Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Lt 54, 1907

Gotzian, J.

St. Helena, California

February 23, 1907

Portions of this letter are published in CD 295; 6Bio 144.

Mrs. Gotzian
Paradise Valley Sanitarium

Dear Sister Gotzian:

You seem surprised that I have not sooner answered your letter. But of late I have been forced into strait places. Crisis after crisis has had to be met, and this while I was suffering with the influenza which is so prevalent. And yet, amid weakness and perplexity, I have reason to be very grateful to my heavenly Father that He has enabled me to keep busily at work. During a large part of the day my pen is kept going. Last week many letters were sent to Australia, where thy needed messages that had been given me for them. 22LtMs, Lt 54, 1907, par. 1

I wish to say to you, my sister, Do not make perplexities for yourself by trying to make everyone see as you see and follow the plans you have devised. I have told you that you do not view everything in a correct light. Your ideas are not always pleasing to others. Your strong traits of character lead you to seek to mold and fashion others according to your ideas. 22LtMs, Lt 54, 1907, par. 2

I must speak plainly to you, my sister. Let others act upon their individual merit and intelligence. God expects them to do this under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. To every man and woman God has given a work, and He would have every mind so well balanced that the work can be done after the divine similitude. You, my sister, must not seek to put your mold upon other minds. You must not feel that your mind and judgment is to be the criterion for other minds. The Lord has given to each capability and tact; and if we will be guided by His wisdom, the minds of the workers will blend and the work be carried on harmoniously. 22LtMs, Lt 54, 1907, par. 3

Your way is not the way that would be wisest to follow in every instance. For others to attempt to follow it exactly might unfit them for the work they are appointed to do, in accordance with their intelligence. If you should permit it to appear that you want your precise way carried out, and that you desire to correct at once anything that is contrary to your ideas, you would spoil your influence. 22LtMs, Lt 54, 1907, par. 4

Light has been given me of the Lord that it would be a mistake for us to suppose that it was your duty to continue to act as matron in the sanitarium. You and I have a special interest in that institution, but for the work of matron we must select some woman who is younger than you or me—one who is wise and ingenious and well adapted to that special work by temperament and training. 22LtMs, Lt 54, 1907, par. 5

You and I are to be a special help to the Paradise Valley Sanitarium. We both desire it to succeed financially and to wisely represent the truth of God, so that men and women shall be won to allegiance to correct principles. We must not feel that because we have a financial interest in the institution that we have a right to do and say things that would lessen our influence for doing the work that should be done by us. In the matter of dress, we should make a suitable appearance. I will endeavor to heed the light given me on this point. 22LtMs, Lt 54, 1907, par. 6

My sister, do not take a criticizing or questioning attitude toward managers or workers; we must not show by our actions that we have no faith in the work that is being done. We must not investigate and find fault and urge our way. We must not seek to make our habits and methods a standard for the home. Let us make our ideas as far as possible blend with the ideas of those who carry the load of responsibility. Each one must put aside the idea that his mind and judgment are to be the controlling influence. Be cheerful, be kind, be courteous. 22LtMs, Lt 54, 1907, par. 7

I have been shown that we must all work together in harmony. In a sanitarium we must not expect that worldlings who come for treatment will fall in readily with all the plans of educated Christians. They must not be made to feel that they are under an iron rule. Nurses have to handle their cases wisely and with good judgment if they would hold their confidence. We are not to seek to bend them to the ways and plans of any one mind. 22LtMs, Lt 54, 1907, par. 8

I have seen that it is not acceptable to the patients, or to the nurses, or the ones who cook, or to those employed in other departments to be watched and criticized and instructed by one not in charge that some other way is better than the ones to which they have been accustomed. We cannot mold the minds of worldlings to health reform principles all at once; therefore we must not set down too stringent rules in regard to the diet of the patients. When worldly patients come to the sanitarium, they have to make a great change in their dietary; and that they may feel the change as little as possible, the very best cookery in healthful lines should be brought in—the most palatable and inviting dishes placed upon the table. 22LtMs, Lt 54, 1907, par. 9

When we were arranging for the first sanitarium in Australia, the food was so cheaply prepared that it was not palatable. I ate at the table, that I might understand this matter. I told those in charge that with such a meager diet patients would not be favorably impressed with the sanitarium. I counselled them again and again to secure intelligent cooks, that they might teach what health reform really is, and to prepare food in a palatable way. It was some time before I could make this matter understood; but at last they took my advice; and when this was done, the greatest satisfaction was expressed. 22LtMs, Lt 54, 1907, par. 10

In no case should we feel justified in providing a scant diet in order to economize. Neither should we entertain the opinion that my habit of diet or your habit of diet is the best that could be prescribed for the patients. You and I are to live up to the light on health reform; but there must be no attempt to bring the patients to a scanty diet. I have had message after message upon this point. Those who pay for board and treatment should have their food prepared in the most palatable form. The reason of this is obvious. When the patients are deprived of flesh foods, the system feels the change. There is a feeling of letting down, and they will demand a liberality in their diet. Dishes should be prepared that will invite the appetite and will be pleasing to the sight. 22LtMs, Lt 54, 1907, par. 11

My sister, make it as pleasant as possible for all the workers with whom you are connected. Do not seek to carry out your ideas with unalterable firmness. Seventh-day Adventists must be kind and conciliating. We who make a profession of godliness must be a pattern of patience and kindliness. We are to be of one mind and work in harmony. 22LtMs, Lt 54, 1907, par. 12