Letters from Ellen G. White to Sanitarium Workers

To Ministers, Physicians, and Counsellors At Loma Linda:

Sanitarium, Cal.,

May 7, 1911.

I have words of instruction for you and your coworkers who are ministers and physicians and counselors at Loma Linda. During my visit to Southern California, light was given me that many of the leaders in our sanitariums were failing of meeting the requirements of God, and, more than this, they did not realize their lack. I was instructed that those who stand in positions of responsibility in these important institutions are engaged in a most sacred work, that they have little time in which to do the work committed to their trust, and that it was of the utmost importance that faithfulness and consecration mark their efforts in every line. SpTB15 1.1

In a remarkable way God has brought into our possession some of the institutions through whose agency we are to accomplish the work of reformation to which as a people we are called. At this time every talent of every worker should be regarded as a sacred trust to be used in extending the work of reform. SpTB15 1.2

The Lord instructed me that our sisters who have received a training that has fitted them for positions of responsibility are to serve with faithfulness and discernment in their calling, using their influence wisely, and, with their brethren in the faith, obtaining an experience that will fit them for still greater usefulness. The instruction of the apostle Peter, “Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge,” they are to bring into their individual experience, and this work of daily sanctification through cooperation with the Spirit of God, will develop their knowledge and capabilities. SpTB15 1.3

In ancient times the Lord worked in a wonderful way through consecrated women who united in His work with men whom He had chosen to stand as His representatives. He used women to gain great and decisive victories. More than once, in times of emergency, He brought them to the front and worked through them for the salvation of many lives. Through Esther the queen, the Lord accomplished a mighty deliverance for his people. At a time when it seemed that no power could save them, Esther and the women associated with her, by fasting and prayer and prompt action, met the issue, and brought salvation to their people. SpTB15 1.4

A study of women's work in connection with the cause of God in Old Testament times will teach us lessons that will enable us to meet emergencies in the work today. We may not be brought into such a critical and prominent place as were the people of God in the time of Esther; but often converted women can act an important part in more humble positions. This many have been doing, and are still ready to do. It is a woman's duty to unite with her husband in the discipling [disciplining] and training of her sons and daughters, that they may be converted, and their powers consecrated to the service of God. There are many who have ability to stand with their husbands in sanitarium work, to give treatments to the sick and to speak words of counsel and encouragement to others. There are those who should seek an education that will fit them to act the part of physicians. SpTB15 2.1

In this line of service a positive work needs to be done. Women as well as men are to receive a thorough medical training. They should make a special study of diseases common to women, that they may understand how to treat them. It is considered most essential that men desiring to practice medicine shall receive the broad training necessary for the following of such a profession. It is just as essential that women receive such training, and obtain their diplomas certifying their right to act as physicians. SpTB15 2.2

Our institutions should be especially thorough in giving to women a training that will fit them to act as midwives. There should be in our sanitariums lady physicians who understand well their profession, and who can attend women at the time of childbirth. Light has been given me that women instead of men should take the responsibility in such cases. I was directed to the Bible plan, in which at such times women acted the part of the physician. This plan should be carried out by us; for it is the Lord's plan. SpTB15 2.3

Again and again light has been given me that women should be chosen and educated for this line of work. Now the time has come when we should face the matter clearly. More women should be educated for this work, and thus a door of temptation may be closed. We should allow no unnecessary temptation to be placed in the way of physicians and nurses, or the people for whom they minister. SpTB15 3.1

The Lord has greatly favored us in providing suitable buildings at Loma Linda for the carrying forward of the work as it should be carried. Let us be in earnest in following the counsel we have received. SpTB15 3.2

I have been instructed to say to our leading sanitarium workers throughout our ranks: The work must move forward on a higher plane, and after a more sacred order than it has heretofore, if it is to accomplish all that God designs should be accomplished by it in our churches and for the world. We need to pray and to consider earnestly what is the great spiritual need of men and women in this age. Strange things are being done, which are not after the Lord's counsel, but after the devising of men. As wicked practices increase among those who are determined to do wickedly, there is great need that our people bring into prominence before the world a pure untainted work. The Lord says to us, Be ye clean that labor in the health institutions. Work under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God. Let the men holding positions of sacred trust view the work from a high standpoint. SpTB15 3.3

I ask you who stand as leaders in this work to read prayerfully chapters four to eleven of the book of Deuteronomy, for there is instruction that all need who would understand God's dealings with His people. And I wish to impress upon all who read these chapters that they mean much to every soul who carries responsibilities in connection with sanitarium work. “Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God,” the Lord declares, “and the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself above all nations that are upon the earth.” All the directions He has given are to be carefully observed, from the greatest to that which may seem the least. SpTB15 3.4

The Lord says to all, Purify your souls from all commonness. Set before your children and households an example in word and deportment that will lead them to desire above all things to render to God consecrated loving service. Pray for your home; instruct your family; sanctify the Lord God of Israel in your hearts and in your lives. SpTB15 4.1

I am deeply pained as I see with some a spirit of carelessness in speech and deportment. This is a hindrance to spirituality. The Lord declared to Israel: “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, and to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord, and His statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good. Behold the heaven, and the heaven of heavens is the Lord's thy God, the earth also, and all that therein is. Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.” Read these words thoughtfully, and consider how great are the privileges of the people whom the Lord chose to serve Him. To all connected with sacred duties I am charged to say, Seek the Lord. Take heed to your conversation; lay off all cheapness of speech, for the Lord would have you become intelligent workers and wise counselors. Let those with whom you associate see nothing of frivolity in your words and works. You have the knowledge of sacred truth, and you are to honor those truths as men and women who must give an account for the talents entrusted to them. SpTB15 4.2

God would have His honor exalted before men as supreme, and His counsels confirmed in the eyes of the people. The witness of the prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel gives the example of one who stood wholly for God and His work in the earth. The prophet calls the Lord by His name, Jehovah God, which He Himself had given to denote His condescension and compassion. Elijah calls Him the God of Abraham and Isaac and Israel. He does this that he may excite in the hearts of his backslidden people humble remembrance of the Lord, and assure them of His rich free grace. Elijah prays, “Be it known this day that thou art the Lord God of Israel.” The honor of God is to be exalted as supreme, but the prophet asks further that his mission also may be confirmed. “Let it be known that thou art God in Israel,” he prays, “and that I am thy servant, and have done all things at thy word.” “Hear me, O Lord,” he pleads, “hear me.” SpTB15 4.3

Elijah is intense. As he prayed the silence of death seemed to be about him. As the Amen was spoken, lo, the fire of heaven descended on the sacrifice in the sight of the multitude. SpTB15 5.1

The people were wonderfully affected by the scene. At the manifestation of God's power, they fell on their faces on the earth and extolled the God of Abraham, and gave glory to the God of Israel. With a loud voice they shouted, “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God.” SpTB15 5.2

But while the people acknowledged the God of heaven, the priests, with hardened hearts, refused to be convinced. They would still remain the prophets of Baal. Thus they showed themselves ripe for destruction. And Elijah said to the people, “Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” The time had come when delusion was unveiled. The people saw the awful deception that had been practiced upon them by the false prophets; and when the word was spoken, they fell upon the prophets, brought them down to the brook Kishon, and took part in their slaughter. Thus was Elijah's faith crowned with victory, the priests of Baal put to shame, and the worshipers of false gods confounded. SpTB15 5.3

Elijah's whole life was devoted to the work of reform. He was a voice crying in the wilderness to rebuke sin and press back the tide of moral evil. And while he came to the people as a reprover of sin, his message offered the Balm of Gilead for the sin-sick souls of all who would be healed. His zeal for God's glory and his deep love for the house of Israel present lessons for the instruction of all who stand today as representatives of God's work in the earth. Let the conductors of our institutional work catch the spirit of zeal felt by Elijah and learn its intensity. Let them seek for the grace of God that will give them an experience in advance of that which they have heretofore enjoyed. Let them love the work of God, and pray for its advancement in the world. SpTB15 5.4

The following is my talk to the Paradise Valley Sanitarium:— SpTB15 6.1