Healthful Living


Chapter 2—Duty to Study the Laws of Life

19. It is our duty to study the laws that govern our being, and conform to them. Ignorance in these things is sin.—Unpublished Testimonies, August 25, 1897. HL 13.1

20. From the first dawn of reason, the human mind should become intelligent in regard to the physical structure. We may behold and admire the work of God in the natural world, but the human habitation is the most wonderful.—Unpublished Testimonies, January 11, 1897. HL 13.2

Physiology as a Study

21. A practical knowledge of the science of human life is necessary in order to glorify God in our bodies. It is therefore of the highest importance that among studies selected for childhood, physiology should occupy the first place.—The Health Reformer, August 1, 1866. HL 13.3

22. It is well that physiology is introduced into the common schools as a branch of education. All children should study it. It should be regarded as the basis of all educational effort. And then parents should see to it that practical hygiene be added. This will make their knowledge of physiology of practical benefit.—The Health Reformer, November 1, 1871. HL 13.4

Ignorance of Physical Laws

23. We have special duties resting upon us. We should be acquainted with our physical structure and the laws controlling natural life. While Greek and Latin, which are seldom of any advantage, are made a study by many, physiology and hygiene are barely touched upon. The study to which to give thought is that which concerns natural life, a knowledge of oneself.... It is the house in which we live that we need to preserve, that we may do honor to God who has redeemed us. We need to know how to preserve the living machinery, that our soul, body, and spirit may be consecrated to his service. As rational beings we are deplorably ignorant of the body and its requirements. While the schools we have established have taken up the study of physiology, they have not taken hold with the decided energy they should. They have not practised intelligently that which they have received in knowledge, and do not realize that unless it is practised, the body will decay.... This living machinery should be understood. Every part of its wonderful mechanism should be carefully studied.—Unpublished Testimonies, May 19, 1897. HL 13.5

24. Physical life cannot be treated in a haphazard manner. Awaken to your responsibilities.—Unpublished Testimonies, August 25, 1897. HL 14.1

25. Ignorance of physiology and neglect to observe the laws of health have brought many to the grave who might have lived to labor and study intelligently.—Special Testimonies On Education, 98. HL 14.2

26. To become acquainted with the wonderful human organism,—the bones, muscles, stomach, liver, bowels, heart, and pores of the skin,—and to understand the dependence of one organ upon another for the healthful action of all, is a study in which most mothers take no interest.—Testimonies for the Church 3:136. HL 14.3

27. Study that marvelous organism, the human system, and the laws by which it is governed.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 120. HL 15.1

How to Reduce Mortality

28. If people would reason from cause to effect, and would follow the light which shines upon them, they would pursue a course which would insure health, and the mortality would be far less.... All who possess common capabilities should understand the wants of their own system.—How to Live 3:51. HL 15.2

Learn in Youth

29. It is of the highest importance that men and women be instructed in the science of human life, and in the best means of preserving and acquiring physical health. Especially is youth the time to lay up a stock of knowledge to be put in daily practise through life.—The Health Reformer, November 1, 1877. HL 15.3

30. Those who have occupied positions of influence have not appreciated the work which has been so long neglected.... They consider it far more important to become learners upon subjects of less consequence to the human agent. Thousands upon thousands know nothing of the body, and how to care for it. David declared, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” And when God has given us such a habitation, why should not every apartment be critically examined?—Unpublished Testimonies, January 11, 1897. HL 15.4

31. It is best for those who claim to be sons and daughters of God to avail themselves, while they can, of the opportunities now presented to gain a knowledge of the human system, and how it may be preserved in health.... The Lord will not work a miracle to preserve any one in health who will not make an effort to obtain knowledge within his reach concerning this wonderful habitation that God has given. By the study of the human organism we are to learn to correct what may be wrong in our habits, and which, if left uncorrected, will bring the sure result, disease and suffering, that make life a burden.... Let the mind become intelligent, and the will be placed on the Lord's side, and there will be a wonderful improvement in the physical health. But this can never be accomplished in mere human strength.—The Medical Missionary, December 1, 1892. HL 15.5

Duty of Ministers

32. The ministers in our land need to become acquainted with the science of physiology. Then they will be intelligent in regard to the laws that govern physical life, and their bearings upon the health of mind and soul. Then they will be able to speak correctly upon this subject. In their obedience to physical laws they are to hold forth the word of life to the people, and lead up higher and still higher in the work of reform.—Unpublished Testimonies, January 11, 1897. HL 16.1

33. In order to be fitted for translation, the people of God must know themselves. They must understand in regard to their own physical frames, that they may be able with the psalmist to exclaim, “I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”—Testimonies for the Church 1:486. HL 16.2