Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Lt 218, 1908

Stone, W. J./President of the Indiana Conference

St. Helena, California

July 16, 1908

This letter is published in entirety in 12MR 311-314. +Note

To the president of the Indiana Conference

Dear Brother:

I have a message for our people in Indiana and trust that it will be read to our brethren and sisters in every church in the conference. My heart is made glad as I hear of the efforts being made by our people in Indiana to establish a sanitarium at La Fayette. The circumstances connected with the beginning of this work at La Fayette are certainly very encouraging. If the churches in Indiana will unite heartily to completion this good work that has been begun, very many will be benefited thereby. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 1

The blessing of the Lord will come to His people as they perform acts of self-denial and self-sacrifice in order to establish a place where the sick may be healed and where they may also become acquainted with the principles of health reform. The Lord would have these suffering ones have every advantage of learning the truths concerning the question of health reform. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 2

The message given to all our people regarding the “Extent of the Work,” as published in the Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 7, pp. 51-59, I here repeat to you. Also a few words from page 62: 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 3

“God has qualified His people to enlighten the world. He has entrusted them with faculties by which they are to extend His work until it shall encircle the globe. In all parts of the earth, they are to establish sanitariums, schools, publishing houses, and kindred facilities for the accomplishment of His work. ... 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 4

“Christ co-operates with those who engage in medical missionary work. Men and women who unselfishly do what they can to establish sanitariums and treatment rooms in many lands will be richly rewarded. Those who visit these institutions will be benefited physically, mentally, and spiritually—the weary will be refreshed, the sick restored to health, the sin-burdened relieved. In far-off countries, from those whose hearts are by these agencies turned from the service of sin unto righteousness, will be heard thanksgiving and the voice of melody. By their songs of grateful praise, a testimony will be borne that will win others to allegiance to and fellowship with Christ. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 5

“The conversion of souls to God is the greatest, the noblest work in which human beings can have a part. In this work are revealed God’s power, His holiness, His forbearance, and His unbounded love. Every true conversion glorifies Him and causes the angels to break forth into singing. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 6

“We are nearing the end of this earth’s history, and the different lines of God’s work are to be carried forward with much more self-sacrificing than is at present manifest. The work in these last days is in a special sense a missionary work. The presentation of present truth, from the first letter of its alphabet to the last, means missionary effort. The work to be done calls for sacrifice at every advance step. From this unselfish service the workers will come forth purified and refined as gold tried in the fire. ... 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 7

“The Lord has signified that His work should be carried forward in the same spirit in which it was begun. The world is to be warned. Field after field is to be entered. The command given us is, Add new territory; add new territory. Shall we not as a people, by our business arrangements, by our attitude toward a world unsaved, bear a testimony even more clear and decisive than that borne by us twenty or thirty years ago? 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 8

“Upon us has shone great light in regard to the last days of this earth’s history. Let not our lack of wisdom and energy give evidence of spiritual blindness. God’s messengers must be clothed with power. They must have for the truth an elevating reverence that they do not now possess. The Lord’s solemn, sacred message of warning must be proclaimed in the most difficult fields and in the most sinful cities—in every place where the light of the third angel’s message has not yet dawned. To every one is to be given the last call to the marriage supper of the Lamb. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 9

“In proclaiming the message, God’s servants will be called upon to wrestle with numerous perplexities and to surmount many obstacles. Sometimes the work will go hard, as it did when the pioneers were establishing the institutions in Battle Creek, in Oakland, and in other places. But let all do their best, making the Lord their strength, avoiding all selfishness, and blessing others by their good works. ... 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 10

“Medical missionary work is the right hand of the gospel. It is necessary to the advancement of the cause of God. As through it men and woman are led to see the importance of right habits of living, the saving power of the truth will be made known. Every city is to be entered by workers trained to do medical missionary work. As the right hand of the third angel’s message, God’s methods of treating disease will open doors for the entrance of present truth. ... 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 11

“We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work. The world is a lazar house filled with victims of both physical and spiritual disease. Everywhere people are perishing for lack of a knowledge of the truths that have been committed to us. The members of the church are in need of an awakening, that they may realize their responsibility to impart these truths. Those who have been enlightened by the truth are to be light-bearers to the world. To hide our light at this time is to make a terrible mistake. The message to God’s people today is, ‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come; and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.’ [Isaiah 60:1.] 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 12

“On every hand we see those who have had much light and knowledge deliberately choosing evil in the place of good. Making no attempt to reform, they are growing worse and worse. But the people of God are not to walk in darkness. They are to walk in the light, because they are reformers.” 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 13

Self-Denial and Vigilance

Erroneous opinions, arrived at because of faulty education in the home, have been handed down by children to children’s children, and habits of indulgence have been fostered which have resulted in ruined health to thousands. Our sanitariums are to be places where correct education can be given to many on matters that pertain to life and health. The habits of eating should be carefully guarded, that none shall make themselves sick by indulgence of appetite. The Lord is not pleased when His people, bought by the sacrifice of His beloved Son, thoughtlessly injure themselves by wrong habits of living. As we pass through this world, we should seek to instruct all who will be taught how to avoid and how to overcome self-indulgent practices. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 14

If we are believers in Jesus Christ, we shall seek to become intelligent as to how to keep the brain clear and active, that not a tittle of our influence shall be lost. We should seek to become laborers together with God by keeping the system in such a condition that it can render perfect service. It is poor policy indeed to ill treat the digestive organs upon which the happiness of the whole being so largely depends. When the stomach is disturbed, the mind is disturbed, and the brain nerve power is weakened. It therefore becomes a religious duty with every soul to learn the science of healthful living, to keep the question of diet in mind, and to treat the matter conscientiously. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 15

The apostle Paul declares to us that we are not our own, that we are bought with a price. [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] If we truly love the One who gave His life for us, we shall feel under solemn obligation to avoid disease. There is a solemn responsibility resting upon all, and especially upon our ministers and their families, to set a right example in the matter of healthful living. If our ministers would combine physical labor with their mental efforts, they would find great improvement in health and mental clearness. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 16

The strength of the temptation to indulge perverted appetite can be measured only by the longsuffering of Christ in His long fast in the wilderness. Christ knew that in order to carry out the plan of salvation, He must begin the work of redemption just where the ruin began. Adam fell on the point of appetite. Christ took up the work of redemption just where the ruin began. The same is true of our experience. We are to begin the work of reform just where the work of degeneracy is so keenly felt. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 17

To teach us how to overcome the temptings of appetite, Christ has given us the record of His own experience of nearly six weeks of fasting, followed by His wonderful victory over the powers of Satan. In this experience Christ broke the power of appetite for all who will accept the aid of the divine power on which He relied. He made it impossible for Satan to destroy the human race through indulged appetite and made it possible for men and women in His strength to live a Christian life. Those who believe in Christ must, like Him, guard the appetite. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 18

Study again and again the counsel given in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, regarding “God’s design in our sanitariums.” From pp. 224 and 225, I copy the following: 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 19

“In the preparation of a people for the Lord’s second coming, a great work is to be accomplished through the promulgation of health principles. The people are to be instructed in regard to the needs of the physical organism, and the value of healthful living as taught in the Scriptures, that the bodies which God has created may be presented to Him a living sacrifice, fitted to render Him acceptable service. There is a great work to be done for suffering humanity in relieving their sufferings by the use of the natural agencies that God has provided, and in teaching them how to prevent sickness by the regulations of the appetites and passions. The people should be taught that transgression of the laws of nature is transgression of the laws of God. They should be taught the truth in physical as well as spiritual lines, that ‘the fear of the Lord tendeth to life.’ [Proverbs 19:23.] ‘If thou wilt enter into life,’ Christ says, ‘keep the commandments.’ [Matthew 19:17.] Live out My law ‘as the apple of thine eye.’ God’s commandments, obeyed, are ‘life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.’ [Proverbs 7:2; 4:22.] 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 20

“Our sanitariums are an educating power to teach the people in these lines. Those who are taught can in turn impart to others a knowledge of health-restoring and health-preserving principles. Thus our sanitariums are to be an instrumentality for reaching the people, and agency for showing them the evil of disregarding the laws of life and health, and for teaching them how to preserve the body in the best condition. Sanitariums are to be established in different countries that are entered by our missionaries, and are to be centers from which a work of healing, restoring, and educating shall be carried on.” 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 21

[A variant copy of this letter includes the following paragraphs:] 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 22

Why Do We Establish Sanitariums? 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 23

Why do we establish sanitariums? That the sick who come to them for treatment may receive relief from physical suffering, and may also receive spiritual help. Because of their condition of health, they are susceptible to the sanctifying influence of the medical missionaries who labor for their restoration. Let us work wisely, for their best interests. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 24

We are not building sanitariums for hotels. Receive into our sanitariums only those who desire to conform to right principles, those who will accept the foods that we can conscientiously place before them. Should we allow patients to have intoxicating liquor in their room, or should we serve them with meats, we could not give them the help they should receive in coming to our sanitariums. We must let it be known that from principles we exclude such articles from our sanitariums. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 25

The conduct of the workers, from the head manager to the worker occupying the humblest position, is to tell on the side of truth. The institution is to be pervaded by a spiritual atmosphere. We have a warning message to bear to the world, and our earnestness, our devotion to God’s service, is to impress those who come to our sanitariums. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 26

We are living in the very close of this earth’s history, and we are to move cautiously, understanding what the will of the Lord is, and, imbued with His Spirit, doing work that will mean much to His cause, work that will proclaim the warning message to a world infatuated, deceived, perishing in sin. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 27

“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” John 4:35. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 28

In our efforts to help the sick, we are to take them away from the cities, where they are continually annoyed by the noise of trains and street cars, [to a place] where they can be surrounded by the scenes of nature, and where they can have the blessing of fresh air and sunshine. This subject was laid out before me in Australia. Light was given me that the cities would be filled with confusion, violence, and crime, and that these things would increase till the close of this earth’s history. There is much to be said on this point. Instruction is to be given line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. Our physicians and teachers should be quick to see the advantage of retired locations for our sanitariums and schools. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 29

Again and again during the past five years symbolic representations have been presented to me in visions of the night, showing what we ought to be doing in sanitarium work to help the sick to recover soundness of body and mind. We must have sanitariums in favorable places in different localities. This is God’s plan. He has ordained medical missionary work as a means of saving souls, and that which we see here is a symbol of the work before us. We are to arouse our churches to engage disinterestedly in God’s work, and to carry forward this branch—medical missionary work. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 30

On the night of October 10, 1901, I was unable to sleep after half past eleven at night. Many things regarding the sanitarium work were presented to me in figures and symbols. At one place I saw sanitarium work being carried on in a beautiful building. On the grounds surrounding the building there were many fruit trees. This institution, which was away from the city, was filled with life and activity. As in the visions of the night I saw this place, I said to our brethren, “Oh, ye of little faith! You have lost much time.” On the lawn were the sick in wheelchairs. There were some patients to whom the physician had given a prescription to spend all their time out-of-doors during pleasant weather. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 31

Some had come to the institution with discouragement written on their countenances. I seemed to be living there myself, and I could not help speaking of the change that took place in their countenances. Where once was written despair, we could now read hope and joy. Amidst the singing of the birds, we all knelt down on the grass and united in praising the Lord. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 32

Then it seemed as if we had been in the place for months. I was speaking to the sick people, telling them of God’s goodness and mercy, when one arose and sang a beautiful hymn. The voices of nearly all were raised in expressions of thankfulness for help received. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 33

On the grounds of this beautiful place I saw in the visions of the night, there were many shade trees, the boughs of which hung down in such a way as to form leafy canopies somewhat in the shape of tents. Underneath these canopies patients were resting. The sick were delighted with their surroundings. While some worked, others were singing. There was no sign of dissatisfaction. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 34

I awoke, and for some time could not sleep. Many vivid scenes had passed before me, and I could not forget the words I had spoken to the patients and the helpers: “Brethren and sisters, Christ has instructed me to say to you, The Holy Spirit will make your hearts tender and soft by His grace. The Lord will guide you and teach you His way.” 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 35

Institutions in which medical missionary work can be done are to be regarded as especially essential to the advancement of the Lord’s work. The sick and suffering are to be relieved and then, as opportunity offers, they are to be given instruction in regard to the truth for this time. Thus we can bring present truth before a class of people who could be reached in no other way. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 36

The idea that a sanitarium should not be established unless it could be started free from debt has put the brake upon the wheels of progress. In building meetinghouses, I have had to borrow money in order that something might be done at once. I have been obliged to do this in order to fulfill the directions of God. For the past twenty years I have been borrowing money and paying interest on it to establish schools and sanitariums and to build meetinghouses. The institutions thus established and the churches built have been the means of winning many to the truth. Thus the tithe has been increased, and workers have been added to the Lord’s forces. Will my brethren consider this and work in accordance with the light God has given us? Let that which should be done be done without delay. Do your best to remedy the neglect of the past. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 37

One night we seemed to be in a council meeting, and the question was being considered, How can the sanitarium work be best advanced? One present proposed one thing, and still another proposed something entirely different. One of dignity and authority arose and said: “I have words of counsel for you. Never, never repeat the mistakes of the past. Men have placed too much confidence in themselves, and have allowed cultivated and hereditary tendencies to wrong, which ought to have been overcome, to bear away the victory. Various lines of work are to be earnestly carried forward for the enlightenment of those who are in spiritual darkness. Evangelical work must receive first attention, and it is to be intelligently carried forward in connection with all lines of medical missionary work. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 38

“You have,” said our instructor, “come to an important place in the history of your work. Who shall be chosen to carry responsibilities in the sanitarium at the beginning of its work? No mistake must be made in this matter. Men are not to be placed in positions of trust who have not been tested and tried. Men and women who understand the will of the Lord are to be chosen—workers who can discern that which needs to be done, and prayerfully do it, that the mistakes and errors of the past may not be repeated. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 39

“The one who is placed in the position of business manager,” he said, “must daily be managed by the Lord. He occupies a very important place, and he must possess the necessary qualifications for the work. He should have dignity and knowledge, together with a clear sense of how to use his authority. Christ must be revealed in his life. He must be a man who can give religious instruction and exert a spiritual influence.” 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 40

He who gave the Israelites instruction from the pillar of cloud, and led them through the wilderness into the Promised Land, is our Leader today. We are under divine guidance, and if we are obedient to God’s commandments, we shall be in perfect safety, and will receive distinguished marks of His favor. ... 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 41

Intelligent, self-denying, self-sacrificing effort is now needed. The medical missionary work given us to do means much to every one of us. It is a work for soulsaving. Christian philanthropists should step forward just now to fulfill the gospel commission. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 42

Let our brethren send in their gifts with thanksgiving and with prayer that they may be multiplied and blessed by the Lord, as was the food given to the disciples to give to the five thousand. If we make the best use we can of the means we have, God will enable us to feed the multitude who are starving for the Bread of Life. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 43

For the past twenty years the Lord has been giving the message that plants are to be made in many places. He will greatly bless us as we endeavor to carry out His will. Out of the city into the country is the word that has been given, and this word is to be obeyed. Our sanitariums are to be established in the most healthful surroundings. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 44

I could not but weep for joy as I saw how plainly the providence of God has been revealed in our selection of places for sanitarium work in San Diego, Los Angeles, and the Redlands and Riverside district. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 45

There is one thing more about which I wish to speak before I close. We have no need to hesitate in regard to soliciting means for the Lord’s work. And no object is of greater importance or interest than the establishment of a sanitarium. I hope that you will lay your plans before those who have money and obtain gifts from them. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 46

Several years ago it was presented to me that the gentile world should be called upon to make donations to our work. Let discreet, God-fearing men go to worldly men that have means, and lay before them a plan of what they desire to do. Many of these men, if approached in the right way, will make gifts to the work. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 47

Why not ask the gentiles for assistance? I have received instruction that there are men and women in the world who have sympathetic hearts, and who will be touched with compassion as the needs of suffering humanity are presented before them. Let men who have the ability to tell what a sanitarium should be, and the need that there is for such institutions, go to the gentiles for financial aid. There are men of the world who will give of their means for schools and for sanitariums. The matter has been presented to me in this light. Our work is to be aggressive. The money is the Lord’s, and if the wealthy are approached in the right way, the Lord will touch their hearts and impress them to give of their means. God’s money is in the hands of these men, and some of them will heed the request for help. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 48

Talk this over, and do all in your power to secure gifts. We are not to feel that it would not be the thing to ask men of the world for means, for it is just the thing to do. This plan was opened before me as a way of coming in touch with wealthy men of the world. Through this means not a few will become interested and may hear and believe the truth for this time. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 49

May the Lord bless you in your work, is my prayer. 23LtMs, Lt 218, 1908, par. 50