Welfare Ministry


Chapter 29—The Care of the Aged

Respectfully and Tenderly Cared For—The matter of caring for our aged brethren and sisters who have no homes is constantly being urged. What can be done for them? The light which the Lord has given me has been repeated: It is not best to establish institutions for the care of the aged, that they may be in a company together. Nor should they be sent away from home to receive care. Let the members of every family minister to their own relatives. When this is not possible the work belongs to the church, and it should be accepted both as a duty and as a privilege. All who have Christ's spirit will regard the feeble and aged with special respect and tenderness.—Testimonies for the Church 6:272. WM 237.1

To Remain Among Friends and Relatives—The aged also need the helpful influences of the family. In the home of brethren and sisters in Christ can most nearly be made up to them the loss of their own home. If encouraged to share in the interests and occupations of the household, it will help them to feel that their usefulness is not at an end. Make them feel that their help is valued, that there is something yet for them to do in ministering to others, and it will cheer their hearts and give interest to their lives. WM 237.2

So far as possible let those whose whitening heads and failing steps show that they are drawing near to the grave remain among friends and familiar associations. Let them worship among those whom they have known and loved. Let them be cared for by loving and tender hands.... WM 237.3

The presence in our homes of one of these helpless ones is a precious opportunity to cooperate with Christ in His ministry of mercy and to develop traits of character like His. There is a blessing in the association of the old and the young. The young may bring sunshine into the hearts and lives of the aged. Those whose hold on life is weakening need the benefit of contact with the hopefulness and buoyancy of youth. And the young may be helped by the wisdom and experience of the old. Above all, they need to learn the lesson of unselfish ministry. The presence of one in need of sympathy and forbearance and self-sacrificing love would be to many a household a priceless blessing. It would sweeten and refine the home life and call forth in old and young those Christlike graces that would make them beautiful with a divine beauty and rich in heaven's imperishable treasure.—The Ministry of Healing, 204, 205. WM 238.1

Institutions Not the Best Plan—Men should not be employed to give their time and talents to the work of bringing the aged or the orphans together into a company to be fed and clothed. This is not the best way to manage these cases.... WM 238.2

Nor is it best to erect buildings for old men and old women, that they may be in a company together. Let them be helped in the very places where they can be helped. Let relations take care of their own poor relations, and let the church take care of its own needy members. This is the very work God would have the church do, and they will obtain a blessing in doing it.—Manuscript 44, 1900. WM 238.3