souls of those that are committed to our charge. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 28

“Now I come to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth. As Thou has sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” [Verses 13-18.] 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 29

You know what the work of Christ was. He went from place to place, preaching the gospel. If souls are not saved through your efforts, it will be because you have taken no pains to save them. May God help us that His light and truth may be revived in our hearts, unto eternal life. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 30

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” [Verses 20-23.] 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 31

Great reformations should take place. We must be in a position where we can learn at the feet of Jesus. The enemy is working with all his power to thwart the purposes of God, and many of our people are indifferent to his snares. They are not laborers together with God. In their homes, they do not keep the way of the Lord. The softening and subduing influence of the Spirit of God must come into our ranks. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 32

A spirit of jealousy and suspicion is growing to an intensity, and the Lord God of heaven is not pleased with the representation. The contention that exists among the laborers in various branches of our work is very displeasing to God. It closes the door, that the Spirit of God cannot enter. In our strife one with another, we lose our hold upon God and upon the hearts of our brethren. God desires us to unite as brethren and sisters, that we may work together intelligently. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 33

“Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.” [Verse 24.] And yet the Father gave up His Son to die a cruel death, in order that salvation and light might be brought to the very people who come and go from the restaurants, many of them going away with no more knowledge of salvation than they had when they came. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 34

“O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me, may be in them, and I in them.” [Verses 25, 26.] 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 35

Let us study our Bibles more than we have done. Let us read the Word of God with an earnest desire to understand the meaning of the revelation of God. Let us live lives of prayer. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 36

If the Lord were to appear suddenly in the clouds of heaven, and if all the workers in our restaurants were called to give an account to Him of their stewardship, how many would stand on vantage ground, purified, made white, and tried, having on the robe of Christ’s righteousness, prepared to sit with Him at His table? 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 37

Let us look this question fairly in the face and see what has been gained by our efforts. If in the restaurant work you have gained that which brings you nearer heaven, that which counts in the work of God, I ask you to show it. There are souls to be led to Christ, and you cannot afford to meet hundreds of people every day and yet withhold from them the warning, Prepare to meet thy God. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 38

God calls for workers, for ministers, for teachers, for canvassers, for medical missionaries, for men and women who will go into the field and live in harmony with the principles that Christ has laid down in His Word. We are to love one another as Christ has loved us. If it becomes necessary, in order to act harmoniously with your brethren, that you make some sacrifice, you will receive a rich reward in making that sacrifice. 20LtMs, Ms 150, 1905, par. 39