The Story of our Health Message


Dr. H. S. Lay’s Work

At this time Dr. H. S. Lay was one of the five members on the medical staff of “Our Home,” at Dansville. He had been deeply impressed by the principles of health and healing as set forth by Mrs. White during her conversation with him soon after the vision at Otsego. After twelve years of medical practice with the usual drugs prescribed by the regular physicians, his confidence in their value had been greatly shaken. The severe illness of his wife now led him to give more serious consideration to drugless and rational methods of treatment. A great improvement in her health resulted, which he attributed to his acceptance and application of the light on health reform. In a letter to Elder White he wrote: SHM 98.4

“Julia’s health continues slowly but steadily to improve. We believe it is through the blessing of God and the use of His great remedies that she yet lives and is brought to enjoy her present state of health. ... I think I have been brought of late more than ever before to see and feel the necessity of obeying the laws of hygiene as well as the moral law. ... I now see clearer than ever before that while you both have so ardently labored to discountenance the use of tobacco, tea, and coffee among us, you have been doing the work of God.”—Letter of Dr. H. S. Lay to James White, October 11, 1863. SHM 99.1

Dr. Lay’s search for nature’s methods of healing, that his wife’s health might be restored, led him to study the works of Drs. Jackson, Trall, and others; and in the summer of 1864 he took her to Our Home at Dansville, where he soon accepted an invitation to join the medical staff. That this was a providential experience was made clear by Mrs. White, who wrote a few years later: SHM 99.2

“I was shown that God in His providence had directed the course of Dr. H. S. Lay to Dansville, that he might there obtain an experience he would not otherwise have had, for He had a work for him to do in the health reform. As a practicing physician, for years he had been obtaining a knowledge of the human system, and God would now have him by precept and practice obtain a knowledge of how to apply the blessings He has placed within the reach of man, and thus be prepared to benefit the sick, and instruct those who lack knowledge how to preserve the strength and health they already have, and by a wise use of pure water, air, and diet, Heaven’s remedies, prevent disease.”—Testimony for the Church 11:47. (Vol. I, pp. 490, 491.) SHM 99.3