Testimonies to the Church Regarding our Youth Going to Battle Creek Obtain An Education


The Burning of the Sanitarium

St. Helena, Cal.,

February 20, 1902.

Today we received the sad news of the burning of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. For many weeks I have had a heartache that has made my nights very restless. I would at this time speak words of wisdom, but what can I say? We are afflicted with those whose life interests are bound up in this institution. Let us pray that this calamity shall work together for good to these, who must feel it very deeply. We can indeed weep with those that weep. SpTB06 5.1

Our heavenly Father does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. He has his purpose in the whirlwind and in the storm, in the fire and in the flood. The Lord permits calamities to come to his people to save them from greater dangers. He desires every one to examine his own heart closely and carefully, and then draw near to God, that God may draw near to him. Our life is in the hands of God. He sees dangers threatening us that we can not see. He is the giver of all our blessings; the provider of all our mercies; the orderer of all our experiences. He sees the perils that we can not see. He may permit to come upon his people that which fills their hearts with sadness, because he sees that they need to make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. He knows our frame, and remembers that we are dust. Even the very hairs of our head are numbered. He works through natural causes to lead his people to remember that he has not forgotten them, but that he desires them to forsake the way which, if they were permitted to follow unchecked and unreproved, would lead them into great peril. SpTB06 5.2

Trials come to us all to lead us to investigate our hearts, to see if they are purified from all that defiles. Constantly the Lord is working to our present and eternal good. Things occur which seem unexplainable, but if we trust in the Lord, humbling our hearts before him, he will not permit the enemy to triumph. SpTB06 6.1

The Lord will save his own people in his own way, by such means and instrumentalities that the glory will be returned to him. To him alone belongs the praise. Let us beware how we give to human beings the credit for their success. It is the abundant grace of Christ that makes the feeble among his disciples strong and the strong mighty. It is from him that we receive the endowments that enable us to offer him acceptable service. If we are fully consecrated to him, we shall return to God all the glory. We shall make him our entire dependence. SpTB06 6.2

Every soul that is saved must be a partaker with Christ of his sufferings, that he may be a partaker with him of his glory. How few understand why God subjects them to trial. It is by the trial of our faith that we gain spiritual strength. The Lord seeks to educate his people to lean wholly upon him. He desires them, through the lessons that he teaches them, to become more and more spiritualized. If his word is followed in all humility and weakness, he brings to them experiences which, if rightly received, will help to prepare them for the work to be done in his name. God desires to reveal his power in a marked manner through the lives of his people. SpTB06 6.3

I am instructed to say, let no one attempt to give a reason for the burning of the institution that we have so highly appreciated. Let no one attempt to say why this calamity was permitted to come. Let every one examine his own course of action. Let every one ask himself whether he is meeting the standard that God has placed before him. Can we say from the heart, I lay aside my own will. “I delight to do thy will, O my God, yea, thy law is written within my heart”? Do we ask daily, “Lord, what is thy will concerning me?” SpTB06 7.1

Let no one try to explain this mysterious providence. Let us thank God that there was not a great loss of life. In this we see God's merciful hand. SpTB06 7.2

Have We Valued the Sanitarium as We Should?

If we have not valued the great blessing that the Lord has given us in sending us the light on health reform, if we have not felt honored by having the Battle Creek Sanitarium among us for thirty-five years, if we have not diligently garnered up the benefits and advantages to be gained from such an institution, shall we be surprised when something comes to arouse us? SpTB06 7.3

The Sanitarium has been a blessing the influence of which has extended to all parts of the world. Through it many have received the light of truth. Eternity alone will reveal how many have been relieved of physical suffering by the skill of the physicians. The great Physician, mighty to save to the uttermost, will hear the earnest prayers that are offered for suffering humanity. His presence and his skill have just as surely stayed the hand of the destroyer in the Battle Creek Sanitarium as when he was on this earth in human form. In that institution angels of God have worked with human beings to save life. God gave skill and understanding to the workers at the time of the fire, enabling them to get the sick and suffering out of the reach of the quickly spreading flames. SpTB06 7.4

We know something of the great good that such an institution has been to us as a people. We know how many times the Lord has spoken of this institution as his helping hand. He has declared that in it men and women were to be trained as competent physicians and nurses, some to act as educators in the home field, and others to go to far-off fields. Have we valued this institution as we should? SpTB06 8.1