Counsels to Writers and Editors


Chapter 16—Our Health Journals

Our Health Books and Journals Needed—The people are in sad need of the light shining from the pages of our health books and journals. God desires to use these books and journals as mediums through which flashes of light shall arrest the attention of the people, and cause them to heed the warning of the message of the third angel. Our health journals are instrumentalities in the field to do a special work in disseminating the light that the inhabitants of the world must have in this day of God's preparation. They wield an untold influence in the interests of health and temperance and social-purity reform, and will accomplish great good in presenting these subjects in a proper manner and in their true light to the people.—Testimonies for the Church 7:136 (1902). CW 123.1

Importance of Our Health Literature—Publications upon health reform will reach many who will not see or read anything upon important Bible subjects. The gratification of every perverted appetite is doing its work of death. Intemperance must be met. With united, intelligent effort make known the evils of beclouding the powers that God has given, with wine and strong drinks. The truth must come to the people upon health reform. This is essential in order to arrest the attention in regard to Bible truth. CW 123.2

God requires that His people shall be temperate in all things. Unless they practice temperance, they will not, cannot, be sanctified through the truth. Their very thoughts and minds become depraved. CW 124.1

Meet the People Where They Are—Many of those looked upon as hopelessly depraved, will, if properly instructed in regard to their unhealthful practices, be arrested with the truth. Then they may be elevated, ennobled, sanctified, fit vessels for the Master's use. Go with your hands full of proper reading matter, and your heart full of the love of Christ for their souls, reaching them where they are. Many are being drawn by the Lord Jesus Christ who will respond. They are disgusted with the dry formalism which exists in the Christian world. Many are becoming infidels because of the absence of true piety in professed Christians. A good work could be done in preparing the way for the introduction of the truth, if decided testimony were borne upon this branch of the work.... CW 124.2

I have been shown that in giving attention to this branch of the work you remove a large amount of prejudice from many minds, that has barred the way to their receiving the truth and reading the publications setting forth the truth which we believe. This matter must not be passed over as nonessential; for nearly every family needs to be stirred up on this question, and their consciences aroused to be doers of the word of God in practicing self-denial of appetite. When you make the people intelligent on the question of health reform, you have prepared the way for them to give attention to the present truth for these last days. Said my guide, “Educate, educate, educate.” The mind must be enlightened; for the understanding is darkened just as Satan would have it to be, because he can find access through perverted appetite, to debase the soul. CW 124.3

One reason that there is not more sincere piety and religious fervor, is because the mind is occupied with unimportant things and there is no time to meditate, search the Scriptures, or pray. If the consciences can be aroused to see the errors in the preparation of the food, and the influence upon the moral tendencies of our nature, there would be in every family decided reforms. Intemperance in desire resulted to our first parents in the loss of Eden. We generally find, even among Seventh-day Adventists, that inclination; habit; delicate, unhealthful preparations in cooking; and unhealthful habits of dress are weakening physical, mental, and moral efficiency, and making it impossible to overcome temptation. Now what shall we do? This subject is a sadly neglected matter.... CW 125.1

Our Duty to Teach Health Reform—I am pained over the existing state of things. I am informed by my guide, “All who believe and proclaim the truth should not only practice health reform, but teach it diligently to others.” This will be a strong agency in calling the attention of the unbelieving to consider that if we are intelligent upon this subject in regard to healthful diet and practices, we would be sound on the subjects of Bible doctrine. If we backslide on this point, we lose much influence with the outside world. CW 125.2

Short, Interesting Articles—When at our large gatherings, make all the discourses highly reformative. Arouse the intellect. Bring up the talents possible into the efforts made, and then follow up the effort with tracts and pamphlets, with articles written in simple form, to make the subjects brought before them distinctly stated, that the word spoken may be repeated by the silent agent. Short, interesting articles should be arranged in cheap style, and scattered everywhere. They should be at hand upon every occasion where the truth is brought before the minds of those to whom it is new and strange. CW 126.1

Here is a branch of work in the Lord's vineyard that has not received due attention. I have been shown in these very matters where these things have been neglected much has been lost. There should be more wise generalship manifested in doing the Lord's word. Minds must be arrested and held to the point, else Satan will steal away the seed sown. There will be but a small number in comparison with the rejectors of truth, that will receive it; but one soul is of highest value. The value of all the world sinks into insignificance in comparison to the value of one human soul.—Manuscript 1, 1875. CW 126.2

The Best in the Country—The people are perishing for want of knowledge. Says the apostle, “Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge.” After receiving the faith of the gospel, our first work is to seek to add virtuous and pure principles, and thus cleanse the mind and heart for the reception of true knowledge. Disease of almost every description is pressing upon the people; yet they seem willing to remain in ignorance of the means of relief, and the course to pursue to avoid disease. CW 126.3

In the establishment of the Health Institute it was the design of God not only that knowledge might be imparted to the comparatively few who should visit it, but that the many might be instructed as to home treatment. The Health Reformer [our pioneer health journal, published under this title from 1866 to 1878. Subsequently it was known as Good Health.] is the medium through which rays of light are to shine upon the people. It should be the very best health journal in our country. It must be adapted to the wants of the common people, ready to answer all proper questions, and fully explain the first principles of the laws of life, and how to obey them and preserve health. The great object to be kept in view by the publication of such a journal should be the good of the suffering people of God. The common people, especially those too poor to attend the Institute, must be reached and instructed by the Health Reformer.—Testimonies for the Church 1:552, 553. CW 127.1

Placing the Crib Too High—I learned that Elder ----- had recommended that the Pacific Health Journal [The Pacific Health Journal, sponsored by the Rural Health Retreat at St. Helena was launched in California in 1885. In the summer of 1904, with the change of place of publication to Washington, D. C., the name was changed to Life and Health.] published in the interest of the Health Retreat, be discontinued and the Good Health [In 1879 our pioneer health journal, The Health Reformer, became Good Health, with no change in publishers.] take its place. I hastened to respond, and said to Elder Loughborough, No, No, there must be a coming up from the simple beginning. The Good Health is a journal that will do its work east of the Rocky Mountains, but will not do the work demanded in the interest of the Health Retreat and on the Pacific Coast in its present infancy. They must have matter that the Health Reformer started out on, and just as much better ability as we can put into the work, but it must be monthly instead of quarterly ere long. CW 127.2

The Good Health places the crib too high to meet the demands of uninformed men and women. There must be greater simplicity and we must make that journal a living thing, full of interesting matter to do its work on the Pacific Coast.... The Lord would have the journal live and it shall live; because Elder ----- has ceased to edit it it shall not die. He may criticize it as much as he pleases, as Trall criticized the Health Reformer; nevertheless, it shall live.—Letter 10, 1887. CW 128.1

Spicy, Not Prosy—While working for the Herald of Health [published in Australia commencing January, 1898. Later known respectively as Australasian Good Health and Life and Health.] believe in the Lord Jesus, and seek to make the paper a success. Please make your sentences short, for then your articles will be much more interesting.... CW 128.2

I hope and pray that you may make the Herald of Health a living, speaking, vital agency for good. Do not let it get prosy. Let it be spicy with the fragrance of pure truth. This is a savor of life unto life.—Letter 137, 1900. CW 128.3

Recipes for Health Journals—Recipes that are formed on the old plan of preparing food are gathered up and put into our health papers. This is not right. Only recipes for the plainest, simplest, and most wholesome food should be put into our health journals. We must not expect that those who all their life have indulged appetite will understand how to prepare food that will be at once wholesome, simple, and appetizing. This is the science that every sanitarium and health restaurant is to teach. CW 129.1

We are to teach the people how to prepare dishes that are not expensive, but wholesome and palatable. And never is a recipe to appear in our health journals that will injure our reputation as health reformers.—Letter 201, 1902. CW 129.2

Keep Close to the People—We must go no faster than we can take those with us whose consciences and intellects are convinced of the truths we advocate. We must meet the people where they are. Some of us have been many years in arriving at our present position in health reform. It is slow work to obtain a reform in diet. We have powerful appetites to meet; for the world is given to gluttony. If we should allow the people as much time as we have required to come up to the present advanced state in reform, we would be very patient with them, and allow them to advance step by step, as we have done, until their feet are firmly established upon the health-reform platform. But we should be very cautious not to advance too fast, lest we be obliged to retrace our steps. In reforms, we would better come one step short of the mark than to go one step beyond it. And if there is error at all, let it be on the side next to the people. CW 129.3

Above all things, we should not with our pens advocate positions that we do not put to a practical test in our own families, upon our own tables. This is dissimulation, a species of hypocrisy.—Testimonies for the Church 3:20-21 (1872). CW 130.1