Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)

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Lt 158, 1909

Kress, D. H.

St. Helena, California

November 18, 1909

This letter is published in entirety in KC 163-166.

Dr. D. H. Kress

Dear Brother:

Yesterday I received and read a letter from you, and I thank you for explaining your convictions and feelings so fully as you have done. I am glad that you and your wife can be united in your labors. With your varied gifts, you can unitedly do an excellent work. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 1

The work that you have been doing in connection with Brother and Sister Starr has had a good influence. I am assured that it is right for you and Sister Kress to unite with them in labor. You can be a great help to them and they to you. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 2

The work you have been doing in the cities is meeting heaven’s approval. This experience is to be a lesson to others besides Elder Starr and Dr. Kress. What you have done demonstrates that if our physicians and our ministers can work together in the presentation of truth to the people, more can be reached than could be influenced by the minister laboring alone. I trust that your example in this respect may be followed by other physicians. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 3

Brother Starr has capabilities that fit him to labor in the large cities. I see no light in his being taken from that work. I am sorry for your perplexities regarding leaving Washington. You say that your wife and others feel that you ought not to leave the sanitarium and that you do not feel clear to leave. I do not urge that you and your wife separate entirely from the sanitarium. Your connection with the institution will increase your influence in the field. During your absence, other physicians must carry largely the responsibilities in the sanitarium. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 4

You need not feel that the Lord has separated you from the sanitarium because you have made more direct efforts to reach the souls in our cities who need to be converted. You have a burden for this work of presenting the message to the people. Present Christ as the healer of the sin-sick soul. In your work in the field you will gain a broader and more extended influence than if you were confined to an institution. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 5

Whoever is medical superintendent of the institution, there should be associated with him wise counselors. No one man is to try to carry the responsibility of the sanitarium at Takoma Park. One man’s mind is not infallible. Capable men are to co-operate. It is safer in most matters to follow the united judgment of several men than of one man. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 6

It is not the Lord’s plan that you should wholly disconnect from the sanitarium, but it is His plan that, in connection with your wife, you should go into the cities and seek to reach the people with the message of present truth. This work will help to make known the work at the sanitarium, and it will also establish confidence in the minds of the people in the institution. The acquaintances you make, as you attend meetings and present the truth from the physician’s standpoint, will help to give you an influence; and this line of work will be the means of bringing to our sanitariums a class of people who can be greatly benefited. Arrange your plans so that you can engage in this line of work with freedom, and so that your absence will not hurt the work of the institution. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 7

Present before the people the need of resisting the temptation to indulge appetite. This is where many are failing. Explain how closely body and mind are related, and show the need of keeping both in the very best condition. The health talks which you give in the meetings will be one of the best ways of advertising our sanitariums. This is a work that I have been shown you should do. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 8

I am instructed to say to our sanitarium workers that their light is to go forth as a lamp that burneth. There are ministerial duties devolving upon the head physicians of our sanitariums outside of the purely medical work. They must give heed to the urgent calls that come for soul-winning efforts. Every jot of influence that the Lord has given them is to be used for Him. Our medical superintendents should so live and labor as to be recognized as men who place their trust in God, men who fear the Lord and depend upon His divine power. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 9

The God-fearing surgeon, when required to operate in critical cases, will call upon God for wisdom and help. And the Lord will honor His servant at such times, guiding the instrument he handles in the fear of God. At such times it is of the greatest importance that the physician be calm and able to speak words of faith and trust in the One who is our Creator and our King. Many times this manifestation of calm trust in God will decide the case favorably; for the confidence of the physician in unseen agencies, his faith that his prayers in behalf of the afflicted one will be heard, will give confidence and balance of mind to the one who is passing through the crisis. And the faith that will lay hold upon the Lord in the hour of peril will be respected. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 10

The minds of the suffering ones must be led to grasp the hope of deliverance from special peril. Speak to them hopeful words, words of courage. There are those patronizing our sanitariums whom the Lord will heal if they will abstain from the use of liquor and drugs and will use simple and safe remedies to counteract disease brought on through perverted appetite. If they will act their part to break the spell of the enemy by firmly resisting temptation, and will surrender themselves to the One who gave His life for sinful souls, they will become sons and daughters of God. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 11

All who indulge the appetite, waste the physical energies, and weaken the moral power will sooner or later feel the retribution that follows the transgression of physical law. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 12

Christ gave His life to purchase redemption for the sinner. The world’s Redeemer knew that indulgence of appetite was bringing physical debility and deadening the perceptive faculties so that sacred and eternal things could not be discerned. He knew that self-indulgence was perverting the moral powers and that man’s great need was conversion—in heart and mind and soul—from the life of self-indulgence to one of self-denial and self-sacrifice. May the Lord help you as His servant to appeal to the minsters and to arouse the sleeping churches. Let your labors as a physician and a minister be in harmony. It is for this that our sanitariums are established, to preach the truth of true temperance. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 13

In your letter you speak of the rescue work in the poorer parts of the city. I am glad that you feel a burden to help the very ones who need help. Christ desires His work to become the light of the world. He Himself came to make known to all classes the gospel of salvation. But it is not your special duty to make great efforts among the worst classes of society. There may be associated with you some who should work among the unfortunate and the degraded, but you are especially fitted to labor for the higher classes. Your influence with them would be lessened should you be associated largely with the rescue work for those who are generally regarded as outcasts. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 14

Christ entered upon the test upon the point of appetite and for nearly six weeks resisted the temptation in behalf of man. That long fast in the wilderness was to be a lesson to fallen man for all time. Christ was not overcome by the strong temptations of the enemy, and this is encouragement for every soul who is struggling against temptation. Christ has made it possible for every member of the human family to resist temptation. All who would live godly lives may overcome as Christ overcame, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. That long fast of the Saviour strengthened Him to endure. He gave evidence to man that He would begin the work of overcoming just where ruin began—on the point of appetite. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 15

As a people, we need to reform; and especially do ministers and teachers of the Word need to reform. I am instructed to say to our ministers and to the presidents of our conferences: Your usefulness as laborers for God in the work of recovering perishing souls depends much on your success in overcoming appetite. Overcome the desire to gratify appetite, and if you do this your passions will be easily controlled. Then your mental and moral powers will be stronger. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” [Revelation 12:11.] 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 16

We need the influence of the right example of our physicians and our ministers. Let them exercise their powers for the control of appetite, that mental and moral powers may be strengthened. As far as possible, let them adopt such habits of life that the physical and mental powers shall be equally taxed. The exercise of the voice in speaking is a healthful exercise. Teach and live carefully. Hold firmly to the position that all, even our leading men, need to exercise good common sense in the care of their health, securing equal taxation of the body and the brain. 24LtMs, Lt 158, 1909, par. 17